Trailer for motorcycle touring, camping or groceries

By: On: March 24th, 20114 Comments »Updated: October 15, 2012

trailer for a motorcycle to towBeen thinking about getting a trailer for a motorcycle to tow?  We’ve assembled this guide to help you in your trailer quest.   Most of the top companies that make trailers to be towed by motorcycles have been included in our guide.

Motorcycle cargo trailers are simply for hauling your stuff on longer trips, vacations or for long distance touring rides.  Bring along extra luggage, clothing, coolers, groceries, folding chairs, or whatever will fit.

A motorcycle camper-trailer sleeps better than a small tent, and can haul your cargo too. Whether small and lightweight for just one person, or a bigger model to sleep two comfortably on a queen-size bed area, there are several options out there.  Some motorcycle camper-trailers also have enough extra space for coolers and plenty of luggage too, like a smaller version of a traditional pop-up camper.

The Honda GoldWing or the Harley FLH are the traditional trailer haulers.  Big bore engines are coming from just about every motorcycle manufacturer these days, giving riders a lot more choices of large touring bikes that can easily haul a trailer.  The Cam-Am Spyder three-wheeler and trike motorcycles make great tow-vehicles as well.

Of course, some smaller sport and standard motorcycles are just not big and strong enough to try to tow a trailer with.  A strong set of brakes is needed in addition to a decent gross vehicle weight rating.  A proven, heavy duty drive train is a plus.  Make sure both you and your motorcycle are truly up to the task.  The motorcycle’s braking and handling will behave differently when you are towing a trailer, so it is best that you be prepared and expect this.  Motorcycling is a continuous learning experience, and attaching a trailer behind it will take some time to re-learn braking, handling and general maneuvering.

Motorcycle Cargo Trailers:

motorcycle cargo trailer from American LegendAmerican Legend in Mahomet, IL sells their Legendary Innovations motorcycle cargo trailers available in sizes from small through extra large capacity.  They also sell a complete rolling chassis that you can add your own cargo box onto.

Their Sport model, shown here, is nicely styled to match the Harley-Davidson hard bags like you would find on a big twin.  This cargo trailer is 180 lbs empty with 20 lbs tongue weight (depending on options), and is rated for 350 lbs max load.  Storage capacity is 19 cubic feet.  It rides on 12″ wheels and has independent torsion bar suspension.  The overall trailer size is 45″ wide by 91″ long and sells for around $3325.  Several optional accessories are available.

If you ride a GoldWing, then American Legend’s Adventure cargo trailer may be for you.  The Adventure is actually styled to match with the Honda GoldWing.  This uni-body designed trailer weighs 195 lbs empty and has a cargo capacity of 305 lbs in 21 cubic feet of storage.  Wheels are 5-lug 12″ using 5.30 x 12 standard tires.  It is claimed to have the “strongest and most secure lid system on the market” with a double wall lid, automotive latches and compact hinges.  See american-legend.com or phone 217-586-2201

Bushtec dog trailer for motorcycles

Bushtec began selling trailers for motorcycles in 1982. They currently offer 5 types of cargo trailers starting at $2495 and ranging from 21 to 26 cubic feet for storage capacity.

Bushtec also has a special trailer they call the “Tow-Tow” that you can give your full-size dog a ride in!

There are plenty of options and upgrades to select from to help you customize it for your tastes and functionality.  Bushtec says that whether their trailer is empty or loaded, they guarantee they will not “bounce” when towing. Bushtec has a proprietary, fully adjustable, air ride suspension design.  Also, their special coupler eliminates fore and aft hitch movement so the trailer can’t push and pull your motorcycle the way some other hitches do.

The 16 in wheels on the Bushtec trailers are larger than on most motorcycle trailers, giving less rotational speed, but hey also only weigh 17 lbs each complete with bearings.  There is a six-wire harness that operates tail lights, turn signals, brake lights and an auxiliary interior light.

Bushtec motorcycle trailer hitches are available for BMW, Can-Am, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Triumph, Victory, Yamaha.  As an example, their GoldWing GL1800 deluxe hitch kit goes for about $390.  Visit bushtec.com or telephone 888-321-2516

Champion trailer for motorcycleChampion Trikes has a streamlined cargo trailer for motorcycles they call their Colorado Sport.  The front end shape made us think Corvette and the back end perhaps Porsche 944.  Maybe that is a stretch, but you get the point.  Sleek and sporty for sure, but this trailer is certainly not limited to use with just sport bikes.

The features of this trailer by Champion include fully adjustable air ride suspension and dual rate Progressive springs on a swing-arm type suspension design.  A spare tire storage compartment and two utility compartments are located in the floor of the cargo area.  The lid has a double wall design for strength and closes on a water-tight seal.  The rated weights and measures are tongue weight 16 lbs, load capacity 300 lbs, net weight 165 lbs, overall length 94 inches, overall width 41 inches, 1-7/8 inch ball receiver (swivel adapter is available), and the tires are 4.80-12.   Champion offers a good list of options for this trailer which has a base price around $2645.  The options we’d go for are the carpeted interior including two storage pockets for $170, the swivel hitch coupler also for $170, and color match paint for around $775.  The spoiler makes a nice addition too for about $495 color match painted.  See championsidecars.com or phone 800-875-0949.

Goldwing Trailer  Escapade Elite from California SidecarEscapade Trailers from California Sidecar of Arrington, VA come in 5 different model choices known as the Elite, SE, LE, Classic and the Eclipse.  The Elite is ever popular for GoldWings.  The Elite, SE and LE trailers share the same physical size and rated weights and capacities.  Cargo capacity is 25 cubic feet, tongue weight is 14 lbs, empty weight is 237 lbs, and load capacity is 350 lbs.  These all tow with a 1-7/8″ ball.  Tires are 4.80 x 12″.

motorcycle cargo trailer California Sidecar ClassicThe Escapade Eclipse and Classic motorcycle cargo trailers are styled to go with most any motorcycle.  These are a little smaller and lighter than the above three models from California Sidecar, as these have 17 cubic feet of storage and weight 197 lbs empty.  Load capacity remains at 350 lbs though, and these use the same size tires and ball.  Tongue weight is at 17 lbs and overall length is at 85 inches instead of 97 inches.

California Sidecar’s Escapade motorcycle cargo trailers are available through their dealers.  We also included this popular manufacturer in our previous guide to motorcycle sidecars and our article on trike motorcycles.  Visit californiasidecar.com or phone 800-824-1523.

Harley motorcycle trailer from Time Out trailersTime Out Trailers is located in Elkhart, Indiana and has been building motorcycle trailers since 1974.  While researching for this article, we found Time Out Trailers featured in a 1976 Popular Science article (see black and white photo).   In a sign of those motorcycling times, that old article mentions their hitch “fits British, Italian and Japanese bikes”.  Anyway, you get the point, they’ve got a lot of experience at making trailers for motorcycles.

Time Out expanded their trailer line when they purchased the Cycle Mate Trailer (CMT) company in 2005.  Now they offer 14 different cargo trailers and 4 different camper-trailers.

Cargo trailers range in price from $1495-$2395.  Motorcycle camper-trailer prices range from $2695 for the Slipstream camper trailer on up to $3995 for the Time Out Deluxe.  See timeouttrailers.org or phone 800.600.7671

Neosho Trailers offers their Starlight trailers for motorcycles.  Located in Neosho, Missouri, they offers five different designs in their Starlight line-up.Time Out Trailers in Popular Science June1976

The Jupiter trailer starts at about $850, the Model 16 at about $930, the Model 19 at about $1000, the Streamline Standard at $1495, and the Streamline Deluxe at $2195.

Lots of different options are available, including special paint, chrome accessories, swivel hitch options, different lights and covers for your cooler, trailer and motorcycle.

Third Wheel Trailers, Inc. of Ontario Canada has one of the most unique trailers for motorcycles.  It is lightweight, maneuverable and only has one wheel.  The low center of gravity of the Third Wheel Trailer helps you maintain your motorcycle’s feel in the way it rides and handles, making it a popular choice with sport and sport-touring riders.BMW motorcycle trailer from Time Out Trailers

The model choices are CP 550 with 5.5 cubic feet of storage capacity ($2149) and the larger CP 650 with 6.5 cubic feet of storage capacity ($2475).  Unlike the traditional larger, heavier trailers, these are recommended to carry a max of 100 lbs of cargo, but keep in mind that the trailer itself only weighs about 80 lbs.

Suspension on the Third Wheel consists of a shock absorber with a clever urethane spring design to help make this ride softly, smoothly and stable.  Check out thirdwheeltrailers.com or phone 519-521-4797

Thoroughbred Motorsports makes 2 different styles of cargo trailers for motor motorcycles.  First, there is the GLT model.  Not just for the GoldWing, but has GoldWing influence in its design, such as the tail lights.  The GLT starts at $2750 and comes equipped with Star wheels, a powder coated tongue, 12 volt power point and a chrome lamp with switch.Goldwing motorcycle cargo trailer GLT

Second, there is the the “Lil’ Deuce” trailer.  It has a classic style that goes well with a Harley or a metric cruiser.  Standard wheels are Torque Thurst instead of Star, plus the standard features as the GLT. This one starts at $2950.

Extra cost options available for both Thoroughbred Motorsports trailers are chrome tongue ($195), swivel hitch ($160), more wheel choices, and several body trim and paint options. Carpeting goes for $185 plus $25 to have it installed at the factory.  See thoroughbred-motorsports.com or phone 888-783-3348

Trekker motorcycle cargo trailerTrekker in Joliette, Quebec Canada offers two models of aerodynamic-styled trailers that are not just cool looking, but are functional too.  Their model 185DL trailer has dual storage compartments, each with a separate lid that opens via hidden latches, and are shared with single locking mechanism.  The lids on Trekkers are held open for you via gas-assist struts.

Trekker model choices are the 185SL ($3095) and the 185DL ($3495).  The SL has a single rear lid without the smaller lid at the front.

A Trekker motorcycle cargo trailer weighs 150 lbs empty and has a rated cargo capacity of 350 lbs.  Standard features include tongue and coupler in chrome, 12″ wheels (mag-style option) and a spare, interior carpeting on floors and walls, led lights, patented torsion progressive suspension using replaceable rubber inserts and no pre-load on them.  Standard colors are black or white gel coat, but options include color-matching paint, chrome pieces, and stone-guard type protective bra or clear film.

Trekker also rents their cargo trailers in the USA and Canada anywhere from just a day to a month.  Go to Trekkertrailer.com or phone 450-755-4316

Motorcycle Camper-Trailers:

B&F Specialties in Elk Grove Village, IL has been in the trailer business since 1974.  Their “Bunkhouse” camping trailers are among the best and most copied motorcycle camper-trailers in the industry.  Being first in the motorcycle trailer industry to use torsion axles and to offer electric hydraulic disc brakes are just a few examples of the innovative history they have.

B&F’s Queen sized bed camper trailer, called the Bunkhouse Queen, comes standard in white, black, gray or beige trailer colors and tent color choices of burgundy or navy blue.  An adjustable tongue stand and two frame-mounted  adjustable rear stands come standard along with 12 inch tires and LED tail lights and brake lights.

motorcycle camper trailer cargo storage space bf specialtiesThe Bunkhouse Queen weighs about 285 lbs and is 107 inches total length by 48-1/2 inches wide including fenders.  There is 17 cubic feet of storage space accessible via gas assisted struts.  When the camper tent is set up, you can still get to your cargo in the storage space since since there is a cargo access lid inside.

Some of the many options that B&F Specialties offers for the Bunkhouse camper trailers are a den, a mini-den, and a screened Lanai if you want to expand the tent area.  For the trailer, a few examples of available extras are a swivel hitch, a rear mounted spare tire, and aluminum or chrome wheels.  Special option packages that group together popular add-ons are called the Limited, the SE and the Ultimate and range from an extra $450 up to an extra $2995 to help make your camper trailer a sort of home away from home.

The Bunkhouse Queen goes for $3695, the LX is $4295

Lees-ure Lite motorcycle camper trailerLees-ure Lite of Osoyoos, BC Canada manufactures two models of motorcycle camper trailers known as their Excel model and Original Cycle model.  Both models have 4.80 x 8 tires and use a 1-7/8″ ball hitch.  They both also open to a 6’4″ tall tent which comes in your choice of four colors.

The Excel camper trailer weighs 255 lbs (without extra options) and has a tongue weight of 23 lbs.  The trailer is 54 inches wide x 66 inches long and opens to abed size ifs 54 inches x 81 inches.  Storage capacity of the Excel is 30 cubic feet.

The Original Cycle camper trailer is just slightly smaller than the Excel, with a weight of 230 lbs and a trailer size of 48 inches x 66 inches that opens to a bed size of 48 inches x 81 inches.  Storage capacity of the Original Cycle trailer is 26 cubic feet.

Some of the available options for these camper trailers are a swivel coupler, add-a-room for more tent area, an additional storage box for the tongue, and an air conditioner mounting bracket kit.  For more info about Lees-ure Lite motorcycle camper trailers, give them a call at 800-660-0933 or at 250-495-2232 or go online at leesurelite.com

Roadman motorcycle camper trailerRoadman  Campers has a camper-trailer that includes trailer, tent and storage bag, tent hardware, bed platform, awning ropes and stakes, and 15 cubic feet of storage including the tent, or 18 cubic feet without the tent.  The bed sleeps two people. It comes in either black or white (both red and silver graphics), or two-tone colors.  Diamond plate fenders and aluminum wheels are standard. The trailer weight is 225 lbs and has a gross weight rating of 500 lbs, so it has capacity for 275 lbs of gear, Trailer tongue weight on the 1-7/8″ ball hitch is approx 24 lbs depending how the trailer is loaded.  The 2011 price for the Roadman camper-trailer is  $3500, or $2600 for only the trailer.

TimeOut Easy Camper sets up in only about 3 minutes.  The wooden bed area sleeps two on an air mattress and measures 54 inch wide x 6-1/2 feet long.  There is 16 cubit feet of storage space under the bed.   Th trailer rides on 8 inch wheels and weighs 320 lbs (20 lbs tongue weight) and uses a 1-7/8″ ball hitch.  The tent area is tall enough to stand up in.  Cost is around $3195.  A similar, larger model is their TimeOut Camper for $3695.  It has the same sleeping area and the trailer itself is the same size, but it has a vent space to attach your portable air conditioner.

Trailmaster Inc of Des Plaines, IL tel. 800-398-9090 offers 3 models of their Aspen motorcycle pop-up campers: a lightweight (the Ambassador), a compact (the Classic), and a sub-compact (the Sentry).  Prices range from $4225-$5055.

15 models of their Premier motorcycle cargo trailers, and 3 models of their Quality lightweight trailers for towing motorcycles with.  The Aspen pop-up campers.

Disclaimer:

So that everyone is aware, Motorcycle Information has independently researched motorcycle trailer manufacturers and we receive nothing by including these manufacturers and distributors in our guide.

About John Clay

John Clay is the author of MotorcycleInfo.Org. He and his family reside in North Carolina in the United States. A graduate of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Experienced Rider Course, he enjoys riding his Moto Guzzi in charity rides and serves as a volunteer motorcycle marshal for an annual bicycle charity event in the Carolinas.

» has written 130 posts

4 Responded

  1. martydodgion says:

    I am interested in a tent tralier if you have them for single would you send me some prices for each kind. Thank you Marlane Dodgion

  2. Daniel Toma says:

    I was very supprised to see that you used my bike in your artical about the time out trailer.That trailer was painted by our shop here in alsip il.
    Harley would not give out the paint code so we had to match the paint and the logo is airbrushed on.We also did a screaming eagle trailer.
    BaDa Bing Auto
    11615 s Austin ave
    Alsip Il 60803
    708-385-4200
    Thaks you
    Dan

  3. jason says:

    i have 1982 bush tec ultamate and they no longer make air shocks for it. Does any body know if they can be rebuilt? Or Bought new?

  4. john says:

    l looking for a small trailer to be tow by my 125cc scooter, but l am hoping to pass my test in the new year, if l do l be getting bigger scooter.
    l need one so l can take my two dogs with me. also to do light shopping as l live out in the country.