For a motorcycle owner, trailers are an unavoidable consideration. You can’t ride literally everywhere, no matter how much you might want to. Whether buying or renting, you’ve probably wondered what the best motorcycle trailer out there might be. The answer to that depends on a number of factors, but we’ll give you a broad overview of what’s available.
What kind of trailer do I need?
Before making a purchase, it’s important to have a general idea of what you’re after. Here’s a rough breakdown of the types of motorcycle trailers available in the market:
- Open trailers: The standard trailer type is just a wheeled platform hitched to your car. It can mount one or more bikes but offers little in the way of protection. Most of the examples listed below are open trailers.
- Enclosed trailers: The high-end stuff is usually purchased by professional motorcycle haulers. For full protection against the weather and road debris, you’ll want the bike enclosed from all sides. These can set you back quite a bit more than the standard open trailer. However, if you find yourself moving multiple bikes quite often, they’re worth the investment.
- Hitch carriers: Way on the other side, there’s a budget option that can barely be called a trailer at all. Hitch-mounted carriers let you hook up your bike to the back of your car with a minimum of fuss. They let you save on both space and money.
Additionally, you’ll want to consider the load capacity that each trailer offers. Make sure that the bike(s) you plan on transporting fit well within the trailer’s weight limit!
Beyond that, the nitty-gritty of trailer purchase choices is usually a matter of personal preference. And you know what they say, there’s no accounting for taste! So let’s get right down to it — here are our top ten choices.
10 Best Motorcycle Trailers in 2020
As previously mentioned, hitch carriers aren’t exactly motorcycle trailers, but they do serve a similar purpose. This particular model is a heavy-duty rack with a state of the art locking mechanism. Although it weighs only 48 lbs itself, it lets you move as much as 500 lbs! It includes a conveniently positioned loading ramp that allows loading from either side. Its price point is considerably lower than open or enclosed trailers of comparable quality.
Listed Load Capacity: 500 lbs
Speaking of hitch-mounted carriers, their weak spot is usually a limited load capacity. There are a few exceptions to be found in this category too. For example, this Goplus model allows you to mount even the heaviest of bikes. It comes with a loading ramp and a handy wheel lock feature. The one downside is that the carrier tends to wobble around when fully loaded. But if you stay within a reasonable speed limit, you should have no problem.
Listed Load Capacity: 600 lbs
On the lower end of the price range, stability can be a major concern. You don’t want a fully burdened trailer wobbling all over the place while you’re on the road! That won’t be an issue with this tried-and-true MotoGroup model. Its double aluminum racks allow you to mount two bikes at once (none weighing more than 400 lbs, though). Its main selling point is a triple-screw anti-wobble set. Reportedly, this improves the trailer’s stability to match that of much more expensive models.
Listed Load Capacity: 600 lbs
If you’re still unsure whether you’d prefer to hitch or tow your bike, why not go with the option that offers the best of both worlds? The VH-55 is a double-rail carrier that can be adjusted in a number of ways to suit your needs. You can choose the distance between the rails and the bumper, and the height of the hitch as well. The tie-down points require minimal adjustment if the bike is switched from a hitching to a towing setup. However, the lack of a loading ramp can be considered a major downside.
Listed Load Capacity: 600 lbs (500 lbs per rail)
Keeping it simple, this heavy-duty open trailer features a set of three integrated wheel chocks. It’s a one-man job to load up to three motorcycles in parallel and unload them too. The trailer’s steel frame is robust but remarkably light, and the deck covering is diamond tread plate. The rails are detachable, allowing you to convert this motorcycle trailer into a general-purpose utility trailer.
Listed Load Capacity: 2,000 lbs
One trailer characteristic that often ends up overlooked is how much space it occupies. Why buy the biggest trailer out there if you don’t have room in the garage or the yard for it? Foldable trailers are the answer to this dilemma! The Drop-Tail 220 model is of solid build, cleverly designed to allow for both bikes and trikes. It folds up very nicely indeed, taking up as little space as can be expected. Its chocks are fully adjustable, allowing you to position the towed motorcycles just about anywhere.
Listed Load Capacity: 2,100 lbs
Most of the trailer models we’re presenting here are listed as requiring “some assembly”. In some cases, this implies hours if not days of hard work on your part. And not everyone can commit that kind of time and effort, can day? This model, however, is an exception. The Stinger Extra Long Folding Motorcycle Trailer is, as the name suggests, quite long. It lets you move choppers and cruisers with ease. It’s reportedly very easy to assemble, fold, and unfold. When fully folded, it takes up just a little over four feet in length!
Listed Load Capacity: 1,771 lbs
We’ve written extensively about the importance of properly securing a motorcycle for transport. If looking for extra safety, the number of available eyelets is among the qualities you’ll want in a trailer. This Featherlite model provides six dedicated rings, while the sidebars offer additional tie-down spots. The floor is made of aluminum and the detachable sides also serve as ramps. The trailer is remarkably stable, and if the bike is tied down properly, the chance of it slipping free is minimal.
Listed Load Capacity: n/a
9. Best motorcycle trailer for affordable protection on the road — Carry-On 6 x 14 Enclosed Cargo Trailer
If shipping an antique or luxury motorcycle, your top priority may be protecting it from weather or debris. To minimize the chance of there being any scratches or dents, you’ll need an enclosed trailer. An affordable one is this Carry-On model, listed as a cargo trailer but fully capable of fitting a motorcycle. It’s 14 ft. long and 6 ft. wide, with plywood flooring and high-bearing tires. It features a ramp door for the bike and a side door for you. Best of all, it’s reasonably priced as enclosed trailers go.
Listed Load Capacity: 2,000 lbs
If you’re going all-out and money is no issue, there are luxury trailers that’ll suit your every need. You can get the best protection, the most space, the finest fixtures… it’s just a matter of prioritizing your needs. The top-bracket enclosed trailers, like the Stealth Titan here, allow you to pick and choose what’s included. Highly customizable, they are able to meet almost any demand. Of course, the price will fluctuate as you add or remove features.
Listed Load Capacity: /
So there you have it, our top ten suggestions for motorcycle trailer purchase. We hope you find these useful in making your final decision on either buying or renting a trailer.
Stay safe, and happy shipping!