motorcycle 101 guides

How to Haul a Motorcycle on a Motorcycle Trailer

How to Haul a Motorcycle on a Motorcycle Trailer

A motorcycle is one of the most popular modes of transportation, but sometimes it also needs to be transported. If you are a dirt bike rider or you love motorcycle touring and camping, you must have experience hauling your motorcycle. When planning to go on motorcycle tours or off-roading on dirt trails, you may have to carry your motorcycle to a motorcycle-friendly spot first. If you are unsure how to safely load and transport a motorcycle on a motorcycle trailer, first learn how to do it or get help from an expert. Read this article to learn how to haul a motorcycle on a motorcycle trailer.

1. Is Hauling a Motorcycle on a Truck Safe?

Motorcycles are typically transported on trucks and campers as they provide secure mounts. However, modern trucks have taller cargo beds, making it difficult to load a motorcycle on them. Also, modern motorcycles have lower ground clearance and can be damaged while being loaded on a tall truck. Like motorcycles, modern trucks are also expensive and it is best to avoid damaging them.


2. What is a Motorcycle Trailer?

What is a Motorcycle Trailer

A motorcycle trailer is a simple metal structure with two rear wheels. The front end is firmly fastened to the rear of the truck. It has a low ground clearance, making it easy to load a motorcycle on it. It has a rigid structure capable of transporting a motorcycle weighing more than 500 lbs.

3. Advantages of Using a Trailer to Haul a Motorcycle

There are several advantages of hauling a motorcycle on a motorcycle trailer, including:

  • Can be easily stored in a standing position 
  • Takes up less space
  • Can be easily moved
  • Low ground clearance
  • Easy to load a motorcycle
  • Can safely transport a motorcycle
  • Only takes one person to load a motorcycle on a trailer
  • Safer way to haul a motorcycle than using a truck

4. Equipment Required to Haul a Motorcycle on a Trailer

  • Ramp
  • Canyon Dancers
  • Retractable Cinching Straps
  • Ratchet Straps

5. How to Attach a Motorcycle Trailer to a Truck

To attach a motorcycle trailer to a truck, put the trailer’s front end on the ball mount located at the rear of the truck. Forcefully press the lock on the trailer’s front end to attach the trailer to the truck.

How to Attach a Motorcycle Trailer to a Truck2

Some motorcycle trailers come with braided steel wires with hooks that can be attached to the truck. Modern motorcycle trailers also have turn signals and a tail light that can be connected to the truck’s electrical system by plugging in the switch to the port located on the truck’s rear side.


6. How to Haul a Motorcycle on a Motorcycle Trailer

6.1 Using the Ramp

Some motorcycle trailers do not need a ramp as they are fitted with an inclined tailgate. Other trailers come with separate ramps that can be firmly attached to the motorcycle trailer to safely load the motorcycle.

6.2 Load the Motorcycle

When a trailer is ready for motorcycle loading, put away the motorcycle’s kickstand and push it up the trailer. You do not need to start the engine to load the motorcycle on the trailer.

6.3 Place the Motorcycle’s Front Wheel into the Chock

There are built-in wheel chocks on most motorcycle trailers where you can affix the motorcycle’s front tire. The chocks on a motorcycle trailer are a little looser than the chocks on a truck. You can still move the motorcycle a little even after affixing the front tire in a chock.

6.4 Using Canyon Dancers and Retractable Cinching Straps to Tie the Motorcycle’s Front End

You can keep your motorcycle from falling over by using canyon dancers and retractable cinching straps. Canyon dancers have two cups for each handlebar grip and strips to pull both grips in opposite directions to keep the motorcycle balanced. When the canyon dancers are connected, tie down the ends of both straps with retractable cinching straps and affix them to the motorcycle trailer using the hook locks. It is recommended you use retractable cinching straps as they have high tensile strength and are retractable. You can adjust the slack in the straps by cinching the lock. Do not tighten one side completely until you adjust the slack on the other side as well. Repeat this procedure for the other side, then alternate tightening the straps on both sides. Do not tighten the motorcycle’s front end too much by compressing the front suspension.

6.5 You Can Use Ratchet Straps as an Alternative to Canyon Dancers

If you do not have canyon dancers or your motorcycle does not support them due to being made for different attachments and having handlebar guards, use simple ratchet straps. Tie down the hook locks on the triple clamps or check the motorcycle owner’s manual for the recommended tying positions. After tying the hook locks, make sure to reduce slack to ensure the motorcycle is firmly mounted and balanced.

6.6 Buckling the Motorcycle’s Rear End

To tie the motorcycle’s rear tire, use a retractable cinching strap and tie it to the end of the motorcycle trailer. Pass the strap through the rear wheel and tie the other end of the strap on the trailer as well. If your motorcycle has wire-spoked wheels, do not pass the strap through the rear wheel as it can damage the spokes. Pass the strap through the rear sub-frame, swingarm, or seat. Make sure to secure any cables or electrical wiring while tying the strap around the motorcycle.

6.7 Remove the Ramp and Lock the Tailgate

Before tightening the rear cinching strap, remove the ramp and place it inside the motorcycle trailer around the corner. If your motorcycle has a tailgate, you should tighten the rear strap by cinching it downward. Now close the tailgate and lock it using latch pins. Make sure to keep extra straps with you in case the current one breaks.


7. Takeaway

If you love riding on dirt trails and motorcycle touring, you must learn how to transport a motorcycle with a motorcycle trailer. Most inexperienced riders damage their motorcycles while attempting to pull a motorcycle on a trailer or into a truck. Trucks and campers have higher cargo beds, making it difficult to haul a motorcycle, especially if you are inexperienced. If you want to avoid damaging a motorcycle or truck, use a motorcycle trailer. It has a lower cargo bed and includes chocks, tying hooks, a ramp, and a tailgate.

Modern motorcycles are luxurious and expensive. Replacing a part or repairing the damage can cost a lot. Therefore, always be careful while loading and transporting a motorcycle on a trailer. If you want to improve the safety of your motorcycle, Viking Bags offers good-quality crash bars, sissy bars, and fairings. You can also find comfortable seats, handlebars, and backrests to make your rides more comfortable. If you love touring on your motorcycle, there is a wide variety of luggage options available at Viking Bags, including saddlebags, tank bags, and sissy bar bags to improve storage capacity.

Reading next

Why Do Motorcycle Engines Lose Power at High RPM?
Why Do Some Motorcycles Have Two Throttle Cables?

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.