There have been times in every biker’s life when they have to transport their bike without riding it. Sometimes when they have to take it in for repair, or need to get to an event quickly. In these cases and many others, it makes sense to own a good motorcycle trailer.
Buying a motorcycle trailer can seem challenging if you aren’t sure what you should be looking for. Moving a motorcycle from point A to point B requires a reliable motorcycle trailer that meets your bike’s size and weight requirements.
You might also want a trailer you can use for other purposes – such as an open trailer for moving large items or an enclosed trailer for keeping things out of the weather.
Furthermore, motorcycle trailers vary in several ways besides the towing capacity.
To help you out, here’s a comprehensive motorcycle trailer buying guide and a review of the best motorcycle trailers for your money.
Types of Motorcycle Trailers
Motorcycle trailers need to cater to the many different needs of bikers, and manufacturers make trailers for bikers in every situation. Here are the most common kinds of motorcycle trailers you will find on the market:
#1 Enclosed Trailer
An enclosed motorcycle trailer enables bikers to transport bikes while protecting them from the elements. They have sides and a roof, protecting the vehicle from the sun, rain, snow, and dirt and debris on the road. For this reason, they are sometimes called fully enclosed trailers or covered trailers.
While they offer the best protection of all motorcycle trailers, the trade-off is that they are also heavier, requiring a powerful towing vehicle. Additionally, they are more expensive than other motorcycle trailers. But it’s not all bad since you can install toolboxes and store accessories and luggage in the trailer.
Most enclosed trailers are large enough to store two motorcycles, but you can find options to store one motorcycle. Bikes come in different sizes and shapes; therefore, enclosed motorcycle trailers are manufactured in varying lengths, ceiling heights, and aerodynamics to ensure optimal fuel economy.
The modern market offers motorcycle trailers in dimensions most commonly ranging between 12 to 20-foot by 6 to 9-foot. Getting an enclosed trailer seems like the best option for most bikers since the trailers also serve as a mobile garage for the bike. This saves bikers space in their garage while protecting their bike.
The best motorcycle trailers tend to be low to the ground to make for easy mounting of the bike. Large deckover trailers are the right option for motorists with ATVs and other equipment besides bikes. But if you only need to transport bikes, the high trailer deck makes getting it onto a deckover trailer dangerous and taxing.
For this reason, most bikers get an enclosed, low-profile trailer for easy loading and unloading.
#2 Hitch-Mounted Trailers
Hitch-mounted trailer slide into a trailer hitch, allowing lighter bikes to be lifted onto the trailer.
These trailers do not have wheels and suspend the bike off the ground, holding it close to your car. While this allows you to haul your bike without pulling a trailer, this kind of motorcycle trailer can only support a limited amount of weight. Hitch-mounted trailers are most commonly used to transport dirt bikes from point to point.
However, you cannot expect to mount a Harley or large BMW motorcycle on these trailers.
#3 Front Wheel Toe Brackets
Front-wheel toe brackets hook to the front wheel of a bike, keeping the bike stable at the front and letting the rear wheel roll as the towing vehicle moves. In this way, these brackets convert your bike into a trailer.
While these are technically not trailers, they are an inexpensive and convenient solution for bikers who need to get a motorcycle from point A to B. But it’s important to note that mounting a bike onto a front-wheel toe bracket puts excess weight on the rear wheel, causing a lot of wear.
You will need to replace the rear wheel earlier than expected if you use a front-wheel toe bracket to transport the bike over long distances. For this reason, front-wheel toe brackets are best for short-distance use.
#4 Folding Trailers
A folding motorcycle trailer is easy to fold and tuck out of the way, saving you a lot of space in your garage. Folding trailers coupled with the right hardware will enable you to move the bike over long distances. When it comes to folding trailers, you do not have to worry about reliability since they are designed to serve you for years.
That said, they tend to be expensive — a trade-off that makes sense to many bikers because of the convenience they offer.
#5 Stand-Up Motorcycle Trailers
Like folding trailers, stand-up trailers are also foldable, with the difference being that stand-up trailers are designed to remain standing. You can place these trailers in the corner of your garage or on the open road and save a lot of storage space.
The best stand-up trailers are designed to use 75% less storage space than standard motorcycle trailers. These trailers typically come fully assembled, and you can find a one, two, or three rail motorcycle trailer of this type.
#6 Open Flatbed
Open flatbed or just flatbed trailers are versatile and are used to transport all kinds of cargo. These trailers are also known as landscaping trailers and utility trailers have a convenient tailgate ramp that works well for motorcycles.
Many manufacturers offer flatbed motorcycle trailers designed to carry one or more motorbikes.
As the name suggests, flatbed trailers feature only a flat deck and do not have a roof or sides. You may be able to request a manufacturer to add side doors to your trailer, but you can expect to pay extra for this.
These trailers typically have an aluminum construction and come with fold-up ramps to help you easily load and unload your vehicle. Not surprisingly, these trailers tend to be much cheaper than enclosed motorcycle trailers.
While flatbed trailers feature a solid floor that offers better protection than folding trailers, since they don’t have a roof or sides, they won’t protect your bike from the weather and the dust and debris on the road.
How to Buy the Best Motorcycle Trailer: All the Factors You Need to Consider
There are several factors you need to consider when shopping for a safe motorcycle trailer.
Most motorcycle trailers on the market, even those offered by big brands, are constructed out of aluminum. Aluminum trailers are lightweight, cheaper than steel trailers, and have a slightly better look. However, they are less durable than steel trailers.
Getting a steel trailer is a good way to go if you need to haul several motorcycles over long distances. Although expensive, they are designed for towing heavier bikes easily.
#2 Single or Multi-Axle
Motorcycle trailers are offered with single, dual, and multiple axles. A rule of thumb to remember is that the higher the trailer load capacity, the more axles it will have.
If you need a motorcycle trailer to carry more than 2,500 pounds, getting a dual axle trailer is the right way to go. The weight of your bikes will be split between the axles, reducing the wear on both the axles and the trailer.
#3 Width and Length
Motorcycles are some of the most compact equipment, which becomes obvious when comparing a motorcycle to a forklift. For this reason, motorcycle trailers tend to be smaller than other types of trailers.
Motorcycle trailers are between four and eight feet wide and range between eight and 24 feet in length. You will need to measure the size of your bike to determine the size of the motorcycle trailer you need.
#4 Type and Loading System
As mentioned earlier, motorcycle trailers are of different types, including enclosed, flatbed, stand-up, and the other types listed in the previous section.
If you need a trailer that protects your vehicle from the elements and people, you need an enclosed trailer. On the other hand, flatbed trailers are more aerodynamic than enclosed trailers, offering better fuel economy but less protection.
You will need to decide what type of motorcycle trailer to get depending on your specific needs. Next, you will need to look for motorcycle trailers that offer features that make transporting your motorcycle(s) that much easier.
For instance, choosing a trailer with ramp doors makes loading and unloading your bike easier. However, if you expect to use the trailer for hauling other cargo, getting a trailer with a barn-style door or double rear doors will ensure that you do not need to fold and unfold the ramps over and over.
It’s important to remember that the ramps are narrow and are typically just a tiny bit wider than the wheels. In other words, using a loading ramp to move a bike into a trailer can be a lot more challenging than the other options available.
You could get a trailer with ramps if you have a lightweight off-road bike. However, pushing a touring bike that weighs hundreds of pounds onto a ramp alone is something you may have trouble pulling off.
Some trailers feature platforms that tilt on the axle, allowing you to push the bike onto the platform. The bike’s weight automatically tilts the platform back to the horizontal position.
You could also consider getting a motorcycle trailer powered by hydraulics. These motorcycle trailers allow you to roll the bike in place, secure it, and raise the platform off the ground.
#5 Tie-Down Options
Motorcycle trailers are only as good as the tie-down features they support. Trailers feature at least one or a combination of tie-down options to keep the bike secure. Axle straps, D-rings, wheel chocks, and handlebar straps are the most common options manufacturers offer with their trailers.
Expensive motorcycle trailers boast sophisticated securing loops, with some manufacturers offering adjustable taper roller hubs to make tying down your bike easier.
The bottom line is that you need a motorcycle trailer offering tie-down locations that work best for your bike.
#6 Load Capacity/Weight Limit
The load capacity is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a motorcycle trailer. The trailer you buy must be able to carry the weight of your bike. If you need a motorcycle trailer for transporting more than one bike, you need to add the total weight of all the bikes and look for a trailer that can carry all the weight.
It’s also important to factor in the weight of any gear you may be carrying. It’s helpful to note that dirt bikes weigh between 300 and 400 pounds, whereas sports bikes weigh between 300 and 600 pounds. A fully dressed cruiser can weigh 800 pounds and sometimes more.
Besides being designed to carry the weight of your motorcycle(s), the trailer must be light enough for your pickup or SUV to tow. You don’t want to buy a heavier trailer that requires a heavy-duty truck to haul it. Aluminum trailers are lighter than steel ones, and they make the right motorcycle trailer for many bike owners for this reason.
If you need to transport heavy bikes such as a few Harleys, getting a flatbed or enclosed trailer is the right way to go since they are built to handle the weight. In contrast, hitch-mounted options can hold a few hundred pounds and are right for moving one bike from point A to B.
#7 Upgrade Options
All manufacturers offer numerous upgrades for their motorcycle trailers. The upgrades offered range from improved axles and wheel alignments to wheel sizes and more.
The types of upgrades offered often depend on the type of motorcycle trailer. For instance, most front-wheel motorcycle trailers have an optional upgrade of increasing the wheel size from 8 to 10 inches.
#8 Hitch Receiver Compatibility
When narrowing down your options, look for a motorcycle trailer compatible with your truck’s hitch class. Hitches are rated from Class I to V according to the vehicle’s type and load capacity.
Generally speaking, motorcycle trailers are compatible with Class III hitches with a towing capacity of up to 1,200 pounds. But you can also find large motorcycle trailers compatible with class IV and V hitches, with a towing capacity of <2,700 pounds.
Best Motorcycle Trailers: Top Five Options Reviewed
We have shortlisted some of the best trailers for motorcycles in the market that you can consider buying below:
#1 Pro-Line Trailers 6×12 Tandem Axle Enclosed Trailer – 612BT2
The Tandem Axle Enclosed Trailer by Pro-Line Trailers stands out with its .030 Aluminum exterior, one-piece aluminum roof, 16″ on-center, and the 15-year warranty on the Advantech floor.
- 7000LB GVW
- .030 ALUMINUM EXTERIOR
- 16 ON-CENTER FLOOR, WALLS, AND CEILING
- ONE-PIECE ALUMINUM ROOF
- 32″ DOOR WITH FLUSH LOCK
- SPRING ASSIST RAMP DOOR
- 24″ ALUMINUM TREAD PLATE STONE GUARD
- ALUMINUM FENDERS
- 3500LB DEXTER EZ LUBE AXLES
- 15″ RADIAL TIRES
- 6′ INTERIOR HEIGHT, 5’6″ REAR DOOR OPENING. ADDITIONAL HEIGHTS ARE AVAILABLE.
- WOOD WALLS
- PLASTIC SIDE FLOW VENTS
- LED LIGHTS
- ELECTRIC BRAKES
- 7-WAY RV PLUG
- BREAKAWAY SAFETY KIT
- 12V LED INTERIOR LIGHT
- SAFETY CHAINS
- 3/4″ ADVANTECH FLOOR WITH 15-YEAR WARRANTY!
- 2-5/16″ BALL
#2 Kendon Premium Series Single Ride-Up SRL Stand-Up™ Motorcycle Trailer
If you’re looking for a stand-up motorcycle trailer, getting this Kendon Premium Series trailer is the right way to go. It can handle the weight of heavier bikes, including BMWs, Honda Goldwings, and Harleys.
- Length from Front Tire to Rear Axle: 96″ (Max Bike Measurement)
- Width Between Fenders: 54″
- Width Between Rails: N/A (removable rail)
- Ramp: 3-piece ramp, 45″ x 33″ total size (included)
- Wheel/Tire Size: ST175/80R13 – 13″/Radial
- Wheel/Rim Type: 8-Spoke Chrome/Steel
- Wheel Bolt Pattern: 5-on-4½”
- Hitch Class: Class 2 or Higher (recommended)
- Hitch Height: 19″ – 21″
- Coupler/Ball Size: 2″
- Coupler: Requires 2″ Ball
- Electrical Connector: 4-Pin Flat
- Suspension Type: Independent Torsion Suspension
- Suspension Mounts: Double Mounting Brackets
- End-Units/Hubs: Removable Spindle – SuperLube
- Tongue Weight: 10% – 15% of Total Load Weight (approximate)
- Transportation Capabilities: Up to one (1) Cruiser, Sport, Adventure Touring, Dual Sport and Dirt Bikes and Cargo
#3 Stinger Folding Trailer XL 112 – Single Bike Trailer
STINGER boasts that its motorcycle trailers take up less space than folding trailers offered by other manufacturers in the market. The Folding Trailer XL 112 takes up the same space as a push lawn mower, which is impressive.
What’s more, you can fold out the trailer by removing three pins, and it is easy to fold it back alone. The trailer has a custom-built chock, running boards, and several other stand-out features.
- Capacity: 1 Motorcycle up to 112″ long (when the trailer is fully extended)
- Color: Black
- Weight: 320 lbs
- Weight Capacity: 3180lbs
- Trailer Light Connector: 4-way flat
- Folded Measurements (W x D x H): 54.25″ x 27″ x 49″
- Unfolded Measurements (L x W): 141.5″ (112″ usable) x 54.25″
- 145/R12 LRE RTrl RH TL 12X4 5/4.5 Tracker SilvCC F532 Tire
- 2″ Ball Compatible
- 3500 lb axle with Sure-Lube® Bearings and Hubs
- 40 inches of pass-through between fenders
- Easy for one person to assemble and store
- Fenders and Custom-Built Chock standard for this model
- Footboards included
- One rider can safely load a motorcycle and secure the tie-downs
- Powder coating protects the finish
- Simple folding and assembly as it involves three pins
- Stands up, compact design makes it easy to store
#4 Tow Smart Trailers Three Rail Motorcycle Trailer
While there is no shortage of multi-motorcycle trailers in the market, many of them are not equipped to handle a variation in vehicle size. Common issues in these trailers include straps that are too short and compress the shocks and platforms and rails that are too narrow.
Some even come with free-standing chocks that loosen and break off during transport. The Tow Smart Trailers’ Three Rail motorcycle trailer boasts both a small storage footprint and a design for easy loading, keeping your bikes or other equipment safe during transport.
- Air Pressure: 50 Cold Psi
- Ball Size: 2″
- Bike Trailer Deck Covering: Diamond Tread Plate
- Center To The Center Of Each Rail: 20 1⁄4″
- Clearance To The Bottom Of The Deck: 13 1⁄4″
- Clearance To The Bottom Of The Undercarriage: 7″
- Empty Weight: 425lb
- Finish: Powder Coated
- Folded Length: 90″
- Frame Material: Steel Tubing
- Hitch Height: 21″ – 22″ H
- Hitch: Class 2 Or Higher
- Maximum Extended Length: 120″
- Maximum Load Capacity: 2000lb
- Maximum Motorcycle Length – Center Rail: 97″
- Maximum Motorcycle Length – Outside Rail: 105″
- Maximum Overall Width: 84″
- One Side Step
- Suspension: Torsion Axle
- Tailgate Length: 32″
- Tire Size: St175/80 R13
- Trailer Deck Dimensions: 5′ X 7′
- Wheel: 13″ Aluminum Mag
#5 TMS T-NS-MRC001 500-Pound Heavy Duty Motorcycle Dirt Bike Scooter Carrier Hitch Rack Hauler Trailer with Loading Ramp and Anti-Tilt Locking Device
The TMS motorcycle carrier offers an excellent means to transport motorcycles, scooters, and off-road bikes. The heavy-duty steel construction makes the frame durable. The frame is powder-coated to ensure no chipping, fading, or scratches.
This motorcycle carrier fits a 2″ square receiver for trailer hitches between Class II and V. The dual-sided loading ramp makes it much easier for you to load your bike onto the trailer.
The anti-tilt bracket ensures that your motorcycle does not wobble, and the tie-down locations on either side of the track allow you to secure your bike quickly. You can use this motorcycle trailer to haul up to 500 lbs safely.
You don’t always need to buy a motorcycle trailer to haul a motorcycle. For some, the best motorcycle trailer is the one they already own. For instance, if you already have a landscaping trailer, you can equip it with hardware such as wheel chocks and tie-downs to convert it into a motorcycle trailer.
While you can do these upgrades yourself, you can also rely on a trailer manufacturer to do it for you.
Nevertheless, with the different types of motorcycle trailers and critical buying considerations explored in this post, you should find comparing the top options on our list easier.
Remember – never commit to a trailer that you haven’t physically inspected. Only pay for the trailer when you try it and know it will serve your purpose.