Motorcycle Forums » Biker Chat

Towing a Trailer Behind Your Motorcycle

    • 4 posts
    January 20, 2017 9:47 PM PST
    I bought a HF trailer kit on July 4th-(25% off then). For about 180 bucks, followed advice from the various YouTube vids about em. Changed wire harness, switched to LEDs, quieted suspension, went with Ameerican Hardware, repacked bearings, had a front & rear rack n tongue stand custom built, added a power converter, carpeted inside and built a frame for inside w rubber rope tie downs, added 3 padlocks, changed tires to 6 ply, put on bearing buddies, along w a few other additions. Absolutely luv it! Could tell ya bout being airborne w it over an unmarked hump in road from old railway tracks at midnight....damn thing sailed fine and landed well, after i stopped the bike and stopped shaking, realized it didnt faze it, headed down the road...
    I load my GoldWing and the trailer heavily, its easy to forget its attached. That being said, how its loaded-(tongue weight), is CRITICAL. Ill be heading outta da NortWudds in WI in April to Arizona, itll be on and loaded. I carry a FULL campsite with me...hard to splain less u see it....but im the guy everybody comes to cuz if its needed, its likely loaded up w me. Solar Charging panels, 110 volt power converter, water filtration system....down to Pudgy Pie irons. If its summin you may need camping....odds are im packing it.
    YMMV
    • 53 posts
    February 14, 2017 9:31 AM PST

    Well, Cunning, if/when you come down this way, give me a holler.  I would like to see your setup and maybe we can do a ride or 2 or 3 or....

     

    RufCut

    • 1 posts
    February 18, 2017 5:02 PM PST
    I am looking at making a trailer to put my dog and some luggage in. I have looked at the ones at Harbor Freight. Does anyone have any suggestions to which one is the best?
    • 53 posts
    February 19, 2017 4:53 PM PST

    Update:  got the frame painted and put back together.  I scored a parent of 12" wheels with tiers and fenders from a friend who was about to just toss them.  And the box is mocked up.  

    • 53 posts
    February 19, 2017 5:00 PM PST

    TandT said: I am looking at making a trailer to put my dog and some luggage in. I have looked at the ones at Harbor Freight. Does anyone have any suggestions to which one is the best?

     

    The trailer I am building is 40 X 48, 700lb gross that I bought nearly 30 years ago.  It is now undergoing it's third buildup/modification. 

    • 7 posts
    February 20, 2017 7:37 AM PST

    spider said: Changes the way you ride, and the way everyone rides who is with you. Though convenient, curves must be taken slower, mountain curves are annoying, even on the straightaway riding is slower. The worst trip I ever had was with another person who had a trailer, and it was very small. Spent two weeks poking along the roads, riding through curves and driving as if we were in a car. Straight up and no lean. Yecch. If you get a trailer, know you change your ride.

     

    That bloke must have been over cautious,the trailer makes no difference to the way i ride.The bike cranks over just as far as it normally does.1500 Nomad.

    • 5355 posts
    February 24, 2017 10:08 AM PST

    mick56 said:

    spider said: Changes the way you ride, and the way everyone rides who is with you. Though convenient, curves must be taken slower, mountain curves are annoying, even on the straightaway riding is slower. The worst trip I ever had was with another person who had a trailer, and it was very small. Spent two weeks poking along the roads, riding through curves and driving as if we were in a car. Straight up and no lean. Yecch. If you get a trailer, know you change your ride.

     

    That bloke must have been over cautious,the trailer makes no difference to the way i ride.The bike cranks over just as far as it normally does.1500 Nomad.

     

    Yep, never changed the way I ride too much either.  But then again when I am out touring I am normally not 'racing' anyway... just cruising along taking in the scenery.

    • 5355 posts
    March 2, 2017 11:19 AM PST

    Just wanted to share some tips we put together for towing a motorcycle trailer...

    Safely Towing a Trailer Behind a Motorcycle

    • 1 posts
    May 15, 2017 10:44 PM PDT

    I've done a LOT of trailer towing with my Goldwings over the years, and I have probably towed things that other people would never even consider towing behind a motorcycle. I have towed a 20' Catamaran from Blythe, CA. to Oceanside, CA. with the aluminum mast extending out over my helmet, a 14-foot runabout boat with an outboard motor, a 15-foot West Wight Potter sailboat, a 25-foot canoe on a 4x4 trailer with an 18-foot tongue, a 13-foot utlity trailer with another Goldwing loaded onto it (28 separate times, transporting Goldwings from San Diego to to Long Beach, CA to be shipped overseas), a HFT 4x4 trailer with (12) 90lb. sacks of concrete on the bed (NEVER again!), an empty two-wheel car dolly (Lesson learned there!), a 4x6' U-Haul trailer, an Escapade pod trailer, and a 4x8 bed trailer with a wooden trough outfitted for Christmas Tree Deliveries (up to 12' height).

    I am no "expert" on the subject, but I have read through this thread, and there is some good information, and some very wrong assumptions about trailering with a motorcycle.

    The things that change when towing a trailer:

    - Handling when starting from a dead stop.

    - Acceleration, especially at higher speeds.

    - Loss of power at high altitudes.

    - Passing vehicles on two-lane roads.

    - Stopping distance and stopping technique.

    - Parking.

    - Passing vehicles due only to speed differences.

    - Backing the motorcycle.

    - Fuel mileage.

    - Riding technique in the twisties.

    - Lane positions (depending on State)

    - Speeds (depending on laws restricting trailer towing speeds)

    - Handling with side winds, and over metal bridges, or while riding along rutted pavement.

    - Automobile awareness when approaching behind you at a red light.

    - Lane sharing / Splitting.

    - Use of HOV (Car Pool) lanes

    - TOLLS (3 axles)

    There are probably some more that I have forgotten.  I frequently tow with my bike, even today, and I pull my Escapade behind me on cross-country trips, with one or two bicycles mounted on top!  I tend to pack heavy.  I am one of those "I MIGHT need this!" kind of guys.

     

     

     


    This post was edited by GL1800 at May 15, 2017 10:47 PM PDT