Motorcycle Trailers.. to buy or not, then what type..

Discussion in 'General VFR Discussions' started by Diving Pete, Mar 9, 2021.

  1. Diving Pete

    Diving Pete Member

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    Ok, now I'm sure that to many of you this thread may be just as confrontational as what oil to use - lol, but I thought I'd just post a couple of things that I have noticed over the years.

    So here is a couple of points:

    1. Motorcycle trailers do not get used much to haul bikes.
    2. They are a pain to store.
    3. You need a tow hitch on your vehicle.
    4. You require a few items to safely put and keep your bike on them - straps, wheel locks, ramps.
    5. You may also need locking hardware for the trailer - lock, chain, wheel clamp, hitch lock, ground anchor - etc, etc..
     
  2. Diving Pete

    Diving Pete Member

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  3. raYzerman

    raYzerman Insider

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    I have two. For a single bike, a 5x9 utility trailer with wheel chock and tiedown points.
    I know some that bought a Harbor Freight folding trailer.........
    Check out Stinger, however they may no longer be in business due to the owner passing away.
    https://ca.stingertrailer.com/contact-us/
     
  4. Colddevil

    Colddevil New Member

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    I'm pretty set on finding a Kendon single-bike folding trailer because I'm going to get myself killed loading and unloading bikes into my truck by myself. I removed the lowering blocks that sit under the rear leaf springs to get the tailgate a little lower, and I use three ramps to give me more room for error going up and down. It's still nerve wracking every time I'm doing a bike that's over 300 pounds by myself.

    Like you pointed out, storage is one of the major reasons I haven't pulled the trigger yet. I don't have space for a non-folding trailer and even the Harbor Freight 5x8' may be too big. The alternatives are to keep using the truck bed--and I'll kick myself as soon as I dump the bike off the side after a track day or something or to start renting U-Haul trailers.

    Also I have no idea how to tow a trailer. But it sure seems a lot more convenient. If anyone has any thoughts on those single-bike folding trailers, I'd be interested.
     
  5. Diving Pete

    Diving Pete Member

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    Main issue with cheap trailers is the 10' or 12' inch wheels. Basically the load rating and bearing size are not great. Having a 13' wheel (or 15' !!) means the hub is well within ratings.
    Obviously this doesn't apply if you are only taking the bike 10 mins away...
     
  6. Diving Pete

    Diving Pete Member

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    As a cautionary note I had a wheel come off my boat trailer literally 50 yards from my house AFTER a 90mile trip driving upto 70mph.... with the 1/2 ton RIB on it...

    Watching a wheel go past you is not fun... 12' wheel...
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
  7. Diving Pete

    Diving Pete Member

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    The fact you have realised the risk means its time to change.. I'd also hate to dump the bike in that position...

    Everything I have read and know comes back to how far are you going with it. Short distances almost anything will do.
    Across America you are into four wheels maybe an enclosed box trailer.
     
  8. fink

    fink Member

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    I have a motolug, small enough to fit in the boot of my car. Great bit of kit
     
  9. bk94si

    bk94si Member

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    I have a utility trailer with a wheel chock. Useful for things other than hauling motorcycles and it has a ramp-type tail gate.
     
  10. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

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    What inspired this thread Pete? Is this a subtle hint you want me to collect the spare bike you have currently got squirreled away for me?

    Suffice to say - I fully agree for a short trip people have made all manner of crazy solutions work..



    I prefer to minimise risk and over the years have found three solutions for moving motorbikes.

    Option 1 - ride it. Fine but covering 500+miles in one day can be seriously dangerous when you loose focus and when you do take a break you realise you cannot remember the last x miles of the trip.

    Option 2 - put it in a van.

    A while back I deliberately replaced my small estate car with a 7 seat van (VW Caddy Maxi) - which can be quickly and easily adapted to carry two people and two motorbikes VFR800 and Street Triple, loading ramps and riding gear securely inside. That solution has already done really long trips across Europe - with all the boring motorway mileage covered using cruise control whilst remaining warm and dry with the bikes coming out to explore the destination.

    Whilst the load bay height on the Caddy is quite low, it is also quite cramped and you really need to work with gravity and any convenient gradient. It still needs two people to load and unload safely and, as I know, it is quite painful when someone drops a VFR on your head!

    Option 3 - buy or hire a decent motorbike trailer

    Last year I finally purchased a heavy duty 2/3 motorbike trailer which should allow reasonably easy and safe solo loading and unloading, and I have room to store it when not required. Thankfully the seller was happy to store it for me after my original plan to collect it was frustrated by another COVID lock-down. Fingers crossed it will handle the 600 mile trip from London to the Alps - at least it has 15 inch wheels so should be reasonably stable and able to handle extended motorway speeds. Once the travel restrictions are lifted, I will doubtless find out, and if it goes well I am sure it will get well used to take bikes to events around Europe.
     
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  11. ridervfr

    ridervfr Member

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    I have had my 4x8 utility trailer with rail and chock bolted to it for 25 years or so. I have used it to move furniture and bikes and let my parents borrow it when they moved down to South Florida from New Jersey. My illogical wife would like me to sell it and buy hurricane accordian shutters and get rid of trailer and bolt on shutters that are stored underneath it. Clear example of women over stepping their bounds and just not getting it. Navigate around but be firm that your getting selling your shi*
     

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  12. Diving Pete

    Diving Pete Member

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    No, John... The bike is happy where it is.. LOL - its Jim McCulloch & Coldevils fault... Jim is looking at options other than putting his bike in his pickup ....

    Also not seen a trailer thread for a really long time...

     
  13. Laker

    Laker New Member

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    IMG_0947.JPG

    I have a folding trailer that I bought from KMart (remember them?) for $350.00 back in 1988. It has the small wheels that I pack with grease at the beginning of every season. This Baby folds up and is stored against my garage wall taking up no space at all. I have used this 1000 times as it was my dirt bike trailer until my kids got into their 20's and ditched me. It has hauled so many of my friends bikes as well. I couldn't do without it. Good Luck Pete!
     
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  14. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    If you are in the west (Not You Mr. Pete), I recommend Tow Smart Trailers. Not as pricey as a Kendon and the quality is a match. Seen a few in the wild, been off and on about getting one.
     
  15. Colddevil

    Colddevil New Member

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    Yea, I may have asked Pete to in another thread because I've been looking into trailers this winter and don't know much about them. I've been pushing my luck loading/unloading into the pickup bed by myself, and I'm getting better at it, but it's mentally exhausting. A couple times I've gotten pretty close to dumping it. Planning on doing more trackdays this year, and it would be worth the mind easing. Kind of similar to throwing on snow tires before winter here. I'd probably be alright without them, but I have so much less driving anxiety with grippy winter rubber.

    gonnaDieSoon.JPG

    It seems so much steeper in person than what a picture shows, hah.

    For space reasons, I really like the idea of going with one of the folding single-rail motorcycle trailers. But they're expensive and most seem out of stock right now. Found one Kendon single SRL on craigslist w/o pictures for $1,900 but it's a few hours away and not sure that I want to deal with that with my limited trailer knowledge. Thinking about it, but I may just do this year renting U-Haul trailers for a couple days at a time.
     
  16. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

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    Another option to consider is making a phone call or two to firms who normally rent trailers(u Haul) or even motorcycle rental firms to see if they have any trailers they intend selling off.

    Businesses often have to replace trailers every few years regardless of how heavily used they have been simply to comply with their insurance requirements. Inherently they have a duty of care to their staff and their customers, and have a strong incentive to ensure trailers are inspected and maintained properly and to dispose of equipment well before there is any risk of failure in use. Over in Europe the travel and leisure sectors have seen demand drop dramatically with all the travel lockdowns and restrictions and I guess many motorcycle hire firms have also seen a drop in demand thanks to that dratted virus, so they may be very happy to sell off any assets like trailers which they are not actively using.
     
  17. duccmann

    duccmann Member

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    Hauled my bike 1200 miles with no problem from CA to CO.
    Harbor freight trailer
    Found on Craigslist $350


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  18. vikingGoalie

    vikingGoalie New Member

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    depends on how often you are in need of a trailer and your intended purpose. just something to keep in mind. U-haul it costs $15/day unlimited miles to rent a motorcycle trailer that is purpose built for the task, easy loading and fine for long distances.

    If you only need a trailer maybe 4x a year $60 a year isn't all that much. Granted having your own is convenient but this way you are not having to store it, or register it or anything else. Then again if it's every weekend that's another matter. just food for thought...
     
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