By James Parchman
[The Stinger Folding Motorcycle Trailer Review was originally published in the September 2008 issue of Rider magazine]
Gene Roddenberry’s famous words, “Space–the final frontier…” could describe the motorcyclist’s incessant quest for more cubic feet in which to store additional moto toys…sorry, moto “necessities.” A good example of a frequently overlooked necessity is a trailer with which to haul your machine(s). The steady stream of four-wheelers trailering two-wheelers to Daytona Bike Week proves that, for a considerable number of us, Mother Nature’s elements are sometimes best enjoyed upon reaching our destination, rather than experienced while traveling toward it.
Travel aside, motorcycle trailers are handy, even indispensable, for getting a sickly motorcycle to the shop, or to avoid committing the better part of a day waiting while the dealer installs new tires and brake pads. Finally, we find a trailer is preferable to a pickup truck for motorcycle transport, especially when singlehandedly loading/unloading.
The problem for many of us is where do we find the space to park this little-used device? No matter if it’s a flatbed or three-railer, the footprint of most trailers sturdy enough to carry large street machines is itself the size of a quartet of Electra Glides.
Rod Haskins, owner of metal bender Maintenance & Fab in Richmond, California, isn’t a rider himself, but his research indicated a market existed for a sturdily built, full-sized motorcycle trailer that folded compactly when not in use. Learning of a dormant but clever design developed by an agricultural trailer company, Haskins struck a deal, made several improvements and the Stinger Folding Motorcycle Trailer was born.
We recently spent some time with a Stinger and found it to be a clever product. The Stinger arrived folded and secured to a wooden pallet. Assembly was simple, and within 20 minutes we had the 180-pound trailer ready to tow. The trailer is not towable in the folded position–that’s for storage only.
A one-car garage, home to our full-sized Chevrolet, couldn’t normally house a motorcycle trailer, too. But the folded Stinger squeezed in nicely. Fully extended, it’s just shy of 13 feet long and has a load capacity of one bike (or one trike on the trike model), with a 3,500-pound load-rated axle. It also includes a 21Ú2-foot loading ramp which folds up during transit. Pull two pins, fold, replace pins and the Stinger becomes about the same size as the 4- by 4-foot pallet it arrived upon. Folded, it’s easy to move around and stores vertically or horizontally.
We loaded and towed several different motorcycles on the Stinger and it handled them well. Its low deck height, wide ramp and well-placed tie-down points make one-person loading easy. The Stinger’s suspension is described as torsion bar. The trailer’s 48-inch stance with large 18-inch-diameter tires made it very stable when loaded, and it tracked just fine at higher-than-legal freeway speeds, and in windy conditions.
Dislikes–just a couple. The Stinger incorporates a proprietary system that replaces the hitch ball with a swivel assembly that bolts directly to the trailer arm. Haskins says it contributes to stability. Granted, but it also means the hitch arm connects at 12 inches or so from the ground. This suits compact cars but requires lowering extensions on taller vehicles, like SUVs. The Stinger must also be attached to your vehicle before loading or unloading a motorcycle.
Stinger Trailers are sold direct and through an expanding dealer network across the United States and Canada. The price is around $1,500, and Haskins says many customers pick up their Stinger at the factory to save on shipping charges. A Stinger trailer for trikes is now available, too.
For more information contact Stinger Trailer–Maintenance & Fab Inc., 555 A Street, Richmond, California 94801; (800) 701-5501, in Canada call (866) 619-0969; www.stingertrailer.com
1. The one with the boards on the side I assume doesn’t fold up
2. Do you have a dealer in Las Vegas, NV
Does the ones with the floor boards fold?
Is there a dealer around NYC area?
yes it folds with the floor boards
Sorry didn’t see your comment until today, the new model with floor boards folds up the exact same way. Shipping is 1999.00 to anywhere in the continuous US. http://www.stingertrailer.com
Just bought one with running boards and yes it folds up
yes it folds
How wide of a rear tire will the stinger accommodate? I have 240 Avon Cobra on my ride. …thanks
Do you have a dealer in Edmonton, Alberta Canada?
I don’t think there is one in Edmonton as we are from Calgary and looked, however, they do have them in Canada in Ontario. Can’t remember the name of the city but hope this info helps a bit.
Is there a model that will fit the 109″ long Victory Cross Country Tour?
Do you plan on fabricating longer one to fit my ride?
If so, are any dealers located in New Jersey?
Do you sell your product in Canada,
I HAVE SENT THIS MESSAGE THREE TIMES TO THE SELLER (CANADA), AND YET TO GET AN ANSWER !!! THE TRAILER IS STILL UNDER WARRENTY.
Hello, ( wheel out of balance ?)
I took the trailer for its first run on hwy over the weekend. It performed very nicely except at exactly 60mph. I could feel and hear rumbling (much vibrations)
58 mph was great so at 62 mph. Tire pressure are at 65psi.
Also,could tell me where to lube and how (drawing would be nice).
Thanks for your time.
I’m independent but some manufacturers rate the wheels and tires to 65 mph so and being a mech engineer I think most of the smaller tires are not going this fast in actual use… I would take it to a MC dealer and get both tires and wheels balanced… most automotive dealers might not be able to handle such small wheel sets…
I had the same problem with a Coleman Caboose trailer… getting a good balance is worth the effort anyway… finding a place that can do balance on small wheels and tires is not easy but some MC dealers can do it… good luck!!!
Hey Patrice, the previous owner had passed away and this is why the company had no response. There is a new owner and they are helping previous customers correct old warranty issues now.
Purchased the trailer to accommodate my 2012 goldwing bike fits on it fine but the ramp will not fold all the way up. Also needs more tie down points overall a good trailer. One more thing the spacer sleeve for the hitch is long a leaves a lot play in it not sure if by design or not.
I have a 2007 Gold Wing which I towed to FL from MN. There doesn’t seem to be a good way to tie the back down. What solution did you come up with? Have you thought of modifying the trailer to accommodate more tie down locations?
I take the side covers off and put straps on the frame and I also use additional straps around the front and rear crash bars and hook on to the side tiedowns for stability.
Thanks for the information. If you could possibly send a picture of how you have tied your Gold Wing down that would be most helpful. I, too, took the side covers off but the straps got in the way of the passenger floorboards. It seems that the trailer’s tie down location is too close to the bike and the straps then rub on the bike. Did you experience this as well? Thanks again.
I have a chevrolet sonic hatch back 1.4 turbo with class one hitch, can I still use it for my 400lbs sport bike?
If yes, what do I need, thx
E-Mailed Canadian Company a few times, no response. I’ll look for another trailer to accommodate my boyfriends Harley.
We called and got right through. 1-800-577-8809
I’m looking at this Stinger trailer and have two concerns.
1- The tires look small for highway travel, I travel from NY to NC to FL each year at around 75 MPH. my golf cart has the same size 8″ rim tires but wider for riding on the course and are only top rated for 45MPH my cart only goes 20MPH.
2- Do the ramps and hitch come with the trailer of is it an option.
I have a 2003 Beetle. My hitch is limited to 200# tongue weight. In your pics it appears that a lot of the bike’s weight will be on the hitch and tongue. Can you tell me what the tongue weight will be with a full size Harley dresser? Can the bike be moved back to put more weight directly over the axle?
I just purchased a new Stinger (from Kyle at the Ontario location, who promptly answered all emails and phone calls) in September and drove 1400 miles from Milwaukee to Houston without any issues. I have a Kawasaki 750, so I can’t say how well a larger bike would be.
Tony’s comment above concerned speed, and all I can say is that I travelled at 75 mph most of the way down here and it was fine. In fact, it was so smooth that I was finding myself frequently checking if it was still attached!
And…I saw no apparent change in gasoline consumption.
The trailer has a weak spot, and mine broke last month. I tried to contact the manufacturer to describe the problem, but received no answer.
You mention the trailer has a weak spot. What is the weak spot, and what broke on yours last month? Recently bought one, and I’m a bit concerned about my purchase.
Thanks for your time in advance.
where did it brake
Not sure where Silias’s trailer broke? but, this trailer and bike was on a 800 mile trip north when one of the fenders flew off on the freeway somewhere? after traveling who knows how long? it was noticed missing on a fuel stop. Upon inspection it looked like both fenders were flexing from bumps and wind? ,as if you were standing next to the trailer with both hands on the fender pushing in and out of the side of the trailer until the flat steel broke at the top bolts where the fender mounts. Inspection of the other fender showed a simmilar cracked plate and a little tug, it snapped in the same place also! Go check your fender mounts for cracks!!
Has anyone checked the tongue weight with their Gold Wing or other heavy bike loaded?
Any owners in the Seattle area?
Does the double trailer need to have 2 bikes on it for balance and stability?
i got a springier 2005 on it at 70 mile an hours for 5 hours strait,just perfect for me
Do you have any dealers in Fl that stock them 34986 zip code
I own one and use it for a Honda VTX 1800 – a monster size bike. Good news is it fits with easily 1/4 inch in length to spare. Bad news. Getting off the bike and tieing it down is a nightmare. I added 4 spring loaded pull out ratchet tie downs, so I can now literally lean down and attach all 4 tie downs with reasonable tension BEFORE GETTING OFF. I also preplace an 8″ thick wood block to catch the kick stand. Finally, the wobbly nature of the trailer led me to weld solid all of the attachment points and weld stabilizer bars from the front tie down bar to the axle. Now it is solid. No longer foldable but beautiful trailer.
how is the performance of the tandem trailer when transporting one full dress Harley. is there special provisions needed to do so?
I hauled a 1.100 pound touring scoot around 20 years, with a trailer that had 8 inch rims. Never had a single problem with that. My issue with this I see videos on boobtube with large cruisers collapsing the trailer at the wheel chock. It does not appear to have a strong enough rail. and needs to be beefed up, and not enough tie down points. I will pass on this trailer.
Ordered the stinger xl112 from Cambridge. Paid the fee with cc. Phoned the next day to follow up re shipping The guy was such a complete ass that I cancelled the order
live in the prairies ordered the trailer 3 weeks ago . phoned but got know answer. this was in july now end of August. going to snow here soon
I assume it has to be licensed and registered. But iv never seen one with plates
Well, found this old article as i was looking for a spec on my Stinger Trike trailer – too lazy to yank the thing out and unfold it at the current time – yes lazy. However – i have had zero problems with mine from the beginning process of paying, communication, and shipping (took about 30 days due to customs) to registering this into the US, PA dot. I am glad i bought it when i did. Too bad its discontinued it seems – but then again, are you ever going to buy 2 ? Folds perfect, and hopefully stays that way.
I used the stinger single bike trailer to haul my Honda Xl350 500 miles being pulled by a VW Jetta- no problem at 70 mph. Just used the stinger to tow my BMW R1150RT that broke down in Las Vegas- 270 mile at 65-70 mph, no problem ( with VW Jetta). But did notice after towing to final destination that the front of the trailer rack was 1” from the ground. I then towed a BMW f800gs with a Mazda CX-5 and the front of the rack was still 1” from the ground. I put a 6” rise hitch to lift the front up so it wouldn’t scrap the ground. I then got an extreme high speed wobble (at50 mph) almost tossing my bike off. I had to take MC off trailer and ride it the 80 miles home in short and no riding gear. I’m thinking it’s the front swivel hitch that might be causing the front to slope to 1” of the ground and cause the instability of the high speed wobble. I think I’ll change it to a ball hitch type and see if that improves the trailer issues.