|05-12-2012, 02:29 PM||#1|
Joined: Nov 2004
Location: Kingman, AZ
Bushec hitch for my Vee and Spartan trailer
I posted this over on the Stromtrooper forum but thought more people interested in towing a trailer might look here for information. I know that not everyone cares to try, but that's not the point of this report, if you don't care for trailers I guess that's your business.....
My intent with this report is not start a peeing contest with those of you that think towing a trailer behind your Vee is just wrong, I just want to provide a report for those that might be curious about carrying all they need for a really comfortable trip, and of course if you wife is like mine, one saddlebag will not do the trick for all her stuff.....and perhaps you really enjoy cold adult beverages in camp. So, if you have a contrary opinion about towing a trailer, so be it, I don't care......
A couple of weeks ago I contacted Bushtec about buying a new Spartan. The sales guy, Scott, told me that they agreed that the Spartan trailer was perfectly matched with a dual sport bike. The problem though was he didn't have a hitch available for my DL, but, if I was willing to put up with a hell of a trip, they would use my bike to prototype the hitch....so, what the heck it's only 2000 miles from Kingman, AZ to Jacksboro, so off I went to Tennessee. I had origionally planned to ride as I have all the time in the world now that I'm retired, but the Wednesday before my planned friday departure I started checking the weather and low and behold there were red flag warnings all across northern arizona, new mexico, texas and oklahoma....so, I'm embarrased to say, on Thursday I broke our the Kendon and trailered the bike to Tennessee. It was just as well, the gusts hit 70mph in Albuquerque.
As it worked out, I was fortunate in that a guy with a Wee had been there a few weeks before and all the really hard work of prototying the hitch was already complete. The only thing that had to be done was figure out the tab location for the muffler bolt and rear peg bolt for the "other" side. The basic work for the receiver hitch had already been done. As it worked out the receiver and stinger from a BMW 1600 was pretty much the right angle and size which was all determined by prototyping the 650. Long story short, I was 2 1/2 days at the factory and left with a new hitch that had been sent out for powdercoating and installed before I left.
A word or two about Bushtec. They are a small company that does almost all the work on their trailers in house. They have a fully equipped machine shop with the latest CNC machines and tech's that really know their business. The fiberglass guys hand finish each and every fiberglass trailer they build. The guy that does their prototyping is their Product Development guy Paul, he is great to work with, and Bushtec is not his first rodeo. While he was working on the hitch I mentioned that in Arizona it gets so hot that it would really be handy to have a small cooler carrier that would plug into the hitch when the trailer is not attached.....he had one designed and welded up in about 30 minutes....
Their Spartan trailer is ideally suited to the dual sport bike, take a look at their web site and you will see what I mean. What you get for $1500 is a fantastic trailer with all the Bushtech suspension high tech, but at a bargain price. The typical Bushece will cost you from $4 to $5 thousand....as I said the Spartan is a bargan.
On the subject of trailers, I have owned two in my 40 odd years of riding. I started with a Neosho with a torsion suspension back in the 80's that I pulled with a BMW. I pulled it tens of thousands of miles, and it worked great, but if you hit a bump it would go airborne. Same with the highly modified Harbor Freight trailer I built several years ago, bounced like a basketball if you hit a bump.....that is why when they finally built one that was affordable, I bought a Bushtec. If you have ever seen their display at a rally, they love to pick up a trailer and demonstrate a 3 foot drop where the trailer doesn't bounce a bit, it just hits the ground and stops. Seems to me it will be great on a forest service road at speed or perhaps on the Dempster or other gravel roads in the far north. I have ridden most of them, but without a trailer....I don't think the Spartan will even let you know it's back there.
Having told you that the trailer only cost $1499 I need to provide full disclosure. After you add a couple of farkles, like a cooler carrier and cover, and black powder coated wheels to match the black wheels on my 2012 DL1000 the actual cost is more like 2 grand.
I have no financial interest in Bushtec, and only tell you this story because I really believe they are the best in the industry, and the only one to build a high quality suspension/trailer/hitch that is fit for the purpose.....towing behind a motorcycle. If you are interested, I suggest you ride out and pick it up, save a couple hundred in crating and who knows what in shipping costs. and have a great ride in beautieful country as well.
I have a number of pictures of the prototyping process and finished product, as soon as I get smart enough to post them I will.
Finally, everybody I met at Bushtec was first rate. The GM and factory manager were both great guys, the lady in the front office (who I suspect is really in charge) was a joy to deal with, and had all the paperwork in order to make registration easy when I got home. The guys in the shops were great to deal with. Bushtec recently bought Bunkhouse tent trailers, and I spent several hours with the guys that were figuring out how to improve the design and build of their new product (I was trying to stay our of Paul's way). My Kendon had a minor problem on the way to Tennessee, and the guys in the welding department insisted on fixing it before I left. Great bunch of folks.
Long Distance Rider
|05-12-2012, 05:44 PM||#2|
Joined: Jun 2009
Great post. I have used Bushtec hitches on both of my GL1800s and they are 1st rate stuff. I had not seen or heard of the Spartan so I Googled it and that is a sharp little trailer. I had considered pulling a trailer with my '06 DL1000 before I sold it and had I known about that Spartan I probably would have had one! Have fun with that rig. I'll bet it's SHARP!
P.S.> How about some pics.
|05-21-2012, 10:33 PM||#3|
Ray soon to be AWAY!
Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Packing the bus!
I just got a trailer for my little 250 to use for my upcoming trip... The hitch is made just for my bike and it fits like a glove.
See what you think.
The guy that designes and builds these is an inmate here.
I am looking forward to getting a hitch so I can pull it with my GS too.
My first load was #40 of wood pellets. I could tell it was there but it rode just fine and was no trouble at all. I rode over several high curbs and even some rough rail road tracks with a big pot hole and it did not bounce at all.
Ir is fantastic for running arrands around town and for commuting.
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