The Biker’s Guide to Pulling a Trailer with a Motorcycle
One of the biggest challenges when travelling with a motorcycle is figuring out how to pack lightly since there's usually not that much space. But for those going on longer journeys or wanting to have more storage options, pulling a trailer with a motorcycle is becoming increasingly viable.
While some might have reservations about the feasibility or even safety of a motorcycle pulling trailer, the increasing popularity of towing with a motorcycle should make you at least consider whether you could try this yourself.
With that in mind, let’s dive into the subject of towing with a motorcycle, exploring whether it can be done, how to hitch a motorcycle with trailer weight, and the essential things you should consider before trying it.
Can You Pull a Trailer with a Motorcycle?The first thing to understand before going any further is this: pulling a trailer with a motorcycle can be completely safe, given that you take the necessary precautions and understand how to do it correctly.
For instance, you should understand that not all bikes are capable of towing a trailer, so you need to check whether the manufacturer has rated it for towing, and whether it has a built-in towing hitch you can use. At the same time, even if it's possible, you need to ensure that the motorcycle's towable weight isn't exceeded by the trailer you're considering. Having a trailer that's heavier than the motorbike is not a feasible option if you want a safe and sustainable way to travel.
Finally, you must consider the differences in handling and riding of a motorcycle pulling a trailer compared to riding without a trailer. You should be prepared for a learning curve, even if you have plenty of experience riding a motorbike. Maneuvering with a trailer comes with additional challenges, which you will need to understand and get comfortable with before hitting the road on a long journey.
The last thing you want to happen is ending up in a situation that you’re not comfortable with when pulling a trailer with a motorcycle, which could potentially cause a dangerous situation or even an accident. To avoid that, it’s crucial to understand the key steps that go into the process of a motorcycle towing a trailer. Let’s explore them below.
How to Hitch a Trailer to MotorcycleEven though figuring out how to find trailers for motorcycles to pull is a complicated process, the good news is that many people have done it before. That means you can take advantage of a proven process that will help you figure out exactly what you need and whether the bike you have can be used for pulling a trailer.
The first thing you’ll need to figure out is whether your motorcycle has enough power to safely pull a trailer. While there are many trailer options you could consider, there are basic universal guidelines that you can follow.
First off, that means that your motorbike’s engine must be at least 1000 cc in size, as that’s the only way to ensure that it will have enough pull to take the trailer wherever you need to go. At the same time, you need to know your bike’s curb weight, which is the weight without passengers or load, but with a full tank.
Once you know that your motorbike is capable, you can look into the specific steps of hitching a trailer to your motorbike.
Here are the steps:
- First, you'll need to install the safety chains that will act as additional protection if the main connections break. You'll need to place the trailer's tongue where the hitch pin will be attached and cross the chain from both sides of the trailer so that it forms an X shape. Finally, hook the chains to the motorbike's frame after securing them to the trailer.
- Next, you’ll need to ensure that the weight of the trailer does not exceed the maximum safe weight your motorcycle can tow. Weigh it at full weight after placing everything you plan to carry inside, and make sure that the tongue of the trailer doesn’t have more than 15% of the weight when lifted. In general, try to distribute the weight evenly as much as possible.
- At this point, you’ll be ready to attach the trailer to the motorcycle’s rear end, tightly securing it with the small locking cap. You will also need to connect the electrical connector between the motorcycle and the trailer.
- Before you can get going, make sure the trailer is connected securely and all the lights are working and functioning as they should. Remember, safely pulling a trailer with a motorcycle depends not just on your riding but also on being visible to everyone else on the road.
Considerations for Towing with a MotorcycleWhen towing a trailer with a motorcycle, getting the technical details that ensure safety is essential. But you also need to consider the more general safety guidelines that can help keep you safe on the road and provide an enjoyable experience.
Below, we’ll explore some of these considerations that can help you be more prepared for the day you hit the road pulling a trailer with a motorcycle.
Safety PrecautionsHaving a thorough safety process is a key part of preventing accidents and feeling confident on the road with a trailer. The good news is that a few simple safety tips can be all you need to get ahead of any potential issues.
As mentioned before, always perform a thorough inspection of your towing equipment, even if it’s not the first time you’re using it. Check to make sure that all of the connections are secure, all lights are working, and both the trailer and the motorcycle are in good working condition.
Tow WeightTo ensure stability on the road, the motorbike must be heavier than the trailer it's towing. That means you must be diligent in knowing exactly how much you and your motorbike weigh compared to a fully loaded trailer.
A good rule of thumb is that the fully loaded trailer should be at least 20% lighter than the motorbike. The good news is that the latter weight also includes the rider and any equipment on the bike, which can give you a bit more room.
Rider Experience LevelDon’t underestimate the importance of having enough experience when riding a motorbike with a trailer. Riding the bike itself comes with many risks to a less experienced rider, so you should approach using a trailer with care and take as much time to practice and get comfortable as necessary.
Starting with simpler routes and shorter trips is a good idea. This is because it will allow you to get more comfortable and adjust the trailer's weight or balance for a safe and comfortable journey every time.
Driving MethodThe way you drive also plays a vital role in whether you will have a safe and consistent experience when pulling a trailer with a motorcycle. Riding with a trailer is simply a different experience, so you need to be aware of what you need to do to stay safe.
Some of the rules you should follow include choosing a safe speed that’s below what you might go without a trailer, being aware of the trailer’s width in comparison to your bike, and being very gentle about stopping to not lose your balance.
Trailers to Pull Behind MotorcyclesEven though many people might not have even heard of the possibility of pulling a trailer with a motorcycle, there’s actually an increasing range of options you can choose from. However, because of the diversity of the motorcycles and their capabilities, it’s best to look for trailer options that are designed to suit your specific needs.
The top things to look for in a motorcycle trailer are stability and low weight. You want something that will not make your riding experience more unstable. The trailer must also be lightweight to allow you to comfortably tow it while placing as much of your belongings inside as possible.
Many motorbike owners opt for custom-made motorcycle trailers, which can be a complicated process to take on if you don’t have prior experience. But the good news is you don’t necessarily have to.
At ListedBuy, there are many motorcycle tow trailer options sold by owners who had them custom-made or bought them at specialized shops. So, you can look around the available selection and find suitable options for the type of motorcycle you have. That way, you can have a customized and road-tested trailer ideally suited for your motorcycle without having to go through the process of having one custom-made.
Find the Best Motorcycle Trailers for Sale with ListedBuyPulling a trailer with a motorcycle is an excellent way to take more with you on the road, allowing you to take more trips and be more comfortable on your journey.
If you’re looking for affordable motorcycle trailers for sale near you, check out the collection on ListedBuy. We offer a range of options, sold by owners of bikes similar to yours. Find your perfect motorcycle trailer on ListedBuy today!
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