Most riders would easily argue that having to go on a motorbike trip means going back the bare necessities and abandoning all the everyday conveniences. There are some skilled packers who can get everything they need for their trip in a pair of saddlebags. However, for others, the standard motorcycle luggage would not be enough especially if they are riding on a long trip. This is where pulling a trailer comes along. Having a lot more extra luggage space in the motorcycle trailer is bound to make the trip a lot more comfortable if that’s what you are looking for.
Now, while having the trailer along will definitely make all the packing woes go away, it's not that simple as you would hitch on the bike and hook up. There are some things that you need to consider before going on that route but could surely change the way you go on motorbike trips. Before you embark on your trip with a trailer lugging behind, consider some of the things listed below.
First, you ought to know if your bike can actually handle the extra load. It would not be wise at all to drag all your camping gear in the trailer behind a 250cc sports bike. Of course, if you have a touring bike or a full-size cruiser, it would be a different story. The extra power is great but the way it's delivered is also important. In order to get the bike up to speed without much stress, it is very important to have a low-end torque. There are a few ways you could achieve this like installing an aftermarket camshaft, fuel mapping and a gear change.
There are also some different styles of motorbike hitches like fixed hitches and swivel hitches. Most riders prefer swivel hitches with the claim that they could ensure that the bike leans as deep as needed in the corners without necessarily affecting the trailer. As true as that is, however, most bikes that come with a fixed hitch can lean to drag the pegs before maxing out the leaning capabilities.
Will your bike handle the load? Its suspension and tires will be placed under an even greater load with the trailer attached to it. When packing up the trailer, keep in mind that the tongue weight ought to be around 10-15% of your loaded trailer weight. If the weight is too much, the bike’s suspension and tires will be overloaded and you would be risking a blowout. It is also best to make sure that the tires are always fully inflated.
It’s a given that with all that weight behind the bike, the breaking distance will increase greatly. Even when you have a nice trailer that you can easily forget behind you, you will definitely remember it as soon as you have to stop in a hurry. The added weight will certainly push you a lot further than you would have to go without the trailer. It will also be wise to make sure you stop in a straight line because you could run the risk of jackknifing if the trailer stops at an angle behind you.
It will be very wise if you choose a trailer with as much width as that of your bike because it will help you continue riding on one side of the lane. If you have a wider trailer, you would have to ride in the center of the road, which is where the oil and all manner of nasties hang out.