Motorcycle Trailers Enhancing The Riding Experience?

Frank Esposito is President Of Kendon Trailers And Lifts. He just wrote an interesting piece about trailering your bike(s) to your destination. Of course, his writing has for objectives to promote his company and products. But he makes some valid arguments about the advantages of trailering.

Since hauling or not is an age-old passionate debate dividing bikers with on one side the hardcore motorcyclist who does not want to hear the word “trailer” and who is willing to ride anywhere and everywhere, no matter what the distance may be, and on the other the avid rider looking only for the best riding available., I think that this Esposito’s piece is an interesting support to let you debate again on this hot topic…

“Both types of riders end up at the same places whether they use motorcycle trailers or not. So what really is the difference between riding and hauling bikes to a destination? Can motorcycle trailers truly enhance the rider’s experience? It used to be that most people only bought a trailer to take their bike in for repairs. Now the perception is growing that a trailer can add a new dimension to their motorcycling experience as it increases the opportunity for adventure.

Consider the fact that the average rider rarely gets beyond a 150-200 mile radius of his home. In addition, physical limitations can play a big role in a motorcyclist’s ability to travel longer distances. It comes down to a simple matter of quality vs. quantity. Using a trailer for motorcycles is a sensible way to get out of the comfort circle and change riding habits from a typical ride to a weekend adventure while opening up new riding opportunities. Changing a biker’s habits is not easy. However, when thinking in terms of multi-day weekend adventures instead of routine rides to and from the garage, it becomes much easier and practical to adjust these habits. Planned weekend getaways with family and friends can become more frequent, easier and enjoyable for everyone.

Why wear out the body and the bike riding the freeways to get to the destination to get to the good riding. Using a car and trailer to get there fresh, relaxed and ready to jump on the bike enhances the motorcycling experience. In addition to the increased comfort level of towing motorcycles, the economy factor plays a huge role with wear and tear on motorcycles. Tires, engine components and fluids all get worn out on the super-slab highways. With a motorcycle trailer, that worry is practically eliminated as the bike gets to the destination prepped and ready to ride. Having a freshly prepped bike and a rested body adds to the overall enjoyment of motorcycle riding. “aving rested and happy companions does not hurt either. Motorcycle trailers definitely help enthusiasts enjoy more of their passion by allowing for comfortable, convenient and fun times in distant riding destinations. A trailer really allows you to look at what is beyond that 150-200 mile comfort circle.

So is this change to acceptance of trailering real or just hypothetical? Check out the growing numbers of trailers at events such as Bike Week in Daytona or the Sturgis Rally. Motorcycling has always been about independence, freedom and individual choice… “ Frank Esposito, President Of Kendon Trailers And Lifts.

32 Responses to “Motorcycle Trailers Enhancing The Riding Experience?”

  1. 1 live2rideaglide Nov 3rd, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    A trailer enhancing the RIDING experience , somewhat oxymoronic.

  2. 2 Larry R Nov 3rd, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    It all depends on the situation. I have both ridden to and from long-distance events and trailered to said events. I like the ride just fine. But my wife has broken her back. Long distance riding causes her immense pain. Having her cry behind me is not enhancing. Furthermore, we like to talk to each other occasionally which is impossible while riding at high speeds. For my wife’s sake, because I love her very much, we trailer to long distance distinations on occasion. As you can see, I am in favor of both options in our particular circumstances. Just my opinion.

  3. 3 Matt Nov 3rd, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    I’ve noticed a rise in trailer riders lately. Most of them I’ve seen are retirement age and older. Personally though when I get too old to ride the long haul I think I would rather just take the $$$ for a trailer and put a down payment on a Trike kit.

  4. 4 doug cahn Nov 3rd, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Having been in a near fatal bike wreck has totally changed my opinion on this subject. As I sport 3 metal rods and 5 pins in my hips and pelvis I find it incredibbly painful to ride long distances. I now trailer to events and ride when I arrive at my destination. Say what you will … It works for me

  5. 5 Woody Nov 3rd, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Not all bikes are touring bikes, and not all bodies can handle 500 mile days like they used to. I have never trailered to a rally but tht day is coming. A few times I’ve also thought (while tooling along in some twisties on my touring bike) “Boy would this be neat on the CBR!” but with my back and a bad wrist, 100 miles is more than I can really do on a port bike in comfort. I may trailer the crotch rocket to Sturgis one day and do those awesome roads as a totally different experience than it was in the past.

  6. 6 Fausto Nov 3rd, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    Most people buy bikes to drive them and to enjoy driving them. If they are using a trailer to bring the bikes somewhere then they must have a good reason or else they would be driving the bike instead!

  7. 7 Eric Maurer Nov 3rd, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Trailers are also great for storing crap, dump runs, moving that ex-girlfreind back to her place, moving the new one into yours, playing the “where the hell do I park this thing” game around the ol homestead and of course, owning a trailer means that you are ALWAYS someones best friend. Just like a boat, everyone needs a buddy with a trailer.

  8. 8 Curt! Nov 3rd, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    I don’t have a problem with people trailering to an event when they have a reason. I have a friend that had his hips replaced and is physically unable to ride long distances. I rather have him there to party with us than to miss the event because he can’t stand the pain. I have other friends that like to have all the comforts of home, so they drag their toy hauler along. I must say it’s easier to camp in their portable garage than to pitch a tent. Bottom line is, that I will ride to every event until I’m physically unable to do so, then I’ll adjust my thinking to the situation. That may be to quit riding altogether, or to swallow my pride and load the pig up on a trailer.

  9. 9 Imaginethat Nov 3rd, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Since I have broken my back and have developed numerous other back problems I can no longer put in 500 mile days riding, I would be in such excruciating pain I could not control. Don’t get me wrong I do long for those 500 mile days but I can not do it , and neither can my wife. But we both love to go to rallies and events, and if it is a choice of not going or trailer I will go for the trailer! It is now my only choice so please don’t rip on everyone who is dragging their bike on a trailer.there might be a good physical reason it is on a trailer.

  10. 10 Bull Moose Nov 4th, 2011 at 4:10 am

    If I and my bike was 40 years younger I would not have problem riding 1,400 miles out to Sturgis. I have done it on my newer bike but I just like the old 69 hardtale to much to leave it at home.

  11. 11 Wiz Nov 4th, 2011 at 4:52 am

    Okie-Dokie, Here we go on this subject; You know I ride whenever I can, even with three broken toes, two shattered ankles, torn ligaments {ACL} both knees, broken cocsus {tailbone}, and that’s just the bottom half. Not to mention I’m OLDER than DIRT!! The vast majority of the time I do [solo, the ONLY way to make a journey on a motorsickle, a group is slow ‘an takes away from the “ZEN” of riding]. But there are occasions when I hitch up the ‘ol trailer. Like haulin’ seven bikes out to Jeffy’s Desperado Junction at Sturgis last year, an’ if the bikes/trikes are broke! I haul customer bikes/trikes all over the country ’cause you can’t really ride their bright, shiney new custom to ’em ‘an put 2,000 miles on it before they ever get it! As a matter of fact, I’m fixin’ to deliver a Shovelhead chopper trike I just finished to a client up around Montana sumwhere [I’ll find out when I get there]. He’s a retired Marine who owns a gun shop [DON”T want to piss HIM off!!] Got an enclosed trailer that I run 90-95 MPH all day long from Conneticut to LA ‘an everything in between. The exwife was paralyzed from the waist down so she didn’t handle long distance rides like she used to [pressure sores ‘an all] so towards the end we trailered quite abit. Anywho, that’s my nickle’s worth of input. Wiz

  12. 12 Brett Nov 4th, 2011 at 5:44 am

    Just make sure you lock the bikes down good…I was riding back from Sturgis in 2007 when we happened upon a group who trailered. They had 3 bikes. Must have taken the corner to fast at the off ramp, because all 3 bikes were piled up outside of the trailer on the road….

  13. 13 Mark Nov 4th, 2011 at 7:49 am

    I live in Ohio. If I want to ride my sport bike in the Colorado mountains I need to ride through several boring, flat, straight road states to get there. That’s when I justify a trailer. And riding with a buddy, hauling two bikes with can drive straight through Kansas at night. Otherwise we’d be toast by the time we made the 1600 miles or so to the Rockies. Then there’s gettin home…..


  14. 14 live2rideaglide Nov 4th, 2011 at 9:26 am

    The issue is not whether trailers are helpful , useful and expediate those who are unable to ride to their destination. The author s’ premise is that a trailer can and will ” enhance ” the riding experience. If you are not riding , it is not a riding experience. Trailers can facilitate a riding experience but hardly enhance it. Nothing outside of riding , with the wind in your hair ( although I have known ) can begin to suplant that feeling. I have never thought less of any rider because they chose or had to trailer but the ride itself is what it is about to me. Those who trailer are missing out on the ” experience ” , the rain , the road grime , the bugs and the cage driving maniacs. No trailer can reproduce the sensation of 75mph on I75 between two 18 wheelers in a torrential downpour.
    I too am feeling my age and my constant companion on the longs runs has become Ben-Gay and Goody powders , along with more frequent rest stops , But isnt that the experience , at least for me it is?

  15. 15 Woody Nov 4th, 2011 at 9:35 am

    ” The author s’ premise is that a trailer can and will ” enhance ” the riding experience. ” Yup, and as mentioned-if you are able to ride BECAUSE of the trailer it really enhances that riding experience over having none. Back in the 70’s I took my 750 Commando to Key West and back from the Milwaukee area. 3 broken vertabrae, collarbone, bad wrist, and weakening knees later, this would not be an option for me. Trailering my bike to Bike Week, Sturgis, etc. over skipping them entirely will enhance my riding experience. Last time I was at Sturgis I easily put on around 500 miles in addition to the actual ride to/from the rally. If I were to trailer next year, I’d still be able to get a lot of great rides in over a week or so. YMMV

  16. 16 cwglide Nov 4th, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Frank has a good point. I wanted to go to Arizona Bike Week but i did not want to ride the ever soooo boring HWY 5 south then thru L.A. across the 10 to Arizona. Not to mention all the California trenches along the freeway. I purchased a dual Kendon Trailer and I am glad i did. I saved wear and tear on my bike and avoided a very boring ride there. On the flip side to me destination Sturgis would not warrant a trailer. It is the ride there that most enjoyable to me, more so then the event. So for me depending on the destination a trailer makes sense to minimize boring miles on my bike, and the convenience of having a trailer when needed. So did having the Kendon Trailer enhance my riding experience to Arizona Bike Week? Absolutely!

  17. 17 The Supreme Team Nov 4th, 2011 at 11:03 am

    I’d rather ride it, but with a back that is already beat to hell and has been for 10 years, 300 miles a day’s about the limit…even with a Mustang seat under my butt.
    Do what you need to for the experience. If your body can handle it, ride it, if you can’t, trailer it.
    Who the hell wants to be thinking of how sore your back and ass are when you should be enjoying the cool breeze.

  18. 18 just my opinion Nov 4th, 2011 at 11:14 am

    I think most agree that if you have a bad back or other health problems a trailer does allow you to go and enjoy places you would not be able to see and enjoy other wise but the author of this artical states
    “the economy factor plays a huge role with wear and tear on motorcycles. Tires, engine components and fluids all get worn out on the super-slab highways. With a motorcycle trailer, that worry is practically eliminated” I am just curious as to how you get that trailer to any destination without wear and tear on a truck or car?
    I for one read that and think does this guy really think we are not smart enough to know that if you trailer to save the bike tires, engine and fluids from wear you are actually wearing out four tires instead of two, so just how does that economy factor really work? I guess thats where the salesman part took over. By the way I do trailer my bikes all over the country but would never put any of my bikes on an open trailer because that truck does throw rocks up and will ruin a paint job that will cost more than the difference in cost of buying an inclosed trailer to start with and also most times I am spending a night or two on the road and don’t want anyone screwing with my bikes when I am trying to rest.

  19. 19 Betty Nov 4th, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    just my opinion … don’t forget about the wear and tear on the trailer tires!! haha

    I agree that trailering is a viable option in some circumstances, however, I don’t like how he explained it. I think the commenters here on this blog made a lot of great points, but the original author could have left out the entire third paragraph and would have probably made a stronger argument.

    Worrying about using up fluids in your bike? Not really. I bought the thing to ride it! What KIND of riding I decide to do with it is up to me and sometimes it involves a trailer and sometimes it doesn’t. A weekend joyride? No. Trackday? Yes. Roadtrip? Maybe.

    I’m proud of the miles I put on my bikes! I’m not worried about them adding up too fast. My bikes are more fun and cheaper to replace than my pick-up truck! Worrying about wearing out a bike you ride to RIDE and not to SHOW doesn’t really concern me as much as the cost of wearing out a pick-up truck bought to haul stuff with. Not to mention the cost of GAS in that thing …

  20. 20 live2rideaglide Nov 4th, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    If mileage , wear and tear and cost of riding the bike is such a big issue, put it in a shed lock it up and throw away the key. You can always rent some old biker movies , Then came Bronson maybe.

  21. 21 Kirk Perry Nov 4th, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    If you own and old bike(s) a tilt-up trailer is a good investment. I bought a single rail flat-top fold-up trailer from Bruce L., the owner of Cycle Products® in 1991. It folds-over at the back section to form an open-sided triangle, locked by a single support strap and then rolled over to the side of the shop, where it takes up as much space as two, wall leaning, 4 cu. ft. wheelbarrow footprints (as a visual-aid). Bruce designed that trailer. Cool guy, who did a lot of things well.

    The trailer is a life-saver, imo, and preserves a family unit by separating motorcycle 911’s without the wrasslin’ & hasslin’ involvement of getting it home.
    [When my recent ’57 Taiwan Panhead build was being test-ridden and began “thinking for itself” by running and dying at will – I left the trailer hooked-up to my pick-up 24/7 parked heading-out of the driveway. Too far from home to walk? Call a cab.
    Trailers give you a grand option that you hardly ever need, but it’s standing over against the wall waiting for when you do.

  22. 22 Smittydog Nov 4th, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    I`f you can`t ride them to where you are going, then stay home.

  23. 23 burnout Nov 4th, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    I have a Trailer Boy ™ harness that allows the miles from my trailer to be recorded on my bike’s odometer. It is Great! Now I don’t have to be embarrassed by a low odometer reading! I fully understand when some people need to trailer their bike HOWEVER I will make fun of my customers who are physically fit and trailer their bike less than 180 miles!!! peace

  24. 24 Scott Nov 6th, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Trailers are for boats!

  25. 25 steve Nov 7th, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Met a guy in Sturgis who had a brand new Roadglide that he said he just rode to the rally from Mass. for it’s 1st trip. The odometer had under 750 miles on it….do the math. If you trailer it fine, but I hate the ones who brag about the ride when they didn’t make it. By the way he had no answer when I asked him why the low miles….just a dumb look on his face……I walked away chuckling…..

  26. 26 Wiskybilt Nov 7th, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    If you trailer to an event then OWN IT! My beef is with the ones who bragg about riding ALL THE WAY like Steve has said. When you know they didn’t.

    that’s where I came up with my new shirt slogan.

    ” SHUT UP POSER, I SAW your trailer ! ” with my Wiskybilt logo on the back.

    I hate to see POSERS unloading their bikes and then running all over the rally talking some bullshit about what a baddass rider they are. I understand some have legitimate reasons to trailer their bikes weather it’s physical or even some emotional other half that could potentially ruin their vacation. Whatever the reason just own it and quit riding all over the rally with pressed new leather and no signs of the raod on your ride all the while thinking the biker your telling your BS can’t make you out for the POSER you truely are!

    PS. if I was feeling any better I’d have to sit on both hands just to quit waving at everyone…lol

  27. 27 I Heart TWO WHEELS so should you.... Nov 8th, 2011 at 1:03 am

    I heart Trailers……they inform you of the key points when deciding which movie to see next…..

  28. 28 Kirk Perry Nov 8th, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Let’s talk about where to park your trailer & connected vehicle as one unit. (Trailer locked and perhaps “Denver” booted, at it’s 13″ tire to prevent theft, naturally).

    When we run the length of Telegraph Canyon Rd. that runs parallel to the Mexican border, we trailer our bikes down to the 805 & T. Canyon Rd. junction, then park the vehicle/trailer units side-by-side in the continuous Bank of America parking lot, that’s next to the 76 gas station, iffin’ it’s on a Sunday. Plenty of room for side-by-side parking.
    And it’s a free safe parking guarantee since it’s under federal jurisdiction and the watchful eye of a security camera, while we tear-out for the wide open spaces.

    You can put 150 miles on a Knuckle or Pan (round trip) by the time you’ve veered off state route 94, and check out the sleepy little town of Tecate – for last chance fuel, and get out to the “old truck” museum past Campo.
    The high desert, gets cold, burns calories and by the time you get back to the vehicles, you’re ready to get off the Pan for a while. An easy one-man roll-up onto a trailer beats fighting freeway traffic, north for 40+ miles.

    Yea, I’d say a trailer enhances the antique experience by twice. 🙂

  29. 29 BillP Nov 18th, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Having considered the comments above and reality of life (my age) using a trailer as Esposito writes, now makes a ton of sense to me.

  30. 30 Robert Pandya Nov 19th, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    As a Kendon OWNER I have to say they are great. I own several bikes of several types. I have ridden press bikes to and from Sturgis from San Francisco and to Texas, and I just finished a 7000 mile road trip with the dirtbike, picking up another bike along the way. Each has their place – the nice thing about the stand-up trailers is that when you get where you are going, you can fold it up at the front of your parking spot – and nose your vehicle towards it taking up only one space. They also take the trepidation away for the girlfriend / wife (or both) regarding a long time on the saddle just to get TO the good stuff. In my opinion, trailers only extend what you can do with a bike. If having your bike on a trailer means you are cheating – so be it. Ride. But for many people, a Kendon stand-up, is the key to increasing your riding pleasure. And one of the best made motorcycle accessories I have ever owned.

  31. 31 nicker Nov 19th, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    They beat the Hell out-a pushing a busted scooter home…… 🙂


  32. 32 Dan Apr 16th, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Are you kidding me? Trailers are for boats. I have been riding for 44 yrs and never had a bike in a vehicle or on a trailer (except motocross bikes). Buy a car.

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