Motorcycle Forums » Biker Chat

Towing a Trailer Behind Your Motorcycle

    • 51 posts
    August 14, 2009 7:12 AM PDT

    Scroll down and read the input from our users

     

    Also see this article on... Safely Towing a Trailer Behind a Motorcycle


    This post was edited by Lucky at July 7, 2017 10:39 AM PDT
    • Moderator
    • 1507 posts
    August 14, 2009 10:20 AM PDT
    http://www.cyclefish.com/uploads_user/1000/948/2775.jpg 

    As you can see we have a trailer for our bike, and we pile stuff on it when we go camping with the bike. When we first started using it, it would move us around and was a pain.

    We then moved the axle back and WOW! What a difference. The ONLY time it bothers is when we go up onto the sidewalk or anything like that where it hits one tire before the other, then it will shake you some, but as long as you are aware, it doesn't seem to bother much. Very small inconvience for the added benefits. I am just the rider, but I can tell you that I do not feel the trailer when we are going down the road.

    It is great to have the extra room. We have a little camp stove, and even an inverter to recharge phones or whatever.

    Last year at the Redwood Run a bike came in with a little trailer shaped like a coffin. It folded out into a tent trailer. It was a little erie, but looked like it worked well.
    • Moderator
    • 12788 posts
    August 15, 2009 12:29 AM PDT
    I have never pulled one but many people I have spoken with say they are barely aware of them. I met one guy with a monster of a trailer this summer behind his goldwing. He said it weighted 700 plus pounds, whew, I guess that is why he had a 5 gal gas can setting on the tongue.
  • August 17, 2009 12:16 PM PDT
    I have pull a trailer behind my motorcycle for many miles. If you have a light trailer you won't even notice it behind you. The biggest thing to get used to is the extra width of the trailer and remembering it is behind you.

    When I first started pulling my motorcycle trailer, I would always forget about the width and occasionally run the right tire of the road. And then I would forget the extra length when turning and pull the trailer over the curb. But after one or two rides you get totally used to it, and no problem.
    • 51 posts
    August 20, 2009 1:38 PM PDT
    Thanks for all the great advice. Anyone have any tips on which trailer to buy.

    Any good, or bad experiences with any certain manufacturer or trail type?
  • August 27, 2009 3:41 AM PDT
    Found this site with some really simple plans to build your own motorcycle cargo trailer for around $380. Looks like a pretty nice trailer when finished. You do need to do some welding, or have it done somewhere.

    http://www.intergate.com/~brianb/bike/MotorcycleCargoTrailer.htm
    • 848 posts
    August 27, 2009 8:47 AM PDT
    My buddy built a trailer similar to that and it came out great. He actually got the frame already assembled at Harbor Freight and then bought the car top carrier.
  • August 31, 2009 4:06 AM PDT
    I know a guy that has that exact motorcycle trailer from Harbor Freight. It as a good little trailer for the money.

    I asked him and his only negatives are:

    With the 8" wheels (vs the 12" wheels you get on some of the more expensive trailers), the trailer bounces a little bit more on bumpy roads.

    The cargo container is sturdy enough to protect your gear and kee the weather out, but you can not put anything on top like you can with the tough fiberglass trailers. You also nee to be king of gental with it. He kind of threw the top open and cracked the plastic shell where the hinges mount.
    • 828 posts
    September 5, 2009 4:35 PM PDT
    That is a cool little trailer for the money. I may just have to get one so I can bring the BBQ and cooler to rallies!
    • 828 posts
    September 7, 2009 4:54 PM PDT
    Anyone have a recommendation on a hitch for a H-D Fat Boy. I started looking around to see what my total cost would be, and I found a number of choices from around $150 to $400. Just not sure how much of a hitch I need for a light little trailer like the one above.
    • 5367 posts
    September 8, 2009 3:55 AM PDT
    AZ, I have that same question. I too am going to get this little trailer, but really confused with all the motorcycle hitch choices.

    I have heard many good things about Motorcycle Hitches from
    HitchDoc , but they do seem a little expensive an possibly over kill for this small trailer.

    Any input from anyone who has installed a hitch on their motorcycle.
  • September 9, 2009 12:34 AM PDT
    I have a HitchDoc for my Vulcan, and a Kuryakyn hitch on the HD. I purchased both of them used off ebay under a $100. I cannot say one is better than the other. If you need a hitch for a Vulcan 1500 drop me an email, I do not use mine any longer.
  • September 9, 2009 6:31 AM PDT
    Whatever you do, MAKE SURE you have a swivel hitch. A standard setup will limit your lean angle and can cause other issues. A swivel hitch allows full lean of your machine without the trailer causing an issue for you, not to mention if your trailer takes a hard enough hit to only one tire, that can cause the trailer to get airborn and you have the potential for it to try to filp over. Without a swivel hitch, a trailer attempting to flip over has more than a significant chance of putting you down.

    here's a VERY bad video of some twisties in California... (she was in a tuner car we passed and was trying to capture the sparks off my wing in the turns)
    www.youtube.com/watch
  • September 12, 2009 1:29 AM PDT
    I ride two up with my wife, on long trips we have to pile stuff on top of the tour pack, riding on the Interstates from east to west you'll get strong cross winds, with a trailor you don't have as much wind block and other then the extra gas it use's just being able to take the extras for comfort makes it worth it to me. the Pro's out ways the Con's.
    L.A.
  • September 14, 2009 3:26 AM PDT
    I have been trying to talk hubby into getting a trailer. Would really be nice to bring a small BBQ and a few other things when we go camping.
    • 5367 posts
    September 29, 2009 7:01 AM PDT
    Ok, after going back and forth, I have decided to build my own trailer. I just can't find one I like at a reasonable price.

    My one question in designing the trailer is tongue weight. Can someone tell me what is a good tongue weight for a trailer with a total loaded weight of around 250 - 300 lbs? (145 lbs trailer, 100 to 150 lbs cargo)
    • Moderator
    • 1507 posts
    September 29, 2009 8:23 AM PDT
    Lucky wrote...
    Ok, after going back and forth, I have decided to build my own trailer. I just can't find one I like at a reasonable price.

    My one question in designing the trailer is tongue weight. Can someone tell me what is a good tongue weight for a trailer with a total loaded weight of around 250 - 300 lbs? (145 lbs trailer, 100 to 150 lbs cargo)

    I will have Harleyman get back to you on this one..otherwise call me tonight and I am pretty sure he can hook you up with that info.
  • October 3, 2009 10:51 AM PDT
    Always remember you will have a much better handling trailer if you go with a trailer with torsion suspension versus leafsprings. Leafspring trailers are bouncy where as torsion axle traielrs are not. The wheels dont matter as much as the suspension as far as handling.
    • 5367 posts
    October 5, 2009 6:57 AM PDT
    Lucky wrote...
    Ok, after going back and forth, I have decided to build my own trailer. I just can't find one I like at a reasonable price.

    My one question in designing the trailer is tongue weight. Can someone tell me what is a good tongue weight for a trailer with a total loaded weight of around 250 - 300 lbs? (145 lbs trailer, 100 to 150 lbs cargo)


    I had a couple of people meassage me asking if I ever got an answer.  Yes I did from my good friend Richard (HarleyMan).  He moved his axle around until he found the the tongue weight that provided the best handling of the motorcycle.  He suggested a tongue weight of around 45lbs.

  • October 5, 2009 9:30 AM PDT
    Look at Bill's Trailer Sales. www.billstrailersales.com. We attend many shows during the year and service everything we sell on the road. We install hitches and wire bikes too! .
    • 2076 posts
    November 24, 2009 9:53 AM PST
    I just got home (California) after a 4095 cross country bike ride. Pulled a trailer just like the Harbor Freight one. Other than eating up you gas mileage (and rear tire), thats the only way to travel on long trips. Was able to carry all of my camping gear(as well as my brothers), clothes ect. Once you get used to it you dont even know it's there. Like I said, it will eat up a motorcycle tire. I switched to the darkside (car tire) when I got home and am looking forward to seeing lots more mileage with it!!
  • November 24, 2009 11:51 AM PST
    I've been pulling a cargo trailer (21 cu ft) for for 5 years now behind a Ultra. Whenever I take off on a trip I weigh it on 2 batrhroom scales at the wheels and a 50 lb fish scale on tounge. I never go over 25 lbs tounge load. More than that eats the tire 4 times as fast as without trailer (my experience). Get a swivel hitch too. My father cut an entrance tight going for gas and hit the curb with the trailer tire and it slapped his Wing down. Sprung the trailer tounge. I run a torsional axle and 14" low profile car tires for a smooth floating trailer. Mine is one of the coolest trailers I have seen, but made my ass hurt when I paid for it. ( www.american-legend.com ) Will post a pic on profile in a bit. When my wife & I travel I would not be without it. Did without for over 20 years packin bikes. Now I can take the kitchen sink if I want.
  • December 23, 2009 9:53 AM PST
    My brother is building my trailer for me, we found the harbor freight trailer frame, and we're using a light weight aluminum box. I found my hitch at www.mchitch.com
    • 67 posts
    January 25, 2010 1:41 PM PST
    We did over 12,000ks last year with trailer on . Best way to cruise.
  • January 25, 2010 2:02 PM PST
    Several guys I ride with pull a trailer on long trips. Most have the American Legend trailer and won't have anything else.