Cargo Trailers for Motorcycles
Motorcycles are more than just a mode of transportation. Your bike offers you the freedom and opportunity to pursue the open road. Traveling long distances is a lot easier and more convenient when you've got a cargo trailer that you can hitch to the back of your bike. These handy little trailers are built with the same attention to detail that your motorcycle was; many motorcycle manufacturers design and build cargo trailers so you can feel confident that you're getting a quality product. Not all small motorcycle cargo trailers are the same, however. If you've never bought or used one before, there are a few things you need to know about them. Selecting the right cargo trailer is easier said than done. There are dozens of models to choose from and each has different characteristics. Let's look at the basic types.
Straightforward cargo trailers are built from fiberglass for the ultimate in lightweight durability; many custom trailers are made using industrial-grade diamond plate. LED signal and brake lights are installed to comply with all safety regulations. Most cargo boxes have a durable carpet floor to cushion the contents during the ride. Locking box lids are a standard feature and many cargo trailers can accommodate weight placed on the lid and secured with tie-downs. To get an idea of the storage capacity of each cargo trailer you look at, simply glance at the specs sheet. This is where basic facts such as empty weight, weight capacity, and LED lifespan will be listed.
Many of the pricier motorcycle trailers have been given styling details to complement certain popular cycle brands. Color, trim, and body dynamics are chosen to pair nicely cycles made by Honda, Harley-Davidson, Nomad, and others. It's also possible to find cargo trailers manufactured to suit one specific model, such as the Honda Gold Wing. Though you can find a wide selection of trailers made to fit a range of cycles, buying a trailer from the manufacturer that made your motorcycle is a good way to ensure a perfect fit from the very start.
These handy campers let you take the adventure with you. Camping trailers are designed in a manner similar to full size tow-behind campers that expand from the central unit. A motorcycle camping trailer pops up into a cozy shelter large enough for one or two people. Using an air mattress is a great way to maximize your comfort and minimize your load. There's no need to pack extra tent poles, stakes, or a rain fly. Everything you need is stored inside the trailer itself.
Set-up varies somewhat from model to model but in general you can expect to secure the trailer's legs, open the locking top, fold out the tent body, expand the aluminum legs, and secure the internal struts. The entire process takes only minutes and can be accomplished by a single person. In-trailer storage space varies from model to model. In general you can expect to pack the majority of your cargo on top of the trailer where it can be secured with tie-downs.
Camping trailers are made with the same materials as cargo trailers; a fiberglass body keeps the load as light as possible and fully protected from the elements. Aluminum, steel, and chrome are used for feature elements and LED lights are used for brakes and signals.
Most pet owners consider their furry friends part of the family; a trip across the country just wouldn't be the same without them. Dogs can stay comfortable and secure inside specially designed pet trailers that hitch to the back of any standard motorcycle. Most people are familiar with the pet trailers that can be connected to a bicycle or two-wheeled scooter. The pet trailers appropriate for motorcycles are constructed differently so it's necessary to shop for the correct item.
Pet trailers are designed to give animals a safe and comfortable ride. Independent rubber torsion suspension cushions four-legged passengers from bumps in the road and multiple vents keep the temperature inside comfortable. The floor of a pet trailer may have carpet or a vinyl liner for easy cleanup; some models come with a cushion to further support your pet on long rides.
Select a trailer based on the size and weight of your pet. The largest pet trailers will accommodate an animal of up to 100 lbs; smaller sizes can also be found.
Wired for safety
Wiring is very important since you need to connect brake lights and turn signals in order to use your trailer safely. To avoid potentially damaging your bike's wiring, use a relay package (also called an isolation harness). This relay keeps your bike's circuits separate from the trailer's but still allows the necessary signals to go through. Before you select your trailer make sure you're familiar with its wiring setup; ask your dealer for any necessary wiring products.
>Motorcycle cargo trailers are often the first accessories riders buy after purchasing their bike. Cargo trailers let you go further and do more with your bike and don't require you to sacrifice power for convenience.
Owning a motorcycle is pretty great. You can heed the call of the open road anytime you want; you can go further and do more without the hassle of a standard vehicle. As convenient as motorcycles are, they often lack the cargo space that would allow you to travel extensively. Most motorcycle owners soon discover that trailers are the perfect solution to the problem of cargo space. Small cargo trailers are designed for use with motorcycles; many of the most trusted motorcycle brands design their own trailers to offer their customers the very best look and fit. You can also buy trailers from a universal brand or have one custom made. A few ambitious riders have even made their own cargo trailers. If you don & rsquo;t feel up to making your own but don & rsquo;t want to spend thousands of dollars on a brand new trailer, consider looking at used small cargo trailers. Buying a pre-owned trailer lets you take advantage of all the great features these little items have to offer without spending a lot of money.
Smart second-hand shopping tips
Know the product - Even if you & rsquo;re certain that a second-hand cargo trailer is the right choice for you, looking at new trailers can help you decide what particular type you want to purchase. New trailer designs are released periodically but don & rsquo;t fundamentally change very quickly. Becoming familiar with particular brands and features will give you a head start shopping second-hand. You can get to know cargo trailers by visiting dealer showrooms or looking at photo galleries on the Internet. Once you & rsquo;ve narrowed your search down to a few particular brands or sizes then you can examine the second-hand market more closely.
Don & rsquo;t compromise - Once you & rsquo;ve set your sights on a particular type of cargo trailer, don & rsquo;t deviate too far from your list of must-haves. No matter how competitively a trailer might be priced, if it doesn & rsquo;t meet your needs then you & rsquo;ll be wasting money. It & rsquo;s better to wait until you find the right trailer than to spend money on something that you won & rsquo;t ultimately be very satisfied with.
Don & rsquo;t limit your shopping area – Shopping for used small cargo trailers is easiest when you can easily go see the trailer for yourself but if you & rsquo;re limiting your shopping area to your immediate vicinity you could be missing out on some serious bargains. Sparsely populated areas are going to naturally have fewer people selling; you & rsquo;ll have a better chance at finding what you want by shopping in a populated area. Look at classified ads for your nearest large city; you can take a weekend trip to look at several in one day.
Be patient – Don & rsquo;t get discouraged if you don & rsquo;t find your perfect trailer in just a few weeks. Even if the auction sites are slow and the local classified ads haven & rsquo;t listed any trailers you just have to stick with it. Experienced secondhand shoppers know that patience and perseverance are a necessary part of the process.
Talk to people – Tell your rider friends that you & rsquo;re looking for used small cargo trailers. Word of mouth and an offer from a friend-of-a-friend might get you exactly what you & rsquo;ve been looking for.
Place a & ldquo;Want To Buy & rdquo; ad – Instead of waiting for sellers to place the right classified ad, place one expressing your desire to purchase a used cargo trailer. List specifications matching your preferred trailer models and include the maximum price you would be willing to pay. These ads can be placed in local newspapers, in motorcycle forums on the Internet, and in online classified websites. You can also print up a few dozen on paper and hang them on community bulletin boards in your neighborhood.
Evaluating a possible purchase
Once you locate a prospective purchase you & rsquo;ll need to examine it carefully to make sure it & rsquo;s worth paying for. These are the evaluation points you should remember to examine:
- Wiring – Are there any loose wires, missing lights, or non-functioning lights?
- Body – Are there any cracks, dents, or gouges that might impact the trailer & rsquo;s longevity? Scrapes and scratches are forms of cosmetic damage; though a scratched trailer doesn & rsquo;t look as good, the scratches don & rsquo;t ultimately impact the trailer & rsquo;s integrity or function.
- Tires, axle, and wheel assembly – All components of the axle and wheel assemblies should be secure and free from structural damage. Damage to this part of a trailer requires extensive repair work and might end up costing you more than the cost of the trailer.
- Lock – All cargo trailers are secured with sturdy locks to protect your possessions. Check the action and security of the lock. Make sure you ask for all copies of the keys when purchasing the trailer.
- Overall experience - If possible, hitch the trailer to your motorcycle, load up some cargo, and take it for a spin around the block. This will let you experience firsthand how a particular trailer behaves when behind your bike.
Purchasing a used cargo trailer is a significant investment and shopping for used small cargo trailers is a great way to get a good deal on a very useful motorcycle accessory. Once you find a trailer you like, make sure you evaluated it inside and out. Be patient with your efforts and eventually you & rsquo;ll find the trailer you & rsquo;ve been waiting for.