There’s nothing like a motorcycle road trip. And while you’d always rather ride to your destination, there are times when you need to haul your bikes. You can rely on an enclosed motorcycle trailer to get your precious cargo there safely, so long as you follow these tips and a checklist for loading, securing, and driving.
#1: The flatter the angle of the ramp, the easier it will be to load your motorcycle. Try to position the rear of the trailer so that it lies at a shallow angle on your driveway. A ramp extension can also help create a more gentle angle.
#2: Push your bike up the ramp—don’t drive it. Trust us. And, if possible, have a buddy help you maneuver the bike up the ramp: one of you steers and the other holds the bike steady as you push.
#3: You need at least four tie-downs (cam buckle or ratchet straps), a pair for the front and for the rear of each motorcycle. Have them in the trailer, within reach so you don’t have to leave the bike.
#4: Make sure your chocks are secure and centered with the front tire firmly in place.
#5: Attach the ties from the interior corners of the enclosed motorcycle hauler to a structural part of the bike—not to mufflers, side mirrors or any other part that can break off. The ties should pull toward the front of the trailer at a 45-degree angle.
#6: Don’t speed. You need more time to slow down and stop when towing a motorcycle trailer. Plus, the faster you go, the more the trailer will sway, and this can lead to losing control of your vehicle and trailer.
#7: Use a lower gear when driving down steep or long grades. Use the engine and transmission as a brake. Do not ride the brakes, as they can overheat and become ineffective.
#8: On long trips, whenever you stop, check inside the enclosed trailer to make sure the ties are tight, in place, and that the cargo hasn’t shifted.
Checklist for Motorcycle Trips:
- Have a buddy or two ready to help you load your bikes.
- Check your bikes to make sure they’re in good working condition and have them serviced, if needed.
- Do a walk-around of the motorcycle trailer and towing vehicle to make sure tires, brakes, lights, and hitch are in good repair and working properly.
- Stow gear, including helmets and gloves. (Note: Look enclosed motorcycle trailers can be outfitted with helmets and glove cabinets as well as closets for jackets, boots, and other gear)
- Secure and stow documents, including roadside assistance card, driver’s license, registration (for the bikes and towing vehicle), insurance information, and anything you’ll need to show at your destination.
- Make sure you have bike tools including wrenches, sockets, tire gauge, and repair kit, plus supplies like extra light bulbs and oil.
- Check your safety equipment including flares or hazard lights, flashlights, headlamps, cable ties, duct tape, a first-aid kit, plus extra bulbs and batteries.
- Don’t forget a GPS and weather app. They’ll help you arrive at your destination safely and on time, dodging traffic and alerting you to weather conditions ahead.
You can always customize your motorcycle trailer to give your bikes the safe and secure ride they deserve, plus have space for all your gear and tools. Look Trailer dealers will help you choose the trailer and options that best fit your needs, from looks to function.