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How to Load a Motorcycle Trailer – a Guide

INTRODUCTION

Here at Trident Towing Kent our hire fleet motorcycle trailers are becoming popular, especially as the motorcycling season draws near and the weather begins to warm up.

However, if you are not used to loading a motorbike on a trailer the process can be fraught and the potential for an accident or bike damage can arise.

As a continuation from one of our recent blogs about loading a car onto a car transporter trailer, here is our guide on how to easily and successfully load and transport your bike onto a trailer.

 

MOTORBIKE TRAILER PREPARATION

The first thing to do is to check if the motorbike trailer you are planning to use is suitable for your bike.

For example, we sell the Maypole MP6805 trailer – this is suitable for carrying one bike which weighs up to 240kg. This trailer would be ideal for small-to-medium road bikes and stripped-down race or track-day bikes.

If you are transporting a larger touring bike or cruiser bike, consider our most popular motorbike trailer which is the Brenderup MC2. This is a two-bike trailer with an excellent payload capacity of 610kg, making this one of the heaviest-duty motorcycle trailers on the market today and suitable for a wide variety of bikes.

We also stock motorbike ratchet strap systems which are high-quality and make the motorcycle loading much easier and faster.

Check any straps you have beforehand for any fraying or tearing – if there is any evidence of this the strap would need replacing.

If possible, have a friend to help you with loading and un-loading the bike – this will make the process much easier and safer.

If you are not using a dedicated motorcycle trailer, you would need a set of ramps – we stock a selection of these which come in varying lengths and feature a high-grip anti-slip surface. One ramp can be used for the bike, with the other being used for you to walk up into the trailer with the bike.

 

MOTORBIKE TRAILER LOADING

We would recommend having the motorbike trailer coupled to the tow vehicle whilst loading and un-loading your bike, which will prevent any chance of the trailer pitching up, or moving around as it is pushed on.

Ensure that any ramps are fitted securely with no chance of moving once the bike wheels go on. If using separate ramps, have one for the bike and one ramp for you so you can walk onto the trailer with the bike.

Have the bike in neutral and push the bike onto the trailer, using the handlebars and covering the front brake at all times. If you have a heavy and large bike, a friend to help push on the rear of the bike to get it onto the trailer makes it much easier.

Once on the trailer bed, get the front wheel up against the front of the trailer. Many motorbike trailers feature a front wheel chock for additional stability while towing.

If there is flooring on the trailer, put the bike on the side-stand while setting up the ratchet straps to secure the bike to the trailer.

 

SECURE MOTORBIKE TO TRAILER

We at Trident Towing highly recommend this ratchet strap system which is ideal for bikes with clip-on handlebars.

This system features sewn loops which fit over the handlebar grips. A connecting strap runs over the top yoke on the handlebars and a felt sleeve protects the yokes from this strap.

From here straps run down to the trailer floor tie-down points on either side of the bike as per the picture below.

If a motocross bike, or custom bike with ape hanger bars is being transported, these ratchet straps would not be suitable and we would recommend separate straps being tied to either side of the bars as per the below image.

Whenever you can have a rag or fabric sleeve between the strap and the bike to make sure there is no accidental damage to the bike from the strap tension.

With the front straps set up, we now need to secure the rear of the bike. Standard ratchet straps can be used and can be fitted around the rear footpegs, on the swingarm or if possible through the frame.

Strapping the wheel down is another option but extra care must be taken, especially if your bike has spoked wheels or lightweight racing wheels.

A long strap can also be fitted over the bike saddle but caution must be taken and plenty of protection between the saddle and the strap must be utilised to prevent any indents on the seat.

We also stock another motorbike ratchet strap which is perfect for securing the rear of the bike in place and also comes with a protective fabric sleeve.

With everything in place, ratchet the straps to secure the bike down to the trailer as per our recent blog. If the bike is on the side stand this must be flipped up and the bike back upright before any ratcheting.

A vital thing to remember is to compress the front suspension down, which forces the bike wheel onto the trailer floor and further prevents it moving about. If you have a friend with you, one can do the ratcheting while the other pushes down on the front of the bike to aid with lowering the suspension down.

With the bike now secure, test the straps and tie any strap excess out of the way so it doesn’t flap about during transport.

 

DURING TRANSPORT

As per our blog on car transporter use, it is advised to check the ratchet straps and the bike positioning periodically throughout your journey or whenever you stop at a café or for petrol.

The bike would be visible through the rear window – keep checking the bike position in case a strap come loose and the bike begins to tip at an angle whilst on the trailer.

 

MOTORBIKE TRAILER UN-LOADING

As with loading the bike onto the trailer, having a friend to help with un-loading it makes it much easier and safer.

If you have full flooring and full-width ramp on your trailer, it is best to sit on the bike so can have your feet on both sides for support, and roll it off the back of the trailer, covering the front brake all the time.

If there is no flooring on the trailer, you would need to stand by the side of the bike whilst un-loading – have a friend support the other side and to control the bike more easily whilst it comes off the trailer.

We hope that you find this information will be helpful to you in your next motorbike trailer journey.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any trailer hire enquiries, any questions about this blog or our other blogs, or if you need help with any other tow bar or trailer enquiries.

Many thanks for visiting us at Trident Towing Kent.

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