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GL1200 building receiver hitch from scratch

10162 Views 33 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  plainmech
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This weekend I'm going to attempt to build a reciever hitch for my 85 GL1200. There's a hitch for sale at wingstuff, but I plan on hardly ever using the hitch, so I want a reciever type, so that I can remove it. (somewhat like the 1500-1800 options out there right now). There seems to be nothing out currently for sale, so I'm going to build one myself. there was a guy selling them on Ebay in 06, but he only made 10 and they're long gone. Yes, I've been welding and building stuff for 20 years now, and I'm a part-time fabricator; don't worry, it will be stout.



I'd love to see some pictures of old designs for receiver hitches on 1200's. I acutally saw one on a 1200 a month ago in a pizza parking lot, but I didn't have time to stop and check it out.



Oh, and one more thing...if you're interested...I'm also building a single rail trailer for it so I can tow my supermoto bike to regional races. ye-ha. a motorcycle towing a motorcycle. kind of like the trailerinabag.com idea. I know I'm not the first one to think of the idea, but I've wanted to do it ever since I picked up this bike. there's a new supermoto track in Seattle that's about 3hrs. away, so I want to ride the GW up spin the track for an afternoon, and ride back. It will probably make more sense financially when gas goes back to $5/g. but for now it will be just fun.



cheers!
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Hi,



No springs or shocks on the trailer? Won't that be a bit bouncy and all over the place?



Tim.
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Mr Magic Fingers wrote:
Hi,
No springs or shocks on the trailer? Won't that be a bit bouncy and all over the place?
Tim.
I guess I'll find out soon!

I thought a lot about springs and between the extra weight, thelittle advantage they have, and this production trailer (www.trailerinabag.com) that doesn't have them; I decided to try it without.



The trade-off is comfort vs. weight (in my eyes). If I find that springs are neccessary, I'll add them later. I'm hoping that I don't have to.

-kevin
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The trailer looks great! I do have two questions. First question: it appears to me that you are using a solid axle, Will that cause trailer to bounce on rough surfaces? Second question deals with the distance from rear of rail to the taillights. Have you any concern about a cager running into the back of your hauled bike because he/she would be watching the lights instead of the bike?

I don't mean this as critical just trying to gain knowledge about question 1, and about question 2, I don't trust people enough to NOT run into the rear.

Thanks. Terry


I see you have already addressed question #1.
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Terry,
Wed will be the first big road test to Seattle. I'll let you know if it is too harsh.

If a cager is 2ft. off my rear end, I'm going to be pretty pissed anyway. One problem that I have is that you won't be able to see the lights I have right now from the sides, or anthing greater than 45deg off the back. Once I mount the fenders, I'm going to add some LED clearance/running lights on top of the fenders and maybe I'll figure out a clean place to mount a couple on the very end. Maybe I'll do amber lights all down the side?... probably not. I like things simple and clean.
Also, I'm not planning on trailering too much at night...we'll see.
-kevin
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I think you will find that the springswill betotally unnecessary (except when empty). With the bike loaded, the rail adds very little unsprung weight (you'd probably add that much in springs)... The bike on the railwill be steady as a rock as the axel (and rail) bounce up and down.. and keep in mind, the front half of the rail is sprungby the bike, so it is only (in effect) the back half that is unsprung))
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Well, I didn't get to go to Seattle today, but I got the trailer done (except fenders) and took it for a test ride with bike loaded. it worked great. You can feel it there, but it's a cinch to pull. For comparison; I recently took my father-in-law Pete for a ride, he's 225lbs. I would say that the trailer has about 25% of the adverse effect compared to riding with Pete in the passenger seat.
After I took these pictures I made an adjustable axle mounting system (to correct tongue weight for different bikes) and I painted it white. I was thinking about powder coating it, but I have about $100 into the trailer so far, and $200-250 for paint doesn't seem justified. The rattle can is cheap, and touch-ups are easy.
I'm also going to hide the wires inside the frame, secure the safety chain to the coupler bolts, and add the fenders.
-kevin


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That's great. Now all you have to do is build a hitch for the KTM so you can pull the 'Wing around off-road. :D
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thats a great looking fab on the trailor , good work my friend
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Took her for the maiden voyage yesterday. I haven't ridden this bike more than just for in town jaunts, so this was a test of the bike, the receiver, the trailer, a new helmet, and new tires.

I only had one problem. On the way up the rear tire was rubbing the cross member of the receiver at 71mph and up. I just stayed at 65-69 after some attempted roadside adjustments. The new tires I put on (Chinko- $129 delivered) were a different profile than the 1994 tires that were on the bike when I built the receiver. I had over an inch of space, and it was reduced to about 3/8" with the new tire. Once I was in the pits at the track in Seattle I had access to a drill and I fixed the problem for now. I might have to do a slight re-design on the receiver for the future.

Other than that it was clear sailing. I averaged about 36mpg. 65-70mph on the way up, and 70-80 on the way back.

Oh, and in the last picture is details about the adjustable rear axle. Since you can't really change the CG of the bike, I thought the easiest way would be to adjust the axle position. (to adjust tongue weight).

-Kevin







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glad it worked out for ya bro , looks good on the wing , are ya going to put some fenders on it when your done
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Oh man I wanna do something similar for my cafe project,but it may be too heavy. The cb weighs approx 480-500 pounds stock. Jay
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actionpack wrote:
glad it worked out for ya bro , looks good on the wing , are ya going to put some fenders on it when your done?

I bought a single 12" fender (the 8"ers were crap) that goes about 180deg around the wheel. I'm going to cut it in half, but I haven't figured out how I'm going to mount it yet. I'm not sure if I'm going to weld or bolt it to the axle.




Big Port Jimmy 6 wrote:
Oh man I wanna do something similar for my cafe project,but it may be too heavy. The cb weighs approx 480-500 pounds stock. Jay
This trailer is 103lbs. and most of the weight is in the wheels, hubs, and axle. empty it's 18lbs on the tongue and 40lbs under each wheel. If you could figure out how to lighten the axle you'd be closer to the general guidelines. There's no real law on how to do it, just advice from trailer builders and people who tow. The ultimateresponsibility lies withyou and your judgement. I think even the most bold trailer pullers out there would admit that a 600lbs trailer would push the limits of safety pretty hard.

BTW, I friggen love CB cafe projects. I'm sure you've seen Carpy's site: www.cb750cafe.com ? you'll have to PM me and point me towards your project if you have it documented somewhere on the 'net.



Cheers,

kevin
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cool idea, you need to get a harley on the trailer for a pic just for sh#ts and giggles:cheeky1::action::waving:
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