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Old 02-19-2013, 01:22 AM   #46
vortexau
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trl Rdr View Post
The hitch length rule of thumb is: Length = 2.5 X the wheel to wheel distance. Start the hitch length measurement from the wheel axle's. From Bob Carpenter in the late 80's.

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk 2
Actually, most settle for the ratio of 1.5 to 2.0 : Axle Track (at tyre centres)




(From
Home-built motorcycle trailer

site.)


Its all about the leverage factor. Its seeking minimum trailer sway reaction moving the towball to left or right.
My trailer measures at 1.75 : 1

On that issue of to "floor" or "not to floor" a H.F.-type frame --- take note that the floor does good duty keeping the frame square. Also with these Harbor Freight trailers; owners report that the wheel bearings appear to be packed with vaseline, and routinely disassemble their's and re-pack with real grease!
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:22 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by outlaws justice View Post
This pic. should be in the AWESOME thread.
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:39 PM   #48
mikerthebiker
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Trailer Sway

If you keep more weight ahead of your trailer axle than behind it, your trailer will not sway, regardless of tongue length. Pay attention to your trailer loading and use a little planning. Tongue length only comes into play when you're backing a trailer with the tow vehicle - a longer tongue is easier to back than a shorter one due to its greater turning arc. This is not an issue with a bike as you won't be doing much backing. Of course, a longer tongue makes a great place to add a cooler (and add more weight ahead of the trailer axle).
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:32 AM   #49
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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.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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!
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:55 AM   #50
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If you keep more weight ahead of your trailer axle than behind it, your trailer will not sway, regardless of tongue length.
Not even faintly close to true. Ever watch those little asphalt trailers on pintle hooks? They sway like mad, and are very tongue heavy.

Sway has lots to do with the ability to deflect the nose of the trailer. With a pintle hook, it's the play in the hitch. With many swaying trailers, it's the weak sidewalls of the towing vehicle. Watch them and you'll often times see it. Trailer tire flex can also play, especially if the trailer is loaded tail heavy. And with motorcycles, a cheap flexy hitch mount.

Quote:
Tongue length only comes into play when you're backing a trailer with the tow vehicle
Nyet again. Tongue length isn't do or die, but it very much affects tracking stability of a trailer, especially as speeds increase. The angular deflection of the trailer axle due to tongue displacement is directly proportional to the tongue length.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:21 AM   #51
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Quote:
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, 10:44 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sadlsor View Post
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 10:50 AM
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:27 AM   #53
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Quote:
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 02-26-2013, 08:08 PM   #54
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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 02-27-2013, 07:04 AM   #55
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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, 04:14 PM   #56
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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, 04:39 PM   #57
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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 03-02-2013, 04:50 PM   #58
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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, 05:43 PM   #59
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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, 08:40 PM   #60
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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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