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Old 02-26-2013, 03:32 AM   #49
Outside the Pod-bay
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Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Just off the Warrego, S.E. Queensland
Oddometer: 1,779
Originally Posted by mikerthebiker View Post
If you keep more weight ahead of your trailer axle than behind it, your trailer will not sway, regardless of tongue length. . . .
Sway is more common when towing by motorcycle because a motorcycle doesn't travel in a straight line.

As the motorcycle does its slow (and shallow) continuous "S" along the highway the trailer is constantly being tugged to the left, then right, then left, then right. So, at the commencement of a motorcycle move to the right - the tongue of the trailer will have a minute leftward angle . . . then visa versa!

One can measure the trailer's input at the towball. Just park (centrestand is best!) with bike and trailer in straight line. Chock one trailer wheel well, and have someone push & pull (forward & backwards) on the other wheel.

The amount of force applied by the hitch at the towball will be GREATER for the same force applied at the unhindered trailer wheel on a SHORT tongue trailer, than with a trailer of the SAME TYPE with LONGER tongue. Its all according to the laws of leverage. As the length of the tongue increases so the length of the axle looses its leverage advantage.

Just like one gains an advantage over a stubborn fastener by choosing a longer tool, so the longer tongue; when matched with the SAME AXLE (or a shorter axle) lessens the axle's leverage at the ball.

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Folk aim for a certain measure of positive load on the towball but increasing speed reduces that, just as the load increases during braking. The recommended load on the ball only holds at a constant speed!
'08 Suzuki AN650A Burgman (and trailer)
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