Tips On Towing A Trailer Behind Your Motorcycle

Tips On Towing A Trailer Behind Your Motorcycle

Cruiseman shares some tips on pulling a trailer behind your motorcycle.


This video was produced by Cruiseman’s Garage. For more information, go to

For information on Cruiseman’s Honda Goldwing/F6B Maintenance Videos, go to:


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  1. Joe Brewer on July 12, 2019 at 11:54 pm

    I got started with your "how to buy a Goldwing" video, I’ve enjoyed your video’s great info and presentation. Miss you on GL1800 forum, AKA FItter Guy

  2. Russell Horn on July 12, 2019 at 11:56 pm

    Since Honda doesn’t mention pulling a trailer at all in their warranty info, you just have to try it yourself, and take the risks. It works well with a manual transmission, but, will the new automatic stand it without overheating, and possibly self destructing? As the automatic is new to the market, is there a transmission cooler either on the bike, or available through the aftermarket? These are questions you may want to ask yourself.

  3. Sean Flood on July 12, 2019 at 11:57 pm

    I really enjoyed this video and with most of your tips I agreed with them, BUT with the one you said "I like to cross the chains" you should have said you should always cross the chains. Depending on where you are it is actually mandatory that the safety chains be crossed, if stopped you could get a ticket and a fine if they aren’t. I loved how you showed that you make a safety chain to the proper length (IMHO I think one or two more links would not have hurt just to make sure you wouldn’t bind on a tight turn) and not just go ehh that’s good enough, improper chain size is one of my pet peeves and I see it all the time. I had wished you had commented at the end that many of these tips also are relevant to towing with a car or truck. Again good video and I think I’ll bookmark this to share with people I see improperly towing with their bike or other vehicles.

  4. jack turtle on July 12, 2019 at 11:58 pm

    We’ve been towing trailers with Gold-Wings for the last 30 + years never had an problem

  5. LTVoyager on July 13, 2019 at 12:00 am

    Another option is to use a bolt through those two holes in the trailer tongue to attach the chains. Sometimes that is easier than trying to get the connecting type links through those holes.

  6. Road Glide on July 13, 2019 at 12:04 am

    Look great Cruisman. That Bushtec, long history of being tried and true, is the best designed trailer bar none. Check tires, ride safe and stay hydrated.

  7. Jims Motor Trike on July 13, 2019 at 12:05 am

    All great advice. I pull my trailer on every trip. i have a Trike, so always looking in the mirror to make sure it is still there. With 6 cylinders and all that power I don’t notice it is there. But I do have much more weight in mine with 2 up and long trips. Air shocks on the trailer is the bomb.

  8. Rene Gosselin on July 13, 2019 at 12:08 am

    Your videos are very informative .. I however am concerned with the manner you are trying to get the connectors together at around 9:49 of the video .. In the manner that you push / squeeze the connectors together you are pushing / squishing the wires against the connector .. This will break the leads (wires) going into the connectors in no time .. This type of connector, whether being a 4 pin which is most trailers to the 5 or 6 pin connectors, is a design flaw on purpose to make the consumer needing to replace them over time .. If they were to make a twist lock type system or screw ring to mate with other part of plug would prove to be more effective .. Just my opinion regarding the connection systems .

  9. Rickee Richardson on July 13, 2019 at 12:10 am

    I had no idea that there was that much involved each time you hooked/unhooked the trailer when we were traveling! I love the trailer since it means I can bring more clothes!

  10. Endeavor Trikes on July 13, 2019 at 12:12 am

    I have alway pulled a trailer on long trips however you are correct there is nothing that is more dangerous than pulling a trailer as it can cause real issues during stopping. Pulling with a trike is not near as bad as most trikes are very well suited for this. I use a different type of hookup which does not require chains as it is more akin to a 5th wheel type setup. Overloading is a common issue on trailers and normally one should use discretion regarding load weights.

  11. Carlos Arturo Franco Ruiz on July 13, 2019 at 12:13 am

    Hola buena tarde.
    Vi su vídeo, pero quiero construir un trailer a mi vstrom 650 que sea mono rueda. Que recomendaciones puede darme?. Gracias

  12. Ric Powers on July 13, 2019 at 12:13 am

    Normally a pretty informative guy, but this vid answered nothing for me like max weight, what to look for while towing (sensation of the extra weight, does it push the bike around?) whats more of an issue pulling power or braking etc?

  13. Chris Durnell on July 13, 2019 at 12:14 am

    It would be interesting to hear how your trip goes with the DCT transmission pulling the trailer. What mode you rode in and what fuel mileage you achieved. Im thinking about a purchase of a new Goldwing DCT and Timeout trailer in the future, just in time for retirement.

  14. Back Roads Wingrider on July 13, 2019 at 12:14 am

    I see that crossing the chains is covered in video and comments. Great information. I will just add the length of the chain is important as if your trailer should become detached, the crossed chain will catch and cradle the tongue of trailer giving the operator better control as opposed to the tongue dragging the ground. A comment was added below about applying the same principles to vehicle towing and absolutely correct. We could go on and on about safe trailer pulling, but to pull it all together I’m going to add how many times I’ve seen burned up bearings and spindles from lack of grease and maintenance. Keep your tires on… maintain those bearings. Very Good points Cruiseman. Thanks for your input on safe riding for all of us on the road. Cagers included.

  15. darkhorse21xx on July 13, 2019 at 12:16 am

    1. Why cut the chain if you have a quick ling you can hook the excess to

  16. skydivedoug on July 13, 2019 at 12:16 am

    Great video. I just bought a Bushtec trailer last week in preparation for the trip to Wingding. I also noticed they are having classes on towing a trailer behind a motorcycle at the convention.

  17. hogdriver88 on July 13, 2019 at 12:20 am

    Good video on trailer safety. I wonder what Honda would say when you bring the bike in for warranty work for something mechanical and they see the trailer hitch?

  18. jim nielsen on July 13, 2019 at 12:22 am

    It looks great! I’m jealious as I’ve always wanted a Bushtec. Someday

  19. The Legal Mentors - TLM on July 13, 2019 at 12:23 am

    The best video found so far on trailer
    V valuable

  20. Al McDonald,WV1Q on July 13, 2019 at 12:23 am

    Great Video Cruiseman, Stop by MS Hwy 59 Exit 113 to say hello! I frequent Stuckey’s Gas Station here! Be safe and stay dry on the Trip. Motor Man out

  21. Kur Norock on July 13, 2019 at 12:25 am

    I can’t imagine that having more weight in the back of the trailer is safe. Having weight in the back is what causes unstable handling and even fish tailing. You want your weight biased forward to create stability. Even if you lose traction, a forward weight bias will automatically straighten you out.

  22. gsettlemyre on July 13, 2019 at 12:25 am

    Cruiseman, when you said with the chains criss-crossed it would balance the trailer should it ever break lose of the bike, actually you criss-cross the chains to “cradle” the hitch not allowing it to dig into the road surface.
    Cross crossing is almost mandatory in most states due to this reason. Also by criss-crossing them they will not bind, not cross -crossing them causes the chain on the side being turned away from to stretch or straighten out which could upset the dynamics of the turn. On a side note I have 3-4 extra links on my chains just in case another bike has to pull it and it’s not set up the same as mine, I just let the extra hang from the spring clip, no where near to long. Great videos by the way. Been pulling my trailer for 15 years now. Riding for 40. 1993 GL 1500 Interstate.

  23. northerniltree on July 13, 2019 at 12:26 am

    I want to get a trailer for my GW but I’m confused about tongue weight. Is that regarding mine, or the trailer’s?

  24. crispi1973 on July 13, 2019 at 12:26 am

    Tanta vuelta y no nuestras nada del carro…

  25. Rufus on July 13, 2019 at 12:27 am

    I’m going to buy a Goldwing cos I want a quality tourer and don’t want to be a Harley riding, 1% wannabe, middle aged joke. However a trailer is also heading into dorksville in my opinion. Get a car.

  26. Michael Hoare on July 13, 2019 at 12:28 am

    Over here in the UK the secondary coupler (your crossed chains) is a legal requirement and requires as some posts have recommended that in the event of a tow hitch failure the secondary coupler must keep the trailer hitch from dragging on the road. Re trailer tyre pressures. I’ve owned three trailers and have never been able to fined any info on recommended tyre pressures. 30psi sounds very high for your Bushtec and I’d be surprised if the trailer doesn’t bounce around on the 3.00×16 tyres. In contrast, I’ve 16.5×6.5×8 tyres on my trailer which I run at 7.5psi (loaded) which provides excellent stability. Here’s a formula I eventually found on the ‘net which might be useful to your followers:
    A. Gross Trailer Weight – e.g. 330lbs (legal limit over here)
    B. Combined Maximum Trailer Tyre Load – e.g. 3124lbs for my tyres
    C. Maximum Trailer Tyre Pressure – e.g. 70psi for my tyres
    D. B/A – e.g. 9.47
    Tyre pressures = C/D e.g. 7.39psi
    I’d be interesting Cruiseman if you applied the formula to your Bushtec and see if the result is 30psi. The thing is your Bushtec weighs in at 140lbs empty and has a 210lbs capacity so I can’t see that a single recommended pressure of 30psi can cover such a weight range.

    p.s. I wouldn’t swap my 2004 GL1800 for a +2018. Yes I’d have the DCT engine but nothing else.

  27. serpent08n on July 13, 2019 at 12:28 am

    Do you really want safety chains on a motorcycle trailer I mean if the trailer becomes detached I think I’d rather have it completely detached then dragging on chains

  28. Mike Branscum on July 13, 2019 at 12:29 am

    Can you tell me what mode you mainly kept your bike in while pulling the trailer and your average mpg? Did you take a big hit on gas mileage pulling vs. not having one?

  29. Colville Titus on July 13, 2019 at 12:29 am

    Thanks for the tips. Very informative and inspiring

  30. jim nielsen on July 13, 2019 at 12:31 am

    I like your tongue weight method. I was taught to make sure the tongue had downward weight & that you can easily lift with 1hand. Your method better. Is your trailer wrapped?

  31. mark block on July 13, 2019 at 12:32 am

    The threaded links should be installed reversed from what is shown. Vibration and gravity would let the link unthread and open up during transit. Gravity needs to work to tighten, not loosen the link. Also, that spring retained pin in the receiver may be unlatched by the safety chain as the bike is being turned and the chain binds. Either use a bolt or mount the chains further away from the pin. Lastly, that quick link is rated for a static load, not an impact load. A trailer coming off its mount in transit is definitely not a static load. ~500lbs rating is not as good as you think.

  32. Josh Leverton on July 13, 2019 at 12:33 am

    Would I be able to tow a trailer with my sports bike?

  33. Scott Engh on July 13, 2019 at 12:34 am

    OK, have always liked the idea of a trailer. One of my pastors had a little pop-up camper he pulled behind his 1978 Gold Wing. Pull lots of trailers behind the truck and cross chains. Knock on wood, never needed the chains for anything but compliance with the law. The idea of needing them on a motorcycle just convinced me to never look at one again. Power to you brother!

  34. ftey2000 on July 13, 2019 at 12:35 am

    I have a bushtec too. Just completed a trip from San Jose (CA ) to New-york, and back. The Bushtec are fantastic! you don’t even feel them on the back. I have a K1200 BWM and really, I didn’t notice the trailer, even when braking. I was riding 80-85 mph all the way. There is so much space inside, you can bring all you need. And the cooler is the cherry on top!!!

  35. Peter Myers on July 13, 2019 at 12:35 am

    I have 2018 and thinking about buying a trailer and I wonder the new Wing pull the pull behind trailer? Also, I plan on getting a revco trailer hitch.

  36. Ken Roe on July 13, 2019 at 12:36 am

    Excellent choice of trailers , I highly recommend buying a Bushtec Trailer. I really enjoy pulling my Bushtec Trailer because I can’t even tell it’s behind me . I think it would be A good idea to invest in a spare tire and wheel .
    I also bring along a set of wheel bearings and shocks.
    Chances are you’ll never need these spare parts, but if you ever do you won’t be able to go to a parts store and purchase them because they’re made specifically for Bushtec, and Bushtec is the only place that you can purchase them .
    So if any of the parts go bad while your a long way from home enjoying you Vacation .
    Guess what ?
    Your stuck !

    O-ya , and always leave your trailer hitched to your bike unless to want it to be stolen unfortunately it only takes two Guys and a Pickup truck for it to be gone in 10 seconds or less and I’ve heard of this happening a lot , so don’t let it happen to you !

    Stay Safe .

  37. sport national on July 13, 2019 at 12:37 am

    The trailer has no brake?

  38. Howard Rosenthal on July 13, 2019 at 12:37 am

    On my trailers I leave a little extra length on the safety chains, but use a bungy to take up the slack. The bungy has no real strength so won’t interfere with the chain, but keeps it snug and reduces rattle. (note I do this on trailers I tow with the car; I don’t tow with the bike (yet)).

  39. micheal linderman on July 13, 2019 at 12:39 am

    How is the license plate held on?

  40. Sledge1957 on July 13, 2019 at 12:40 am

    If you pull a trailer alot, will you experience higher rear tire tread wear?

  41. Joe Jones on July 13, 2019 at 12:40 am

    I really like your videos, but there are MANY errors in this one. As someone who has towed every manor of trailer behind a motorcycle, I am CRINGING at what I am watching here.

    First, the BUSHTEC trailer design is severely flawed. The large BOLT protruding down from the hitch is a horrible design. Should the trailer come off of the hitch (not bloody likely, but …) that BOLT will impale itself into the asphalt, or a crack, or some other solid obstruction, and that will stop the bike in a New York second. Roll over a sewer grate and that bolt will drop into a slot and STOP that trailer faster than you can say, "Over the handlebars I go!" I see the narrow chrome loop farther back on the tongue, but that will bend backward at the first hit, and become useless. If it twists when it bends, it become a steel LOOP to hook onto something. That loop should be wider, and have a web inside of it for strength. If the chains don’t break, then the bike ALSO stops on a dime, but the rider and passenger keep moving forward. The tongue should have some plate or something to allow it to SLIDE on the pavement and over minor variances in the pavement if it hits the ground while being towed.

    Second, the position where BUSHTEC decided to connect the chains is a FREAKING JOKE. The chains are supposed to catch the tongue if it comes off of the hitch. Crossing the chains is correct, but that ‘X’ must be able to catch the tongue when it pops off of the hitch and drops. The length of those chains means the tongue will easily drop through the back side of the ‘X’ and hit the ground, so the chains are useless in that configuration in the video. The length also means that when the bike brakes, the tongue can move forward into the rear wheel, causing a disaster. The chains should not allow the tongue to hit the rear wheel, because if the tongue DOES hit the rear tire, the tire will lift it up into the frame, and may even lift the rear wheel off of the ground in the process.

    The chains should only be as long as necessary to allow the trailer to swing from side to side , yet not SO tight that they bind around the nut that holds the ball onto the receiver. Your chains are connected too far forward in the front, and WAY too far backward on the trailer.

    Sorry for the report, but I would never tow a trailer that was hitched to the bike like that. It is a recipe for a disaster.

  42. Goldwing Channel on July 13, 2019 at 12:42 am

    Very nice trailer !

  43. Kur Norock on July 13, 2019 at 12:43 am

    Lol seriously with covering the license plate? You know you show that to hundreds or thousands of people every time you go riding right?

  44. Endeavor Trikes on July 13, 2019 at 12:43 am

    I build my own trailers and we travel with one in tow as a standard. Like pulling a trailer behind your car or truck it’s mostly common sense. and with a two wheel bike it definitely will affect handling, braking and control so one must use caution. We try to keep our trailer as light as possible and avoid that tendency to haul the kitchen sink along with us. I guess this means light beer also.

  45. Oscar Muffin on July 13, 2019 at 12:44 am

    I didn’t see any attachment points in that trailer? How do you tie heavy items down.

  46. aaron fuksa on July 13, 2019 at 12:46 am

    a single wheel trailer most all the weight on tongue.

  47. Todd Price on July 13, 2019 at 12:48 am

    Another great video cruise man can’t wait to meet you at wingding have a safe trip see you soon

  48. MemphisMike on July 13, 2019 at 12:48 am

    As always…fantastic vid and well put together. Good tips at the end as well…Defintely need to watch the "tail swing" to avoid hitting objects. Im afraid when I get to wingDing Im gonna feel the heat of the Trailer gods in the vendor section and want to get one. AS i mentioned on your FB, I really love the little Unigo..I fear it may not have a large enough capacity…On the flip side…My wife & I have traveled 4 years now(2-up) WITHOUT a trailer so anymore extra space would be a bonus at times. One question…do you carry a spare trailer tire with you?

  49. Richard Reardon on July 13, 2019 at 12:48 am

    Great job with the video, one comment though. On your locking rings that you put on the trailer to connect the chains, the rings should be turned down so when you screw the nut down you and not screwing the nut up – this way if the nut where to come loose it is not going to unscrew like you where tightening the nut. Ha e a safe trip to Wing Ding. 👍🏼

  50. Larry Burgoyne on July 13, 2019 at 12:51 am

    Seems like the cooler full of ice and drinks would throw off the 10% tongue weight alot? Do you have to add cargo to the trailer when using the cooler because of this or is it not that much of an issue?