Motorcycle Trailer History

I’m not a history buff, but I stumbled upon this story one day and thought it warranted sharing. I’m not sure of its truth, where it comes from, or even who said it first.  It goes a little something like this:

“Way back in the early 1900’s when motorcycles first hit the road, a trailer was used to transport a rider’s lady friend behind his motorcycle. Because of poor hitch connections, the ladies were frequently lost. The rider had to constantly look over his shoulder to ensure she was still there. They had to stop quite frequently to clean off mud and manure, because the streets were not paved and they also had to be shared with teams of horses.

Then they tried to put the passenger carrier in front, like a shopping cart. This proved to be too scary for the passenger. Another solution was to put the carrier beside the motorcycle. Enter the sidecar!

With bigger and sturdier motorcycles, the passenger was moved to the pillion position, behind the rider and the trailer wasn’t used for a long time.”

Now that motorcycles have evolved and the need for more storage and more stuff, trailers to pull behind a motorcycle have made a comeback. Depending on the state, it’s typical to see one out of every ten bikes on the road towing a trailer. In larger groups, trailers usually get to bring up the rear for “defensive riding reasons” and its common to see on trailer for every 5 or 6 riders. “Hauling buddies” or sharing the load is also a good strategy.

I would range a bet to say that the one or two people in the group that do take the extra effort of hauling a trailer (and some friends stuff in them) can rack up a few favors with relatively little effort. A full cooler when it comes time to stop and enjoy a little scenery can be much appreciated by every within throwing distance, and enjoyment spreads back and forth.

So there is a little history and some good pointers for making your next trip, whether pulling a trailer or not, more enjoyable.

Bikers have plenty of good stories and if you care to take a moment and share yours below – or tell me how far off my history of the motorcycle trailers is – please do.

Tall Tales are welcomed also. I heard this quick one recently;

“I heard about this guy that had a pop-up camper and it popped open on the highway and caught like a parachute and threw him off.”         That’s good stuff.


Karl S

Check out these Popular Posts:

Photo –