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I am planning a rather long trip next spring (2007) and am thinking about pulling a trailer behind my 05 RG. Would like to hear back about trailer pulling issues: Problems, likes, dislikes, preferred trailer brands, engine modifications if any to pull trailer, changes in riding style, and anything else that relates to this subject.

Keep it on the road
 

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pulled a california sidecar trailer on a 10,000 mile trip 2 years ago with a stock motor. the main drawback with a trailer for me is i end up carrying a bunch of stuff i don't need. i was told by a couple of other trailer owners that you never know the trailer is back there but i found a grade on I 64 in West Virginia that i could walk up faster than with a fully loaded trailer. they're also a pain in the a** in city traffic since you can't move in and out of traffic as easily. Bushtec makes a really nice trailer if you want to get really serious about it but I didn't want to spend that much. Mostly my trailer sits in the garage collecting dust.
 

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jnbernstein said:
pulled a california sidecar trailer on a 10,000 mile trip 2 years ago with a stock motor. the main drawback with a trailer for me is i end up carrying a bunch of stuff i don't need. i was told by a couple of other trailer owners that you never know the trailer is back there but i found a grade on I 64 in West Virginia that i could walk up faster than with a fully loaded trailer. they're also a pain in the a** in city traffic since you can't move in and out of traffic as easily. Bushtec makes a really nice trailer if you want to get really serious about it but I didn't want to spend that much. Mostly my trailer sits in the garage collecting dust.

About the only time i think a person really needs a trailer would be on a two up trip where you are going to camp ......its pretty hard to pack the gear for a two up bike trip and have your camping gear too and keep it dry ..... we have toured numerous 5000+ mile tours and never felt the need for a trailer.....You can buy alot of cheap hotel rooms for the price of a tow behind the bike trailer ... rat
 

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rgterry said:
I am planning a rather long trip next spring (2007) and am thinking about pulling a trailer behind my 05 RG. Would like to hear back about trailer pulling issues: Problems, likes, dislikes, preferred trailer brands, engine modifications if any to pull trailer, changes in riding style, and anything else that relates to this subject.

Keep it on the road
Have never pulled one, but here is a list of several manufacturers.

http://aerobourne.com/motorcycletrailerindex9.htm
 

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I have an older Kruzer trailer [made in Canada]. It weighs 125 lbs empty and it can haul 175 lbs, total 300 lbs. I have never had that much in there but close. I pull it with an 04 EG with no problems at all. We do not camp. We went on a trip from Texas to Death Valley and all points in between last October. We had to take the leathers and lotsa warm clothes as several times it was in the low 30's. Leathers and lotsa warm clothes take up space. I would suggest 12 in wheels, a lockable lid, a good seal under that lid, and good lights on the back. Some of the trailers available are to look at, and some are to haul things. Check out all of the brands before buying. After you buy, pull the trailer whenever you can to get familiar with it. Practice--practice--practice-- The only time that I notice it back there is starting and stopping of course. Other than that you really don't feel it. Trailers are hard to find used and are expensive new. So look around you might find a deal. I put the race tuner and the stage 1 on the bike, but I would of done that even without pulling the trailer. My gas mileage riding two-up and pulling the trailer averaged 32 mpg. I like having the extra cargo space. Good-luck

"there being no charges filed--I stand mute"
 

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Well I have always thought that if it did not fit on the bike, you were taking too much stuff.
If it just you on the bike, there is no reason for you to pull a trailer. A RK with a rack or a tour pak will haul more than enough stuff for one person. If it is you and the OL then take fewer clothes and use motels, but you can fit the camping gear if that is your choose, just buy back packing equipment that is compact and light.
Washing one load of clothes every 4 days is the same as washing two loads every 8 days so taking fewer clothes is of no real impact.
I do have friends that pull trailers and on one occasion during a panic stop, my friends trailer jack knifed slightly causing the bike to high side and it threw his OL off the bike. She was not hurt, but it would not have happened without the trailer.
On another occasion, I saw the end result of an accident that involved a Gold Wing rider pulling a trailer. It was on a straight section of road. It was a single vehicle accident, only the GW was involved. We got to the scene as the ambulance was leaving, without the lights on. The GW rider did not survive. I did not see what happened, but I have to believe the addition of the trailer was the determining factor since there was not anything that the rider could have hit at the scene. Something happened causing him to go down, and between the bike and the trailer, he got caught up in the mess. It could have ended up the same with just the bike, who knows, but his odds would have been better without the trailer.
Pulling a trailer adds a degree of danger I am not willing to accept. I would add a side car to my bike before I would pull a trailer.
Keep in mind, pulling a trailer increases your stopping distance, requires addition maneuvering space and adds more things that can go wrong. On more than one occasion on road trips, if I had been pulling a trailer, I would have had an accident because of cagers and animals and the increased stopping distance. I was not speeding on any of these instances, just cruising along, enjoying the road and the scenery. Sh!t happens.
I know people do pull them without incident, one of my friends has for many thousands of miles without problems, and many will say they are safe if you take proper precautions and that is their decision and I respect that decision, it is just not for me.
If you do decide to pull one, make sure you know the trailer hitch load rating for tongue weight and maximum pull weight and the weight of the trailer and its contents. Load it evenly and practice with it loaded before the trip.
What ever you decide, I hope your road trip is a safe and fun one.
 

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Here's a forum at DelphiForums that will provide you all the info you need. It's a topic you can debate all day long. I've pulled one with a softail and my current FLHT for probably about 50,000 miles with no problems. Scroll down the home page and you will find links to a bunch of manufacturers. If you're looking for a decent one that's fairly cheap, look at "piggybacker". Personally, I currently have a Starlight made by Neosho.

http://forums.delphiforums.com/MCTrailertowing/start
 

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i run about 19 lbs of tongue weight on the ball.if there is much more weight the front starts to get squirrley.once you get the weight right take pictures of how it's loaded and load it the same all the time.
 

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Myself personally, I wouldn't go on a long trip without my trailer, but I pull a Uni-go one wheel trailer that leans with the bike and does not have the capacity of your typical two wheel trailer. My SO is ALWAYS on with me and there just is not enough room for a comfortable trip when taking leathers, etc. as bulky as everything is. Also, I never fill the tour pack on my Ultra with anything other than snacks, drinks, etc. This keeps the weight off of the bike itself that would normally be on there. I've had this trailer over 110 MPH behind the BMW RT I used to have and over 100 behind my Ultra. I swear you cannot tell it's back there running down the road. Another thing I simply love about this Uni-go is I take it right into the Motel room or even up the elevator in a Hotel just like a wheel barrow. I use mine mainly for bulky items that don't actually weigh all that much. The trailer itself weighs 60lb. empty and has a capacity of 110 lbs. Even for it's size, there's plenty of room for us on our annual 9 day trip. And for the record, there is NO way I would pull a conventioal style 2 wheel trailer because of the weight and handling compared to this style of trailer. I do know several people though that pull Bushtec's and get along fine.
 

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Rgterry,

I have never personally pulled one with a bike, but this summer, I witnessed an incident with one that scared the h3ll out of me! I was out in Sturgis, and our group decided to ride from Belle Fourche through Wyoming, and into Alzada Montana which is literally in the middle of nowhere. We ate lunch and were heading back to Sturgis when two other Harleys were approaching us from the other direction. One of the guys was towing a small pull behind trailer. It is wide open flat land out there and the wind was whipping along pretty good. A cross wind caught his trailer and flipped it over, which in turn, flipped his bike, which rolled on top of him and into the ditch.

The driver never knew what happened and was unconscious from the moment of impact. There was a gas station a couple hundred yards down the road so we sent one of our group to call for help. The guy went into respitory arrest seven times and cardiac arrest twice. I have been a Police Officer for seventeen years so luckily, there was someone who could perform CPR. Then, imagine the odds of this!, about a half hour later another group of riders pulls up and one of them was a medic from Ohio. I was never so happy and releived to have some help! Took an hour and fifteen minutes for a volunteer ambulance to get there from Belle Fourche and a total of an hour and a half for the helicopter to get there and air lift him to Rapid City. I actually talked to the guy on the phone about two weeks later when I got back to Saint Paul. He had some major head trauma (even with a helmet) but it sounded like he was going to get out in a few weeks, possibly to a convalescent home for while to continue healing.

Anyway, I always thought it might be nice to have the extra cargo space, but after seeing that happen right in front of me really changed my mind. I have heard others say that it really feels like the trailer is shoving you forward if you have to brake quickly (ie: emergency). Any experienced trailer users out there have similar experiences, or is this type of thing just a bizarre fluke?:dunno:
 

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the trip

You have over a year to see what you can get along WITHOUT...:crying:

Or, I would go with the "Uni-go", but it appears they have GONE...:xhere:
 

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Retrax,

I've pulled a lot of miles as have some of my riding buddies, all the way back to the mid 80's. I'd say the accident you saw was very freakish. Without having all the facts, it's hard to say what caused it without seeing the exact setup. Maybe the trailer was empty. I've pulled all the way across Wyoming and South Dakota, both east to west and west to east in 30-40 mph sidewinds and firmly believe a packed trailer makes the setup more stable. This opinion is shared by most of the long term trailer pullers.

Most people I've talked to that have gotten in trouble with trailers is due to improper loads, badly built homemade ones or just plain lack of common sense. If you're pulling a trailer with a bike you obviously don't do some of the things you do on a bike without the trailer. Not much different than pulling a trailer with a truck or truck with no trailer. Biggest difference is in stopping. As long as you are aware of your limits, it's not a problem.

Here's a pic of my setup.
 

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I haul a Kompact Kamp trailer and in my opinion it is the best trailer out there for the money. I have hauled a trailer all up and down the east coast, across country and up the west coast and even rode through Deals Gap and other roads just as twisty with the trailer. I have never had any handling problems with a trailer and except for the extra weight going up and down hills you really don't know they are there. 100% of the mishaps I have known people to have were human error i.e. ball coming loose, hitch not locked, reciever pin coming out etc. The best advice I can give for hauling a trailer is allow extra room for braking especialy going down hill and always remember you are pulling a trailer. Like I said before it is easy to forget they are there so when you pull into a parking space or up to or away from a gas pump remember it is there and don't cut your turns too hard as you pull away. As for the accident described earlier I don't know what happened or if it was because of the trailer or not but I have ridden across Montana in some very high wind with a trailer and had no problems at all. I ride with quite a few folks who pull trailers and have never heard of anything like that before. My guess is it was just a freak accident.
 

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+1 for what Ed Y said. I have towed thru some pretty nasty sidewinds in SD,Utah, Wyoming and the trailer actually stabilizes the bike, you don't get any of that leaning 45* into the wind like you have to without the trailer. The rest of the time the bike tracks like it is on rails. The usual disclaimers apply, tongue weight, balanced load, do not exceed GVWR, tire pressure, stopping distance, etc, etc. Seems that most of the negative stuff I hear about trailer towing comes from those riders that have never done it. Kinda like non-riders telling you they would never ride a motorcycle because they are so dangerous
 

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http://forums.delphiforums.com/MCTrailertowing/start

Go to this delphi forum. It will tell give you lots of information. I pulled a Harbor Freight trailer over 6,000 miles(no camping) in 2004 from Florida out to west coast up and over thru Sturgis. Windy in Wyoming up to 35 mph and not a sway. West Texas on I-10 and tracked straight. You can get a trailer and top for it for about $250.00. Hitch is the most expensive item. I have about $500.00 total in the set up. If you are on the road for week or more you can't beat a trailer.

AJ
 

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Antonio Pendejo said:
+1 for what Ed Y said. I have towed thru some pretty nasty sidewinds in SD,Utah, Wyoming and the trailer actually stabilizes the bike, you don't get any of that leaning 45* into the wind like you have to without the trailer. The rest of the time the bike tracks like it is on rails. The usual disclaimers apply, tongue weight, balanced load, do not exceed GVWR, tire pressure, stopping distance, etc, etc. Seems that most of the negative stuff I hear about trailer towing comes from those riders that have never done it. Kinda like non-riders telling you they would never ride a motorcycle because they are so dangerous
What you said about GVWR tire pressure etc is another advantage of pulling a trailer. In my case I weigh close to 300 lbs and my wife weighs about 175. That takes up most of my GVWR right there. Hauling a trailer allows me to take most of the weight off the bike and into the trailer. Usually when I travel with my trailer the only thing in my saddlebags are what is usually in there all the time such as our rainsuits, gloves etc. The 20-25 lbs tongue weight is much less than if I packed everything in my saddlebags and on my luggage rack. Also makes packing for a trip much easier too. I purposely bought a small trailer to keep the weight down and to limit how much stuff we can take. Mine is a Kpmpact Kamp from J. D. Trailers. With the LED lights that come on it theres no excuse for anyone behind me not seeing me. Here is a link to Kompact Kamp.

http://jdtrailers.com/index.html

I got the Lil Clipper Deluxe. Mine is gray but they only made mine and one other gray one. Can't get gray anymore. It goes very well though with my black and silver 100th Anniversary paint. Everything else is black or white.
 

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MADDOG said:
I have an older Kruzer trailer [made in Canada]. It weighs 125 lbs empty and it can haul 175 lbs, total 300 lbs. I have never had that much in there but close. I pull it with an 04 EG with no problems at all. We do not camp. We went on a trip from Texas to Death Valley and all points in between last October. We had to take the leathers and lotsa warm clothes as several times it was in the low 30's. Leathers and lotsa warm clothes take up space. I would suggest 12 in wheels, a lockable lid, a good seal under that lid, and good lights on the back. Some of the trailers available are to look at, and some are to haul things. Check out all of the brands before buying. After you buy, pull the trailer whenever you can to get familiar with it. Practice--practice--practice-- The only time that I notice it back there is starting and stopping of course. Other than that you really don't feel it. Trailers are hard to find used and are expensive new. So look around you might find a deal. I put the race tuner and the stage 1 on the bike, but I would of done that even without pulling the trailer. My gas mileage riding two-up and pulling the trailer averaged 32 mpg. I like having the extra cargo space. Good-luck

"there being no charges filed--I stand mute"


Actually it doesnt take all that much stuff to do a ride like that ,,,,, it takes the right gear ,,,,,aerostitch and heated jacket liners....cut down on what you have to carry by a ton .... we have had no problem fitting all the stuff we need for a tour in a stock electra glide classic with a luggage rack bag and lower fairing glove boxes and a set of windshield pouches and the pouches that go on the front of the saddle bags .....we tour in the fall and live in michigan .....Our longest tour back to back days of riding has been 16 days on the road ,, with temps from the 30s to triple digits .......Trailers are fine ,,,and i see alot of them on the road ....but i find that one can do without one very easy if they have the proper gear and dont try to take the kitchen sink...... one would be nice for camping, though or making a ride to a major rally where you are going to camp for several days ...... to be blunt ,, trailers are for boats lol.....I do like the looks of the single motorcycle tire trailers ... i think if i ever buy a tow behind trailer thats the way i would go ... i think it keeps more with the motorcycle spirit than the two wheel kind......rat
 

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utrvp, you do bring up a good point about GVWR. Based on you and your wife's weight, a trailer is probably safer than overloading the motorcyce. Another thing is the size of the clothes and gear you reguire, (No insult intended, you are big people) My wife and I can probable pack twice the clothes you do in the same space just becuse of our difference in size. We are both short, and clothes do not take up much space. We also have 150 pounds more we can carry on the bike because of our weight. It makes it easier for us to put the same stuff on the bike you carry in a trailer.
Size does affect how much you can pack and haul on a bike and a trailer is a better option than exceeding the GVWR of the bike and tires. IMHO
Ride safe and enjoy the road.
 

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ratt said:
Actually it doesnt take all that much stuff to do a ride like that ,,,,, it takes the right gear ,,,,,aerostitch and heated jacket liners....cut down on what you have to carry by a ton .... we have had no problem fitting all the stuff we need for a tour in a stock electra glide classic with a luggage rack bag and lower fairing glove boxes and a set of windshield pouches and the pouches that go on the front of the saddle bags .....we tour in the fall and live in michigan .....Our longest tour back to back days of riding has been 16 days on the road ,, with temps from the 30s to triple digits .......Trailers are fine ,,,and i see alot of them on the road ....but i find that one can do without one very easy if they have the proper gear and dont try to take the kitchen sink...... one would be nice for camping, though or making a ride to a major rally where you are going to camp for several days ...... to be blunt ,, trailers are for boats lol.....I do like the looks of the single motorcycle tire trailers ... i think if i ever buy a tow behind trailer thats the way i would go ... i think it keeps more with the motorcycle spirit than the two wheel kind......rat
Everyone has "THEIR" way of doing things. I am "NOT" into Aerostich, and I have never had a need for plug-in clothes. I also leave the sink at home. Also I have no windshield pouches and no lower fairing boxes. We just carry what we want to have on the trip. Most of are trips are also buying trips for our vending business. It is also very handy to have a place to store your helmets and jackets when you stop to eat or just touring someplace. I like my trailer and if and when this one craps out I will buy another. Buy a trailer and enjoy your trip.
 

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It looks like there are several members here who have had a lot of experience using pull behind trailers with a motorcycle (unlike myself who have never used one). It seems like the majority of them are used on a regular basis without incident. I never checked to see if the guy's trailer had anything in it (it stayed closed up and still attached to the bike after the crash), but it makes me wonder if it was improperly loaded or connected incorrectly. I should add that the winds were pretty severe that day, and I think that there was a tornado in the area of Gillette.

I guess this was just one of those freak occurrances. Other than taking the time to get used to the "feel" of the added weight (kind of like pulling a trailer with a car?) it makes sense that it would lend an overall feeling of increased stability to the driver. Thanks for the input guys, I think my fears were mostly unwarranted.
 
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