It would be a pretty boring article if the answer to “can a motorcycle pull a teardrop trailer” was “no”, wouldn’t it?
However, it’s not an unequivocal, yes, either.
So, let’s find out when a motorcycle can pull a teardrop trailer and when it can’t?
Weight And Teardrop Trailers
The most important factor in whether your motorcycle can pull a teardrop trailer is the weight of the trailer.
So, if you practice sustainable travel in a small, light trailer like this Droplet Trailer which is just 950 lbs. then there’s a good chance that a bike may be able to pull it.
But once you reach 2,000 lbs. or above as some teardrop trailer brands can reach – you can forget it, this is simply too much for a motorbike to pull.
At this top-end you’ll need a trick or a SUV and a fairly hefty one too.
Between 1,000 lbs. and 2,000 lbs. you’ll find that most motorbikes simply aren’t big enough and heavy enough to handle a teardrop trailer, either.
There are some exceptions but they are few and far between.
The Sweet Spot – The Sub-1,000lbs. Teardrop Trailer
Once you get below 1,000 lbs. though, everything changes.
Your average motorbike is 700 lbs. plus in weight and that means it may well be capable of holding the road whilst pulling a trailer in this weight bracket.
How do you find out for certain? Well, you need to check the manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight maximum.
Gross Vehicle Weight
The gross vehicle weight is the total weight that your motorcycle can pull.
This includes the weight of your bike, the weight of your and any passenger, any cargo you carry and yes, the teardrop trailer that you intend to carry too.
You must not exceed the gross vehicle weight maximum prescribed by your vehicle’s manufacturer – to do so will affect the bike’s ability to hold the road.
When you can’t hold the road on a motorbike… a fatal collision is probably imminent.
How To Hitch A Teardrop Trailer To Your Motorcycle
You must buy a custom teardrop trailer hitch for your motorcycle if you want to get the job done properly – do not use something you have laying around for another trailer system, it won’t work.
We use HitchDoc which we’ve found is flexible enough to work with nearly all bike brands but there are others out there if you hunt around.
With a tongue weight of 40 lbs. which should not exceed 10% of the trailer weight, you may need to use more than one hitch to get the job done.
Some Quick Tips On Towing A Teardrop Trailer WIth A Motorcycle
Finally, we’ve got some simple tips that make towing a teardrop trailer with a motorcycle much easier:
- Practice a lot. Seriously, practice makes perfect.
- Check you’ve loaded weight evenly. A trailer that’s empty or unevenly loaded can swing around and make it hard to ride.
- Take slow, wide turns. Teardrop trailers don’t handle like motorbikes, make an allowance for it.
- If there are no brakes on the trailer, stop slowly. You’ll have to break early and slowly if your bike has to provide all the stopping power.