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Towing a Motorcycle with a Sidecar


Folks; What type of trailer do one recommend for towing a motorcycle with a sidecar? (e.g. 5’ x 8’ open or enclosed) I have a 40’ Land Yacht. (i.e. Motor Home) If I tow using an open trailer, then I can wrap the motorcycle [when the engine is cool] with industrial packaging wrap or fabricate some type of rock shield on the front of the trailer. Thanks. Cap'n Blaine

Capt, unless your sidecar rig is unusually narrow, most enclosed trailers only have a 60" wide opening on the back. I struggled to fit a URAL in several ramp doors on trailers that were six foot wide but the doors were narrower. Finally opted for an open trailer for rig hauling.

Extra wide trailers with ramp doors are out there, are pricey, but nice to have if you can swing it.

What is the average width of a rig? Mine (which is mounted very close to the bike), will go on an 8 x 5 trailer that i'm finishing up now. I think it's like 4-4.5 ft wide IIRC measuring it?

One consideration if you go with an enclosed trailer is not only making sure the door opening is wide enough to get your rig into the trailer but also that the trailer is wide enough to allow you to comfortably dismount and move around to tie down. I bought a 7' wide enclosed trailer thinking I wanted as narrow trailer as my rig would fit in and this would allow me to see out the mirrors on my truck better while towing. While that part worked, I was never happy with the narrow trailer because dismounting and tying down was a challenge. I just sold the 7' wide to my son at his request. Works fine for his dirt bikes and other requirements. I've got an 8.5 wide enclosed on order now and I'll put mirror extenders on my pickup.

One thing to keep in mind when choosing a trailer...where are the wheels?

If the wheels are under the bed as they are on most snowmobile trailers (up here in the frozen North snowmobile trailers are common and since they are both wide and cheap they are a tempting choice) the deck height is increased and the wheels are usually smaller diameter to keep the deck as low as possible. That means the little wheels are turning faster and that's harder on the bearings.

On either enclosed or open trailers the wheels can either be inside the footprint of the deck or outside. Inside is more common on enclosed trailers and that often means that thers is a big bump on each side to accommodate the wheel. These are often in the way when it comes time to roll in your rig. Sometimes its an issue and sometimes its not but you need to know ahead of time.

On trailers with the wheels outside the deck you need to be aware of the total width of the trailer. Now no thinking person would ever do this but say a guy was to load up for a trip. He gets the rig on the trailer and heads out of town but he needs to stop at the bank on the way. So he drives into the drive up teller lane and makes his transaction. Thinking he has checked one more thing off his list he pulls forward and suddenly there's a very loud and definitely NOT GOOD sound. It was his trailer, stuck between the posts on the drive through lane. Backing up is not an option as the trailer fenders are actually bending from contact with the posts on both sides. By this time there is a small crowd gathering, laughing and pointing. The folks from the bank are coming out too. There's nothing to do but to put the pedal down and try to power out. The trailer pops free but both fenders are bent. Not bent so badly that he couldn't go ahead on the trip but bent badly enough to be annoying and to require the judicious application of a long 2x4 to bend them back out...sort of.

Like I say, no thinking person would ever let this happen, DAMHIK!

Gentlemen; Thank you for all the great responses. I currently have a Landgrebe TD40 Tow Dolly. It's a heavy duty. Tow dolly and toy hauler all-in-one. The deck is fine for my Triumph Bonneville T100, but will not accommodate a Ural Patrol or equivalent.

I'm glad others are thinking/doing this, i figured people would be put off or poke fun that i'd be trailering some and not always riding.

I'm building a trailer for mine to match my 66 c10/wood in the sidecar floor/wood in the truck bed now. Little 5x8 tilt model. but again, mine was custom mounted when i got it, it's very close to the bike, i did little but strengthen the mounts and add a leaf spring for stiffness:

Attached files

I like to take the Ural and the Rokon for week long camping trips and such so I have an open trailer I use with a bike rail on the tongue for the Rokon. I have had the K100/EML rig on it also to get it home from Denver when I first bought it and the K100/EML is actually 4" narrower than the Ural. Haven't tried the GS rig but I am pretty sure it is too wide for the trailer.

Man that is some gorgeous country!

cortcomp - 3/21/2016 1:48 PM

Man that is some gorgeous country!

That's just my yard, come out for the sidecar national this year and see how good it really gets around here.