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Old 02-13-2013, 07:46 AM   #1
jules083 OP
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Guys that pull trailers with a bike.

I've been really thinking about a trailer for a few years now, might be pulling the trigger soon. Main 'tow rig' will be a Road King. Depending on how it handles a trailer I might someday get a hitch for my Sportster and/or FJR, but I doubt it. I just don't know about it. Guys say they can't tell it's back there, and reviews say they like it, but I'm still nervous about hooking to a loaded trailer and heading out. Traveling with the girlfriend on the back would be way easier, as we nearly always camp and sometimes go on an actual vacation, meaning stay in the same spot for a few days. Vacation trips involve normal vacation packing. Clothes, hair drier, make-up, kitchen sink, etc.

One of the biggest things that worries me is the trailer hitting a pothole with one tire and starting to sway, I'm not sure how a bike would react to that. I've felt sway with a truck, it's not fun at all. It was an extreme example of an overloaded truck and trailer, but it almost put me on the roof. Truck was sliding sideways and all I could do was hang on. Smaller examples have happened to me, notable the trailer hitting a bump and starting to bounce while hooked to a smaller tow rig. My dually doesn't care what's back there, but I've towed with my Lincoln town car and it's pretty noticeable. Heavy car, soft suspension. I'd imagine tuning the trailer suspension to a specific load would help, maybe with some added shocks or something.

I'd be looking to loosely follow this build:

http://www.gadgetjq.com/trailer.htm

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Old 02-13-2013, 09:22 AM   #2
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In before Dakez's "folly" comments.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:11 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuciferMutt View Post
In before Dakez's "folly" comments.



I know a inmate who tows behind his Wee strom. Trailer? Wee strom? That should "really" fire Dakez up.
I like his setup so much I've been thinking of duplicating it. I'll see if I can get him over here to comment.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:56 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by LuciferMutt View Post
In before Dakez's "folly" comments.



It is not a single tire hitting a pot-hole that brings the worst of it. It is a momentary loss of traction or slipping of the rear tire on some sort of road contaminant that will potentially get you killed.

It takes a few moments to gather the bike... Those moments can put you head on into oncoming traffic.

Pulling a trailer with a motorcycle IS a FOOLS game.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:21 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by DAKEZ View Post
Pulling a trailer with a motorcycle IS a FOOLS game.
I guess what you're really saying, is YOU don't want to pull a trailer with YOUR bike. Fine.

But I would wager that very few of you have seen a GL1800, with passenger, pulling a Unigo trailer... all while ripping up a Gymkhana course! I have seen it, and it impresses me mightily.

All told, pulling a trailer can be compared to piloting a sidecar rig... it's different, and therefore different skills come into play.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:44 AM   #6
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I guess what you're really saying, is YOU don't want to pull a trailer with YOUR bike. Fine.

No, what I am saying is: Pulling a trailer with a motorcycle IS a FOOLS game.

http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2011/...crash-on-i-79/


Matt Michenzi: "I was a witness to this accident and can say that weather was not a factor. The accident stemmed from the operator of the motorcycle not being able to handle the trailer he was towing."
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DAKEZ screwed with this post 02-26-2013 at 09:50 AM
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAKEZ View Post
No, what I am saying is: Pulling a trailer with a motorcycle IS a FOOLS game.

http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2011/...crash-on-i-79/


Matt Michenzi: "I was a witness to this accident and can say that weather was not a factor. The accident stemmed from the operator of the motorcycle not being able to handle the trailer he was towing."

Reading the comment section it was found that the trailer became separated from the hitch and was dragging by the safety chains. Tough to control that in any vehicle. Safety chains with bike trailers are a debate only rivaled by oil preference
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAKEZ View Post
No, what I am saying is: Pulling a trailer with a motorcycle IS a FOOLS game.

http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2011/...crash-on-i-79/


Matt Michenzi: "I was a witness to this accident and can say that weather was not a factor. The accident stemmed from the operator of the motorcycle not being able to handle the trailer he was towing."
and it has been said by DAKEZ and will always be...........regardless of the thousands, nay, hundreds of thousands who know otherwise..........
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:40 AM   #9
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No, what I am saying is: Pulling a trailer with a motorcycle IS a FOOLS game.
A lot of People Die every year riding a Motorcycle, you are 33 times more likely to die on a bike than in a car (based on miles driven) So many people who do not ride will tell you that "Riding a Motorcycle IS a FOOLS game"

Why does that not stop you from riding. there are people all over the world that are telling you how dangerous it is everyday and showing you crashes and fatalities yet you still ride.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:27 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Sadlsor View Post
All told, pulling a trailer can be compared to piloting a sidecar rig... it's different, and therefore different skills come into play.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAKEZ View Post
Matt Michenzi: "I was a witness to this accident and can say that weather was not a factor. The accident stemmed from the operator of the motorcycle not being able to handle the trailer he was towing."
So... you ARE agreeing with me.
Stop fighting it... it's a TRUE statement, as per your own "evidence."
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAKEZ View Post
Pulling a trailer with a motorcycle IS a FOOLS game.

And there is a large percentage of the population that will tell you that riding a motorcycle is a fools game and they can also link you to crash articles to prove thier point. So again whats your point?
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:14 PM   #12
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My HF Tag Along trailer but I can't pull it behind my Ural until my warranty runs out.


So for now, I'll just carry another spare.
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuciferMutt View Post
In before Dakez's "folly" comments.
me too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAKEZ View Post
blah blah blah

Pulling a trailer with a motorcycle IS a FOOLS game.
Nope, didn't make it.
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:43 PM   #14
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I built an HF trailer with a cargo box as well. I did make a few mods to it though, I both narrowed it up (about 4 inches if I recall correctly) to just fit the box between the fenders and shortened the frame to be just a little longer than the box. It's just a little wider than my side boxes. I considered moving the axle inside the springs, but did not like the effect it had on the angle of the tongue on the hitch as it made the tongue ride nose high. That condition can make a trailer want to wag around. I did add a deck to mine with some 3/8" plywood (I think). The ply adds not much weight, does help keep it square and I think help keep the frame from twisting. I did lengthen the tongue about 12 inches. I do not have a full swivel hitch, but I do use a long neck ball. If the bike ever took a nap it might bend the tongue, but otherwise I could drag the pegs if I wanted to.

It came in about 150 pounds, but we never load it very heavy, mostly bulky, but light items... camp chairs, the tent, a small bag of clothes.... etc. Fully loaded I doubt it goes much over 225 pounds. After it was finished, I made several test runs with bags of quik-crete in the box to test handling, etc. On my last test I had 5 bags in it (80 pounds each ~400 pounds). It handled well with that load, but I could REALLY tell it was behind me. With our normal camping load, I can barely tell it's back there, but it does cost me about 2 MPG at highway speeds.

Definately repack the bearings though. And you won't need full pressure in the tires. Lower pressures will help with the trailer bouncing.

We've towed it about 8K miles and never had an issue with the smaller tires, I do carry a spare as well.





As for chains or no chains..... I do run chains to the bike. If the hitch ever came off the ball, I would rather the bike go down and know the trailer was still attached. While a rogue trailer shootiing off and hitting another vehicle would be bad enough, I don't think I'd ever forgive myself if it hit or killed a person walking along the road.

Good luck!

NV
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:40 PM   #15
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NV,
Nice rig. I've pulled trailers in the past behind a Goldwing, Pacific Coast, XT225, CT70 clone, Chinese bobber, SYM HD200,and my W650 without a mishap.
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