8 inch Trailer wheels, they are bad for us... or are they? - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Wink 8 inch Trailer wheels, they are bad for us... or are they?

I have an IR temp gun, and today was the first time that I made a lot of use of it..... used it once going down to Florida with Andy and we checked our tires but that was it.

Today, I made 3 different inspections...

Air temps between 79 and 84, pushing hard at speeds of 82 to 87 mph.

Occasional speeds of 105 getting around traffic before I got caught behind 17 trucks doubled up side by side.

At the fuel stops, I grabbed the IR temp gun and almost every time, this is what I found.

Bike's front tire, 104ish
Bike's rear tire, 134 +/- a bit

I checked a Harley Classic at the same time parked in front of me. His front and back tires were exactly the same as mine.


Trailer tires 120*F in early morning, 128*F in late afternoon.

Axle hubs were running 104*F consistently all day long.

It is a bunked myth that 8 inch wheels can't be used at high speeds or the bearings will lock up.

I serviced the hubs and packed them with lithium wheel bearing lube. Just the ordinary stuff you get for marine wheel bearings.

Tried to install Bearing buddies but they won't fit my Harbor Freight hubs ( odd thing about those things.... someone at the Edgefield rally told a group of us that Bearing Buddys make a hub run hotter than w/o. something about being packed solid with grease is worse than just enough to cover the bearings )

The only issue I can visualize is overlooking a bad tire. My trailer's tires are about 22 months old as of today. They have according to the previous owner been to the east coast, the west coast and down to Houston, Tx and back.

For me, I just put 4,100 miles on them in 3 weeks, and 104*F hub temps tell me that all is well.

The tires never exceeded 128*F so it is a fallacy that small tires will get too hot... and blow up.

I have 20 psi in them, trailer is guesstimated at about 350-400 lbs loaded. ( I intend to put the tires on a set of bathroom scales this evening.... the only thing I removed from the trailer is my duffle bags.... guessing that maybe 60 lbs total? )

~ John


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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 06:02 PM
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I'd bet the trailer tires will run even cooler if you up the air pressure to their rating .
The bearing buddies are nice for a boat application where they help keep water(salt) from entering. They seem to be about as common on the side of the road as they are on an axle, at least I see lots of them missing.
I have read before about the to much grease will increase the heat but i cant recall where I read that. I pack the bearings full and leave the center of the hub nearly dry ( only enough wiped in there to keep the iron from rusting) .

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 06:38 PM
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The lack of weight is the ONLY REASON for your success.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 06:59 PM
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If you increase tire pressure it will make the trailer hop. Keep it at 20 lbs. They will last a long time.

Have 1982 GL1100 with a 1977 Watsonian Monaco sidecar. Live in Mesa AZ.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 07:22 PM
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The tire size makes no difference as you stated. people are under the misconception that small tires on a trailer will wear the bearings out fast and cause failure. IIRC the bearings are rated at 7500 RPM and that equates to about 180 MPH I doubt that anyone would be pulling a trailer that fast so as you stated it is just a myth.

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 07:30 PM
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John: I too use an IR light and I have TPMS for the bike and trailer, that can tell me the temp of the tires.

I have compaired the IR and TPMS on the trailer with 12" tires. I get about the same reading with the IR, 120 to 130 degrees depending on which tire is in the direct sun. But the TPMS tells me 98 to 100, the one in the sun would be 101 to 105.

The difference is the IR is reading the outer areas where the friction is and the tpms is reading the air temp inside the tire, where there is no friction, and apparently little heat transference through the rubber. So your 104 degree reading on your hub on an 8" wheel isn't that much different than what I get on a 5.3 x12 tire.

There are a lot of variables to tire size, air pressure, trailer weight, loads weight and road conditions, but if your tires are rated for what your hauling, you'll be fine for a long time!

I put between 5K and 8000K a year with a trailer. Each spring I remove the bearings, glean them in gas to remove all grease. Inspect them, Re-grease and reinstall and Im good for the summer. I do have bearing buddies on mine, but only because they came on the trailer, I do not use them on a road use only bearing. As Mike said, they are good on boat trailers to keep out the water, but add nothing to the proper greasing of the bearing.

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 07:34 PM
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Pulling a trailer

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Originally Posted by last child View Post
The lack of weight is the ONLY REASON for your success.
I beg to differ. I built and pulled this trailer to sturgis in 07. (note the 8" wheels) Inside was a Honda E2000 generator, a 2 cubic foot refrigerator, a 5200 BTU air conditioner, and all the gear associated with camping for two weeks. I figure it weighed 250 to 300 or so. Coming back we ran 80 MPH on the interstate across Idaho. I did run higher tire pressures than AZ1800. But I also had independent suspension and springs with shocks.

I did not measure hub temps. and did not worry about it. Towed great!!

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 07:54 PM
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Load rating on a small trailer like what we tow behind our wings would be negligible on bearings. Even an 8" tire has a load rating of over 900 pounds at 35 PSI, for which we would probably not even come close to. Running with lower pressures does decrease the load capacity, but even a 30% reduction in load capacity at 20 PSI would still be getting close to maximum on some bigger trailers.

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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I tried higher pressure in the tires before I left.

Bull corn on that BS, not for me. The trailer hopped and skipped all over the damn place. I read a lot of threads on here about the psi for the 8" tires at the expected weight I am carrying, and I think that everyone who suggested 20 psi hit the nail damn straight. It is the perfect PSI for that tire, at my weight load.

~ John


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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 08:36 PM
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My point exactly , Add weight add air. Kind of simple. In other words if he doubled his weight . The set up would not produce the same results.
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