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Howdy all,



I may be a poor search-function user, so if this has been discussed, I apologize. First off, I am a relativelyseasoned rider, but not with the GL. I have an '83 Interstate that is my daily driver now (was a '74 CB750K, and I still ride it). To facilitate camping outings, and tripsas "sag-wagon" for myeslf and friends,I am looking to build a trailer for it. In consideration of that,wish to come up with some dimensions and such regarding width and "wheelbase" (hitch to axle). I will be making an aluminum frame, and using the 11-spoke GL1100 front-wheels as my trailer wheels (I still need one more, if y'all got one to sell). I own a welding and machine shop, so I will be modifying the wheels to accept different bearings; I must; select axles first though. I will be hauling little more than camping gear and the ocassional cooler, so width and length are not really critical. I know I want the "CG" low, and favor creative packing of a nimble trailer over something big. My questions are as follows:



1) How long from the center of the hitch, to the center of the axle is recommended for a trailer with a cargo area of about 32" x 50"? I assume the axle should be in the center??? I also assume that that cargo area is acceptable??? Suggest as you see fit!



2) What kind of suspension is common on these units? I suspect that I would not haul over 250 pounds, and I ASSUME folks want suspension. I was planning on using a light leaf spring, or some decent motorcycle shocks, but am open to suggestions.



3) What kind of limitations are there to "lean angle" with a regular ball? Are there motorcycle-specific balls I need to look at?



Thanks all,



Fabricator/Chris
 

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I would look at trailers already made, and take some measurements if that helps with ideas. There is a hitch twister available if your overly concerned about angle. My trailer has one and seems nice but not a "necessity". Its a twister that goes in your tow shaft and "twists" with the lean of the bike, theoretically keeping trailer tires flat to the ground. Have seen single tire trailers but not sure how they stay upright not having pulled one as of yet.
 

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Token Canuk
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I've built a couple of trailers & found

6' from the hitch to the axle
1 leaf spring
15 - 20 lb's air pressure
8" or 10" tires just keep the grease looked after.

Tongue weight is critical and you will find the figures in the threads.

 

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96aspencade wrote:
I've built a couple of trailers & found

6' from the hitch to the axle
1 leaf spring
15 - 20 lb's air pressure
8" or 10" tires just keep the grease looked after.

Tongue weight is critical and you will find the figures in the threads.

96aspencade
15-20 lbs air pressure- Is that in the tires?
 

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Token Canuk
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Yes, Tire air pressure, you are carrying a very light load, softer tires provide better cushion & less bounce. I also use Bearing Buddies for a grease reservoir.
I use a standard ball & hitch, no need for swivel, We've been coast to coast with both trailers no problem. :action::action:
 

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Some of the "general" thoughts from here are:

I kinda like the overall width of the trailer to be no wider than the witdth of bike & bags (convience really - makse "knowing" clearances and lane positioning a snap)

Toungue length should be from 1.5 to 2 times the wheel track width (I like to avoid multiples of the bike's wheelbase so harmonic bouncing isn't ever an issue)

Suspension - YES -- something dampened (lots of folks run fine with leafsprings only though) options include some light-weight torsion-style suspension (the torsion elements are self-damping) and/or air shocks (for 500lbs you can use automotive grade air shocks without additional spring)

Personally, I prefer single trailing arm supensions using air shocks better than 2/3 the way along the arm (compressing at right angles for maximum deflection at the shock) Issue is that this gets heavy and toughness / weight / complexity start to become issues. The height neede to address the shock upper mounting always seems to be a limitation on "style" factors as well.

Torsion exles can come in single-wheel units, or two wheel-common beam solutions (approximates a normal live axle) -- the common beam solution is a super quick and easy way to go and eliminates a lot of the alignment issues.

Torsion and trailing arm suspensions allow for a lot to pass under the center of a trailer, where a live-axle may snag something -- I've found them to be a bit more forgiving for multi-use trailering, but on-road ... prolly not even worth the discussion.

Axle position should be a bit aft of center to help with assuring tongue weighting the stadnard 10% gross weight should aply to the toungue weight, but may of these rigs won't behave well without a minimum of 15 or 20lbs of tongue weight. In all, i'd think that axle positionaing would depend on your box's shape also...

Personally, I like to have a rotating coupling / tongue solution (this is like motor oil -- lots of opinions) -- If you're not needing to tow your trailer with a conventional ball, consider using a Heim-joint (spherical rod-end bearing) as your hitch -- Vertical pin on the bike (3/4" is massive) and a long-threaded heim back into the tongue -- leave the threading a bit loose (no jam nut; 2 or so full threads exposed) and you'll be able to roll everything over a few times. I use a 1" trailer axle stub rosette'd and cross-pinned into the trailer tongue with a 1&7/8" standard ball coupling welded onto a length of tube to hold wheel bearings (longitudinal pull on the axle) spins like a play-toy, but all that force in one bearing; I've not seen any issues for the light load, but I do watch the bearing closely.
 

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Awesome info folks!!!

Am I understanding correctly that a regular hitch-ball is not the way to go??? I'll machine a swivel for the tongue anyway, but should I avoid the hitch ball, and just use a heim-joint?

Lastly, any reason why a serviceable (as in "useable") coil spring-shock from one of my 750's wouldn't make a good spring/shock combo for the swingarm-type suspension?

Thanks so much all!
 

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I traveled to from Seattle to Arizona and back, total 3500 miles with a standard hitch and ball. No worries at any speed. I see no need for the special hitch.
 

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a standard ball hitch works fine. i haved used them for thousands of miles without aproblem. i even dropped the bike a couple of times ,no problem. regards walkabout :smiler:
 

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Fabricator wrote:
Awesome info folks!!!

Am I understanding correctly that a regular hitch-ball is not the way to go??? I'll machine a swivel for the tongue anyway, but should I avoid the hitch ball, and just use a heim-joint?

Lastly, any reason why a serviceable (as in "useable") coil spring-shock from one of my 750's wouldn't make a good spring/shock combo for the swingarm-type suspension?

Thanks so much all!
I was collecting parts to do the very same thing when I bought my pre-made, great minds think alike.



Part of me buying the one I did as it was owned by the best friend of the guy I bought my bike from, who had an IDENTICAL 88 and painted the trailer to match (color matched to my bike, DONE!).



IMHO: Bikes are different from cars, and trailers (and tires) might not be the same for both, or maybe should not be the same (just because something is correct for one it does not mean its ok for the other). I have run with a spinner hitch and without. Here is my take on it: 99.999% of the time you should be fine without it, BUT IF there is ever a time for whatever reason the trailer is FORCED into rotating, it can spin, flop and not push the bike over. Yes, you will cause more damage to the trailer, BUT there is a better chance to keep control of the bike (where I am). One time I towed my jetski with my GL1100, but the trailer set up (not my normal rig) had about a 2lbs neg. tounge weight and it was almost impossible to do. Again, IMHO it would not take much twisting force to messwith the bike.



Some peope like seatbelts, others would rather be 'thrown clear' in a car crash....





Bill
 

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It will be your decision on whether to use a regular hitch or not. I have pulled a trailer for thousands of miles with the regular hitch. Works fine for me. It was a handbuilt frame with a car topper bolted on. Had a fairly long tounge on it and pulled great. You would sometimes forget it was back there.
 

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I made a trailer, it was a Harbor freight trailer, 12" wheels...Out of wood..Well fake wood siding anyway..Looks ok..Hold all I need..Cheap too...
 

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as many on here i just bought the harbor freight 12inch wheel verson for around 200ish bucks i didnt buy the one with the car carrier on it just made wooden slat sides

it works well just if you get into alot of rain you need to make sure your cargo is as water proof as you can make it or tarp it
 

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I have used a standard hitch/ball configuration for years and leaned enough to scrape the bikes (I have towed with GL 1000, 1100, 1500 as well as a CB900 Custom we took to Yellowstone). I have never had any related issues.
 

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ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh boy here we go again
 

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satan wrote:
...
Personally, I like to have a rotating coupling / tongue solution (this is like motor oil -- lots of opinions) ...
peterbilt wrote:
ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh boy here we go again
:needahug:... told ya so.... :sad:





But if you have a DarkSide ride with Mobile1 or run E3s on the trailer with Delvac in the box and Metzs on the larger-diameter trialer wheels, I totally recommend the pivot-ball with the electricdeer whistles and super-tall dark-tinted windshield with forward-facing blue strobe lighting so that you can tow without a helmet and....

(God save us all... :dumb:)
 

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The tongue length from axle to hitch should be not less than 2/3 of the total trailer length. In addition around 10-15% of the weight should be on the hitch but not exceeding the maximum weight of the hitch, suspension, and especially the rear tires capability after taking into account the riders accessories and luggage ect.

As for maximum lean I can lay my bike onto the crash bars without reaching the end of the standard ball hitch travel. Some folks like the swivel hitch but I have heard of a number of trailers with them flipping upside down, never heard of a trailer without one doing that.
 

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Sometimes an idea doesn't quite work out. Here is one of mine (yep - big billet U-joint).





The faux exhaust was supposed to be for fishing and tent poles. Single Showa air shock nailed the suspension.
 
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