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Thread: ISO 1st time trailer purchase

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2014

    ISO 1st time trailer purchase


    I am thinking of buying/renting/borrowing etc a trailer for my bike R1200RT for a trip or two away from the local area (Northern Virginia). I have a Tundra with all the hook ups etc.

    I am looking for advice of dos and avoids and anything in between. A basic first question is do I go open flat trailer or enclosed. Enclosed has security advantages and also using it for other missions. Flat presumably is lighter and cheaper.

    On either type of trailer, how do I actually get the bike up on the trailer? Would it come with a removable loading ramp? Does it need to plated and insured separately? Lots of questions!

    Grateful for any help.


  2. #2
    Whether an enclosed or open trailer is chosen - get a fold down ramp permanently attached to the trailer. Messing with "ladder" type ramps and boards, and such is both a hassle and a hazard. For your entertainment go to YouTube to see every screwup known to man trying to load a bike on a trailer.

    For occasional trips I would get a simple "landscape" type trailer with short side rails and a fold down loading ramp. If parking the rig with the bike on it for more than an overnight or two is in the cards then the security of a small single axle enclosed trailer is nice.

    Get as small a trailer as you can, making the bike and stuff fit, of course.
    Last edited by PGlaves; 04-16-2018 at 10:09 PM.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell

  3. #3
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    There is a good trailering thread here-
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
    Mod Squad
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200

  4. #4
    Registered User kthflieger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Columbia river gorge, Oregon
    you might look at some of the aluminum trailers. Aluma makes one that you can specify front and sides and get with a fold down ramp. The really nice thing is the 6x10 is still so light you can easily lift the tongue and wheel it around. This also translates into lighter towing and less wear on your truck.
    "Wer reitet so spaet durch nacht und wind -es ist der Vater mit seinem Kind" -- Goethe
    R1200RT, F800GS
    '80 GL1100

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Central Illinois


    Have both open and enclosed trailers, the 10 ft. X 6 enclosed I have used a lot ride bike into front wheel chock hook up 2 back straps move up hook up 2 front straps shut back ramp door and side door and go.
    Using the open trailer less weight and wind resistance so better fuel mpg. Again using the same front wheel chock ride bike up ramp into chock after you have found tie down straps and got them in place ready to fasten bike to trailer, what you will find with bike out in the open, straps blowing in the wind are much more likely to loosen as you travel.
    Enclosed trailer I use 4 cam lock straps one on each corner, open trailer 4 straps one on each corner but use ratcheting straps or the cam lock straps with extra locks.
    Cost open trailer about 1/3 the cost of enclosed trailer.
    Having a choice I never use the open trailer to haul the bike.

  6. #6
    Registered User mlytle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    alexandria, va
    I will be selling my aluma MC10 open MC trailer next week if interested. In NOVA also.

    Great trailer. I like it so much I bought another one. And don't need two!
    92 K75s
    94 K75s
    09 K1300s

  7. #7
    Curmudgeon At Large Bobmws's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Astatula, FL
    If you have no other use for the trailer you can rent a motorcycle trailer from U-haul. That will let you know if open or enclosed works better for you. Decent deals are available on used trailers once you decide on what you need.
    Bob Weis
    Bikeless! 2004-bmw-k12rs-hannigan-Sold!

  8. #8
    Registered User
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    Apr 2018
    Metro Denver, CO
    A few things to consider;

    Is space an issue? Do you have a place to store the trailer?
    How are you at backing up the truck to line up the tongue to the hitch?

    If I had my way I'd have an enclosed trailer even though I suck at trying to back up my trucks to the tongue of the trailer. I don't have space to store a trailer on my property so I'd have to rent a spot at an RV/Trailer place.

    I opted for a Kendon single bike Trailer. Absolutely fantastic. While I don't have the security from an enclosed trailer, I have something that folds up nicely and fits in my garage. It's also light enough (without the bike) when I need to move it around to line it up with the hitch I can do it easily without straining my back. It's fairly low so, its not difficult to get a bike on to it. The ramp while removable, "locks" into the trailer so it doesn't move while loading. It also uses full-sized 13" wheels so it doesn't bounce all over the place. It is rock solid. When I was roadracing, I had finished a race and my brain still felt like 75 mph was slow, I found my sell doing 90+ on the highway with my bike in tow with no issues...

    I've owned it 17 years and have let friends borrow it. While I've yet to put my GSA on it, I've put all other manner of motorcycle on it.

  9. #9
    Are we there yet? tonyfr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    SAT - LAX
    Quote Originally Posted by GSABart View Post
    I opted for a Kendon single bike Trailer. Absolutely fantastic.
    I have a 2010 Kendon single trailer. I added the ride-on rear ramp which makes it much easier to load my K13GT.
    BMWMOA #62 / BMWRA #77
    2009 K1300 GT
    1984 Kawasaki ZX750-E1 Turbo
    1990 Kawasaki ZX600R

  10. #10
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Albuquerque, NM
    Be sure to read your bike owners manual to learn how to properly tie your bike to your trailer.

    Make sure the trailer you purchase allows you to do that.

    You'll be happiest with a front wheel chock.
    Kent Christensen
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  11. #11
    Do you have other reasons to have a trailer? Will you be storing it outside? I got a good deal on a used aluminum trailer and got an aluminum condor chock. I am really happy with it.

  12. 04-23-2018, 01:16 AM
    Craigslist link to personal for sale item

  13. #12
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    SW Iowa
    Aluma makes nice light weight trailers.
    I have a Aluma utility trailer.

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    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  14. #13
    Registered User mlytle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    alexandria, va
    Ryeflyer...check your trailer thread...i posted something there for you regarding Aluma trailers.
    92 K75s
    94 K75s
    09 K1300s

  15. #14
    Registered User time2ride's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Oro-Medonte, Ontario Canada
    Both options are good, just depends on what you want/expect to use the trailer for. I just ordered an enclosed all aluminum trailer. Around here with the amount of salt on the roads it is all aluminum or you are dealing with rust on a yearly basis.

    I based my decision on a number of factors - have additional uses for it from moving kids back and forth to university; picking up wood; transporting lawn tractor; etc. I also have lots of room to store it so I didn't have to worry about that; I drive a Silverado so the weight of an enclosed trailer with my bike loaded wouldn't be an issue. I knew I would use it enough that it would make sense to go with an enclosed.

    If any of the above weren't the case I would have simply gone wit an open aluminum trailer.

    Prior to purchasing this trailer I would simply rent trailers from uhaul. I have towed my RT with a uhaul motorcycle trailer and for under $20 for the day it would be hard to justify buying a trailer if you weren't using it for anything else.

    As for loading the bike on a trailer, I went with the ramp for option so I wouldn't have to fiddle with separate ramps that you then have to store in the trailer with your bike, possibly slipping off the separate ramps while loading etc. A ramp, removable wheel chock, E Tracks and good tie down straps and your life is easy.

    Depending where you live you and the combined weight and/or length of vehicle and trailer and you may have to have annual inspections of your trailer. Also, check with your insurance to see if your auto policy covers towing your bike, or if your bike insurance does. If they aren't with the same company they will try and state the other does the pay out so worth getting the clarification in advance.

    Good luck on your decision

    2005 R1200RT

  16. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    College Station, TX

    Open trailer set up

    This thread

    has some photos of my open trailer set up.

    Cheers, Ken
    2015 R1200GS

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