Buying a Motorcycle Trailer? Motorcycle Trailer Buying Tips to Follow

Few experiences in life compare to the thrill and excitement of riding a motorcycle. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie on a dirtbike or love cruising on a classic Harley roadster, motorcycles can be one of life’s greatest pleasures. Depending on where you live, it’s possible you have to travel long distances before you can get where you can really enjoy your motorcycle. In an ideal world, you can ride your bike wherever you need to go. Of course, that is not always the right thing to do. Sometimes, buying a motorcycle trailer seems like the only viable option.

Whether your recreational vehicle is unfit for general traffic or too prone to get damaged, every biker faces situations where they need to transport their bikes without riding them. Just think about it: if you’re a Harley lover taking your classic bike to an exhibition across the country, would you really ride it all the way? It will be too heavy on your budget. And don’t forget that you’ll have to cough up more money to bring it back. As expensive as it can be, buying a motorcycle trailer might be the best way to handle your bike-hauling problem.

Investing in a new motorcycle trailer can be tricky if you don’t know what to look for. While all motorcycle trailers are designed to move bikes from Point A to Point B, not all of them suit every kind of bike. Motorcycle trailers come in all shapes and sizes, not to mention budgets. Since none of them are cheap, finding something within your budget is essential. Not only does it have to meet your budget, but it also needs to be fit for the job.

This post will guide you on everything you need to know when buying a motorcycle trailer.

Buying a Motorcycle Trailer | The Different Types of Motorcycle Trailers

Motorcycle trailers are not necessarily just for motorcycles. If you’re spending so much on buying a motorcycle trailer, you can consider getting one that can also help haul other cargo. There are plenty of different types of trailers you can use to haul motorcycles. When you get the right one, you can easily haul one or more motorcycles whenever you need. Depending on the type you get, you can even use your motorcycle trailer for other uses. As long as it can fit inside the trailer and you’ve got a truck capable of pulling it, the possibilities are virtually endless.

This section of the guide on buying a motorcycle trailer will give you a quick overview of the different types of trailers you can use. These are all suitable options. We’ll describe them to help you understand which one might be the right fit for your needs.

1. Enclosed Trailers

When it comes to versatile workhorses for various applications, enclosed trailers are some of the best options you can consider. With walls covering it from every side, an enclosed trailer can be the best way to transport motorcycles while protecting them from the elements. Whether it is raining or snowing, transporting your motorcycle in an enclosed cargo trailer will ensure your beloved bike gets where you need to go without a scratch.

Most enclosed trailers offer plenty of space. If you need to transport multiple bikes, a large enough enclosed trailer can do the job. And whenever you need to move other cargo, you can easily use an enclosed trailer to do it. All the extra cargo space can also come in handy for storing your motorcycle if you don’t have space to park in your garage.

As good as they are, enclosed trailers aren’t perfect. Since there’s a lot more material going into them, they tend to get heavy. All the protection you get with them comes at a higher price as well. If you need to haul different types of cargo besides your bike, an enclosed trailer can be a good investment. You can get more bang for your buck with the right-sized trailer.

2. Stand-Up & Folding Motorcycle Trailers

If you’re short on space in your garage or property, a full-sized enclosed trailer might be too much. You can consider buying a folding or stand-up motorcycle trailer instead. These are two different types you can look at when buying a motorcycle trailer. While different from each other, they offer similar features. These are essentially collapsable and easier to store when you are not using them.

Stand-up and folding motorcycle trailers also come in different shapes and sizes. You can even find models large enough to carry two motorcycles simultaneously. Since they have an open design, you cannot count on these trailers to protect your bike from the elements en route. You will need to cover them up properly with a tarp and secure it to keep them safe. These trailers are built for endurance and can give you lasting performance.

With all the perks they offer, these compact trailers are also expensive. When you’re spending so much money, it’s good to get something versatile. Unfortunately, these foldable trailers are not good for much else. If you need to haul your bikes often and don’t want to take up too much storage space, a stand-up or foldable motorcycle trailer can be a good purchase.

3. Customized Flatbed & Utility Trailers

When it comes to versatile workhorses, nothing beats the utility trailer. Perfect for almost every hauling application, you can consider getting one when buying a motorcycle trailer. Open-bed design trailers can be great for transporting bikes over long distances. Since most of them come with foldable ramps, loading your motorcycle onto one won’t be a problem for you. If you find a utility trailer with enough tie-down points, it can be the best thing for transporting your bike.

Their open-bed design does have a drawback: No protection from the elements. To keep your motorcycle safe, you will need to use a tarp to cover it properly. Utility trailers can be modified to make them better suited for hauling motorcycles. Since they don’t have walls or a roof, they tend to be much lighter than enclosed trailers. Utility trailers are also available at much lower prices than enclosed trailers, and they can handle even more hauling applications.

The open design means there are no limits on the size of your cargo. All you need to do is ensure that the cargo falls within its weight limit and you have a truck with the pulling power to match. Beyond the weight capacity, you can use a utility trailer to haul virtually anything.

4. Front-Wheel Toe Brackets

Front-wheel toe brackets are the cheapest option you can consider when buying a motorcycle trailer. While this one is not technically a motorcycle trailer, it is worth mentioning. They are essentially brackets you can attach to the front wheel on your motorcycle. Once hooked, you can connect the bracket to your truck on its hitch. The bracket will keep your motorcycle’s front tire stable and secured to your towing vehicle.

One major drawback with these is that the rear wheel will be on the ground. If you’re hauling your bike over a long distance using a toe bracket, be prepared to see the rear wheel take severe punishment. All the bracket does is secure the front wheel. Your bike’s weight will rest mainly on the rear wheel, causing significant wear on the tire and suspension.

Granted, you can save money by getting a front-wheel toe bracket. However, it can cost you more in the long run for additional bike repairs down the line. If you want to haul your bike over shorter distances, a toe bracket might be a good option. Just remember that it won’t be good for anything else.

Things to Look for When Buying a Motorcycle Trailer

Choosing the right trailer type is essential to making the right investment. However, it is not the only factor you must consider when buying a motorcycle trailer. Here are a few more factors you must consider when you’re shopping for a new trailer.

1. What’s it Made of?

Depending on the make and model, various materials can go into making a trailer. Aluminum trailers have become increasingly popular over the years. Because of the construction material, these trailers are resistant to rust. Aluminum is also much lighter than steel. Unfortunately, aluminum trailers cost much more than steel trailers. A similarly sized trailer made with steel will fetch a lower price. The problem with steel trailers is that they’re heavier and more likely to rust without proper care. Steel trailers are more rugged than aluminum trailers, but the cost difference might not justify it over the long run.

2. What is the Axle Configuration?

Motorcycle trailers designed solely for this purpose only come with one axle. After all, motorcycles are not that heavy. Two wheels should be good enough to support the weight of one or a couple of bikes. If you’re looking for a trailer that’s more versatile, you might want to consider a tandem axle trailer.

Tandem trailers have two axles, giving them two extra wheels to support more weight. While heavier and more expensive, they can also handle far more cargo. You won’t find purpose-built motorcycle trailers with two axles. Also called dual-axle trailers, you’ll find plenty of options among enclosed and utility trailers.

3. Is it Compatible With Your Vehicle’s Hitch?

You cannot tow a trailer hauling your motorcycle if you can’t hook it up to your truck, can you? Hitch compatibility is a crucial factor to consider when buying a motorcycle trailer. If your towing vehicle does not have the right hitch to match, you might need to buy and install one. Selecting a trailer based on your vehicle’s existing hitch will be better. 

4. Will it Properly Support Your Motorcycle?

Buying a motorcycle trailer only makes sense if it’s good enough to safely transport your bike. It must have a good amount of tie-down points so you can secure your bike in place during transit. We recommend looking for trailers that have tie-down points, enough space for wheel chocks, and come with ratchet straps. Even with enough tie-down points, keeping your bike from shifting en route demands learning how to secure your cargo properly.

Know Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Motorcycle Trailer? Use it to Earn Back Some of the Money You Spent on it

With this guide, we are confident that you know everything to make the right decision when buying a motorcycle trailer. When you are actually buying it, you will realize that motorcycle trailers are not very cheap. Unfortunately, the purchase price for your new trailer is not the only expense you’ll face. Owning a motorcycle trailer means you must also take care of its maintenance and repairs to keep it in the best shape. Between the routine maintenance and repairs, you might spend a lot of money on your trailer.

The maintenance and repair costs might seem too much. However, it is a costly investment, and you need to maintain it to get the best out of your motorcycle trailer. Since you will be spending a lot on your investment, you should consider using it to get some returns. Unlike you, not many people have enough money lying around to buy a motorcycle trailer. Unless you’re using yours to haul motorcycles daily, your trailer might sit idle for weeks or months. Instead of letting it sit there and collect dust, you can use it to earn some passive income.

Rental Income to Cover Maintenance Costs after Buying a Motorcycle Trailer

You can list it as a motorcycle trailer for rent on a peer-to-peer trailer rental marketplace for other riding enthusiasts who need it. You can fetch a good amount of money by listing your trailer as a motorcycle trailer rental.

Neighbors Trailer is America’s first P2P trailer rental marketplace. You can list your new trailer on the platform for free and rent it out when you’re not using it to make some money. When you rent it out often enough, it is possible for you to make more than enough to take care of its maintenance costs. Who knows? You might get so many bookings when it’s free that you can earn back everything you invested in the first place. Renting it out often enough might even see you turn a profit.