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Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by SouthWest Roamer, Jan 13, 2006.
Yep, unless he is making a horizontal pivot between that and the bike.
I plan to use the engineering setup from thirdwheel trailers:
So, either hooking onto the swingarm spools, or modifying the axel to take a through-rod for the connection.
I don't actually see why I can't do this attached to the passenger pegs. As long as that joint i just finished holds the horizontal plane without buckling, I think it should work alright.
Yep.The hinge needs to swing left/right and up/down.If it doesn't,it could push the rear end on the bike out causing a slide and possible a wreck.
That should work for you. But, you are still better off not hooking to the swing arm. I know some trailers do, but I think that is due to either laziness on their part, or non-swing arm hitches just don't exist.
Therefore, yes, if you can hook to the passenger pegs, that is much better.
:huh Most all uni wheels mount there on most bikes.Few bikes have enough rear structure for a true trailer hitch.Cruiser do, but dual sports,adventure bikes,and sport bikes don't have the rigidity to hang a true hitch on.Mr. Bracket on this forum has sold many offroad single wheel trailers that mount to the swing arm.There has been no reports of any problems or break downs.
Not that you are claiming either mount system is better than the other but,
I think that the number one argument for frame mounted hitches over swingarm mounted is the added unsprung weight that the swingarm system introduces. However, if you are towing a trailer, you priorities have probable drifted somewhat away from performance.
The second reason I see for the frame mount system is less input loads as it the shock seen by the rear wheel is no transmitted directly into the hitch.
Some disadvantages of the frame mount system is the possible increase in wheeles due to the hitch mounted above the axle line and the possible need to increase the rear shock spring rate to cope with a added trailer mass. The axel mount eliminates both of these issues.
Well I finally got some daylight pictures of my trailer.
Please excuse the dirt; its rather muddy out here in the Country.
So here goes.
Everything is triangulated for stress. And this is not made with a bunch of EMT conduit. It's all structural tubing. I built it to last a lifetime. Total weight is 78.5 lbs empty. According to my Scales in the GYM. The box is a regular plastic storage box I once used in my 4X4 rig for spare parts. The wheel, stub axle and bearings are from Northern tool. I made the swing arm.
The wheel side!
And BTY the rear rack (the silver part) is removable in case I decide I dont like the design or should I bend it later. So far Ive not strapped any loads on it, other than the bicycle, to test how bad it would throw the bike out of balance. Maybe later!
Remember the vertical pivot is built into the draw bar.
Look to the right and you can see the grease zerk on the tube just inside the shadow.
And now the tongue and how its reinforced. (The red thing is the trailer light wiring harness !)
In case you didn't catch it when I alluded to it earlier, I can mount my bicycles on the trailer to take with me. It's hard to see but there is "T" handle on the tongue that I added a Yakima bike carrier bracket and wheel bracket to. The front wheel carrier folds down out of the way when not in use. This will make more sense when you see the bike on it.
Heres a shot of the whole rig. Including my Mountain bike turned City Bike
Heres a bottom frame shot! The main frame is 1 inch heavy wall tubing. You'll notice the parking legs in the down position in this picture. It makes a nice stool or kitchen table setting upright.
Sorry, I forgot to get a close up shot of the single shock and spring, but look close and you can see it in this picture. Spring should be good for 175 lbs as it is now.
Lets address the draw bar on the motorcycle. The entire Pannier rack I designed and built for my KLR was over built with trailer pulling duties in mind. And the draw bar slides into some heavy wall DOM tubing sleeves (Tractor Supply) that have tight tolerances for the 1 inch draw bar. The draw bar itself is actually 4 layers of tubing slid inside each other and spot welded to make one very hefty drawbar built on the same principle as plywood. It was a bugger to bend on my JD2'd hand powered bender!
Here you can see the detent pin ring on the right that retains the draw bar In the sleeves. The panniers must be removed for the detent pins to come out. I added this safety feature to prevent the drawbar from coming loose accidentally. There are hardened screws at the rear to prevent the bar from sliding forward.
I added a double tubed, spring loaded front parking stand to the front of the trailer to hold it upright when not attached to the bike. This makes the trailer a convenient table top or stool. It also hold the tongue at almost the perfect height to attach it to the bike without a wrestling match.
Notice the hitch block on the draw bar is pointing down at this point!
It swings up for the trailer to attach to it. And before someone asks, it does not hit the reat tire at all, ever!
I had an old KLR Rear Fender, mini turn signals and rear light laying around so I used them. They are all LED to keep the drain down on the 270 watt KLR Generator.
It pulls great and I find myself forgetting its back there. And if you havent noticed, you can see I swapped out my old swing arm on the 06 KLR for a 2011 swing arm with their double piston brake caliper. The front forks have a double piston caliper off a SV650 Suzuki that I swapped out for last year. For a KLR, this bike stops like a MX Bike! The only thing I need to do it is put the braided steel hydraulic line on the back brake caliper. Its still on the old caliper.
What would I do different you may wonder? Maybe shave about 15 lbs would be nice and since I designed it for a lighter 12 inch aluminum boat wheel, that's do-able. I don't like the regular trailer license plate on the rear. Yes, it's too low! But I'm stuck with it for now. And I'd like a different shock with a bigger spring so I can add more preload. (Fine Tuning it will solve that.)
Hope this gives you guys who are considering building one for yourselves some idea!
Total investment less than $100. But I had the stuff laying around and a shop full of tools to build it with.
Take care now.
Good designs will work.......great designs are simple AND they work!
Thank you for sharing the pics. It took me a moment, while viewing the pictures on photobucket, before I realized the "side ways" pic was the parking stand. The trailer is great but the parking stand is really great. It is so simple.
Now I get it.
If I am pulling a trailer,I ain't worried with taking curves at the highest possible speed.I also wouldn't pull a trailer with my sport bike.My cruiser on the other hand,will be getting a frame hitch later this year and a DIY unigo.
Very nice Curtis! Might have to copy your kick stand.
Not criticizing here, but I'm thinking that the U-bolts attached to the tube are going to rotate about the tube when you hit the first bump... you might want to have a plate welded onto the nose of your cart to bolt that to.
The Curtis trailer looks great. Very road/trail worthy.
Solid build and a solid hitch mount to his bike.
Just my thoughts. I do not want to offend anyone.
I've broken many hand trucks over the years pushing them with heavy compressors on them. I don't think they will last long as a trailer.
A weld will fail, probly on the road or trail. Then the problems begin.
Worst case. It will cause a crash. Best case. You have to fix it on the road just to get home. It's a cool idea tho. Be good for light duty stuff like bringing groceries home from the corner store a few blocks away in a 25 mph zone.
Here is my baby trailer with my 97 dr 650. I've got to build a hitch for the bike. My plan is to use the subframe under the fender and the rear foot pegs as attachment points for the hitch. My two wheel trailer let's me keep most of the load weight slightly forward of the wheels. That keeps the tongue weight to about 10% of the total. A couple hundred pounds equals 20 pounds on the rear shock. A lot less than carrying all my gear on the tail rack. I can carry more on the trailer than the bike alone. I am the pack mule for our group camping. Plodding along with the gear to the base camp.
This little trailer pulls really well behind my Harley.
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Loaded without the trailer.
I carry the 4 man tent. Beer, steaks and grill. We go camping to Eat. Drink. and tell lies around a campfire.
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My First Motorcycle Trailer build.
This very old picture was taken in 1977 by a Co Worker. My Son and I were riding around town going after something. Can't remember what but it was big what ever it was. He's 3 in this picture and before the Safety Police jump on me his helmet and gloves are hanging on the right mirror. He'd been riding with me since he was 1 1/2. He's 38 now.
The little trailer worked so well we used it behind my 78 4WD Subaru Wagon to go camping in Colorado and even all the way to Washington State. I used a Sears Car Top Carrier Box and heavy wall square tubing for the frame and small boat springs with some leaves taken out. And of course 8 inch boat wheels. I even made the axle. Ended up adding a rack to the top to tie more stuff on top of it.
Can't find that picture, but I'll keep looking and will edit it in when I find it.
The only draw back to pulling these trailers with small bikes is the lack of brakes on the trailer. Braking gets tricky and believe me they will push you around.
I have a funny story about a trailer one of my HD Riding neighbors long ago built out of a Freezer Chest for hauling iced down beer behind his Harley to the Tres Rios Bike Rally. He'd seen me build and use the trailer above and thought he should make one too!
The guy had zero engineering skills and actually connected his trailer tongue right behind the solo seat on his Wide Glide. Needless to say on his first test run he proudly motored off briskly with his trailer in tow through the neighborhood. But being as we lived on a short street with a 90 degree turn at the end of it probably saved his life. Because in typical Harley Worshippers fashion he was wearing a "T" shirt, greasy blue jeans, Stomper Boots and no helmet.
As soon as he leaned it into the corner and tapped his rear brake he found himself hurled face first onto the asphalt and his Harley being shoved across the same asphalt right behind him. That pavement sure made a mess of that 60 YO Bad Ass sporting his pony tailed head, complete with bearded face, and that Scooter. He picked up his disaster and rolled it home and promptly cut the wheels off the trailer and put the deep freeze back in the garage where it belonged.
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Built right a trailer will make trips a blast. Wrong and they could kill you and a Bus Load of Nuns!
So build them correctly.
Interesting thread . Around 1980 I made hitches for my LTD 440 and my buddy's KZ 650 . both hitches were mounted to the swing arms . We rode on pavement 95% of the time and didn't have any problems other than remembering the trailer was behind us . We didn't think adding a high frame mounted "lever" to the sprung weight would be a good idea . On a dual sport where you need much more clearance and flex , maybe . We just used a standard 1 7/8" ball on our trailer . Can't remember what our trailer weighed empty , but the heaviest when loaded was 332 lbs . Didn't effect handling but the gas mileage went straight down the shitter !
Congratulations on a great build - and a cheap one.
I'm loving the ability to take the Grunt Wheels (bicycle) along. So much so that I'm highly tempted to have a crack at my own 3rd wheeler.
A few questions:
What size is the box you've used?
Did you do anything special to avoid free play in the hitch pivots? Did you just drill the holes for the pivot pin or did you ream them to final size? I'm paranoid about being able to feel any free play and wonder whether my handyman resources are good enough for this bit.
I'm thinking of an aluminium tool box - they're common and quite cheap here, only a bit more than the plastic ones, due to high volume sales for tradies utes:
I'm even thinking to bolt front (tow hitch) and rear (swing arm & shock) subframes to the box for the ultimate "monoque" constuctions.
My box measures 30 " X 14" at the lid, and is 12" deep. A little bigger internally, but I chose that box because I had it already, and it would hold my big tent, cot and folding lawn chair inside with a little room to spare.
I used 3 point tractor pins and sleeves for the hitches stress areas. Tractor parts are made for durability, and will take a lot of abuse. You can buy pins and sleeves in almost any size you need. And they are all made from tough steel. They will last a lot longer than I will! Plus the tolerances are tight. The sleeves are DOM and have no welded seam to mess with like in HREW tubing. And the wall thickness is better for welding on. Just enough play in them to fit them together without a lot of slop and still work in dusty conditions. I bored the hitch plate to accept the sleeves then welded the sleeves in with the pins in them to keep the alignment straight. ( Side note, use a band saw on slow speed (with coolant if you've got it) to avoid annealing the sleeves and you can cut them to the length you need.)
The sleeves are the load bearing surfaces like between the hitch ball and hitch cup of a normal trailer hitch. A little grease to keep the rust away and you're good to go!
An aluminum box would work well for a trailer body, but might require a steel frame underneath to support the suspension and tongue because of the stresses generated by the suspension working. Aluminum tend to crack under pressure if it's the stress factors aren't taken into account.
That or reinforce the aluminum to handle the load stress harmonics.
Also, take into consideration that the longer the box the more the tongue weight on the bike there will be.( A clever way around the length is to integrate the wheel into the bottom floor of the box by building a sub frame in the floor, or under it, and cut out a hole for the tires intrusion and fender off the tire inside. Then you can have some box overhang out the back. You'll lose some space internally, but you can keep the weight low and better balanced.
And also remember the wider the box is the higher off the ground it will need to be, to prevent it hitting the ground in a turn. Too low and you're going to drag it against the pavement. Especially in driveway crossings where there is a slight curbing to cross at an angle during a turn. (That's why my design has the rounded reinforcement bars at an angle, to double as sliders and to protect the turn signals in a fall.)
Most of my trailers weight is in the rear suspension (single sided Swingarm) and that heavy 8" boat wheel and tire. Soon to be replaced with a 12 inch aluminum wheel and lighter scooter tire. A regular bike swing arm would have been lighter, even with two shocks, but the single side swingarm was something I wanted to build for the challenge. I made two of them, and will be using the other one for a sidecar I have in the works for later.
Anyway, good luck with it, and if you get stumped PM me an I'll see if I can help you figure it out.
[Off Topic a little]
To those who remember, I talked about the Red Ant Cycle Carrier for Motorhome's and Cars I use to build in the Factory back in the 70's. And someone found the Patent from 1973. I've almost got mine built. It works well. This is a much better design that the bike rails we're using today. Only it's a little heaver is the main drawback, but loading a bike on it is soooo much easier by yourself.
I had a flat tire last week on my way to Saturday morning breakfast with the guys, and needed the wife to come get me, but she can't load or drive a vehicle with a trailer, and that fiasco I do not want to repeat. So that got me motivated to build this carrier and just keep it in the back of my 3/4 Ton Pickup. (Short bed full of fuel tank so no option of loading the bike in the bed.) Takes about 2 minutes to install it on the back of the truck or Motorhome, and another minute to load the bike. Push it and it raises the bike up and locks in, parallel to the back of the vehicle. Once I get the pieces made I'll post up a build thread of it. It's pretty slick. I always thought it was ahead of it's time when we were making them. And since the statutes of limitation (17 years IIRC) is done by a long ways. I'm making two so I'll have on for my Big Bus and one in my pickup tool box for emergencies.
[/Off Topic a little]
Curtis in Texas, I am very much looking forward to that project... maybe you want to make 3?