Transporting motorcycles from one place to another due to unexpected breakdowns or the simple act of moving requires a strong, well-constructed motorcycle trailer adhering to all size and weight requirements. Motorcycle trailers vary wildly in several areas, including type (enclosed vs. open flat-bed vs. front-wheel vs. standup), style, towing capacity, loading/unloading method, design, and the choice of single, dual, or multi-axle.
Keep reading to learn more about the best motorcycle trailers, including our recommendations on the best motorcycle trailers, benefits, types, key features, top brands, and answers to the most frequently asked questions.
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Types of Motorcycle Trailers
Enclosed motorcycle trailers allow bikers to transport motorcycles without exposing them to the elements. This includes flying dirt, rain, snow, and sun protection. Many enclosed trailers are built to accommodate one or two motorcycles of varying sizes, ceiling heights, and aerodynamics to save on fuel economy. Today, 12 to 20-foot by 6 to 9-foot dimensions are common.
Open flatbed trailers offer limited protections. Typically constructed using aluminum, open flatbed trailers consist of opening back doors and fold up ramps and come in a variety of types for single and multi-bikes. For a premium, side doors may be included. Not surprisingly, they are a lot cheaper than enclosed motorcycle trailers.
Stand-up motorcycle trailers are designed to fold up and remain standing. It is an excellent choice to save on storage space in a garage or on the open road with no extra storage space required. Many are even designed to save up to 75 percent less storage space than standard trailers. They usually come fully assembled and in 1-rail, 2-rail, or 3-rail models.
The most economical motorcycle trailer, front-wheel trailers are best reserved for motorcycles with a minimum 800-pound capacity and short-distance use. It offers the simplest operation using a trailer and hitch connected to your motorcycle's front wheel hooks.
Five Star Aluminum
Based in Crane, Missouri, Five Star Aluminum builds high-quality trailers for motorcycles and ATVs. They are one of the top aluminum trailer manufacturers in the United States. The Five Star Aluminum Ramp 4 ft.is a perfect example of the quality products the company produces.
North Star Trailer
Located in Utah, North Star Trailers has a reputation for crafting quality trailers. They stand behind each of their trailers by providing top-notch customer service and support. The North Star Trailer Sportstar I Utility Trailer Kit will provide you with a versatile trailer for towing your motorcycle or anything else.
Kendon offers an excellent selection of single, dual- and multi-rail motorcycle trailers. Founded in 1991, they pioneered several firsts, including the fold-up, stand-up design. Kendon is now the proud owner of more than 20 patents and now serves various auto and moto markets including off-road, hot road, and ATV/UTVs across four continents.
Our favorite Kendon product is the Kendon Stand-Up Single Ride-Up SRL Motorcycle Trailer. It is an absolute beast, featuring a premium-grade California steel construction, 100-pound load capacity, and integrated front wheel chock to keep your motorcycle firmly in place while riding.
Ultra-Tow from Northern Tool is one of the more popular towing and trailer manufacturers in the United States. One of our favorite products is the Ultra-Tow Aluminum Hitch Cargo Carrier with Ramp. Like the Kendon Stand-Up Single Ride-Up SRL Motorcycle Trailer,, it offers a 500-pound load capacity and a 3-position loading ramp that folds and unfolds like a charm.
Cycle Gear is a very popular dirt and street bike accessories provider, producing everything from ramps to wheel chocks. One of its most well-reviewed products is the Trackside Motorcycle Carrier, good for 1 motorcycle with a 500-pound maximum load rating, generous 4.75-inch tire width, and excellent security with four tie down and two wheel straps. It is compatible with Class III or Class IV trailer hitches only.
Motorcycle Trailers Pricing
- $500 to $2,000: Look for utility trailers in this price range with no-frills options, missing side rails, and integrated wheel chocks.
- $2,000 to $4,000: Trailers in this price range usually comprise open flatbed trailers.
- $4,000 to $7,000: Trailers in this price range usually comprise enclosed trailers with enhanced features such as ramps, integrated wheel chocks, and integrated lights. Some may or may not include ventilation to prevent gas fume buildup within.
- $7,000 and above: Expect luxury features such as interior lights, chrome trim, mag wheels, or custom paint.
Expect motorcycle trailers to be constructed using steel or aluminum. Aluminum trailers are cheaper and lighter than steel trailers and have slightly improved aesthetics, albeit less durable,
Single or Multi-Axle
Motorcycle trailers come in single, dual, and multi-axle formats. Generally, the higher the load capacity, the more axles. Our recommendation is to go with dual axle trailers if carrying more than 2500 pounds. These come with two load-bearing axles and leaf-spring/independent torsion bar suspension combinations for increased loads.
Motorcycle trailers come with the choice of enclosed, open flatbed, stand up, and front-wheel styles. Enclosed trailers offer security and weather protection. Open-bed trailers offer improved aerodynamics over enclosed trailers. Some even include stone guards to prevent rocks and debris from creating impact. Expect to pay upwards of $500 for an enclosed trailer.
Some motorcycle trailers even allow rear access, with the double of single, ramp, or double rear doors. Our recommendation is to go with ramp doors, as it's easier to load and unload your motorcycle with. Single barn-style rear doors or double rear doors are best reserved for people doubling their motorcycle trailers as cargo haulers who would prefer to avoid repeated ramp folding and unfolding.
A motorcycle trailer is only as good as its tie-down features. Expect one or a combination of axle straps, front wheel chocks, D-rings, and handlebar straps to keep your motorcycle firmly in place. Many of the expensive options have more sophisticated securing loops or more or less tie-down points and adjustable taper roller hubs to tie your bike down.
Expect numerous upgrades to be available with your motorcycle trailer. These cover everything from improved wheel alignments, lighting accessories, wheel sizes, and more. For example, many front-wheel motorcycle trailers offer the option of upgrading wheel size from 8 inches to 10 inches.
Hitch Receiver Compatibility
Look for your motorcycle trailer to match your truck's class of hitch. Generally, motorcycle trailers are compatible with Class III (up to 1,200-pound towing capacity,) whereas, class IV and V are for 2,700 pounds and under.
You need a trailer that can carry the weight of your motorcycle. If you plan to load more than one motorcycle, then you need to add up the total weight of all of the motorcycles. If you plan to carry gear, then consider the weight of that too. Keep in mind that a dirt bike weighs 300-400 pounds. Most sportbikes weight 300-600 pounds, while fully dressed cruisers can easily weigh 800 pounds.
Best Motorcycle Trailers Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- You may need to have a second person to help you install the trailer to your vehicle. They can be awkward and heavy to lift into position.
- Always make sure the gate of the trailer is locked before setting off. You can buy a padlock to make sure it is more secure.
- Make sure your bike is securely locked in place. Tie-down straps or ropes are useful for tightening it down.
- Before purchasing a motorcycle carrier, determine your hitch class, know your vehicle's tongue weight rating, calculate the weight of your motorcycle, and measure your ride to get the exact specification needed.
- To save the most space, opt for stand-up or front wheel motorcycle carriers. For the best protection, go with enclosed motorcycle trailers.
- For the most protection, opt for front wheel chocks, ratchet strap, and soft handlebar loops.
Q: How can I tell if the trailer hitch functions with my vehicle?
A: You need to check the weight of your motorcycle and load rating of your trailer. They should be within the vehicle’s tongue weight. Also, make sure the motorcycle or bike’s weight does not surpass the maximum weight capacity of the trailer itself.
Q: What is a vehicle’s tongue weight?
A: The tongue weight is the maximum weight your vehicle can carry on the hitch. You can find this information detailed in the vehicle owner’s guidebook. You can also figure it out yourself by taking the total weight of the car’s towing capacity and dividing it by 10.
Q: How can I get the bike on the platform?
A: The best way to do so is by using the ramp and guiding it up yourself. You should never ride the motorcycle onto the attachment. You may also need a second set of eyes to make sure you get the bike securely.
Q: How much do motorcycle trailers cost?
A: Motorcycle trailers can cost upwards of $7000, depending on the design, integrated wheel chock construction, safety features, and type (enclosed, open flat-bed, stand-up, and front wheel). Expect utility trailers to cost up to $2000, with open flatbed designs falling between $2000 and $4000, enclosed trailers from $4000 to $7000, and $7000 and above for some of the more customized options that include custom paint, interior lights, chrome trim, and mag wheels.
Q: What is a motorcycle trailer called?
A: A motorcycle trailer can also be referred to as a motorcycle cargo trailer.
Q: How big of a motorcycle trailer do I need?
A: It depends on the number of bikes stored. For one motorcycle, go with a trailer in the 4x8 and 6x12-foot range. For two motorcycles, a 6x10 to 7x14-foot trailer should work. Some of the most common dimensions include 5x8, 6x10., and 6x12-foot models. Please consult with your motorcycle manufacturer for exact dimensions before purchasing a motorcycle trailer.
Q: Do you need a wheel chock to trailer a motorcycle?
A: We highly recommend wheel chocks for tying down a motorcycle. Failure to use a wheel chock could cause your front wheel to rotate, turn, and wear down your tire's tread or perform an unexpected turn on the highway, potentially causing an accident. Be sure to use a ratchet strap and soft handlebar loops to tie down your handlebars as well.
Q: Are motorcycle hitch carriers safe?
A: Yes, motorcycle hitch carriers are very safe, providing that your motorcycle hitch carrier adheres to your bike's size and weight limits. Be sure to determine your hitch class, know your vehicle's tongue weight rating, calculate the weight of your motorcycle, and measure your ride before purchasing the right motorcycle carrier.
For a sturdy and reliable motorcycle trailer, consider the Kendon Stand-Up Single Ride-Up SRL Motorcycle Trailer. If you have a smaller motorcycle and want to spend less money, the North Star Trailer Sportstar I Utility Trailer Kit is a good choice.