Need simple DIY trailer to tow dirt bike.

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Nubetoob87, Nov 16, 2016.

  1. Nubetoob87

    Nubetoob87 Adventurer

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    [​IMG]
    Shopped around a little for a very basic trailer, but they're all $500 +.
    I have a feeling I could build something around the $200 range.
    I want to keep the trailer as small and light as possible. Something similar to the trailer in the picture. Pretty much just an axle and a rail.
    Does anyone know of any good write ups on a DIY trailer like this? Or do you know where to purchase one?
    #1
  2. Granitic

    Granitic Backcountry rider

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    #2
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  3. Ricardo Kuhn

    Ricardo Kuhn a.k.a. Mr Rico Suave

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    I'm still not sure it they make sense or not..
    [​IMG]

    Very limited suspension travel for sure and the small wheels head up the hub bearings very fast,..
    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. ThePod

    ThePod Adventurer

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    be sure to use the 20% coupon. I have this version and it's hauled everything everywhere and it's folds up nicely in my garage.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/1195-lb-capacity-48-in-x-96-in-heavy-duty-folding-trailer-62648.html

    [​IMG]DSCF0090 by ajm3874, on Flickr
    #4
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  5. 211john

    211john Been here awhile

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    I also have the harbor freight folding trailer. Works good. Check craigslist. Lots of motorcycle trailers end up there pretty cheap.
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  6. PineyMountainRacing

    PineyMountainRacing Oops....

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    Hard to beat the HF, Tractor Supply, trailers. Especially if you can buy used. I've also seen small boat trailers on Clist that could easily be converted to carry 1-2 bikes, selling for even less money. Just get one that hasn't seen salt water if u go that way
    #6
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  7. Nubetoob87

    Nubetoob87 Adventurer

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    Would you rather have the Harbor Freight 870 or the 1195? Can you fit two bikes on the 870? I like the option of fitting two if needed.
    Also, how do you mod the Harbor Freight trailers to hold a bike? Plywood for the base, and bolt on a wheel chock, strap it up and I'm good to go? They come as a metal frame only.
    I like the idea of smaller, so if I can fit two on a 870 that would be ideal, otherwise I'll probably go with the 1195.. im towing with a 02 Toyota coralla(I know, I know). But the corolla has a 1,500 lb towing capacity(surprisingly) so no big deal.
    I'm dual sport, but riding one hour to the trails can be a hassle, although fun, a hassle. No where to store gas, snacks, or to take some shelter if needed. Especially up here in Portland Oregon, it likes to rain.
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  8. PineyMountainRacing

    PineyMountainRacing Oops....

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    IDK the difference in the 2 models, I bought the Tractor Supply version as we didn't have a local HF store at the time (1998). The TS trailer was a bolt together kit, 4x8, 2000# axle, 12" tires, and no floor. I squared it up with the bolts, then welded it, added 12" sides and a top bar (angle iron), put in a 5/8 X 6 decking floor (because I had plenty from a deck I ripped up), changed the coupler to 2" (because all,my other trailers are 2 or 2 5/16) and converts the deck to a tilt mechanism that I could drive a lawnmower up. I have a couple brackets for,the Pingel chocks that I don't leave attached. Also found a spare rim and bought a spare tire. At the time I use a piece of 2x6 for a bike ramp.

    I have several trailers now, but I kept the 4x8 and left it at my home in NC. It's only $18 a year for the tag, and it's nice to have up there if I want to make a Lowes run, or carry my DRZ (geared low / knobbies) over to TN to ride single track (be a several hour trip one way on the bike). It's been a good trailer, I've never needed to pull it faster than 55-60 but it does very well. It's also small enough to pull around the farm with my Honda Rancher.
    #8
  9. Granitic

    Granitic Backcountry rider

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    The 870 light weight and compactness is great for my little car and storing it on my porch. I always trailer my plated dirt bikes, never ride in traffic.

    My rail is a 5 foot x 9 x 1.5 treated deck board, and carriage bolts 4 ea 3/8 x 2.5 inch size through the frame.

    I removed one spring leaf since the heaviest bike I ever carried was a 300 lb KLX.

    Be sure to repack the Chinese vaseline with real bearing grease. Some people replace the bearings with Timken but I have done long trips with no problems yet.

    I studied my 870 and concluded there is absolutely no way to put two full-size (250-class) dirt bikes on it. It is just too narrow. If you want to carry two, step up to the next size.

    Here are a few pix:

    https://goo.gl/photos/q5gHG4NMuqKe2ABK7

    The first three show the "Economy" chock before it collapsed and nearly dumped the bike onto the interstate.

    Hope this helps.
    #9
  10. Nubetoob87

    Nubetoob87 Adventurer

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    Thanks for all the info guys, very big help. I'm going to get a harbor freight trailer.
    I want to get the smaller 1090 lb. capacity with 40"x48" dimensions. But I might need the 1195 lb. capacity with 48"x96" dimensions to carry two bikes.
    Im going to keep researching and see if its possible to put two bikes on the smaller 40"x48" HF trailer. Even though someone above said its impossible. There has to be a way...
    #10
  11. everready

    everready Stuck in Ohio....Ugh!!!

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    There's a thread about building the HF trailer here somewhere. I can't seem to find it now. Be sure to keep it square as you assemble. It makes attaching the plywood a lot easier!
    #11
  12. ThePod

    ThePod Adventurer

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    #12
  13. Granitic

    Granitic Backcountry rider

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    Well, maybe you can. But look at the last photo above. I couldn't figure out how the keep the handlebars from colliding.

    It's a tiny trailer and the center of gravity would be very high with two bikes.

    Also it is always a good idea to halve any Harbor Fright capacity rating.
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  14. ThePod

    ThePod Adventurer

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    I lowered the center of gravity on my trailer by U-bolting the axle above the leaf springs. This required some more robust U-bolt brackets and then some new fenders. But it did lower the CG by about 2-3 inches

    I could snap a few pics if anyone care to see.

    I've towed two BMW S1000RRs with this set up for hundreds of miles. Very stable.
    #14
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  15. Grinder

    Grinder Wrong way 'round

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    On the 40x48 one?
    #15
  16. ThePod

    ThePod Adventurer

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    No on the 48" x 96" one. It's the one posted in the pic above with the two dirtbikes on it.
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  17. wmako

    wmako bored in NJ

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    If you stagger the bikes, putting on more forward than the other, you can get them very close together. Mark out 40x48 on the driveway, and see what you can figure out
    #17
  18. hugemoth

    hugemoth Big Brother is watching you!

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    I've carried 2 dirt bikes on the 40/48 HF trailer by extending the tongue for turning clearance .
    #18
  19. Boatman

    Boatman Membership has it's privileges ;-) Supporter

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    One bike forward, one bike rearward. No issues with the bars colliding. Had a 4x8 enclosed and that was the way 2 bikes were hauled for thousands of miles.

    With an open trailer it would make loading the backward bike very easy. Jack knife the rig and use your loading ramp at the front of the trailer.
    #19
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  20. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    While checking craigslist or whatever, look for boat trailers as well. they are often very cheap and easy to mod for motorcycle use.
    #20