After I’d been riding a motorcycle for a while.. and I’d gotten rid of the truck.. I decided that I needed another way to move the bike around. I traded the truck for a TDI VW Golf which isn’t a giant in the realm of towing capacity but it is able to pull a 1000lb load which is plenty for what I needed. So after doing a very thorough survey of what was available in light weight trailers I settled on the aptly named Trailer in a Bag.
First off.. this is a great little company that manufacturers the trailers down in Florida so you are supporting a US small business when you buy one. At first I tried to find a dealer in NC (where I was living at the time) but didn’t have much luck. It seems with the recession they have had trouble maintaining their dealer network. No worries though because I went direct to the source and they shipped it right to my door in a few easily manageable boxes.
Delivery time was reasonable and took a little less than two weeks. As you can see from the pictures.. this trailer is very well designed. The steel frame is heavy duty and everything fits together really well. It’s simple to assemble.. slide the 7 major frame members together and lock with 1/2″ steel pins and cotter pins for those. From opening the trunk to ready to load the bike takes me maybe 10-12 minutes doing it alone in the hot NC summer sun. It’s best to assemble the trailer hooked up to the hitch on the car which acts like a second set of hands and helps you hold it in place when the wheels start going on.
Loading the bike is uneventful. I have no trouble walking it up the ramp from the side on level ground. The key is to maintain enough momentum to roll smoothly into the chock.. more about that later. Of course my bike only weighs about 450lb.. have to love these Triumphs. By default these trailers come setup for one bike.. but they can be ordered, or modified after, to accommodate two if your car can handle the load with a class 2 hitch. (mine can’t) I ordered the basic trailer but with the Condor chock accessory which I recommend as it works really well and makes one person loading easy. The Condor chock is just as heavy duty as the rest of the trailer and fits like it was made for it… as it should. It adjusts to fit different sizes of front wheel so you might have to play with it a little if yours is something unusual. The front wheel on the Triumph is a little smaller than average so I used the set of alignment holes just forward of the middle. When properly set.. the bike easily stands on its own in the chock letting you load and tie it down with no problems.
The real thing that sets this trailer apart through is that the whole thing can break down and fit in your trunk or in the corner of the garage for storage and I’ve had a chance to try out both of these aspects. When I decided that I wanted a Triumph Bonneville I was able to find a guy selling a barely used one in a nearby state. So I loaded up the trailer in the back of my VW Golf and hit the road. Did the deal and brought the bike back on the trailer no problem. Since then I’ve moved to Seattle and have a much smaller garage to work with but that’s not a problem with this trailer.. because it breaks down and fits nicely in an unused corner. I’d never have room to store a more traditional plywood deck trailer… which was the other (cheaper) option I was considering at the time.
I’m pleased with the company and the product here.. as evidenced by taking the time to write this up. Hopefully if you are on the fence about this what I’ve said here can help you decide to pull the trigger.
A few usage tips. Spray some lube (I used Slick50) on the steel pieces that slide together.. makes it much easier to assemble and disassemble. I also put some strips of wide adhesive grip tape on the ramp because I found that when unloading the front tire tended to slide down the ramp with the front brake on without it. Pick up some quality ratchet straps for the front. Be sure to get the kind that can’t come off if the strap goes slack. The motorcycle should be secured firmly but not overly compressed on the front fork. You are depending on the bike shocks to absorb road bumps. In this case the bike weighs more than the trailer.. and it has no suspension of its own. I also picked up a small tool bag from Harbor Freight that holds the straps and all the other hardware when the trailer is stored.