What Makes Some Motorcycle Trailers Better than Others
First time buyers of motorcycle trailers often buy what they think is a zebra, only to find out when they actually use it that it’s really a jackass with painted-on stripes. That’s because when it comes to motorcycle trailers, there are things you can see at a glance and things you can’t. Exactly which of those things are most important to you depends on why you are looking for a motorcycle trailer. Do you want to:
- Ride in places it is impractical to ride to?
- Store your bike(s) without taking up garage space?
- Replace your trailer with one you can be proud of?
- Trailer your bike(s) without having to buy a truck?
- Find a safe secure way to haul/store your bike(s)?
- Make trailering your bike(s) a whole lot easier?
What makes a trailer easy or hard to use? Length, whether it has a rolling jack, number of axles, type of loading ramp, type of wheel chock(s), locations of chocks and d-rings. The shorter the trailer the harder it is to back. With two or more axles, and no front rolling jack, you can forget moving it around by hand to put it away or get it back out to use. The greater the tongue weight, the harder it is to “nudge” a little when you still aren’t quite able to “spot” the ball under the coupler on the first three or four tries. U-shaped drive-in-fall-over wheel chocks make loading and tying down a two person job. Trailers with tailgate/ramps are a lot easier to use than ones with portable ramps which have to be retrieved and positioned before you can load or unload your bike and then put away and secured afterward.
What makes a trailer hard or easy to tow? If it’s too heavy, going uphill is hard and going downhill is an adventure, not to mention the challenge of emergency stops. If it is shaped like a gigantic brick, it is hard to tow and hard to keep on the road in cross winds. On the other hand, if it is shaped like the nose of a WWII bomber, it will be a lot easier to tow. Then there’s balance. If the axle is well behind the center of the load (motorcycle), the rear end of your tow vehicle will sag and you’ll have to use the dim settings on your headlights to see where you are going. If the axle is ahead of the center of the load, you’ll become much better acquainted with your sphincter as your trailer fishtails down the road.
How hard will it be on your fuel mpg? Unless you tow with a diesel dually, this is a real concern. As you probably expect, the heavier the trailer, the worse mpg you can expect. But as important as weight is, the presence or absence of streamlining (that WWII “bomber nose” thing again) is equally important. Likewise, the smaller the tow vehicle, the more important shape and weight are. This is a truly critical choice as your fuel mpg reduction can be as much as 60% for trailers with a steel chassis and steel sheet metal sides. Open steel trailers are not a solution either—the excessive turbulence creates more drag than the weight reduction eliminates. On the other hand, the mpg reduction can be as little as 5% for motorcycle trailers with “bomber nose” fiberglass bodies and aluminum chassis.
How easy is it on your eyes? The range here is from open steel trailers and rapidly-fading metal boxes to sculpted “bomber nose” trailers with custom paint jobs. The sides on the metal boxes ripple as the sheet metal they are made of expands and contracts with the sun. Eventually, rivets and glue succumb to this continuing expansion and contraction and rivets pop and glue joints separate. By contrast, with a little care, the sculpted “bomber nose” fiberglass bodies tend to retain their smooth surface for years.
How safely and securely will you able to trailer your bike(s)? The safety of your bike(s) depends on how well it is “fastened” to the trailer. Some trailers are sold without any “fastening” devices in place. Most of the proprietary “fastening” systems include drive-in-step-off wheel chocks and properly located d-rings that will keep your bike safe in transit. However, U-shaped drive-in-step-off fall-over wheel chocks don’t work that well no matter how many straps you use or where the d-rings are located. Unless you invest in an enclosed trailer, your bike will clearly not be very secure when you trailer it. Nevertheless, even enclosed trailers can be easily stolen unless they are equipped with rear stabilizers whose raising and lowering mechanisms are inaccessible when the trailer is locked.
How trouble-free is it? What could possible go wrong? Let’s see now. Tires can blow, bearings can run dry, brakes can wear unevenly, wiring can short out or get torn off, to name a few 0f the possibilities. So look for the best available ST tires (Maxxis or Carlisle), e-z lube bearings, self-adjusting brakes, and wiring that is well-protected with shrink wrapped connections.
How well will it hold its value? Like most other retail products, trailers are rated as good, better and best. The good trailers are unbelievably cheap. So much so that they are known in the industry as “two year” trailers. They are cheap to buy but a year later, they are worth less than half their original price. At the other end of the spectrum are comparably-sized “best” trailers that cost two and a half times as much. In general, best trailers last longer and retain their values much better than good of better trailers.
Ironhorse: A Completely New Breed of Motorcycle Trailers
Innovative, rugged, lightweight, aerodynamic trailers specifically designed to haul motorcycles from the ground up—not lawnmowers, plumbing supplies, atv’s, dry wall, etc. True motorcycle trailers designed from the start to carry motorcycles safely and securely while being easy to use, easy to tow, easy on gas, easy on the eyes, and trouble-free over a long life. Last but not least, Ironhorse Trailers are designed to depreciate slower than any other motorcycle trailers on the market.
Easy to use—Enclosed trailers with front rolling jacks, single torsion axles, tailgate/loading ramps, minimal tongue weight, drive-in-step-off proprietary wheel chocks and pre-positioned d-rings, eleven feet between the ball and the axle and a flip top for plenty of loading headroom. Everything it takes to make a motorcycle trailer easy to use.
Easy to tow—Fiberglass bodies and aluminum chasses make it easy to start and stop and go up and down hills, flip tops and “bomber noses” defeat strong cross winds and a single axle is properly positioned to simultaneously prevent fishtailing and tow vehicled sagging in the rear. Everything it takes to make a motorcycle trailer easy to tow.
Easy on fuel mpg—Streamlined flip top fiberglass bodies, and aluminum chasses limit the total weight being towed and limit wind drag so much you can often forget you are towing an Ironhorse Trailer. Everything it takes to make a motorcycle trailer easy on fuel.
Easy to look at—Sculpted, seamless, rivet-less, aerodynamic fiberglass bodies with gel coat surfaces provide timeless good looks. Everything it takes to keep a motorcycle trailer looking great with minimum upkeep.
Safety and security—Proprietary systems for “fastening” bike(s) to the trailers and making them impossible to tow when properly “locked”. Everything it takes to keep your bike(s) safe when your are underway and secure when you are parked.
Trouble-free—Maxxis tires, E-Z lube bearings, self-adjusting brakes, and wiring routed though conduit and large aluminum C-channels combine to eliminate road hazard issues. Not to mention shrink wrapped connections to sharply limit corroding wire connections. Everything it takes to make a trailers as trouble-free as possible.
Depreciation—Many Ironhorse Trailers retain much of their value for 10-12 years. So much so that used ones rarely stay on the market more than a few days. In fact when it comes to value retention, Ironhorse Trailers’s track record is unprecedented and unparalleled. Think 75% after five years!
Ironhorse Trailers Product Line
Ironhorse Trailers is the pioneering developer of a completely new breed of Motorcycle Trailers. We manufacture composite based low profile fliptop and tilt-to-load open motorcycle trailers. Since 2003 our Ironhorse Motorcycle Trailers have been known for Made-in-America quality, as well as their innovative aerodynamic design. Our motorcycle haulers have incomparable reliability, durability and unprecedented user friendliness. No other bike haulers with full-sized, high speed tires are this easy to look at and use with so little effect on your gas mileage.
At Ironhorse we have 2 styles–enclosed or open. Our trailers are designed for one bike, one trike, or multiple motorcycles. We sell Factory Direct, but also have a small, trusted dealer network that you can purchased from.