A guide to motorbike trailers
What are the benefits of using a motorbike trailer?
A dedicated motorbike trailer is by the far the easiest way to transport a bike. Not only are they much cheaper than a truck or van, but they're designed to be low to the ground, so they're much easier to get your bike onto. They're also incredibly strong, stable and secure. That's four big ticks in our book!
The problem with motorbikes is, when they're static, they have a tendency to follow the laws of gravity and fall over. Wheebles, they are not. So, if you want to avoid ‘dump and damage' to your precious cargo, then investing in a trailer that's fit for purpose is an absolute no brainer.
Which motorbike trailer is right for you?
When buying a motorbike trailer the first thing to check is that it's suitable for your bike and your budget. It goes without saying that the more expensive and heavy your bike is, the more heavy duty your trailer needs to be. Our range of trailers take weight capacities from 193kg, which is ideal for a small dirt bike or light weight road bike, right up to a heavy duty 610kg, which will transport a single large touring bike or two or three sports bikes.
Loading your trailer
The first rule of loading your bike onto your trailer is to make sure that the trailer is hitched and totally secure to the vehicle that's towing it. It'll prevent the trailer pitching up or moving around whilst you're trying to get the bike onto it. The same goes for when you're unloading your bike at the other end.
The second rule applies to heavy bikes. If you've got a light bike, then you and a mate might well be able to life it onto the trailer, but for heavier bikes, then a ramp is a must. Some trailers come with ramps, and others offer ramps as an additional accessory. If your bike is too heavy to life comfortably, then look for a trailer that has a ramp option.
By all means, you can try riding your bike onto the trailer, but for the love of your bike's bodywork (and your precious bones), unless you're very experienced (or fool hardy) we really wouldn't recommend it. If you go too slow, you'll topple off the ramp and if you go too fast you're likely to end up in the driving seat of the towing vehicle. Never a good look!
You can also try pushing your bike up under power, but our advice would be to get someone to help you. Put the bike in neutral and push the bike onto the trailer using the handlebars and covering the breaks. The other person can help push the rear.
Securing your bike
If you don't wish to see your pride and joy smeared on the deck, then don't scrimp on straps. There are specially designed and manufactured straps and ties that are worth investing in. They'll not only ensure your bike is properly secure, but will avoid scratches and chafing when it's in transit. Finding new damage to your motorbike when you arrive at your destination can really ruin a trip.
Our preference is for the ratchet type of strap, where once the strap is on, all you need to do is activate the ratchet to tighten it. It's easy and it gives you strength and control. How you tie your bike down depends on the model you own, but generally speaking two ties upfront and two on either side are ok for most light bikes, but four in front and two at the back will provide maximum security.
Two more tips when it comes to bikes straps – if you're using old straps, then check for fraying and tearing. If there's any evidence of wear and tear, then they need replacing. It's also a very good idea to set up your tie-downs before you load your bike on the trailer. Trying to balance a bike when the straps are out of arms reach isn't much fun. If you do make this mistake, then please make sure someone's filming you – it makes for entertaining viewing on You Tube!
It would be remiss of us to send all our lovely biker customers to their next race or event without two final safety reminders. Firstly, don't forget that a car pulling a trailer can't travel in the outside lane of a motorway. And secondly, don't forget to service your trailer. Regular visual checks and properly grease-packed quality bearings go without saying, but it's worth getting a free trailer safety check to make sure everything is in perfect and safe working order. Book yours in with us today - call 01962 77 49 88!