Single-Wheel Motorcycle Trailer

A motorbike might not take up a lot of parking space, but this is not true for the trailer required to transport one. To solve this problem, [Make It Extreme] built a custom single-wheel motorbike trailer barely wider than the motorcycle itself.

The frame of the trailer is welded together from a couple of sections of large diameter steel tube, with a single car wheel mounted to a C-shaped portion on the rear end. A standard ball hitch would allow the entire trailer to tilt over to one side, so a pin hitch is used instead, with a pivot to allow up and down movement. Another pivot was added to the frame just ahead of the rear wheel to allow the trailer to lower to the ground for loading. It is raised and lowered with a manually pumped hydraulic cylinder, and a small pivoting ramp at the back also acts as a stop for the motorbike’s rear wheel. With the rigid frame and no suspension, we’re just wondering how well it will handle bumps at high speed.

[Make It Extreme] really likes his recreational vehicles, which include a monotrack motorbike, a monowheel, and an all-terrain hoverboard, among others.

37 thoughts on “Single-Wheel Motorcycle Trailer

    1. Or how far it might slide out or twist, when you go around a sharp bend. There’s not a lot of support and the bike is making it rather top heavy. Not to mention the bike is pretty exposed to stone chips etc.

      1. i am terrified of the turning behavior of this. it’s not a question of if, just a question of when you will forget that you have to take all turns at a speed that is like radius/20s.

        at first this seemed smart because it reminded me of third wheel bike trailers, like to convert any bike into a tandem (usually with a much lighter second rider, a child). but those only work because both riders are compelled to lean into the corner together.

      1. In general yes, but if anything goes wrong with the attachment hardware on this, it’s going to topple on its side immediately and slide to a stop. It doesn’t have the runaway coasting problem that most trailers have.
        But as others have noted, there are also issues with that: the mounting hardware takes a lot of torque during turns.

  1. As much as I think this is a very cool build, I find myself thinking that using an air spring/shock would have been a much better choice. Hydraulic fluid is technically incompressible, so your trailer technically has no suspension. Now imagine hitting a bump at highway speed. That trailer is going to bounce all over the place. It seems to me it would be quite easy to swap the hydraulic pump with an air pump, which seems likely to work even if you keep the same cylinder.

    1. I agree that the pins and bushings at the hitch are doing a lot of work, but I would say the hitch pivot was built plenty heavy duty.

      The CG. is high but definitely far enough forward.

      I do think it might bounce badly without the bike on it.

  2. It’s an interesting build, but I would raise questions about how well it works at highway speeds and if it’s road legal (no license plate or anywhere to put one, no lights on it either)

      1. nope – we do not have cacti on road sides in Poland :P in MiE info on YT channel location is Greece.

        as for twisting – he made special hitch – it is not snapped to towing ball – so trailer should not twist, bike is strapped… in most Europe countries towing is allowed up to 70kmh

        only concern is lack of suspension as hydraulic hinge is not compressing – and tire is low profile so it will not spring back a lot

        lack of registration number and rear lights welcomes pull over by police – and lack of insurance – man – you are in deep …trouble – or costly one ;)

    1. Laws vary, but in my state a trailer that size wouldn’t get a plate, just a sticker on the tongue, don’t even think you need to renew them. Lights might also be optional when it doesn’t block the vehicle lights. Again laws vary but I could believe this would be street legal in some municipalities.

  3. An interesting build! I too wonder about the stress on the hitch’s hinge pin.

    There is a type of one-wheel trailer that uses two hitches, a meter or so apart, at the outer ends of the tow vehicle’s bumper. The single wheel was a caster, so it was free to pivot as you turned. The advantage of this type of trailer is that it made it easy to back up.

    The single caster wheel also had suspension (a spring and shock absorber).

    I haven’t see a trailer of this type that was long enough to hold a motorcycle, but I imagine it could be done.

  4. I had some initial questions about the hinge (described very briefly as a “pin hinge”), but it’s show pretty well at around 8:12 in the video. Looks like it pivots in yaw and pitch, but is rigid (and relatively beefy) in roll. I agree that it’s gonna have a huge amount of twisting torque on the roll axis if you take a sharp turn fast with a tall, heavy bike, but I haven’t done any math so I have no idea if it is likely to fail there or not.

  5. Despite all the questions and concerns about this trailer – the fact remains this guy got out of his house and actually fabbed something up instead of sitting around reading about someone else doing it on internet. Mad Respect for him and I like this trailer – brilliant!

    1. I’m pretty sure he reads about other people doing things on the internet, too. I’d say it’s fair to assume that a lot of the people who read here tend to build things pretty regularly. You’re all upset about nothing.

      1. I’m not upset and never said I was. I read a lot of critique online from others and honestly I swear they spend more time doing that than doing actual builds. I like how you assume that he he reads about people doing things on internet. While you’re at it – let’s assume he’s passing judgement and critiquing other’s designs. Yeah that’s it! And he built this trailer just to prove them all wrong! Even more so, he purposefully built some things wrong so he could further troll the internet community. Wow! I never know pretending to be a big ol’ king alpha male on his internet throne could be so fun! Yeehaw!

  6. I think the trailer would ride better with a taller sidewall tire & less pressure in the tire. Empty any trailer is going to bounce like a superball. The bike is going to fall off the trailer not because the trailer is flawed but because he did not strap the front end in right.

  7. At 6:02 he is relying on a single locknut for the pivoting wheel assembly. I really think this should really be two nuts, a keyway and a soft metal lockwasher sandwiched between them. Once the outer nut is tightened the washer is folded against a face of the outer nut. Well that’s the way the wheels are secured on the axles in my WWII army jeep, and they aint fallen off in almost 80 years…

    Also – with all that workshop gear including a large lathe, large milling machine, bandsaw etc etc etc he uses a rattle can to do his painting. Does he not have a compressor and spraygun? Call me bemused!

  8. http://www.singlewheel.com/Auto/HeiliteFR.htm

    I almost bought one of those a while ago. It was the right size for what I wanted, but the thought of everything riding on what looks like a single golf cart wheel bothered me too much. That and they stay directly behind the vehicle instead of articulating, so it’s like driving around with an extra 10 feet of rear overhang on your vehicle.

    1. You can buy a modern CE approved version of them with two wheels + suspension, but you load the bike across the trailer from one side, so they dont add much length. They have double hitches to the trailing vehicle and dont add too much length. I’m thinking of one for the rear of my camper van as its at its gtw with just people and equipment.

  9. Will the back wheel of the bike free wheel like a bicycle? You could just put the front wheel on a hitch mounted carrier and leave the back wheel on the road and have an even smaller trailer.
    In some jurisdiction if transporting a vehicle the vehicle plate is the trailer plate. This can be a problem when empty you have no plate.

    1. I guess a trailer allows for the bike to get home even if it’s broken during one of its competitions. If the tyre goes flat, if the rear wheel is broken, if the wheel bearing is broken, if the rear suspension is broken, if the gearbox is broken, etc., etc.

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