REF: Trailer

Trailering Your Ride

Hauling your bike can be an easy or difficult task depending on what your trailering setup is. Also a large part of trailer problems are owner induced from lack of maintenance such as checking air pressure and bearing lube, or from improper loading of the trailer. 1)

"Important Tips":

  1. 1) The weight limit is not just defined by the axle type. Be sure you don't exceed the weight rating of the trailer, the trailer tires, or the tow vehicle 2) / attached hitch. This includes accounting for any modifications you may have added to the trailer. A standard trailer rated for 1000 pounds (1/2 ton) will hold 1000 pounds of payload (your stuff) plus the weight of the frame and any added features. But, the same trailer with additional metal welded to it since it left the factory deducts that added weight from the usable weight limit. Just the same, the addition of plywood floors and other appurtenances also deducts from the amount of weight you can pack on it. Best to only tow your bike on the trailer and pack other objects in the tow vehicle.
  2. Be sure to have adequate tongue weight (10 percent is good) and that the trailer floor rides level to the road surface 3)


  • As far as speed ratings go, unless your tires say “not for highway use” on the sidewall they ARE highway rated. When you bought it new as a street legal trailer it had to have DOT legal tires on it. 4)
  • All tires (even trailer tires) have speed ratings. These are also coupled with weight restrictions. A tire rated for 90 mph with an over the limit trailer weight IS NO LONGER rated for 90 mph. Depending on how much over weight, speed rating decreases even more. Excess weight on the tires yields more heat which can easily cause a blow-out.
  • Get your trailer's tires balanced, keep a spare hub with bearings in your road kit, and have a spare on the trailer.5)

Wheel Bearings

  • Accidents can happen due to the trailer's wheels locking up. 6) Checking the wheel bearings on the Trailer is as important as checking your tires on the bike, to make sure the chain isn't sloppy, or any of those things we all must check from time to time. 7) You need to repack and inspect the bearings every year. 8)

General Tips:

  • The cheaper trailers have a lot of flex to the frames 9) which can be beefed up with extra welded material.
  • Go big on the eye bolts. The hardware store variety are not very strong. 10)
  • If you plan on a lot of modifications, a used trailer is usually easy to come is worth while to check the bearings on them. Larger tires will reduce trailer sway greatly. Check ads and farmer market bulletins. Look at the axle size to really see what the load rating should be, there are guides on the net, over-loading the axle leads to heart-aches.
  • Add a storage box to the front of the trailer for chocks, straps and tools. 11)
  • Get a spare wheel with tire. 12) Install the mount for a spare tire on the side forward of the wheels. 13)

Pics of Bike Haulers

Click on a pic to enlarge:

1/2 Ton Utility with wood bottom and wheel chock 14)
1/2 Ton Utility Trailer modded with walk panels, tire channel, wheel chock & front tire shroud 15)
4×8 heavy duty Harbor Freight trailer w/ added rails, all bolted joints welded and a plywood bottom. 16) 17)

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