A motorcycle trailer is either a trailer used to carry motorcycles or one to be pulled by a motorcycle in order to carry additional gear.
Motorcycle carrying trailers may be open or enclosed. They may be wide, for two machines side-by-side, or narrow, for just a single machine. The main features that distinguish them from other flatbed or enclosed trailers are track(s) to keep the wheels from sliding side to side and sufficient tiedown points to keep the motorcycle(s) from tipping. They may also tilt, or include ramp(s) to facilitate the loading and unloading of motorcycles. Trailer manufacturers often offer trailers specifically designed for carrying motorcycles.
General purpose enclosed trailers, as seen in the photo above left, have the advantage of providing a more secure way of locking up the motorcycles contained within it, keeping them out of sight, and protecting them from all kinds of weather. However, as they are heavier than open trailers and create more wind resistance, pulling a general purpose enclosed trailer can decrease the fuel efficiency of the tow vehicle. Conversely, an enclosed motorcycle-specific trailer can be built low enough so that wind resistance is reduced. As a result, fuel efficiency is better than towing a general purpose enclosed trailer.
Collapsible or folding motorcycle trailers are available to overcome storage problems that might prevent use of a non-collapsible trailer, some such trailers are sufficiently compact to allow the user to carry the trailer in the trunk of a car when not in use.
How Does a Motorcycle Work?
When you get the urge to ride a motorcycle, you start asking lots of questions. Simple things like, "How do I start a bike?" or "How do I shift gears?" Of course, these questions always involve talking about the basic parts of a motorcycle and how they work together. Just to give the steps to start a motorcycle on a hill involves a tremendous number of motorcycle parts. A brand new rider may not even know where to look to find a part. Once the parts are identified by a new rider, they can begin to learn the basic procedures to operate the machine. To get you going, we'll give you pictures of a motorcycle and point out these major motorcycle parts that you need to know. You will then be able to click on the part to gain additional information. I'm using one of my own motorcycles, a 1994 Harley-Davidson Sportster XLH 1200, for the pictures. Now, Harleys can be a bit different from other bikes and I'll try to point out these differences to you. Not all bikes have the same parts in the same places.
Each bike has its own terminology for naming parts and even the way that the parts are interconnected may be different from bike to bike. The following shows four views of my motorcycle. If you click one of the pictures, you will see a larger view. On that view you can move your mouse over the various parts and see names appear. If you click the mouse at that point, you will get more information. If you know what you're looking for, you can just look under the four pictures where there is a list of all the links pertaining to each picture. No attempt has been made to include every part in the various pictures so if you don't see a part described in one view, try another. In particular, the Left Side Detail and Right Side Detail pages may have to be used together to identify the major parts in the area of the motor. Only the basic facts about the parts will be addressed. You can build your knowledge later. Please use the resources provided in the sidebar for further reading about what you need to know concerning the basics of motorcycle riding. This description of a motorcycle will continue to be expanded with new information so you may want to check back often for updates. Learning about motorcycling can be a lifelong pursuit. Get to know others traveling the same road. Be sure to stop by our Motorcycles Forum where thousands of motorcycle addicts read and post messages daily discussing their passion for motorcycles.
Basic Motorcycle Tips for Beginners
Beginning riders often have no clue as to what else they need to buy after they have purchased their first motorcycle. It turns out that the list is quite long. Here are some essentials that you need to have with you as you ride. Lots more can be added later as you increase the size of your bike. Of course you still need to find places to store all the extra items. That's why people end up with big touring bikes pulling trailers or rat bikes piled high with junk festooned with multiple interlocking bungee nets.
Legal Stuff Please satisfy all legal requirements to become a motorcyclist. Motorcycle Driver's License. I recommend that you take a Motorcycle Safety Foundation Course (MSF). Many of these courses provide an automatic endorsement on your existing automobile license upon completion. Otherwise, satisfy the governmental requirements to obtain your license. Last but not least, your Insurance, very important just in case you eat it!