Guys that pull trailers with a bike.

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by jules083, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. jules083

    jules083 Long timer

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    Here's where I'm at now. I bought at 15 cubic foot box from K-mart yesterday. Most builds I've been looking at use bigger boxes, but I liked how this one was fairly low. It's still plenty big enough, and should be less like pulling a kite. I'm going to narrow the frame 4" from this pic, and am looking into shortening it.

    I'm guessing center the box about 6" in front of the axle? They'll be a cooler mounted on the tongue also. Box is 4' 6" long, in the pics it's 6" foreword.

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    #21
  2. blacktruck

    blacktruck Wanderer

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    I had a trailer for my touring bike. Big bike with full fairing and a V4 engine. The bike pulled it fine with no noticeable loss of power and surprisingly not even much difference in mileage. It was stable and during all but the worst roads you would not even know it was there. It was bigger than one you have shown in your pics. I would think the one shown would be pretty good as far as size goes. Narrowing it to about four feet or so is good. Don't go too narrow so as to cause instability in corners also keep it the length of the trailer and tongue about the same as the wheelbase in your bike. There is a general rule there but I can't find it right now. I have seen the Bushtec trailers with the bigger wheels and pretty much open frame. Low slung and big wheels looks like it should pull pretty good even behind a smaller bike. I've seen too many bikes too far overloaded and think a trailer with judicious loading would be good.
    I'm shopping for a KLR and I think this would be a good match. The caveat to that is I think it would. Pulling a trailer with a bike is no problem but you always have to remember it is there even when you don't notice it. Really no different than driving a cage with a trailer.
    #22
  3. jules083

    jules083 Long timer

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    That's the phrase I keep seeing. I'm fine by myself, even with camping gear. By the time I add the girlfriend and all of her crap, the Road King is so overloaded it's not even funny. Just the tent and 2 sleeping bags fill the tour pack, plus all of the other necessities. Our longest camping trip was 2 nights, and even at that we were out of packing room and overloaded. We're going on a longish trip this summer, maybe 2 weeks, and camping for most of it. I have no idea how I would pack for both of us without a trailer and still be comfortable.

    It's looking to be right around 4' wide at the outside of the tires. I'm making everything as low as possible, so I don't think roll-overs should be much of an issue. The supports of the carrier are basically on the trailer frame itself, and I'm looking at ways of lowering the trailer. It's about 1/2" lower than stock from removing a leaf spring, I don't see a good way to go farther yet.
    #23
  4. Tooner

    Tooner Adventurer

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    Hard to tell from the picture which way it is, but could you mount the axle on top of the spring to make the trailer lower? Cuts into your spring travel, but you probably don't need that much travel anyway.
    #24
  5. tommu56

    tommu56 Long timer

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    Find a way to put the spring perches on the side of the frame.
    Check for axle clearance.

    If you top mount the axle the spring mounts will have to be re welded on bottom to keep the camber in the axle (if there is any my guess not)

    tom
    #25
  6. Montague

    Montague UDF Adventurer

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    "Hmm.... A tent trailer is likely heavier than what I would pull, and a K100 is maybe 150-250 pounds lighter than my Road King. No dirt or gravel roads for me with a trailer, but I'd assume that twisty 2 lanes aren't a problem, just go slower? I've also heard that a bike with trailer handles better than an overloaded bike. I know there's a huge handling difference in the Road King when I have all of our crap strapped on."

    All true! The trailer was around 350 lbs, but with the beer and crap we always carried (riding with 2 other guys who used my trailer as storage) likely 400.

    And you are absolutely correct, I would rather have that extra weight off the bike any day.
    #26
  7. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

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    Bolt the axle directly to the frame. You really don't need the springs nearly as much as you think you do. Especially without a shock to dampen things if they do flex. The tire sidewalls alone do a fine job.

    Lower a trailer too far and you get into entertaining dragging situations going up over curb edges into driveways and the like. Doubt you'd have that problem with this one, but don't lose track of this. Watch your leading and trailing angles.

    If you're lowering because of fear of rollover, I think your worries are overblow. You're already quite low and stable.
    #27
  8. B.E. Coyote

    B.E. Coyote (Super-Genius)

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    I already built this and am working on my 2nd trailer with the same cargo box you have.

    Yes my dog does ride in the box. He heads to my hideout in the mountains with me. I used a longer piece of tubing for the tongue, it is supposed to reduce sway.

    On the second one I am working on I will try the factory tongue but I am going to narrow the bed and axle of the trailer a bit.

    The only time I notice it is if I don't accelerate completely through a turn. You can feel it want to push the bike a bit. It's a good reminder to accelerate through turns. :lol3

    Many trips to the mountains with it and this summer my boy and I went from Va. Beach to Yellowstone with it. Overall I feel it is much safer than the sidecar rig I had was. It also has the benefit that I can unhook it and be free.

    Minimal change in mpg on the FJR, Highway mpg went from roughly 42 mpg to 25mpg with the hack.

    On the HF trailer make sure you pull the bearings out and clean all the cheap chinese grease out and pack them with something quality.


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    #28
  9. jules083

    jules083 Long timer

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    B. E. Coyote, I was wondering how an fjr would do. Guess I got my answer. I'm not getting a hitch for it yet, maybe in the future. For now the road king will work well.

    I'm thinking lowing for the rollover risk. The more I look at it you guys are right, its low enough. I have the frame torn back apart now, I cut it down some and got new holes drilled. Narrowed it 4" and shortened the frame 3". The next nice day I'll drag it back outside for welding and paint.

    All typos and misspellings blamed on my phone.
    #29
  10. Midnightventure

    Midnightventure -

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    With a single wheel trailer it tracks close to what the bike tracks so there is less chance of hitting a pothole.
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    #30
  11. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    Is it that much of an advantage to narrow the trailers?

    OTOH people talk about the hazard of one trailer wheel hitting an obstruction and flipping the trailer. Wouldn't leaving it wider make it more stable in roll, making for a lesser risk of that peril?

    Or will the argument be, it's not that much more stable if it's only 10% narrower. But then isn't it not that big an advantage to have it only 10% narrower? Which is it, significant or insignificant?
    #31
  12. B.E. Coyote

    B.E. Coyote (Super-Genius)

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    I really wasn't ever worried about the trailer flipping over. I read a lot about MC trailer towing and I don't remember it coming up.

    The reason I put a longer tongue on my first trailer and plan to narrow the width of my second is because there is a formula for the tongue length based on the width of your axle.

    By Narrowing it, you are saving weight on both the trailer and the tongue because the tongue can then be shorter.


    I tried the first trailer stock and then added the longer tongue. It did tow better.
    #32
  13. randyo

    randyo Long timer

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    thanks, good tips

    I have always had the thought of a trailer for my V-strom in the back of my mind, there are other things that are way higher priority
    I almost think I would prefer a mono-wheel type pulling a trailer isn't my fear , its stopping that concerns me, I know the difference is substantial between solo and 2up. Adding a trailer has to add several more feet, or are linked braking systems available?
    #33
  14. sandsman

    sandsman Back in the saddle again..............

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    I have pulled a trailer with my 2001 Suzuki Intruder 1500, it was a Kwik Kamp tent trailer, empty weight about 350 maybe, loaded, somewhere arround 500. Pulled like a champ. I added a sidecar to the intruder and pulled it some more. Then I upgraded to a Goldwing with a Hannigan double wide sidecar. Went on a Texas to Cali and all the way up the coast to the tip of Washington and back to Texas, loaded heavy. Roughly with my wife + gear + camper trailer = 2,300 lbs. roughly.

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    Since the trip last summer, I added a little taller tires and stepped up my hitch a couple of inches for extra clearance. Only thing I would do differently would be to not take so much damn stuff!:rofl
    #34
  15. sandsman

    sandsman Back in the saddle again..............

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    I also have a freind of mine who used a Harbor Freight trailer and a car top carrier and pulls it with her V65 Magna.:evil
    #35
  16. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

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    Oh Great! ANOTHER trailering thread!

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    About 240 Liters of storage...

    :ricky
    #36
  17. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

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    When I was looking for a trailer, I wanted something that was 36-inches at the widest. That would make the trailer about the width of my bike with 30-liter panniers, and not much wider than the bars.

    I've been pulling my Fridge trailer for three years and over 15,000 miles. It has the swivel hitch adapter and a 36-inch width. It weighs about 250-lbs loaded for a week-long trip, and has been a great way to enjoy 2-up camping/touring on my Guzzi LeMans!

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    #37
  18. KeithinSC

    KeithinSC Long timer

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    This started as a HF trailer. I cut the middle out and narrowed it about 6", just a hair wider than my handlebars. Stretched the tongue about 12".Made a hitch for the bike and a swivel coupler from a center link from a tractor.
    Never pulled a trailer with a bike before.
    Easy handling! Rode it back and forth to work a few times, then did a 1300 round trip to Niagara Falls and back.

    Dog loved it!

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    <a href="http://s643.photobucket.com/albums/uu153/tatersworld/?action=view&amp;current=Imready.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i643.photobucket.com/albums/uu153/tatersworld/Imready.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
    #38
  19. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    Your dogs name is Dog?
    #39
  20. KeithinSC

    KeithinSC Long timer

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    :rofl

    When I step in something, her name is Dammit Dog, but mostly she answers to Trixie! We used to have a mutt that we called Cat.
    #40