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5 Best Motorcycle Dog Carriers: Road Cruising With Your Canine!

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!

Quick Picks: Best Motorcycle Dog Carriers Our Rating Price
#1 Pick: Kuryakyn Pet Palace Bag  $$$$
#2 Pick: T-Bags Pet Carrier Tail Bag  $$$
#3 Pick: Outward Hound Kyjen PoochPouch  $$$$
#4 Pick: NICREW Front-Facing Dog Carrier  $$
#5 Pick: Saddlemen Pet Voyager    $

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 above the small dogs are frequently feel more comfortable riding on motorcycles than larger dogs are. 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.

motorcycle dog 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: Some are small crates designed to mount on the back of your bike, while others are 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.

Safety

No matter which carrier style you select, you must ensure that it contains your dog safely. Crate-style carriers should feature secure locks 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 you off balance.

Be sure to outfit your dog with a good pair of protective goggles or glasses to ensure he doesn’t get anything in his eyes. 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.

 Weather-Proof Design

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.

Canine Comfort

If your dog isn’t comfortable in his carrier, he won’t enjoy the ride. Be sure that wearable carriers are made from comfortable materials and that none of the components will rub his 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.

 Durability

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.

 Legal

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.

 Styling

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.

 Portability

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.

 Price

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.

5 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 good products. The following five represent the best of the bunch:

1. Kuryakyn Pet Palace Bag

About: The Kuryakyn 4199 Pet Palace Bag is a premium motorcycle dog carrier, designed to surround your pet in safe, great-looking luxury. Made from water-resistant material and supported by a rigid internal frame, the Kuryakyn Pet Palace provides everything you’d want for cruising with your pup.

Price: $$$$
Our Rating: 

Features:

  • Made with reflective piping for improved visibility
  • Comes with adjustable leash, 2 dishes, 4 metal ground stakes and adjustable straps for motorcycle mounting
  • Available in both black and gray versions
  • Includes an external drink-bottle pocket for you and an internal food-dish holder for your pet

Pros: Most dogs and their owners loved this bag. The combination of mesh side windows and openable top gives your pet a number of ways to look out into the world while riding on your bike. Many owners were even pleased with minor features of the bag, such as the interlocking food dishes and premium zippers.

Cons: Most customers who purchased the Kuryakyn Pet Palace loved it, and had nothing but good things to say. However, some explained that they upgraded the adjustable straps that came with the bag.

Outside Dimensions: 21.5 x 18 x 17 inches

2.  T-Bags Pet Carrier Tail Bag

About:  The T-Bags Pet Carrier Tail Bag is a nylon, foam-insulated bag, designed to keep your pup safe and comfortable while cruising around with his pet parent. Although this dog carrier for motorcycles is designed specifically for the Harley Davidson Touring bike or a Honda Goldwing, many customers have used it for other makes and models.

Price:  $$$
Our Rating: 

Features:

  • Mesh-paneled top and sides feature fully weather-resistant covers to keep your pet warm and dry
  • Foam-lined bottom features a lamb’s wool pad that can be removed for washing
  • Adjusts to fit backrests from 7 to 14 inches wide
  • Sunroof has three different options (closed, open, mesh window) for maximum flexibility

Pros: Most owners raved about the quality of the bag, and were quite pleased with their selection. Many singled out the flexibility offered and the ease with which the carrier could be loaded as especially valuable. The removable bottom pad is a very nice feature not found in all similar products.

Cons: There were very few complaints about the T-Bags Pet Carrier, but a small number of buyers complained that it would not comfortably fit their dog. It is the smallest crate-style carrier in our review, and it is best used with very small dogs.

Outside Dimensions: 19 x 13.5 x 12 inches

3.  Outward Hound Kyjen PoochPouch

About: The Outward Hound Kyjen PoochPouch provides a safe, secure and comfortable ride for dogs and owners who prefer to ride in tandem.

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.

Price: $$
Our Rating: 

Features:

  • Padded straps, padded back and a padded pouch combine to create unsurpassed comfort for you and your pet
  • Includes both a safety-harness attachment and a drawstring top to keep your pet safe
  • Mesh sides provide ventilation
  • Can be worn on your front or your back

Pros: The PoochPouch is a great way to carry your toy or small breed while riding around town or for longer journeys. The backpack design is a great way to help keep nervous pups calmer and feeling more secure, and you’ll love the ability to just hop off your bike with your pooch already in tow.

Cons: While most users found the bag to work very well, a few mentioned problems with the straps. Additionally, a handful of reviewers found the straps to be inadequately padded.

Outside Dimensions: 11 x 8 x 10 inches

4.  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.

Price: $
Our Rating: 

Features:

  • 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

Pros: Most owners found the NICREW Legs Out Carrier to be a great way to carry their dog wherever they went and however they got there – be it a bike or their feet. Unlike some other carriers, this product received great reviews by those owners with dogs weighing more than 20 pounds, and the vast majority rated it highly.

Cons: Despite being marketed as having comfort-padded straps, a few buyers complained about the comfort of the straps. However, such comments were relatively rare, and most who reported them just added some sort of additional padding.

Outside Dimensions: 16″ to 24″ Chest Girth, depending on the size selected

5. Saddlemen Pet Voyager

About: The Saddlemen 3515-0131 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.

Price: $$$$
Our Rating: 

Features:

  • Includes several different vents and access flaps, giving your pup several ways to look outside or extend his head
  • 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

Pros: The Saddlemen Pet Voyager includes more useful bells and whistles than any of the other carriers in our review. Most customers rated the bag very highly, and several noted that they were surprised by the quality of the bag. If you want a high-quality bag with a gazillion pockets, flaps and features – this is your bag.

Cons: The Pet Voyager primarily received great reviews by owners, but a handful of people reported compatibility issues with their bike.

Outside Dimensions: 18.4 x 15.9 x 15.3 inches

***

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.

About the Author Ben Team

Ben is a proud dog owner and lifelong environmental educator who writes about animals, outdoor recreation, science, and environmental issues. He lives with his beautiful wife and spoiled-rotten Rottweiler JB in Atlanta, Georgia. Read more by Ben at FootstepsInTheForest.com.

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Leave a Comment:

29 comments
Cathy Oswald says June 4, 2017

I need a pet carrier to hold a pit bull. Do you know where to look

Reply
Jeremy says June 14, 2017

I have exactly the same request as Cathy! My pitbull is approximately 55Lbs. He loves to ride on the scooter but I’d like to take him along when I go for longer trips with the Africa Twin. A larger version of the Kuryakin pet palace would be ideal! I see they came up with the “grand pet palace” but the dimensions seem too small and they set the recommended weight limit at 20lbs. I’m looking for a product that wouldn’t go too much over USD 200. Thanks in advance for your help!

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    Chris says August 23, 2017

    Have you had any luck with this. I’m on exactly the same mission. Same dog breed, same bike. I’d like to be able to attach something to the top of the left pannier.

    Reply
Chris says August 23, 2017

As per Cathy and Jeremy. Looking for something for my pitbull, preferably to attach to the top of the left pannier, also on my Africa Twin.

Reply
Alfred says August 27, 2017

I’m getting the Quick Star Pet Trailer for my 2 year old rescue mix German Shepherd/Bouvier, but i just got a 2nd dog, a 3 year old Jack Russell type rescue who presently weighs 25 pounds. The SPCA told me he has to gain about 5 lbs. So in perfect health he should weigh about 30 pounds .I drive a 2011 Canam Spyder RT. I know i have to get a sort of luggage rack for the back because the luggage compartment on my Spyder is not straight but rounded so they told me that i need the luggage rack to secure any pet carrier i put on it.

My question is: is there a Pet carrier someone can recommend me that would fit a 30 pound dog for my Spyder. The back seat is not an option since when i retire my wife will be sitting there, but we’ed like to be able to travel with our two dogs, but right now i’m sort of frustrated in not being able to find any motorcycle pet carrier that fits medium sized dogs. Any help would be greatly appreciated. and i’m sure Rambo and Solo (aka Hans Solo) would be glad to be able to always follow us around as well.

The trailer and a pet carrier for me would be awesome since in the summer month i take my Spyder to go to and back from work and this way i could just stay in my motorcycle gear hook up the pet trailer for my big dog and put the smaller one in the pet carrier where we’d all go to and from the dog park every day.

thanks again for any help you can give me

Reply
    Meg Marrs says August 28, 2017

    That’s tough – I haven’t seen any pet carriers made specifically for motorcycles that can fit larger dogs, but I’ll keep an eye out. You could try Macgyver-ing something with a normal plastic carrier, but not sure how safe that would be.

    Reply
jim vasilopoulod says September 24, 2017

hi

have u ever heard of a side hard saddlebag pet carrier? my bichon shitzu is 13 lbs and its just me and her so i want her closer to me as opposed to being on the very back behind tge passenger seat. perhaps a customized replacement hard side saddle that i can interchange when i take her with me? exhaust pipe is a concern obviosly but ive never actually felt for or noticed heat indside the hard saddle.

Reply
    Meg Marrs says October 12, 2017

    I’ve seen plenty of hard side saddebags, but never one designed to hold a dog. As you say, I’d be concerned about the exhaust pipe and the positioning of the saddlebags. It might be possible though. Like I said, haven’t seen them available though.

    Reply
Bob Sturm says September 26, 2017

I have an existing T-Bag Dresser Backseat Bag that I would like to use a platform for inserting a dog carrier to accommodate my Chiwawa. Buying a new bag when I already have a T Bag just doesn’t make sense. Do you have any recommendations?

Reply
Lisa LaFlam says February 25, 2018

I need a carrier for my trike, to hold my two Chihuahuas. They’ll be 3 lbs fully grown. I heard there’s one out there with two safety straps and a divider. do you know of anything?

Reply
    Meg Marrs says February 25, 2018

    I haven’t heard of it – do let me know if you find something like that, we’ll consider adding it to our list.

    Reply
Shella says June 18, 2018

I too, I’m looking for a larger carrier that will carry my 38 pound lab or doodle. Anything available?does anyone know? I ride solo so only have a single seat there would be room behind that

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Stephen Hope says September 22, 2018

I need a larger pet carrier for a short but stocky 40 lb dog. 24″ wide by 20″ would be just right. If anyone knows of something that size please comment.

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Lynn Beckwith says October 2, 2018

What is the largest dog that anyone has had on the grand pet palace? I’ve considered modifying a crate for my 35lb motomutt., but would rather use a proven option.

Reply
Sasha says October 19, 2018

My 4 lb chihuahua LOVES my boyfriends street bike! She literally climbs the walls when she sees us getting geared up! At first we thought she was afraid or upset at the noise the bike made; nope, turns out this little speed demon just wants to go FAST!
But safety FIRST, we did NOT want her exposed to the elements at all. If we know what a bug in the eye would do to us at even 30 mph we would never subject her to anything like that so she’s safely tucked away in a backpack style carrier with a bubble window and plenty of ventilation. We’ve modified it to include a pocket for a freezer gel pack for the stifling hot weather during the day and a green LED light at night that gives off some warmth from the battery pack so she doesn’t get too cold and she has a collapsible silicone dish for water that stows under her seat cushion.
The bag has a bungee clip inside to secure her in place but really she doesn’t need it because she stays still even for hour long rides. She never squirms or makes sudden movements even with other dogs etc around. She’s a great riding partner.
She loves looking out her bubble window to people watch and people love watching her. I’ve also noticed that people have stopped riding up on us; guess they don’t wanna be the person who kills the adorable dog (who cares about us right!?).

Reply
    Meg Marrs says October 19, 2018

    Aw that’s so cool Sasha! Sounds like you have a great setup there. Glad you and the Chihuahua both get to enjoy the road 🙂

    Reply
Don Zawacki says November 17, 2018

Seems like most of us have the same problem…securing larger dogs. I have an 80 lb American Bulldog and a Honda Goldwing (1800) and want something safe but simple enough to secure him to the passengers seat so he can come with me daily. The best thing I can come up with so far is a harness with D ring in back then running a strap on each side(attached to passenger hand holds) of bike up to D ring on harness. I can’t find any harnesses for motorcycle, only carriers (which aren’t big enough for him). Not sure why this kind of setup isn’t available, it seems like the simplest solution… or am I missing something?? Any help/comments would be greatly appreciated.

Reply
    Mark Wessinger says December 22, 2018

    I have constructed my own carrier for my Australian Cattledog, George and he loves it! Essentially, I modified a 24″x19″x17″ dog carrier to fit on my 1977 BMW R100. We rode from Blue River, Colorado to St. Louis, MO and back during the fall of 2016. This summer I modified the carrier to fit on my 2017 BMW R1200GS. We have not taken any long trips with the new motorcycle, but we do ride around the Fort Collins area. Modifications included cutting a hole in the top, fortifying the sides and base, and adding wind screens to the front and top. George also wears a Kurgo halter, Rex Specs goggles, and has a helmet on order.

    Reply
      Rachel Jones says January 7, 2019

      Hi, we’ve just bought the same bike & are looking for a way to take our dog along as well. Any ideas & pictures would be great
      Thanks

      Reply
        Mark Wessinger says January 9, 2019

        I would be happy to send you a picture of my setup… my personal email is CMWessinger@me,com.

        Reply
      Nancy says January 10, 2019

      Hello Mark. My husband and I each have our own Red Heeler that we want to take on our motorcycle trip this August. I would like to see pictures of the crate you modified as this seems the only logical way to tote around a larger dogs. Any suggestions too would be appreciated i.e. what to put inside for comfort.

      Reply
        Mark Wessinger says January 18, 2019

        Hi Nancy –
        Send me an email at MCDogcarriers(at)gmail.com and I’ll send you pictures.
        Mark

        Reply
          Ben Team says February 27, 2019

          Hey, Mark.

          No problem sharing email addresses and info (for that matter, send us a photo too!).

          But I switched out the @ for an (at) to stop the bots from gettin’ ya!

          Reply
          Mark Wessinger says March 1, 2019

          Thanks!

          Reply
          Mark Wessinger says March 1, 2019

          Hello Again,
          I would be happy to send you pictures of George in his carriers. We have a new, custom motorcycle dog tote, made of welded aluminum tubing built for us by Cycletote Bicycle trailers. How can I send you these photos – there does not seem to be an attachment option.
          best,
          Mark

          Reply
          Ben Team says March 1, 2019

          Awesome, Mark. We’d love to see them!
          Just attach them to an email: Info(at)K9ofMine(dot)com
          We look forward to it!

          Reply
Rachel Jones says January 7, 2019

Hi, we’re looking for something for a slightly larger dog. Can you recommend something that would be good for a staffy?
Thanks

Reply
Evan Katzman says February 27, 2019

I currently ride with a T-Bag for my 10lb yorkie on the back of my Suzuki Boulevard 650 cruiser. She loves it and is kinda famous. ha ha, Wondering if you have any recommend any bags that would work forward on my tank? Bike has a windscreen so no issue there. Thanks in advance
Evan

Reply
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