Riding a motorbike is always an exhilarating experience, but an enjoyable thrill ride can quickly turn into a bone-crunching ordeal if you are forced to ride it over long distances. This is particularly true for high-performance bikes that give very few concessions for rider comfort -- it's only natural, then, that many motorcyclists choose to hire a trailer to transport their pride and joy over longer distances.
However, hiring a bike trailer isn't simply a case of choosing any old trailer and slinging your bike in the back. To ensure your bike reaches its destination in perfect condition, you should make sure the trailer you choose is up to the task. You should there ask yourself the following questions when choosing a trailer to hire, to ensure that your chosen model is fit for purpose:
Should I choose a covered or uncovered trailer?
Uncovered trailers a generally cheaper to hire than more robust, covered models, but cheap doesn't always mean cheerful -- choosing an unenclosed trailer leaves your bike unprotected against wind, rain, road grit and other potential causes of damage.
As such, choosing a covered trailer is generally the best way to protect your bike over long distances. Ensure that your chosen trailer's enclosure is large enough to accommodate your bike, and that the enclosure is robust enough to hold its shape if your trailer should suffer a collision or roll. Enclosed trailers will also give your motorcycle an extra layer of protection against thieves, a useful quality if your journey involves any extended stops or overnight rests.
Should I choose a single or double-axle trailer?
The amount of wheels your chosen trailer possess can make a dramatic difference to how it performs, so make sure to choose a single or double-axle trailer depending on the needs of you and your bike.
Single axle trailers are highly maneuverable, particularly in reverse, and have a much tighter turning circle than equivalently-sized double-axle trailers. This makes them extremely useful for transporting to areas with limited parking facilities. They are also cheaper to hire, and their decreased weight compared to double-axle models makes them cheaper to tow. However, the maximum size of single-axle trailers is rather limited, so larger bikes may need a double-axle model to accommodate their bulk.
Double-axle trailers have their own advantages; they have more lateral stability to prevent rocking during acceleration and braking, and distribute the weight of their loads more evenly. They are subsequently ideal for towing larger, heavier bikes, and are ideal for inexperienced towers unused to the unusual 'lurching' sensations created by single-axle trailers. However, they are also more expensive to hire and tow, and are much less maneuverable in tight quarters.