If you really were born to be wild, shouldn’t you have something wild on your bike with you? Like say, your bad-ass bichon frise?
That’s not a joke – you really can bring your little buddy along with you as your cruise up the highway with the wind in your hair. You just need a safe way to keep your canine securely attached to you and the bike and a pup willing to ride atop your hog.
Check out our quick picks below, or read ahead for more details!
Best Dog Carriers for Motorcycles: Quick Picks
- #1 Pillion Pooch [Best Overall Dog Motorcycle Carrier]: Given that it provides unmatched comfort and safety for your canine, and it’s the most spacious carrier we’ve found, this is easily the best option on the market. It’ll cost you some cash, but we think most owners will find it worth the additional expense.
- #2 Kuryakyn Pet Palace [Best Motorcycle Carrier for Small Dogs]: A premium, luggage-quality dog motorcycle carrier with four panels of mesh for ventilation and durable, rigid internal frame. This is another pricey carrier, but it’ll offer your pint-sized pooch the chance to ride in luxury.
- #3 Beast Rider [Best Motorcycle Carrier for Large Dogs]: A premium-quality, custom-built canine motorcycle carrier that’s large enough to accommodate dogs weighing up to 75 pounds.
- #4 Outward Hound PoochPouch [Most Affordable Dog Motorcycle Carrier]: While not technically a motorcycle pet carrier, this soft carrier is extremely affordable, and it allows you to strap your pup to the front of your body, keeping your dog safely where you can see him.
- #5 K9 Moto Cockpit [Best Premium, Custom-Built Carrier]: This high-end canine cockpit is custom built to your ride’s measurements, allowing for a comfortable, safe, and stylish ride for your pooch.
Do Dogs Like Riding on Motorcycles?
When it comes to motorcycles, dogs are just like people: some love them, others don’t. It varies from one individual to the next.
Typically, dogs who have strong, confident personalities are more likely to take the noise, vibration and gale-force winds in stride than timid dogs are. This even applies to tiny breeds, who often have with big and bold personalities that belie their size.
In fact, because they are often accustomed to being carried and held, small dogs frequently feel more comfortable riding on motorcycles than larger dogs do.
Many large dogs find the notion of being carried slightly horrifying, and they respond by flailing about and trying to escape the situation.
Small dogs are also better suited for being passengers for logistical reasons.
They fit in smaller spaces and are easier to lift and manipulate. While a few riders manage to get their large dog to climb aboard and remain cool, calm, and collected, this is the exception and not the rule.
This all means that your spunky Chihuahua may be a much better riding buddy than your sensitive Doberman.
7 Best Motorcycle Dog Carries for Hitting the Road
There aren’t a great number of options in the motorcycle carrier market, but fortunately, a few of them are really solid products.
The following six represent the best of the bunch:
1. Pillion Pooch
About: The Pillion Pooch is a comfy and spacious motorcycle dog carrier that was born of necessity — the product designers simply wanted a safe way to ride with their pups, so they created the Pillion Pooch!
Featuring a protective, military-grade aluminum roll cage, a zippable, water- and UV-resistant cover, and a rigid base, this carrier makes it easy to hit the open road with your four-footer.
Spacious dog carrier that’s suitable for canines weighing up to 66 pounds.
The Pillion Pooch is essentially a metal roll cage that is attached to a rigid floor (with a cut-out to make it easy for your pupper to enter and exit). A weather-resistant cover fits over the top and provides your canine with some protection from the wind, rain, and road grit, but you can unzip the front to let your doggo feel the wind in his fur.
- Restraints designed to secure dogs weighing up to 30 kilograms (about 66 pounds)
- Designed to be narrower than your handlebars
- Easy to put on or take off and weighs only 15 kilograms (about 33 pounds)
- Available in a two-dog configuration, which features a second restraint
- 39 centimeter by 62 centimeter footprint (approximately 15 inches by 24 inches)
- 55 centimeters (approximately 21.5 inches) tall, giving most dogs plenty of headroom
- Only motorcycle dog carrier we’ve found that’s suitable for pretty big pups
- Roll cage provides additional protection for your pooch
- Overhead restraints won’t get tangled
- Two-dog models available
- The only real downside to the Pillion Pooch is its price tag, but it still provides great value for what you get
2. K9 Moto Cockpit
About: The K9 Moto Cockpit is a custom-built canine cockpit that allows your dog to comfortably ride in style right behind you! Each cockpit is custom designed based on the make and model of your motorcycle.
K9 Moto Cockpit
Premium canine cockpit that’s custom-designed for your motorcycle with high-quality materials.
The design features a tubular steel frame, baseplates, a mounting bar, cushioned bars, and vinyl upholstery in the color and pattern of your choice.
The K9 Cockpit it designed to make your dog lie down during the ride, as this position is more comfortable for your pooch while also lowering the center of gravity and reducing the impact on the ride geometry.
This high-end cockpit looks fantastic, but it isn’t cheap, so it’s really only an option for riders willing to invest serious cash to allow their dogs to cruise.
- Custom-built canine cockpit based on your motorcycle
- High-quality frame, anchor points, and baseplates
- Choose your own color of upholstery
- Company also offers a companion harness and rain poncho as upsells
- If the K9 Moto Cockpit is too pricey for you, you can purchase the cockpit build plans and put one together yourself!
- Custom-built for your motorcycle to allow for a perfect fit
- Ultra high-quality and sturdy dog motorcycle carrier
- Ability to customize certain design aspects
- Option to purchase the blueprint plans and build one yourself
- Very expensive
- Takes about 8-10 weeks to build
3. Kuryakyn Pet Palace Bag
About: The Kuryakyn Grand Pet Palace Bag is a premium motorcycle dog carrier, designed to surround your pet in safe, great-looking luxury.
Made from 1200 denier UV-rated, water-resistant material and supported by a rigid internal frame, the Kuryakyn Pet Palace provides everything you’d want for cruising with your pup.
The carrier features four mesh windows for improved ventilation, as well as a removable foam cushion for added comfort, and an attachable carrying strap that lets it be used as a mobile carrier when off the bike.
In addition, this model includes a sissy bar strap, multiple D-rings, as well as adjustable straps to fine-tune the mounting for your bike.
- Very high-quality material, including a sturdy rigid bottom
- Removable bottom pad for added canine comfort
- Four mesh windows for great ventilation
- Internal D-ring and short leash attachment to secure dog inside the carrier
- Option to open the top panel, when desired.
- Several pockets and adjustable straps
- 18.5 inches wide, 13 inches deep, and 14 inches tall
- Owners loved the ample tie-on straps, connections, and pockets
- Rigid bottom made it easy to achieve a snug connection
- Made with very high-quality materials
- Mesh windows help keep your canine comfy and enjoy the breeze
- One customer complained that the published measurements were incorrect
- Pricey, though it still provides good value
4. Beast Rider
About: The Beast Rider is a canine carrier made by motorcycle lovers, ensuring you and your large dog can travel safely and comfortably on your bike. Custom-made using an in-depth, old-school ordering form, this pup passenger seat attaches to your bike with adjustable leather straps for a snug fit.
A custom-built canine carrier for large dogs featuring real leather and multiple safety straps.
- Made with hand-tooled leather and shearling in various color and length options
- Measures 20” wide and holds up to 75 pounds
- Available in small, medium, large, and extra-large sizes
- Large size requires a tall passenger backest measuring at least 10”
- Comes with a Beast Rider K9 harness for securing your pooch
- Custom-built, ensuring you get a product that works best for you, your pooch, and your motorcycle
- Quality gets a thumb up from pup parents
- Style is unmatched, fitting in great with most cruisers
- Made with top-notch materials, including real leather and shearling
- Long lead time (18 to 20 weeks!)
- As with other motorcycle dog carriers, it’s expensive
5. Saddlemen Pet Voyager
About: The Saddlemen Pet Voyager is a flexible and feature-packed motorcycle dog carrier that provides comfort and safety for your pet and convenience for you.
It not only features an array of pockets and pouches for storage, it can attach to your bike via a versa-mount seat harness or an adjustable sissy bar strap system.
- Multiple vents and access flaps give your pup several ways to enjoy the ride
- Quick-connect straps allow you to load or remove the bag in seconds
- Features removable bottom tray and comfort pad
- Sturdy handle-grip and backpack straps make it easy to carry
- Includes tether ring to keep your pet securely leashed
- 18.4 inches wide, 15.9 inches deep, and 15.3 inches tall
- Comes with tons of useful bells and whistles (pockets, flaps, straps, etc.)
- Several owners were pleasantly surprised at the bag’s overall quality
- More affordable than most other high-end carriers
- Despite the fact that this carrier can be mounted in multiple ways, some owners experienced bike compatibility issues
6. Outward Hound PoochPouch
About: The Outward Hound PoochPouch provides a safe, secure and comfortable ride for dogs and owners who prefer to ride in tandem.
Outward Hound PoochPouch
Wearable dog carrier for small breeds that features an internal safety strap.
Made from water-resistant nylon fabric, the PoochPouch is a great way to carry your small dog around, whether you are on your bike or traveling around bipedally.
- Worn on the front of your body, you can always keep an eye on your pup
- Padded straps, padded back, and a padded pouch provide unsurpassed comfort
- Includes both a safety-harness attachment and a drawstring top for safety
- Mesh sides provide ventilation
- Small model features an 11.5-inch-wide base; suitable for pups up to 12 inches tall
- Medium model features a 13.2-inch-wide base; suitable for dogs up to 15 inches tall
- Great for brief rides, but will also work for longer journeys
- Front-facing design is excellent for nervous dogs
- Easy to go for a ride — just put it on, insert your pooch, and hop on
- A few owners complained that the straps aren’t heavily padded
7. NICREW Legs Out Front-Facing Dog Carrier
About: The NICREW Front-Facing Dog Carrier is designed to allow your puppy to ride with his legs and paws extended and exposed. It’s a clever design, that both supports your dog well and allows you to carry him in a comfortable manner.
You can also wear this pack on your back, but your pup probably wants to see where you’re going, not where you’ve been.
- 1 ½-inch-wide, comfort-padded straps won’t dig in to your shoulders
- Mesh panels to provide great ventilation
- Available in four sizes to ensure a great fit
- Comes in three color patterns: black, denim blue and striped
- Fits dogs with chest girths between 16 and 24 inches, depending on the size selected
- Works for carrying your dog via foot or on your bike
- Well-received by owners with dogs weighing more than 20 pounds (rare among wearable carriers)
- Multiple sizes and color patterns available
- Several owners complained that the straps weren’t especially comfortable
8. Milwaukee Leather Motorcycle Pet Carrier
About: The Milwaukee Leather Motorcycle Pet Carrier is a durable carrier bag, designed to keep your pup safe and comfortable while cruising around with his pet parent.
- Breathable mesh panels for ventilation
- Multiple outside pockets for extra storage
- Adjustable traps and clips for easy mounting
- Measures 16 inches long, 12 inches deep, and 13 inches tall
- Provides great value for those who want a high-quality carrier that doesn’t cost a fortune
- Durable construction ensures the carrier should last
- Easy to mount on your bike
- Unfortunately, there weren’t many owner reviews available to consider. Be sure to let us know about your experiences if you’ve tried this carrier.
Important Considerations When Selecting a Motorcycle Dog Carrier
There are a variety of products designed to make it safer and more comfortable for your dog to ride. As with all products, there is a big difference between those that work well and those that do not.
Consider the following features when selecting a motorcycle carrier for your dog:
Crate-Style Carriers Vs. Wearable Carriers
There are two basic carrier styles:
- Small crate-style carriers designed to mount on the back of your bike
- Backpack-like products, designed to be worn on your body
Either style can work well for you and your pup, you’ll just have to consider your needs and your dog’s personality when making the choice.
Crate-style carriers will protect your pup better from the winds and road debris, as well as in the case of an accident. However, they don’t allow you as much contact with your pet and some dogs may feel safer riding around while directly strapped to mom or dad.
No matter which carrier style you select, you must ensure that it contains your dog safely.
Crate-style carriers should feature secure locks, leads, or latches to keep your dog from hoping out, and they must attach to your bike properly. Wearable carriers must keep your dog contained and prevent excessive wiggling, which may throw your off balance.
It’s also a good idea to fit your little buddy with his own helmet, to better protect him in the case of a crash.
You probably won’t be riding through a downpour, but you’ll probably need to scoot through a little sprinkle from time to time. You may even ride in some light snow on occasion.
In either case, you’ll need to ensure the carrier keeps your pup warm and dry during such times.
Obviously, crate-style carriers will work better in this regard, but wearable carriers made of water-resistant materials can keep your dog relatively dry too.
If your dog isn’t comfortable in his carrier, he won’t enjoy the ride. Make sure that wearable carriers are made from comfortable materials and that none of the components will rub your pup’s skin and fur.
Crate-style carriers should feature enough space for your dog to turn around, sit up and lay outstretched, as well as a comfortable floor surface.
Mounting and Assembly
You’ll need to select a crate-style motorcycle dog carrier that is designed to fit your bike properly. Many units feature a number of adjustment points, enabling them to work with almost any bike, but others are designed for a specific make or model.
Of course, the same applies to wearable carriers – you need to make sure they’ll mount securely to your body. This is most likely to be a problem for riders who are especially tall, short, thin or not-so-thin.
Racking up the highway miles will take its toll on just about everything, including your dog-designed motorcycle carrier.
Accordingly, you’ll want to look for products with durable finishes and quality craftsmanship to prevent you from having to replace the carrier.
Some municipalities place legal restrictions on riding motorcycles with dogs. They may require certain minimum standards, or they may prohibit the activity entirely. Always be sure to check with the locally relevant authorities to stay on the right side of the law.
Some carriers are better-looking than others are, and if these kinds of things are important to you, be sure to consider the styling of your motorcycle dog carrier before making your final selection.
Styling shouldn’t be one of the primary factors influencing your decision (you should place things like safety, comfort and durability at the top of the list), but it will factor into the equation for most riders.
You’ll likely find it necessary to move the carrier around from time to time; some carriers even double as portable kennels.
Look for models that feature handles to facilitate this mobility. Portability isn’t really a concern for wearable-style carriers.
Dog carriers for motorcycles vary quite a bit in price. Generally, wearable carriers are less expensive than crate-style carriers, but prices also vary within each category and from product to product.
Try to avoid the cheapest products in any category (there’s usually a reason they have low price tags), and limit price comparisons to similar products.
Does your dog like to tag along when you go cruising? What style carrier do you use? What have you learned about using a carrier that may benefit those who are looking for their first?
Let everyone know in the comments below!