A Bike Trailer on a Scooter?

Scooter trailerFor some reason, we answer a lot of bike trailer questions at the shop. “Can I carry an accordion in a dog trailer?”, for instance. Or, “Do you have a trailer I can pull behind my car, to carry an upright bass, so my bike can ride inside?” One we get frequently is, “Which trailer will work best with my scooter?”

This is a difficult one to answer, given that it usually comes from people who cobbled their scooter together from old bike, car, and chainsaw parts. Our hats are off to these intrepid engineers of the two-wheeled, fuel-efficient revolution. Unfortunately, there are no easy answers here. We do have some general advice for the motor-assisted, though.

In general there are three factors to consider when evaluating a bike trailer for your scooter: speed, connectivity, and the law. Depending on the size of your engine, the average speed of a scooter may run between 25 and 45 mph. Unless you’re Graham Obree, that’s a fair bit faster than a bike. And don’t forget that a bike trailer might weigh as little as twelve pounds when empty, which means an increased risk of rolling the trailer over.

Hooking the trailer to the scooter is another issue. For those who have a commercially built scooter, the drivetrain is usually located on the left side, the same side that most two-wheeled trailers attach to, and because most cargo trailers use some type of axle-mounted hitch, this means you will have to find a way to mount the hitch to the scooter frame. It also means that single-wheeled trailers are right out. If the scooter is actually a modified bike frame, you may have more success here.

Finally, there’s the law. Scooters are licensed vehicles in most states, which may add a few requirements to the use of trailers. Specifically, you need more lights. Here in Arizona, these are the pertinent bits of Title 28, Chapter 3, Article 16: 28-925. Tail lamps; 28-929. Additional lighting equipment required on certain vehicles; 28-931. Lamp colors; 28-932. Reflector and lamp mountings; 28-933. Reflector and lamp visibility; and 28-939. Signal lamps and devices. When you boil all of these down, they say your trailer needs to have rear facing reflectors, tail lights, and brake and turn signals, if the trailer obscures either, and they need to be mounted between 15 and 60″ off the ground.

The Modern Vespa forum has a discussion about commercially available scooter trailers that may help a bit more. One of the few reasonable ones we’ve seen is the Monogo.

Edit 2/01/10: And have a look at the Scoot Boot Scooter Trailer that we recently came across which looks like a great reasonably priced solution as well.

So, which bike trailer works best with a scooter? I dunno, how about the Burley Flatbed?

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6 thoughts on “A Bike Trailer on a Scooter?”

  1. ZumaKing says:

    A scooter trailer exists alreay. They sell them at http://www.scootboot.com/

  2. I’ve seen a few of these before as ZumaKing has mentioned and linked to. The one pictured in the photo however is fantastic and would look great with the retro styled Vespa.

    Thanks for the article.

  3. kaleigh says:

    i currently put my puppy in a carrier that sits on the scooter seat but he is quickly outgrowing it. he is an english bulldog. i was thinking about a sidecar but the cheapest one is 3x the price of my scooter. i may as well just buy a car. i am thinking that there may be a way to convert a bicycle pet trailer to attach to my scooter. i have my concerns however. i wouldn’t want the trailer to be too close to the exhaust for one thing. would the best way to do it be to convert the trailer to attach to the side like a side car?

  4. Charles says:

    Pets / Humans / Kids

    Any kind of trailer behind a gas powered scooter should be only for cargo. Pets/Humans/Kids are none of that. Due to the exaust fumes as mentioned above. Just double confirming what has been said. Design and pull anything you want. Just keep it safe!

  5. C Banks says:

    I had a 50cc chinese scooter and loved riding it so much I decided to figure out a way to carry cargo so I could use it to go grocery shopping. I found a used bike trailer (the type meant to carry kids) and when I went to go and look at it and check out the hitch I found out that I could mount the hitch on the bottom of the left shock bolt. I ended up going to the hardware store and got a longer bolt about 1/2″ and mounted the hitch on. It worked great. The trailer road along fine. Just have to watch out for tight turns and curbs. My scooter only went 30mph so it did fine hauling groceries and stuff. I am now thinking of moving up to a 150 and seeing if the trailer can handle the extra speed of 50mph. I am thinking about taking a road trip if it works out ok. This way I can pack up my camping gear in the trailer instead of strapping everything to the scooter. I think it’s also safer and not having to worry about stuff falling off the scooter as your going down the road. Try to keep the total weight inside the trailer at under 100 lbs. and you should be fine.

  6. Ken G says:

    I would think that the wheels and tires would be the limiting factor if the frame is not overloaded. Look at pit bike front wheels/tires on EBay. Appropriate axles and spacers are available there too. They’re heavier duty and have sealed ball bearings that could handle any speed and load that a scooter could dish out.

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