Motorcycle trailer is a term used to describe a trailer used either to carry motorcycles or to be pulled behind a motorcycle in order to carry additional gear.
For carrying motorcycles
Motorcycle carrying trailers may be open or enclosed. They may be wide, for two bikes side-by-side, or narrow, for just a single bike. The main features that distinguishes them from other flatbed or enclosed trailers are track(s) to keep the wheels from sliding side to side and sufficient tiedown points to keep the motorcycle(s) from tipping. They may also tilt, or include ramp(s) to facilitate the loading and unloading of motorcycles. Trailer manufacturers often offer trailers specifically designed for carrying motorcycles.
Enclosed trailers, as seen in the photos, have the advantage of protecting motorcycles within from the weather and from prying eyes, and of being able to lock the motorcycles up securely. However, they are heavier than open trailers and create more wind resistance, decreasing the mileage of the towing vehicle.
For being pulled by motorcycles
Trailers towed behind motorcycles are distinguished by their relatively small size, especially narrow wheelbase. They are also often styled to match the look of the motorcycle they are intended to be towed behind. This styling can include the overall shape, fender shape, lights, crome, etc.
Some important safety tips include:
No motorcycle manufacturer recommends that a trailer be towed by one if its motorcycles because it creates additional safety hazards for motorcyclists.
“While towing your trailer, you must remember to ride closer to the center of the road. You have the width of your trailer to worry about. Be careful of the “oil strip” in the center of the road at intersections. Also, watch for uneven road surfaces and road edges which can unbalance the trailer.”
It is important to “keep enough of the weight forward of the axle center point to maintain a positive hitch load” when loading the trailer.”
An N-Line Trailer is a single wheel trailer that is the same width as a motorcycle. It tracks the same line as the towing motorcycle.
Hitching a Trailer:
A trailer coupler is used to secure the trailer to the towing vechicle. The trailer coupler attaches to the trailer ball. This forms a ball and socket connection to allow for relative movement between the towing vehicle and trailer while towing over uneven road surfaces. The trailer ball is mounted to the draw bar, which is usually removable. The draw bar is secured to the trailer hitch by inserting it into the hitch receiver and pinning it. The three most common types of couplers are Straight Couplers, A-Frame Couplers, and Adjustable Couplers.
A gooseneck trailer attached to a pickup truck with fifth wheel coupling.Another type of hitch is known as a “fifth” wheel. Fifth wheel coupling is used with gooseneck style trailers to attach the trailer to the bed of the towing vehicle, ahead of the rear wheels. This type of hitch is used for larger trailers and provides considerably more stability than does a traditional bumper-pull hitch.
A trailer jack is to lift the trailer to a height that allows the trailer to be hitched or unhitched to and from the towing vehicle. Trailer jacks are also used for leveling the trailer during storage. The most common types of trailer jacks are A-Frame Jacks, Swivel Jacks, and Drop-Leg Jacks. Some trailers, such as horse trailers, have a built-in jack at the tongue for this purpose.
Trailer taillights are generally connected to the towing vehicle’s electrical system. The electrical wiring for such a set-up may consists of using a Trailer Light Converter, hosted on the towing vehicle, and a 4-way flat wiring connection.
The decriptive name “4-way flat” is given to this connector type because it has four terminals in a flat package. The wiring color code is White=ground, Brown=Park/running lights, Yellow=left signal/brake, Green=right signal/brake.
In 2007 Uhaul Int’l, for example, used a 4-way flat wiring connection for the lighting on its trailers.The taillights from the towing vehicle, or electrical system, provide the trailer’s taillights with appropriate signals and electrical power needed for their operation.