Single wheel motorcycle trailer, sport touring, fiberglass edition

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by Chickenlegs, Jun 17, 2015.

  1. Chickenlegs

    Chickenlegs Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    161
    Location:
    Warrior River, AL
    To fill the need for packing space on two up – long distance touring – tent camping, I decided to build my own single wheel, fiberglass tub trailer. My experience with pulling atrailer behind a bike has evolved somewhat. My initial entry into the trailer world was building a HarborFreight/Car Topper trailer that I pulled behind a Roadking. Even though I modified the frame, and axle to better fit the car topper it was without a doubt a less than pleasurable experience. Gas mileage suffered greatly at highway speeds, and bumps in the road where always know by it. After one road trip I sold it.



    Next was a Bushtec Turbo 2. I can’t say anything bad about these, purely as good as a two wheel trailer gets! I did a little custom work with paint and lighting to better match the Roadglide I pulled it with. Once tired of the bike I sold it with it. The only bad thing is that with more room, one will tend to load more things and a Bushtec will swallow a lot of things one could probably leave at home.



    With the purchase of another bike, I again found myself needing the cargo room offered by a trailer and while I had entertained the idea of simply buying another Bushtec, I thought I’d exercise my artsy side and challenge myself with the project of blending form and function in a single wheel platform that would be large enough to offer comfortable amenities while camping, but not so large as to be cumbersome and overshadowing my two wheel experience. It tucks in behind the bike nicely, can go thru a door way, and weighs in dry at 100lbs.



    Ive still got to finish the interior, adding gas shocks,carpet, and interior lighting but its ready for some use and hopefully its without issue.



    Right side:

    [​IMG]



    Left side:

    [​IMG]



    Left side:

    [​IMG]

    Rear:

    [​IMG]



    Right rear:

    [​IMG]
    #1
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  2. Chickenlegs

    Chickenlegs Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    161
    Location:
    Warrior River, AL
    Frame:

    Frame is 14ga 1.5x1.5 square tubing, as is the subframe. Bushings are the same as used in triangulated 4 link suspension setup common to lowriders and rockcrawlers with custom built suspensions. I used three of the 3”" wide bushings. The width allowed me to locate the rear wheel placement which is a 16” x 1.5 front tire from an Italian scooter found on ebay. The fender was sourced this way also. The shock is a Fox mountain bike air shock which holds up to 300lbs of air pressure making it tunable to load weight. The hitch is a u-joint setup common to agriculture in that the yokes are square receivers, making fitment on the frame easy. The legs came from a small table, are light weight, and lock when folded down. Frame was powdercoated.



    Frame right rear:
    [​IMG]




    Frame right:

    [​IMG]

    Frame unpainted:

    [​IMG]

    Frame unpainted:

    [​IMG]

    Table that supplied the legs:

    [​IMG]
    #2
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  3. Chickenlegs

    Chickenlegs Been here awhile

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    Tub:

    Hand laid fiberglass, three layers 1.5 oz cloth. The initial process started with plywood to grasp proportions. Once happy with it, I filled the plywood with sheets of Styrofoam and began the many hours/months of rubbing things smooth. Over top of the Styrofoam I used sheetrock mud to smooth things out. On top of this I mixed up body filler with polyester resin to a consistency that I could apply with a brush in which would run and level, also making things easy to block sand as well as allowing the gel coat a surface to which it wouldn’t react once I had begun the mould building.



    Mock up with plywood, and bicycle:

    [​IMG]

    Styrofoam:

    [​IMG]



    Sheetrock mud:

    [​IMG]
    #3
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  4. Chickenlegs

    Chickenlegs Been here awhile

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    Tape over Styrofoam so the polyester resign doesn’t melt it. Later I found that a layer of bodyfiller worked better and allowed the plug to be block sanded.

    [​IMG]

    Building the mould:

    Start with body filler diluted with polyester resin for a flowable base:

    [​IMG]

    Mould sat on frame to check proportions before beginning the cast of finish part:

    [​IMG]

    The start of casting the finish part:

    [​IMG]
    #4
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  5. Chickenlegs

    Chickenlegs Been here awhile

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    Warrior River, AL
    Finished tub bottom:

    [​IMG]

    Plywood cut out for form of top of the tub. This will give me an edge to which I can place the weather strip on:

    [​IMG]

    Top of tub glassed together with bottom. Inside of lid glassed to seal against weather stripping that the bottom holds. 3/4" 14ga tubing fabricated to hold latch, hinges, and attach lid to. Hinges are from a rear hatch on an import car. I also used a 4”" piece of pipe in 1" ”wide strips to give the swing of the hinges being that they would be hidden. I had to later cut the side of the tub for more clearance of the hinges.

    [​IMG]
    #5
  6. Chickenlegs

    Chickenlegs Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    With the inside of the lid placed on the tub, I began to form the top of the lid, again using sheetrock mud and body filler. I also bent a piece of conduit to give the lid some design character, after which I also smoothed out using sheetrock mud and body filler. Once happy with the lid, I casted it in fiberglass to form the mould from which the finished lid would be pulled from:

    [​IMG]

    Lots of smoothing, rubbing, shaping:

    [​IMG]



    Lid cast. I always cast my parts over size to give something in which to pull the part with as well as be able to cut straight lines when cutting finished parts:
    #6
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  7. Chickenlegs

    Chickenlegs Been here awhile

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    After top of lid was cast, it was time to bond the outside of the lid to the inside of the lid:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #7
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  8. Chickenlegs

    Chickenlegs Been here awhile

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    Once happy with the road test, time to tear things back apart, send the frame for powder coating, go buy some paint, do the final sanding, wet the garage floor and fog the garage:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #8
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  9. Chickenlegs

    Chickenlegs Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    All lighting is LED. I really like the 6” strip lights from signal dynamic. I cut a slot for them, and epoxy them in from the back, leaving a really clean look:

    [​IMG]

    Build cost: $1500 in materials, another $1500 in beer.

    Time: 6 months, with a guess of 400+ man hours
    #9
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  10. k-moe

    k-moe Long timer

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    I hate you in the best possible way.

    Nice work. :clap
    #10
  11. High Octane

    High Octane Long timer

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    May 31, 2013
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    South Dakota
    Gottà love the GTL. And the trailer of course.
    #11
  12. villageidiot

    villageidiot Long timer Supporter

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    Apr 29, 2010
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    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    nice trailer....

    very good use of a Tomos moped front wheel, fender, and fender braces (2007 and later if it matters for bearings and such)

    my only thought is the speed rating on the tire. i know you can get pirelli ml-75 tires to fit those wheels, but even they only have a 70 ish mph rating.

    great job though.
    #12
  13. Renegade_Azzy

    Renegade_Azzy Kamen Rider

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    SW PA
    Fantastic job! Ive often thought similar, a scooter or moped wheel would be great for this job. Now if I could find an ungainly way to tow behind the GS, I would be set for festivals and shows.
    #13
  14. Niko

    Niko Adventurer

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    Mar 19, 2011
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    Algonquin, IL
    Wow. Great job. You've inspired me to daydream about building one.
    #14
  15. k-moe

    k-moe Long timer

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    :scratch
    You want that?
    #15
  16. Renegade_Azzy

    Renegade_Azzy Kamen Rider

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    A less ungainly. :rofl All the GS setups are pretty goody, due to it having that fancy one sided hub / finaldrive.
    #16
  17. Not the Messiah

    Not the Messiah Old enough to know better, but slow learnin'

    Joined:
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    Oh wow, nice work sir!

    A question: when manouvering the trailer and bike in tight spots does the trailer come around far enough to want to fall over? I've always believed that the uni joint should be oriented with the vertical axis pivot on the bike end, so that the trailer doesn't want to fall over when the it's way out at an angle to the bike. But is it a real problem?

    Cheers
    Brian
    #17
  18. Chickenlegs

    Chickenlegs Been here awhile

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    Yes, it wants to fall over to the inside of the turn if pushed to limits. Is this an issue? Other than It looking odd, I cant say that it is. One thing Ive noticed is that I can set the trailer level with the bike on its side stand If I angle the trailer to side stand side.
    #18
  19. GHO100

    GHO100 George

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    Queens, NYC
    Very nice!!

    Any detail photos of the hitch portion on the bike?
    #19
  20. Chickenlegs

    Chickenlegs Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    161
    Location:
    Warrior River, AL

    Hitch DMC Sidecar:
    [​IMG]
    I tugged the trailer over 5000 miles to Glacier and Yellowstone. Constant speed of 85 across South Dakota, and parts of Wyoming. Never had and issues, and would have to look over my shoulder to make sure it was still back there. There was even some spirited passing involved.
    [​IMG]

    Also nice that it fits thru a door, which makes it easy to secure in your hotel room when you want.

    [​IMG]
    #20
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