Motorcycle Forums » Biker Chat

Towing a Trailer Behind Your Motorcycle

    • 5355 posts
    February 25, 2013 4:49 AM PST
    I found the trailer is going to be real useful even when not going on a long trip. Since I can hitch it up in a minute, and I can pull it straight into the garage and close the garage with it attached, I can take it everywhere.  I took it to Home Depot this morning to pick up a couple bags of top soil! We can even do our grocery shopping with the bike now!!!!! I may never drive my truck again :-)


    • 5355 posts
    March 12, 2013 6:54 PM PDT
  • March 13, 2013 3:09 AM PDT
    You want no more than 18 to 20 lb toungue weight after loading the trailer correctly. Meaning you have to distribute the weight evenly
    • 5355 posts
    March 14, 2013 4:56 AM PDT
    Thanks Coley. That's what I try to shoot for.
    • 1832 posts
    March 14, 2013 2:32 PM PDT
    I still can't bring myself to hook up a trailer. Even the uni- go I looked at earlier isn't for me. I stll think they are too dangerous. Wish I weren't so stubborn but sometimes it pays off.

    Peace
    • 844 posts
    March 14, 2013 5:01 PM PDT
    Don't have to wish you weren't so stubborn Jimmy. Each person has to do a ride how they feel comfortable. Kind of like the helmet issue. Lots of folks down here don't were 'em but I do because I feel safer with it. If you don't feel comfortable pulling a trailer, no problem.

    But since I just ordered my new Street Glide (be here in 3 to 4 weeks!) I'm thinking that trailer would be a pretty nice addition. I think I could get the wife to go to a lot more camping rallies with me if I could take a few luxuries with us.
    • 2790 posts
    March 15, 2013 4:50 AM PDT
    I read your review and I am impressed.This is ideal for those week long rides.It would certainly please the ladies who love to overpack for just about everything :) and the trailer actually looks sweet ! I wonder how much it will reduce your gas mileage ?
  • March 15, 2013 6:02 AM PDT
    Lucky , good luck with the trailer . I have a stow-n- go & yea it's great for those longer trips when the whip just has to go with me . I didn't take on my trip to Vegas but I might this year just to make it easier to get to my stuff in a jiff like my rain gear or a new pack of smokes . You will get use to how it corners real fast just watch out for those cars , they don't see you & they defiantly aren't looking for your trailer . I put black reflective tape on mine to help at night . Any sign shop should have a color to match or can color basic white to match your paint

    Good luck & be safe

    Brooklyn
    • 5355 posts
    March 15, 2013 6:16 AM PDT
    Being seen is always a big concern of mine. Like I said the tail lights are really nice LED systems and I added marker lights to the sides as well as reflectors!
    • 5355 posts
    March 16, 2013 9:56 AM PDT
    Done...


    • 2790 posts
    March 18, 2013 3:44 AM PDT
    Looking real sweet :) the logo looks sharp!!
    • 5355 posts
    March 26, 2013 7:54 AM PDT
    Now that I have had the chance to pull the trailer on a couple of long distance hauls, I was trying to determine what the gas mileage impact was and I can honestly say I don't know :-) Those that know me know I tend to ride the open roads at a pretty decent speed (normally 80 to 85 mph) and we all know the H-D V-Twin sucks fuel once you get over 75 mph. Well since I pull the trailer around 65 mph, I am actually getting the same if not better gas mileage with the trailer behind me. Next time I go on a long trip without the trailer I will try to maintain 65 mph (gonna be hard, but I'll try), so I can see how much of a difference there is.
    • 1832 posts
    March 26, 2013 8:04 AM PDT
    Lucky wrote...
    Now that I have had the chance to pull the trailer on a couple of long distance hauls, I was trying to determine what the gas mileage impact was and I can honestly say I don't know :-) Those that know me know I tend to ride the open roads at a pretty decent speed (normally 80 to 85 mph) and we all know the H-D V-Twin sucks fuel once you get over 75 mph. Well since I pull the trailer around 65 mph, I am actually getting the same if not better gas mileage with the trailer behind me. Next time I go on a long trip without the trailer I will try to maintain 65 mph (gonna be hard, but I'll try), so I can see how much of a difference there is.

    I'm gonna say here that I don't think that trailer is going to have much impact on gas mileage; mainly because of what you just posted.  You've slowed down.  So, in retrospect you burned up fuel (post-trailer) by going too fast. So, the weight/pull and slower speed balanced out your  "devil may care parnelli jones" post-trailer speed.  Eh, Rocket man?   I've found that long distance travel, whether I'm alone or two up with more gear, my mileage doesn't vary 2-4 mpg.

    Peace
  • March 28, 2013 6:30 AM PDT
    Lucky wrote...
    Done...

    I can't wait to pack all my bulky camp items in this trailor. 
  • June 16, 2013 1:47 AM PDT
    Here is my new trailer.  It is the low cost model from Harbor Freight with some mods.  Moved the shell back 4 inches, added LED lights mounted on the back of the shell for added visibility, and made a cooler rack.  Loaded it up and took on a short run yesterday and it handled very well, except at low speed (bumps) I could hardly notice it was there.
    • 5355 posts
    June 21, 2013 4:41 AM PDT
    Looking good. Couple of suggestions...

    Make sure you always have a sufficient amount of weight in the trailer. I have found it much easier to pull the trailer loaded then when it is too light. I have even put a small granite slab on the bottom when I am not carrying that much gear just to keep enough weight to stabilize the trailer.

    Tongue weight is very important! I have found the best tongue weight to be between 30-45lbs. I actually keep a small digital fish scale with me so when I pack the trailer on the road I can just hook it to the tongue and move the cargo around to get the optimum tongue weight.

    Be safe!!!
  • June 23, 2013 2:51 AM PDT
    Thanks for the advice Lucky! Get well soon! Going to get my first taste of pulling it for a longer distance next weekend when we head camping in Wisconsin. It has a rated capacity of 200lbs behind a bike, hoping my significant other does not throw that much in but we will see!
    • 5355 posts
    June 23, 2013 3:42 AM PDT
    LeatherLace wrote...
    Thanks for the advice Lucky! Get well soon! Going to get my first taste of pulling it for a longer distance next weekend when we head camping in Wisconsin. It has a rated capacity of 200lbs behind a bike, hoping my significant other does not throw that much in but we will see!

    Having a trailer is kind of like moving to a house with a bigger garage... somehow you just seem to fill it up.  In the 13 years we have been together we have always managed to fit everything we need on the bike riding two up.  Now with the trailer it is always full!!!

  • June 27, 2013 10:55 AM PDT
    In addition to pulling the trailer she has been figuring out what to throw in the saddle bags and still wants to use a rally pack! And we are only camping for 2 nights!! Purchased it mainly for what is now our by-annual run to Sturgis, I can only imagine....
    • 567 posts
    June 27, 2013 1:58 PM PDT
    We also have a "home built" Harbor Freight trailer. Earlier this month, we used it for a trip to Kentucky (from Florida) for a family reunion and some sight seeing. When we got the trailer, it had the standard 12v lighting on it. I upgraded that to LED so that my bike's electrical system would handle it.
    The trailer tows like a champ behind the bike (09 Kawa Nomad w/1700cc) and the only time I really felt it was on rough or bumpy pavement.
  • July 9, 2013 10:50 AM PDT
    Does anyone have experience or knowledge about trailer length? I am thinking about making/modifying a small trailer to put my kayak on and tow behind my Goldwing. The kayak is about 13ft long and weighs about 75lbs. Weight wise, it looks like it would be fine to tow, but I was concerned about the length. Harbor Freight sells a boat trailer that would work. Any thoughts?
    • 5355 posts
    July 9, 2013 5:06 PM PDT
    To me that sounds a bit long to be pulling behind a motorcycle to me. I would think it could cause lots of sway.

    The longest trailers made for motorcycles (that I have seen) are the pop up campers and even with tongue they are only 110 to 115 inches.
  • July 9, 2013 6:32 PM PDT
    Lucky wrote...
    To me that sounds a bit long to be pulling behind a motorcycle to me. I would think it could cause lots of sway.

    The longest trailers made for motorcycles (that I have seen) are the pop up campers and even with tongue they are only 110 to 115 inches.

    Thanks for the input, Lucky. I hadn't thought about sway. I have no experience pulling trailers with a motorcycle so thought I would put the question out there. Sounds like it would be a bad idea. I thought it would be kind of fun to show up at a lake or beach on a motorcycle with my kayak. Nice ride there, nice paddle around, and nice ride home. Just a fantacy. 

    • 823 posts
    January 12, 2014 3:18 AM PST
    Was thinking of maybe pulling a trailer with my Wide Glide. I found hitches for sale so I assume people do pull trailers with an FXDWG. I have never pulled a trailer with a bike. Most I see on the road and on here are bigger bikes like the road kings and goldwings. Any advice on pulling with a WG?
    • 5355 posts
    January 12, 2014 6:27 AM PST
    Guero, We had a friend that pulled a pretty heavy home-made trailer behind his wide Wide Glide for years. The box on this thing was 5' x 3' x 2.5' deep and probably weighed 350 lbs empty and 700 lbs full. Now I am not personally recommending pulling anything that big and heavy, but the bike will handle it with no problem