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View Full Version : 3 Bike Trailer - Seeking Suggestions



brianstephenson
October 13th, 2004, 08:13 PM
Looking for a used or new trailor capable of carrying 3 bikes. Suggestions? Doesn't need to be enclosed.

rtbain
October 17th, 2004, 10:35 AM
Why three bikes? Who has that many friends?

Three bikes pose a problem, sort of. To get a trailer capable of holding three large faired bikes you have to accept one of two options.
1. A wide trailer
2. A long trailer

The wide trailer will be fairly tall to accommodate all three bikes because there isnít enough room between the wheel wells to accommodate three bikes and make it easily fit into lanes of traffic. Often trailer design is modified to lower bed height by using smaller diameter wheels. This is not a problem but long term bearing life will suffer as bearing speed increases as tire diameter decreases. In general smaller tires have less load carrying capacity.

A long trailer is a better option in my opinion. You can get a stock trailer and convert it for motorcycle use with the addition of wheel chocks and a few tie down points. The bed can be made lower (which makes the bikes easier to load) with the use of drop axels. The longer trailer (with drop axels) can make use of larger wheels which extend bearing life.

Someone will mention I am full of beans on bearing life. They may well be right. Properly maintained bearings on smaller wheels will last indefinitely, but they do require annual inspection.

The tire issue is more serious. You should never exceed the tire ratings, especially when the trailer is loaded with $30K+ worth of motorcycles.

Finally (thank goodness) comes the subject of tires. Trailer tires last forever (they almost always dry rot before wearing out) unless you are a trailer queen (you know who you are) then they will wear out before your bike tires. My preference is to stay away from steel belted radials. The steel often breaks over time as the rubber cracks and allows water in. For trailers bias ply rules.

My experience with trailers comes from my rust bucket. Almost 30 years old now it is on the second set of 14 inch tires and original bearings. The guy who built the thing used hubs cut from a wrecked car so who knows how many miles they had on them before they went on the trailer. I think I have serviced the bearings four or five times over the years. Chris may have replaced one of the seals when he did it.

[ October 17, 2004, 11:40: Message edited by: Randy Bain ]