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Author Topic: motorcycle trailers  (Read 1769 times)

dkw12002

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motorcycle trailers
« on: July 27, 2015, 10:12:59 PM »

My Zero S weighs 355 lbs. I am shopping for a motorcycle hitch or trailer and was hoping to get a hitch that wouldn't require yearly $45 registration for trailer plates...maybe one of those that cantilevers off your hitch, but those all seem to load with a small ramp where you walk along side the bike and that looks too dangerous. I could just rent a U-haul trailer too. Any recommendations? I was thinking of doing some track days.
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Chocula

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Re: motorcycle trailers
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2015, 02:00:59 AM »

Renting a U-Haul is probably your least expensive option, depending on how frequently you will be doing track days.  If you have a credit card that covers the loss damage waiver, even better. 
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dkw12002

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Re: motorcycle trailers
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2015, 02:29:46 AM »

I agree. In fact, the trailer I would want (a Kendon) sells for $2600 and you have to register it each year for $45, store it.... which means some heavy rolling and lifting while the Uhaul motorcycle with a wide ramp to ride up rents for $15/day (I just called). Glad I checked into it. Unless I would sign up for a lot of track time, it's a no-brainer. I'm going with the U-haul. Thanks.
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Doug S

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Re: motorcycle trailers
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2015, 02:55:48 AM »

When I got my SR, I dithered for a couple of months about getting something like this:  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0049IACSO?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00 . I decided not to do it, instead I'll just rent a good ole' U-Haul when I need it, but part of that decision was that I didn't want to put that kind of load on my sedan, which is a BMW 528i.

I really don't think loading the bike up would be a problem at all. The low-speed performance of these machines makes manual maneuvering of any kind just a snap to do. When I have loaded it into a trailer, just a tiny bit of throttle has the bike walking itself up the ramp while I just walk beside it and balance/steer. Believe me, if I can do it, anybody can.

I'm debating getting a new four-wheel vehicle -- the bimmer is getting very old -- and I'm going to very seriously consider something bigger and sturdier (maybe even a Tesla Model X if it's everything it's supposed to be) so I could mount up a carrier like that one, or rent a U-Haul when I need to.
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dkw12002

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Re: motorcycle trailers
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2015, 05:15:57 AM »

Yes, if the bike was running, but if it wasn't it would be really hard to get it up there. I looked at those too on YouTube videos and decided for me it looks like an accident just waiting to happen trying to load and unload but I'm an old guy too. If I was 25, I would probably just load it in the back of my truck, but those days are long gone. I think you could get a short run at the U-haul motorcycle trailer with a dead motorcycle in Neutral and probably get it up the ramp even by yourself...might have to find a slope, but it would be a shame to buy something that you couldn't always use no matter what bike or if your bike ran or not. I keep going back to the U-Haul as the best alternative. I am still looking and learning though. I have a  Ford F150 pickup with an 8,000 lb. Class 3 hitch, so the weight or stress on the engine wouldn't be an issue.
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KrazyEd

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Re: motorcycle trailers
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2015, 11:03:03 AM »

   My present long distance vehicle is a 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid. While it is not "supposed" to have a hitch, I was able to find one to fit.
It has a 200 lb. tongue weight, and, 2000 towing capacity. I generally get close to 50 mpg while driving. I have used it to tow two motorcycles
on a heavy trailer from Las Vegas to Laguna Seca on a few occasions. MPG towing the trailer, right around 30. But, it screams it's guts out.
I was looking into the hitch mount rails that are being discussed here, and, for my use, even taking out the batteries, I would be over the tongue
weight limit of MY hitch.
   I do valet parking, and, we have many guests with VERY heavy mobility scooters. With the weight of the lift and the weight of the scooter,
there does not seem to be any negative effect on vans, trucks, or SUVs with these in use. They are probably heavier than an S or DS.
Some of the hitch mounts have some pretty good weight capacities, and, even allow 2 motorcycles to be transported.
MAYBE two FXs or XUs, with batteries removed, but, would not feel comfortable with anything bigger
than smallish dirt bikes, or ONE DS, S, or SR. probably not with power tank. I used to race, so, have always had trailers. I like the Kendons
for weight and ease of use, but, very pricey.  For once or twice a year use, a day at a time, the, U Haul route seems to be best. If you are going
to start doing track days, it may be 6 or more times a year, and, then, the U Haul becomes less attractive. Harbor Freight has trailers for under
$200 that should work. Lowes and Home Depot have similar trailers for under $500. There is always the option of going used and saving some $$.
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dkw12002

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Re: motorcycle trailers
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2015, 06:42:56 PM »

If you have your own trailer that works, however I notice UHaul asks about your vehicle and hitch and if they aren't supposed to tow a certain trailer, they probably won't rent the trailer to you. My insurance company always asks about towing too, so there could be some hidden costs to towing motorcycles. It just isn't as easy and convenient as I would like.
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Doug S

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Re: motorcycle trailers
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2015, 08:28:19 PM »

I used a U-Haul a few weeks ago to haul my bike and my brother's up to the Vetter challenge; my bike represented no problem though my brother's bike kept wanting to move around (it's a lot heavier and we just couldn't seem to keep it secure). The thing I missed from a proper motorcycle trailer is the channel bracket that firmly locates the wheels in place. That was the problem with my brother's bike -- the suspension would compress on a bump, the wheel would hop and then the straps aren't all taut anymore. We couldn't seem to get his suspension compressed well enough to completely prevent it from moving around, but I bet the wheel channel brackets would have been a big help.
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dkw12002

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Re: motorcycle trailers
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2015, 03:57:02 AM »

I discovered another possibility that hadn't crossed my mind until I saw a guy load a bike into his pickup but he backed up to a wall which lowered the distance to the bed. Turns out I have a patio that is raised 7" on one side and 15" on the other since I live on a hill. Heck, I could just ride the bike up a ramp onto the patio on the low side, back the truck up to the high side and ride the bike up the ramp into the pickup if I owned a 9' wide ramp ($400) unless I found a used one.  I then called around and turns out all the dealers unload and load bikes for you when you take them in. Who knew? They either have permanent ramps or they have portable ones and they do the unloading and reload for you. That leaves the issue of a dead bike, but turns out my driveway is slanted downward too, so heck, I could get a run at the ramp and load right from my driveway....I think. I could always get help too. I would still need a wheel chock $110 unless I make one. That U-haul rental is still looking like the best deal for me.
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Burton

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Re: motorcycle trailers
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2015, 05:36:06 AM »

When I need to move my bike I just put it in my SUV ... fits with plenty of room left to spare :)
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Chocula

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Re: motorcycle trailers
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2015, 05:55:54 AM »

When I have used U-Haul motorcycle trailers, I used a Canyon Dancer http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/canyon-dancer-bar-harness-ii for the front end pulling down and forward compressing the suspension a bit less than half way.  This kept the front wheel locked into the slot at the front of the trailer.  I used a tie down side to side making a couple of loops round the back wheel to keep it from moving, then 2 additional ones pulling down and slightly back, compressing the rear suspension.  I use the cam lock type tie downs and sit on the bike pulling the excess toward me to compress things a little more than my weight alone does.  The bike feels snug when I am sitting on it, yet solid once I take my weight off.  This still leaves quite a bit of suspension travel in case of hard bumps.  The bikes rides very well and have not had any problems with things loosening or shifting during travel.  The trailer is pretty noisy when empty, but rides much better once you have a bike in it to give it some weight.

Chocula
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KrazyEd

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Re: motorcycle trailers
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2015, 06:13:50 AM »

I have always found that if I put the wheels to the trailer into the angle where the driveway meets the road, then, the ramp from the trailer to the driveway gives the easiest possible method of loading and unloading.
My racing was primarily Drag, so, the bikes were low, often with little front, and, zero rear suspension. Usually loaded and unloaded without bikes running. Couldn't be easier with a Zero, operational or not.
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oobflyer

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Re: motorcycle trailers
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2015, 09:28:08 AM »

A U-haul trailer is much easier to load the bike - it has a built-in ramp and sits low to the ground. But you can load your bike in the back of a truck using a ramp  - they aren't too expensive.
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Manzanita

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Re: motorcycle trailers
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2015, 11:31:35 AM »

There is this thread on the harbor freight trailer (I do not have one but it looks like a good deal): http://www.bayarearidersforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=359778&highlight=harbor+freight+trailer

I have either had a pickup or this last time, with two bikes, rented a U-haul trailer.

I prefer loading a pickup truck because the time it takes to pick-up the uhaul, and then drop it off is significant: I left to get the trailer at 8:30 am, got home around 10:30am, and THEN had to load the trailer with the bikes. There was a line at the U-haul because it was a friday morning before 4th of july weekend (people moving). But it is reasonably priced, I picked it up friday and dropped it off monday and the total with insurance was about $80.

I do have a tri-fold 48" wide harbor freight ramp I bought for $100: http://www.harborfreight.com/automotive-motorcycle/ramps/1500-lb-capacity-tri-fold-aluminum-loading-ramp-69595.html  Much better than a narrow ramp, because you can walk up the ramp with the bike. Much safer/easier and I've had no problem loading ~500 pound bikes completely alone. Having a low pickup is better than a tall one, for sure. But there are always people around at the track to help or spot you while you load.
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RickSteeb

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Re: motorcycle trailers
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2015, 10:34:14 AM »



 ;D
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