Scooters are not known for having ample built-in storage options. You have the seat box and maybe a rack on the rear. If you’re lucky you have a cubby or semi-glove compartment, and you can always add a rack on the front. Oh! Don’t forget about the hook you might have for a small bag between your feet. All of the options that fit in these spots are small, and the accessories that fit on them are not generally very spacious. Maybe you saw a cool mini-camper attached to a motorcycle cruising down the interstate. If you have more cargo to haul or an adventurous soul eager to use your scooter to camp, you may be wondering if it is possible to tow a trailer with your scooter.
Towing a trailer is not feasible on scooters. Trailer manufacturers and industry publications require an engine size of 1000cc or more to safely pull trailers. There are options with higher motor sizes, but it is not recommended for your safety.
Personally, I was hoping to find some more positive news with a larger scooter at least as I have the scooter camping bug. However, after looking into this further I discovered there are a few factors to consider in regards to towing trailers that apply to all vehicles: speed, weight, and laws.
The speed your scooter travels at normally is based on the weight that is normally on it. Your weight, in addition to, your cargo all add up. Even if you add a small trailer, the weight of this trailer will slow your scooter down. Breaking out a little high-level physics here, but the more weight you add the slower your scooter will travel. Trailers built for this purpose tend to be aerodynamic and around the same width as a motorcycle to limit the wind drag, but the extra weight still impacts your motor’s ability to keep you moving. Long story short, the extra weight and the physics of adding a trailer add a strain on your motor and how fast it can travel.
I’ve already touched on weight as it relates to speed, but this is in reference to tow weights in relation to your 2-wheeled tow vehicle’s size. A general rule is that you should not load a trailer with a weight that is greater than half of your scooter’s weight. My scooter is 220 pounds, so my max would be 120 pounds. Can you imagine toting around such a lightweight item behind you? There is a balance with towing in that it needs to be light and aerodynamic but also sturdy enough to be stable. Scooters in general don’t lend to a good weight to be safe. Below are a few scooter weights to help you see about where your scooter fits in this conversation:
In order to tow a trailer, there are laws that apply to both the trailer and the towing vehicle. At the federal level, you would have to go beyond 10,000 pounds or be transporting hazardous materials to fall under their regulations. However, without looking into each state individually, you’ll need a hitch, safety chains and lights at a minimum to pull a trailer. The laws can certainly be addressed as they are in traditional trailer pulling set ups. The set up would entail a hitch attached that would be sturdy enough for the frame of your scooter to handle. In addition, the lighting considerations would require some work integrating and possibly upgrading your existing lighting set up to accommodate more lights. The legal considerations do not necessarily kill the idea, but you may want to look into your specific state’s laws to ensure you cover them completely.
What About a Bike Trailer?
Your scooter is simply too fast for a trailer intended for a bicycle. How often is that the answer when you are talking about a scooter?! The manufacturers that have published information about speed say that their bike trailers are not meant to go more than around 15 miles per hour (mph) on average. The max they can handle in short bursts is right at 20 mph. The wheels and frame of the bike trailer just can not handle the demands of motor scooting even if you are feeling creative enough to connect one to your scooter.
But I Saw a Guy….
Yes, there are trailers out there. You will see even more of them if that guy has a 650cc+ sized scooter. A little duct tape and ingenuity are alive and well, but the safety information for commercially available options, as well as, the United States based motorcycle and scooter groups just do not recommend it unless your scooter is 1000cc+.
If You Are Going to Make One….
I certainly can not recommend it, and I do not have the skills to make one even if I wanted to. With a quick Google search, it isn’t hard to find a few ideas out there. If you are going down this path, you will want to have some experience riding in general before you add length to your ride with a trailer. Adding a trailer changes the dynamics of the ride. Starts, turns, and stops will all be impacted by a trailer, so this is another instance where you’ll want to practice in a lower traffic location and time to get acclimated. Make sure you feel that difference, especially in regards to braking as the trailer’s weight will add to the force that pushes you forward.
I certainly can not recommend it, and I do not have the skills to make one even if I wanted to. However, with a quick Google search, it is not hard to find a few ideas out there. There are Do-It-Yourself (DIY) options for 50cc mopeds even! If you are going down this path, keep these thoughts in mind.
You will want to have some experience riding in general before you add length to your ride with a trailer, but I imagine if you are this far down the path that you’re fine in this respect. Regardless, adding a trailer changes the dynamics of the ride. Starts, turns, and stops will all be impacted by a trailer, so this is another instance where you’ll want to practice in a lower traffic location and time to get acclimated to the change to the ride. Make sure you feel that difference, especially in regards to braking as the trailer’s weight will add extra force that pushes you forward.
Also, be mindful of your scooter. It wasn’t designed with this use in mind, so you can run into problems to be aware of.
- You will need to rig a hitch to the frame, so be careful here. The frame of your scooter wasn’t designed for the weight of a trailer.
- You will likely need a light connection if the scooter’s lights won’t be visible, so be mindful of the electical draw of the added components.
- Lastly, this was mentioned earlier, but the strain on your motor and transmission can push it to their breaking point.