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USA Trailer Store, 20 years in business.

Simple Checks to hook up your motorcycle trailer

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1. Is your coupler locked down, and pin secure?

There are several different variations of motorcycle trailer ball and couplers that all need to be checked each time that you hook up. Regardless of you preference, the first rather obvious check is to ensure that the sizes match. Do you have a 2" ball and a 2" coupler? Or are you hooking on a 2 1/8" coupler to a 2" ball? Sounds simple right? It is. Make sure that they match and that neither one is so wore out or bent that they do not function well together. 

Your pin should fit into your coupler very snug and need a good amount of force to be able to be removed. What is a "good amount of force?" If you stand there looking at your pin and are asking wether or not that thing is so old that it might fall out - then it is time for a new one. It always surprises me when I see the alternatives to what should not even be a close substitute for a pin be shoved in there. If it is questionable, make it a non-issue and go buy a new one - and put a small wire through it if you keep losing them. 

2. Are your lights plugged in and working?

Your blinkers and brake light plug needs to be plugged in for those to work (I know, I know). These plugs see the very same road conditions as the rest of your motorcycle and often see far less attention that the chrome on your baby does. If there is a good amount of "green" corrosion on the plug or the jack, clean it off. The metal to metal connection should not be GREEN, and will not make a reliable connection if they are.

After you have a good clean connection, go ahead and give your motorcycle trailer a quick walk around with your lights on. Running lights working? How about those blinkers? Use a reflection off of a building window or vehicle that you are parked next to and test those brake lights. Do both of those rear red lights do get noticeably brighter when you pull the brake in? Good. 

When you are pulling a trailer behind your motorcycle your are doubling your road footprint. The total distance from your front fender of your bike, to the last light on your trailer. Having adequate lighting on that total footprint is important to your safety and those around you when traveling in day or night. 

3. The Drop Test: What happens if your trailer comes unhooked? 

So you have got your trailer hooked up to your bike, lights plugged in and safety chains hooked up. Now what? What happens if your pin comes out, coupler fails, or something else breaks that you did not foresee? Well, if you are reading this, that is because you are the type of person that does not leave this up to chance.

Preform the Drop Test: Unhook your coupler from the ball on your bike (leave your safety chains hooked up) and drop if straight down towards the ground. What happens? Essentially this tells you what is going to be the first thing on your trailer that will hit the pavement. Is it your trailer tongue? Not good at 70mph. Shorten up your chains. Did you forget to cross your chains when you hooked it up? Then un-hook them and cross them underneath your trailers tongue and hook them back up. 

How to properly hook up your motorcycle trailer

These are 3 dead simple checks that you need to preform each time you hook up your adventure trailer to your motorcycle. You are hooking that thing up to go on an adventure right?!

Ride safe,


 
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