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Pulling Motorcycle Cargo Trailers Behind a Motorcycle

Pull behind Motorcycle Trailers

There are a wide variety of pull behind motorcycle trailers available--but what is the best one for you?

Let's first consider what you're looking for the trailer to do. The number of trailers available are as varied as the number of uses.

Most bikers are looking for pull behind motorcycle trailers to accommodate extra gear and luggage to go on extended road trips. There are several things to keep in mind when buying a trailer for these types of tasks.

First and foremost is your bike's towing capacity. Most touring bikes can tow/carry a pretty decent load. The owners manual will tell you what your bike's capacities are.




Make sure that you also consider the trailer's capacities when buying it. Consider the dimensions of your luggage and make sure that it will allow the trailer to close with all of your bags in it.

The other consideration is weight. Add the weight of the empty trailer and your full luggage and that will equal your full load. Consider this, but then add your weight plus your passenger's weight and this equals your total on the bike.

Another important point is the trailer's ability to keep water off your luggage/gear. Check to see that all seams and gaskets are tight and in good shape to ensure dry stuff.

Another consideration is: How does the motorcycle cargo trailer track behind the bike? With an evenly-packed load the trailer should quickly become unobtrusive.

The trailer should not wobble or weave behind your bike. It should also easily track through corners and not impede your ability to stop quickly.

If a trailer does start to weave when loaded, STOP. This could spell disaster. Pull to a safe area and re-distribute the load to balance out the weight - this should do the trick.




Consider a 360 safety swivel, they are installed in the tongue of the trailer to help prevent jackknifing if one wheel of the trailer should hit debris in the road. With a swivel installed the trailer can turn over on it's side without twisting the motorcycle and putting it down.

Most Motorcycles have a 5 wire lighting system, that is where the amber turn signals are in a different bulb than the red brake lights. Most trailers use a 4 wire system (with a flat 4 plug). A wiring converter is required for safe operation. Most are about the size of a pack of cigarettes, and have a flat 4 plug on one end of a long set of wires. The exiting 5 wires have bare ends to be connected to the appropriate wires on the motorcycle.
1. to the Left turn signal wire
2. to the Right turn signal wire
3. to the Red Brake light wire
4. to the Red Running Tail Light wire
5. to Ground
*Wires can be stripped and wrapped together and taped with electrician's tape or 3M Scotchlok connecters can be used without any tape.

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