Let’s say you just bought a motorcycle, great, congratulations! How do you know what size trailer or truck bed will be big enough to fit your motorcycle? You have to get it home, but the motorcycle looks pretty big, and your truck bed, or trailer, looks pretty small. Don’t worry, here is a simple way to make sure that your motorcycle will fit in your truck bed or trailer:
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Step 1: Find the dimensions of your year/make/model online
Start by looking for specifications for your particular year/make/model of motorcycle online. You can use websites like bikez.com, or just search on Google something like: “2006 Harley-Davidson Night Rod length” and get a result that looks similar to this:
If you find that the total length of your motorcycle is less than the length of your truck bed or trailer, you’re in luck! Nothing more for you to read here, your bike fits.
Step 2: Focus on the wheelbase
If the length of your motorcycle is longer than the length of the truck bed or trailer you’ll be using to bring your motorcycle home, don’t worry, you might still be alright. Length isn’t the most important part. In my case, I was hired to pick up a 2010 Honda Fury for a customer. The Fury is about 8 feet long, but the platform I was going to be towing it on was closer to 8’9″. Uh oh.
Don’t worry too much about the overall length. Focus on the wheelbase instead. Wheelbase is the distance between the front axle and the rear axle. Wheelbase is one of the most important parts of figuring out what size motorcycle trailer or truck bed you need. In the case of the Honda Fury, the wheelbase is about 71″.
Step 3: Factor in half of the front rim size, plus a bit more
When trying to determine what size trailer or truck bed you need to tow your motorcycle, remember that everything behind the rear axle doesn’t matter. If it overhangs off the end of your truck bed or motorcycle trailer, that’s okay.
What really matters is the distance between the rear axle, and a few inches in front of the motorcycle. In the case of the Honda Fury, we have a 71″ wheelbase, and the internet tells us that the motorcycle has a 21″ rim (half of which will be in front of the axle). That puts us at 81.5″ from the rear axle to the front of the rim, and I estimated another 5″ more in front of that for the rubber tire, plus the wheel chock I use to hold the bike up.
Step 4: Do the math
That brings the total length I need to worry about to a 71″ wheelbase + 10.5″ of rim + about 5 inches of tire and wheel chock, for a total length of about 86″-87″. I would need a trailer or truck bed that was about 86″ or 87″ to support the Fury, even though the Fury is over 96″ long. In other words, my 92″ motorcycle trailer can fit the 96″ Honda Fury on it.
But what if the distance that matters is too long?
If the distance from the rear axle to a few inches in front of the motorcycle is still longer than your truck bed or motorcycle trailer, you’re not completely out of luck. You can measure your truck bed or trailer diagonally. The length from corner to corner will be longer than the length from front to back.
How can I keep my motorcycle covered and protected?
A new product on the market is this trailerable motorcycle cover that I had the chance to review earlier this year. It’s made for bigger touring bikes and custom choppers, so it should fit longer motorcycles just fine.
On that note, if you’re looking for a cover for your truck itself, I use this premium Platinum Shield Truck Cover on my truck.
You don’t have to measure a motorcycle in person to know if it’ll fit in your truck bed or on your motorcycle trailer. All you have to do is look up the motorcycle’s length, wheelbase, and front rim size. I had no idea if this 96″ Honda Fury would fit on my 92″ platform, but after a little homework on the internet and some quick math, I knew I could do it.
If you have any questions, please leave them down in the comments section and I’ll be happy to help you!