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How to Choose Between Utility Trailers for Motorcycles

Utility-Trailers-for-Motorcycles Motorcycles must be transported from one location to another due to unforeseen breakdowns or relocation needs. As with any equipment for transporting vehicles, utility trailers for motorcycles should be sturdy, well-built, and meet all size and weight standards. Type (enclosed vs. open flat-bed vs. front-wheel vs. upright), style, towing capacity, loading/unloading technique, design, and single, dual, or multi-axle options are just a few features that distinguish motorcycle trailers.

So how do you know which utility trailer is right for you and your bike? Continue reading to learn more about utility trailers for motorcycles, including our top picks, benefits, and critical features.

What Kind of Utility Trailer Do You Need?

Whenever you’re making a big purchase, it’s important to do your research and have an understanding of what you need. This is especially true for utility trailers for motorcycles, as having the right one isn’t just about convenience or quality, it’s about transporting your bike safely. Here's a quick rundown of the three different types of motorcycle trailer:

Open trailers

The most basic trailer is simply a wheeled platform attached to your vehicle. It can hold one or more motorcycles, although it provides minimal protection. This is a popular choice among bike owners everywhere as it’s affordable and offers more space and convenience than a hitch carrier.

Enclosed trailers

Professional motorcycle transporters are typically the ones that buy high-end items. These can cost significantly more than a regular open trailer. However, if you frequently move numerous bikes, they're well worth the expense. You'll want the bike to be completely covered on all sides to keep it safe from the elements and road debris.

Hitch carriers

Hitch carriers don’t quite qualify as a motorcycle trailer but they offer an affordable alternative. Hitch-mounted carriers make it simple to secure your motorcycle to the back of your car, saving you room and money. Keep in mind the weight capacity of each trailer. Ensure the bike(s) you intend to carry fit comfortably within the trailer's weight capacity.

4 Things to Consider When Choosing a Motorcycle Utility Trailer

Everyone is unique and will have different needs. It’s important that you pick the right trailer for your bike and your needs. It's a question of combining your demands, tastes, and budget to get the best motorcycle trailer. Here are four things to consider when selecting a motorcycle trailer.

Height Profile

The best motorcycle trailers are usually low to the ground. While some may prefer the deck-over option for ATV trailers since it gives a larger bed, it can be a disadvantage for motorcycles. A low-profile, non-deck-over trailer makes loading your bike a breeze. It may be risky to load your motorcycle if your trailer deck is too high.

Open or Enclosed

Many enthusiasts believe that an enclosed cargo trailer for motorcycles is the ideal option for their bike for safety and comfort. An enclosed trailer protects against stone chips, bugs, and other road debris while also being completely watertight. If you opt for an enclosed trailer motorcycle setup, you can also operate as a mobile garage for your bike, saving you room in your actual garage.

Trailer Width

Motorcycle trailers are often smaller than other trailers because motorcycles are one of the most compact pieces of equipment. While this is advantageous if you only need to carry a bike, it might be inconvenient if you need to transfer another vehicle, such as a trike. If you think you'll need to tow a trike, an ATV, or other forms of equipment, a wider trailer, whether open or covered, would be a good option.

Trailer Weight

When choosing the ideal motorcycle trailer, weight is a big consideration. You'll want to make sure your trailer is light enough to be transported by a regular pickup or SUV rather than a heavy-duty truck. Aluminum trailers are sometimes the most outstanding choice when shopping for a motorcycle trailer because they are lighter than steel.

The 6 Best Motorcycle Trailers on the Market

Not all motorcycle trailers are created equal. Here are six of the best motorcycle trailers you can find on the market today.

6. VersaHaul VH-55DMRO Motorcycle Trailer

The VH-55DMRO is constructed of rust-proof, high-grade steel and has retractable tie-down bars to keep motorcycles in place while moving. It also comes with built-in wheel chocks to safeguard your bikes. This trailer can accommodate two bikes weighing up to 600 pounds each.

5. TMS T-NS-MRC001 Carrier Hitch

Hitch carriers aren't necessarily motorcycle trailers, as previously mentioned, but they serve a similar role for people on a budget. This specific rack is a heavy-duty type with a cutting-edge locking system. Although it only weighs 48 pounds, it can move up to 500 pounds. It has a handy loading ramp on one side that permits loading from any side. It is significantly less expensive than equivalent grade open or enclosed trailers.

4. Trinity MT3 Motorcycle Trailer

The Trinity MT3 is one of the top utility trailers for motorcycles, especially if you have more than two. The frame is built of tubular steel, making it sturdy without being too heavy. The trailer includes three built-in wheel chocks that make loading a breeze. Because Trinity's foundation is a trailer deck, you may use it as a utility trailer. All you'd have to do is take down the rails.

3. Carry-On 6 x 14 Enclosed Cargo Trailer

Weather and debris protection may be your first consideration if you're transporting an antique or high-end motorcycle. You'll need an enclosed trailer to reduce the risk of scratches or damages. This Carry-On type is a budget-friendly option, advertised as a cargo trailer but capable of towing a motorcycle. It has plywood floors and high-bearing tires and is 14 feet long and 6 feet wide. It has a side entrance for you and a ramp door for the bike. With this in tow, you can come up with some serious cargo trailer setup ideas for motorcycle transportation.

2. Kendon Stand-Up Single Ride-Up SRL

One of the reasons this Kendon motorcycle trailer is the greatest is its durability and lifespan. The broad base can support up to 1,000 pounds, but it is neither bulky nor heavy. The Kendon's steel support is unrivaled, and it comes with a ramp for easy loading. This trailer folds neatly into a vertical package that fits easily into any small dresser space making it the best motorcycle trailer for the money.

1. ATC Quest Aluminum Trailer

There are luxury trailers to fit your every demand if you're going all out and money isn't a problem. It's only a matter of prioritizing your needs to get the best protection, the most room, and the best fixtures. The best enclosed motorcycle trailer with top-brackets, such as the ATC Quest Aluminum Trailer, let you pick and choose what's included. They are very adjustable and may fit practically any requirement.

Motorcycle Utility Trailer Setup

After you've decided which one is suitable for you, it’s time to set yourself up for success on the road. In addition, you’ll need to learn how to strap a motorcycle to a trailer. Here are some additional considerations before you start your voyage.

Know the Trailer Laws

Because regulations differ significantly from state to state, it's always a good idea to look into any specific permissions, laws, rules of the road, or licenses that you might need to be in accordance with local authorities.

Have the Right Vehicle

Make sure you have a car that can tow a trailer. To tow a trailer weighing up to a ton, you'll need a vehicle with rear-wheel drive and a towing capacity of one ton. Smaller trailers may be towed by cars, but anything over a ton requires a larger vehicle. If you want to tow a trailer that weighs more than two tons, you'll need at least a half-ton truck or a full-size SUV with a higher towing capacity.

Use a Wheel Chock

While a wheel chock isn't required to trailer your bike, it does make things a lot simpler, especially if you're loading and securing your bike without the help of a friend. If you don't have a wheel chock, place the bike in the trailer's very front. If the trailer has a rail, your front tire should be pressed against it.

Use a Ramp

While most trailers include a ramp for loading your bike, others do not. Always check your bike's wheelbase and ground clearance to ensure your ramp is big/long enough to keep it from bottoming out. Place the front wheel into the wheel chock and push the bike up the ramp into the trailer's bed. Place the kickstand in place and secure the straps.

Secure the Straps

Ratcheting straps are more convenient than pull straps for compressing your bike's suspension, and they're available at most home centers and budget stores. Always verify the straps' Working Load Limits and pick a strap that can support at least half the weight of your motorcycle. Straps should not be attached to the handlebars. Most manufacturers claim that attaching ratchet straps to the handlebars is dangerous since they are not built to withstand the stresses that the straps would apply on a bumpy road.

Remember to tie the straps behind the motorcycle so that the back straps exert counter-tension on the front straps, thus immobilizing your bike on the trailer. It would be best not to connect the straps to the guards on saddlebags or trunks since you will most likely take them off during travel. You'll want to compress the rear suspension as you ratchet the straps, precisely like the front.

Drive Cautiously

Even if you’ve strapped your bike down perfectly, it’s still important that you drive cautiously. Practice connecting your trailer and driving around in a parking lot or open space to get a feel for things. Mainly practice handling:

  • Tight corners
  • Driveways
  • Backing up
  • Hilly areas
  • Driving at high speed on a highway

Get a feel of how you'll have to change your regular driving habits to accommodate driving with the trailer.

How to Keep Your Motorcycle Protected on a Trailer

Because it’s always better to be safe than sorry, here are a few additional tips on protecting your bike on your journey.

Check the Hitch

Ensure the ball and hitch are the correct sizes for the load you're hauling. Pull up on the hitch to ensure it is properly attached. After that, securing the handle with a padlock is a good security measure and a reasonable safety precaution. Check the electric or inertia brakes on the trailer to ensure they are working correctly and evenly. Then give the frame, shocks, and springs a once-over while searching beneath the trailer.

Check the Connections

All tail lights, turn signals, brake lights, and side marker lights must be operational. Before each trip, verify all light functions as soon as you connect. Keep the light connection clean and coated with a thin layer of dielectric grease. This helps to avoid corrosion while also ensuring a secure connection.

Check the Tires

On a trailer, good tires that are correctly inflated are just as critical as they are on your primary vehicle. A trailer with tiny wheels isn't designed for long-distance, high-speed travel. Keeping the speed down helps limit tire and bearing wear. It is also helpful to always carry a fully inflated, pre-mounted/balanced fresh spare tire.

Check the Load Balance

It's critical to load the trailer evenly, within its specified load capacity, and in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. It's simpler to hook up, unhitch, and move the trailer by hand if you load it with a slight tilt toward the front (should it become necessary).

Check the Tongue Jack

Although a tongue jack makes life much easier, a surprising number of smaller trailers are provided without one. Adding one with enough weight capacity is beneficial, and buying both a skid and wheel attachment for the bottom might give you more flexibility when setting up the trailer. Ensure it's secured in the elevated position before you leave, and check it at every fuel stop, especially if it's a fixed vertical screw type of jack. Road vibration may cause them to unscrew themselves unless they are fastened down tightly.

Check the Tie-Downs

The tie-downs that keep the bike in place are pretty important. Check that they are in excellent working order and are properly anchored. For the long run, using all eight is a possibility, but even if you only use three, it's nice to have a backup if one fails.

Check the Rail

You should be OK if your trailer has a fixed heavy steel gauge rail or track with a built-in front wheel chock as long as the rail is broad enough to handle both your bike's front and rear tires. A rear-wheel chock is also a smart option if you're not utilizing a continuous rail.

Opt for a Ramp

Either folding or permanent, aluminum ramps are reasonably priced and perform admirably. Most come with a nylon strap and a cam-lock fastener with a hook to attach to the trailer bed, so the ramp doesn't fall off during loading/unloading.

Go Through Your Checklist

If you're going on a long trip, be prepared for roadside repairs and upkeep. At every fuel stop, before the start and after each day of travel, inspect the:

  • Trailer
  • Cargo
  • Tie-downs
  • Hitch
  • Tires
  • Hub temperatures
  • Safety chains
  • Lights
  • Tongue jack

A floor jack or hydraulic bottle-style jack for trailer tire changes may be preferable to your car jack. A few small strips of 2 x 6 timber for stabilizing and jacking up the trailer and wheel chocks may be helpful.

Find Your Trailer with ListedBuy

Hopefully this guide has given you greater insight into utility trailers for motorcycles. If you’re in need of a trailer for your next trip, check out motorcycle trailers for sale from ListedBuy. We’re the premier marketplace for connecting sellers and buyers in a trusted and secure environment. Browse our selection of trailers today!

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