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Towing a trailer

If you are planning to pull a trailer with your
motorcycle, the motorcycle and trailer must
be correctly matched for size and weight to
be safe. A proper connection between the
motorcycle and the trailer is needed, and the
cargo must be properly loaded in the trailer.
It is important that you practice pulling the
trailer before you set out on a trip.

Pre-trip inspection
for the trailer

• Check that the motorcycle’s trailer hitch
   and hardware are secured correctly to
   your motorcycle.
• Check that the trailer’s hitch is securely
   attached to the trailer, and has no
   cracks or faulty welds.
• Check that the signal, brake, and park
   lights on the trailer are working correctly.
• Check the trailer tires for damage and
   proper inflation.
• Check that the trailer licence plate is
   securely attached.

Loading your trailer

Heavy items should be placed in the
bottom of the trailer, and over or as
close as possible to the axle. Put only
light items on top of the load and secure
properly. Never overload your trailer
as this can affect the handling of your
motorcycle. Check the manufacturer’s
instruction about maximum load.

The trailer’s load should be slightly
weighted toward the front. The tongue
weight of your loaded trailer should be
10 to 15 per cent of the trailer weight. (The
tongue weight can be measured with a

tongue weight scale. It measures the weight
that is placed on the part of the trailer hitch
that attaches to the motorcycle.) Be sure the
load cannot shift while in motion as this can
unbalance the trailer and affect the handling
of the motorcycle.

Pulling your trailer

When learning to pull your trailer, start
out slowly. Get used to the handling
characteristics of a motorcycle and trailer
combination. The time and distance
required to stop are increased due to the
added weight. It will take more time to
increase and decrease speed.

If your trailer and motorcycle are
correctly matched and maintained, they
will perform safely during many different
driving conditions.

Three-wheeled
motorcycles

Three-wheeled vehicles are available
in a variety of configurations and are
considered to be motorcycles. However
their handling characteristics are quite
different from two-wheeled motorcycles
and different riding skills are required.
These skills should be learned and
practiced in a safe area before going
into traffic. Keep your speed low
until you have mastered the handling
characteristics of the vehicle.

Unlike a two-wheeler, three-wheelers
do not lean into turns. At first cornering
on a three-wheeled motorcycle can feel
alarming to an experienced motorcyclist.
The rider will find shifting his or her weight
in the saddle can help with cornering.
 

 54 A Rider's Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing 

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