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Motorcycle Trailer – Vehicle Towing Guide

The Auto Cycle Union (ACU) has launched a guide to towing a motorcycle trailer  – that’s a trailer towed behind a car or van, carrying a motorcycle, not a trailer towed by a motorcycle! The guide covers the law surrounding trailer use, safety checks, and hints.

It’s all good common sense information, the sorts of things we probably assume we know, but maybe don’t in practice. For example, the licencing laws changed in December 2019 and you can now tow a trailer without a towing licence. For driving licences received before 1st January 1997 the maximum authorised mass (MAM) is 8250kg – for post-1st January 1997 licences, it’s 3500kg. Other legal restrictions cover size and weight of the trailer and its load in relation to the towing vehicle. The guide also points out that a simpler, cheaper alternative to a full-size trailer is a trailer dolly, which attaches to the front wheel of the bike.
Finally, though this isn’t included in the guide, let’s not forget that it is still legal to tow a trailer behind a motorcycle, as long as the bike is of 125cc or above and the loaded trailer weighs no more than 150kg or two-thirds of the bike’s kerb weight, whichever is lighter.

Jim Freeman, Chair of the BMF, said: “Trailers are much used by sections of the motorcycling community, for transporting display bikes, racers and ordinary road bikes. I’ll admit to both having used one, and also having a sketchy idea about the technicalities. Having an up to date guide from the ACU is a very useful resource.”

Written by Peter Henshaw

Top image courtesy of Marlon Products