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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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Trailer

Today I picked up this old but well cared for trailer. And for cheap! It pulls incredibly easy. Literally cannot tell it is behind the bike. Only 158lbs empty. The swivel hitch is real nice. I needed a little more than what the bike's luggage can offer for weekend camping trips with my son. There will be no problem packing clothes for two, two sleeping bags, tent, camp stove, cooler, etc.

And to be honest, it was the mud flaps that sold me.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 08:43 PM
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Very cool! I never considered pulling a trailer, but the new Concours I bought has a trailer hitch. Do you pull them often?

The mud flaps are cool - tassels make you faster!
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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This is my first trailer, so I haven't pulled one before. I went for a ride today. Not too far as the trailer has no lights, I have to change the plug type to work with my bike. But the trailer pulled very nice. No tugging, no sway. It really did pull like it wasn't there. The swivel hitch, I have read, is a must have accessory. And while I haven't towed without one, I can see how it help. The bike can lean freely. The previous owner installed it. He said with the standard fixed hitch it had, the trailer wanted to prevent lean. He pulled it with a Goldwing.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 09:12 PM
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Congrats! It looks real nice and will match my bike. I will give you $100.00. j/k I'm sure you either have or are planning to check the tires, bearings, etc. Does it have a spare? Enjoy and be safe.
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, has a spare mounted under the front. Both tires and spare are good. Bearings feel good, but I'll check and repack them. Will pick up a spare bearing set, too. I talked to the owner for quite a while. He's a retired maintenance machinist, lots of mechanical knowledge, and he took good care of it. The swivel hitch, for example, he built himself using an axle spindle. He sold this trailer because he built a new one out of aluminum diamond plate that is designed better for his needs.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 10:48 PM
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I have been towing a trailer for years, When loaded you will need to be cautious as the bumps and curbs etc, can give the back of the bike a little wiggle when you hit or cross things, stay loose and let it move.

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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 05:04 AM
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I know it's required by law to have safety chains but I truly believe those chains are a hazard to the biker. Maybe I'm wrong but it just seems if the trailer came off, the last thing I'd want is for it to start yanking me in directions I don't want to go. To me it would be safer for the biker to just let it go. But it's not there for the biker. I get that. Just seems like one more hazard I can do without.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah. In a perfect world you'd not have to worry about it at all. In an almost perfect world the trailer would coast into the ditch should it disconnect. In reality, I'd rather go down than have the trailer go through someone else's windshield and kill them. Happened here near Green Bay a few years ago. A guy had one chain (2 are required). The trailer let go, snapped the chain, crossed the median, jumped the shoulder right into a car driven by a valedictorian college senior girl, killing her on the spot.

But with proper maintenance and pre-ride checks it shouldn't​ be a concern.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 08:01 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I have been towing a trailer for years, When loaded you will need to be cautious as the bumps and curbs etc, can give the back of the bike a little wiggle when you hit or cross things, stay loose and let it move.
Thanks for the input. I'll put weight in it and do some practice rides before we take any camping trips. I don't expect to carry too much. Just enough for a weekend tent camping trip. Maybe 50-100 pounds I'd guess.
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 08:31 AM
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That's a great find. The mudflaps rock. It does look well cared for. If you like it enough to post a brag thread about it I am sure it will continue to be taken care of.

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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 09:38 AM
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Also watch the tongue weight. For my trailer I found that 30 to 50 lbs works the best to reduce any handling problems and keep the trailer tracking straight. Your results may differ, find what works.

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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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I do tend to take care of my things. We'll try it out this summer on a few weekend trips. If it works we'll keep it. If it doesn't, I'll sell it for what I paid.

By the way, if anyone wants those mud flaps, I'll send them to you for the cost of shipping. They're definitely coming off. I told my wife I could make her a couple pasties out of them for her. She didn't laugh.......

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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 09:44 AM
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I told my wife I could make her a couple pasties out of them for her. She didn't laugh.......


Dats funny rite dere I don care who ya arr.
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
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By the way, if anyone wants those mud flaps, I'll send them to you for the cost of shipping. They're definitely coming off. I told my wife I could make her a couple pasties out of them for her. She didn't laugh.......
I am digging on the half moon hub caps!

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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 12:23 PM
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I have been towing a trailer for years, When loaded you will need to be cautious as the bumps and curbs etc, can give the back of the bike a little wiggle when you hit or cross things, stay loose and let it move.
If you can, load the heavier things to the front; for stability, it is recommended you have more than 10% of the total weight on the hitch, bit I've gotten by with 60# on the hitch with a 700# trailer.

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post #16 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 12:26 PM
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I do tend to take care of my things. We'll try it out this summer on a few weekend trips. If it works we'll keep it. If it doesn't, I'll sell it for what I paid.
BTW, if you haven't yet, take the hubs apart, clean and re-grease the bearings. Even used, they could be too tight or too loose, and could also have too little or too much grease.

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post #17 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 12:28 PM
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If you can, load the heavier things to the front; for stability, it is recommended you have more than 10% of the total weight on the hitch, bit I've gotten by with 60# on the hitch with a 700# trailer.
700 lbs behind a bike, WOW, I would not push that much as it is more than my bike weighs and would make stopping very difficult. I have had 600 lbs once and swore never to do that again. I find up to 400 lbs is doable but even that effects your ability to stop and such.



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post #18 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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Some of the bigger motorcycle pop up camper trailers offer electric brakes as an option. As much as I love biking, I think if I need enough to justify trailer brakes, I'll just take the car or truck.

I read a story online somewhere, I think on the moto campers website, about a guy with a heavy trailer behind his bike. He was negotiating a curve and had to unexpectantly brake hard. The weight and momentum of the trailer​ pushed his bike's rear around toward the outside of the curve and down he went.
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post #19 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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If you can, load the heavier things to the front; for stability, it is recommended you have more than 10% of the total weight on the hitch, bit I've gotten by with 60# on the hitch with a 700# trailer.
I am well schooled in trailer towing, just never did it with a bike until now. The hitch I have on the bike is rated for 60lb tongue, 350lb load. It's a lighter duty hitch because it's designed to hide well with the receiver bar removed. But I'll likely not come close to pulling 350lbs. If I did that puts about 35lbs on the tongue.

The previous owner pulled with a more substantial hitch, and packed two-up for months long travels. He said he had to be careful as too much tongue weight, regardless of total load, would upset handle due to reduced front tire load. Which makes sense when you figure the hitch is a lever, using the rear tire as a fulcrum.

I'll experiment before going on a real trip to find the sweet spot.
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post #20 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 01:18 PM
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Yep - brakes on the trailer, activated by the brake lights through a controller; the controller increases braking strength through an adjustable ramp rate to a programmable limit. I can pull the lever just enough to turn the on the brake light and activate the trailer brakes to pull it into line, before applying the brakes on the bike. My bike weighs in at ~920 pounds, by the way; even in the Smoky Mountains, it pulls the trailer just fine. Mountains would be a nightmare without the brakes on the trailer.

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post #21 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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Do you pull a camper trailer, or a heavy loaded cargo?
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post #22 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 01:27 PM
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I am well schooled in trailer towing, just never did it with a bike until now. The hitch I have on the bike is rated for 60lb tongue, 350lb load. It's a lighter duty hitch because it's designed to hide well with the receiver bar removed. But I'll likely not come close to pulling 350lbs. If I did that puts about 35lbs on the tongue.

The previous owner pulled with a more substantial hitch, and packed two-up for months long travels. He said he had to be careful as too much tongue weight, regardless of total load, would upset handle due to reduced front tire load. Which makes sense when you figure the hitch is a lever, using the rear tire as a fulcrum.

I'll experiment before going on a real trip to find the sweet spot.
It is not so much reduced front tire load, as a change in rake angle, although reduced load will be a factor. If you can get to it, you will likely have to increase the rear shock preload. I have air suspension, so can just air it up to put the fork rake angle back where it is supposed to be. I used the rake angle spec and a $5 clinometer from Harbor Freight to test the fork with the bike loaded. The distance from the hitch ball on my bike to the axle effectively doubles the tongue weight, as compared to a passenger, so 60# on the hitch is like a 120# passenger, but my suspension is good for ~400# total, so I'm not hurting it. No passengers, though.

I say 'if you can get to it' because a friend has a Suzy C90T, and you have to remove the rear wheel to adjust the rear shock spring. Sucks for him.

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post #23 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 01:31 PM
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Do you pull a camper trailer, or a heavy loaded cargo?
It's the Aspen Ambassador camper, biggest one they make. http://www.trailmasterinc.com/aspen/aspen.html
We got the small Harbor Freight trailer, so we could off-load as much weight as possible to my friend's bike. He can't tell it's back there.

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post #24 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
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Some of the bigger motorcycle pop up camper trailers offer electric brakes as an option. As much as I love biking, I think if I need enough to justify trailer brakes, I'll just take the car or truck.

I read a story online somewhere, I think on the moto campers website, about a guy with a heavy trailer behind his bike. He was negotiating a curve and had to unexpectantly brake hard. The weight and momentum of the trailer​ pushed his bike's rear around toward the outside of the curve and down he went.
I always wondered what would happen if you had to emergency brake with one of those behind you.
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post #25 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 01:41 PM
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I always wondered what would happen if you had to emergency brake with one of those behind you.
If you have the controller set up well, hard braking feels little different (at least on my Valkyrie). One of the tests you should always perform before going out on the open road, IMO.

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post #26 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 01:47 PM
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I always wondered what would happen if you had to emergency brake with one of those behind you.
Its not pretty! I had that experience since my trailer has no brakes (I am working to design a new trailer now with torsion bar axle and electric brakes). I recently had to stop and could not in a rush hour (In the dark) situation when a broken down car decided to cross from the fast lane to the shoulder (4 lanes) it was pretty bad, but I did walk away. Cannot say the same for my bike. Had to replace my Vmax with one I found in East Texas

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post #27 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 10:32 PM
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Also watch the tongue weight. For my trailer I found that 30 to 50 lbs works the best to reduce any handling problems and keep the trailer tracking straight. Your results may differ, find what works.


Rule of thumb: Hitch weight should be 10 to 15% of Fred's weight. Too light and the trailer will pull the back of the bike around. Too much weight and you may overload the scoots suspension. I pulled a Bunkhouse that weighed close to 500# loaded for a two week trip.


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post #28 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 11:58 PM
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I do tend to take care of my things. We'll try it out this summer on a few weekend trips. If it works we'll keep it. If it doesn't, I'll sell it for what I paid.

By the way, if anyone wants those mud flaps, I'll send them to you for the cost of shipping. They're definitely coming off. I told my wife I could make her a couple pasties out of them for her. She didn't laugh.......
If no one in the US wants them, I can use them for my small trailer. Can give you an address in Blaine WA to send them. Then next time I am on the mainland ( about 2 or 3 weeks ) I can pick them up.

I tow my trailer behind my van. It is just big enough to carry a bike. It does not have fenders at the moment. But I bought some and need to bolt them on. But first I will move the axle back to get some hitch weight and make it behave better when towing.

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post #29 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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They have a notch cut out of them each, to clear the frame on this trailer. Not sure if you really want them. I'll get you a better picture tomorrow. If you do want them I'll send them out. I was just going to toss them, otherwise.
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post #30 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 05:04 AM
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They have a notch cut out of them each, to clear the frame on this trailer. Not sure if you really want them. I'll get you a better picture tomorrow. If you do want them I'll send them out. I was just going to toss them, otherwise.
You know you can cut that fringe off. You probably really do need something there to hold the road spray down.

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post #31 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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The fringe is 50% of the length. If I cut it off they'll not give much coverage. I'm going to put some normal flaps on there. I am not a fringe guy at all.
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post #32 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 04:02 PM
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The fringe is 50% of the length. If I cut it off they'll not give much coverage. I'm going to put some normal flaps on there. I am not a fringe guy at all.
Yeah, neither am I. They are some long suckers.

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