While any new motorcycle trailer you buy shouldn't have any major mechanical problems for a long time, things as complicated as a trailer's wheel setup will go bad with enough time. If you ignore a problem with the metal balls comprising the bearings that balance the trailer's wheels, your trailer could suddenly refuse to move completely while it's in the middle of nowhere. Therefore, stay on the look out for these three signs that your motorcycle trailer wheel bearings need to be looked at by a mechanic.
Wheels Start Emitting A Metal Clanking Sound When The Trailer Is Full
When they're working correctly, your trailer's wheel bearings won't emit any audible sound. But when the part holding the metal balls in place isn't facilitating smooth movement anymore and there's a lot of extra weight from a motorcycle in the trailer, a metal clanking sound will become audible during movement.
It'll take time between the first appearance of this sound and total failure of the wheel bearings. Nonetheless, to prevent further damage to your wheels and keep your repair bill as low as possible, it's imperative that you transport the trailer to a mechanic as soon as possible.
Trailer Moves Sluggishly When You Tow It In The Rain
All the parts around the wheel bearings should be completely insulating the metal balls from the elements. If even a little bit of rainwater gets into the bearings like at an enclosed motorcycle trailer sales center, the balls will stop moving smoothly and the trailer will only move in jerky and sluggish movements.
Especially if you don't have a garage to shield your trailer from water, you need to act quickly. As more water penetrates your trailer wheels and accumulates in the parts of the bearings that are breached, total replacement of a bunch of expensive parts becomes more and more likely to be your only option.
Metal Balls Look Warped And Misshapen When You Remove Them For Greasing
Since the wheels on motorcycle trailers are often smaller than normal automotive wheels, you shouldn't shy away from removing some of the parts on them and greasing the bearings. If all the metal balls look warped and misshapen when you expose them, you know that there's something seriously wrong with your whole bearings setup.
Even if your trailer moves perfectly fine once you put the wheels back in place, you don't want to let a hidden problem like warped bearing balls fester for long. Before you commit to moving a motorcycle across a long distance with your trailer, get a mechanic to ascertain whether the wheels' bearings are capable are supporting the journey.