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Trailering Questions

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by smg65, Nov 20, 2015.

  1. smg65

    smg65 XS650 Addict

    To those with trailering experience... what is the minimal size trailer that would handle a stock 76? Tractor Supply has a 4X7 lightweight trailer (350 pounds) that my small car can probably handle just fine. But I don't know if it would be long enough. I'd rather have the bike go straight on, and not sit diagonally on the trailer. Does anyone have any recommendations? I had a great, small bike trailer, but I sold it years ago... mistake. Thanks...
  2. barncat

    barncat XS650 Addict

    buy a 4x8 trailer. there is no point in giving up that extra foot.

    any light duty trailer will work for hauling one vintage bike (as opposed to an 800lb Harley or Goldwing). just don't buy one with the tiny wheels.

    make a front wheel chock out of 2x and 3/4" plywood to fit your front tire, bolt it to the deck/frame, and tie the bike down with 4 ratchet straps to each corner.
  3. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    One big problem would be loading/unloading. The height of the trailer, strength of the rear, ability to secure a ramp, and the ruggedness/security of the hitch (to withstand upward forces) would be a consideration...
  4. I do a lot of moving bikes and a good 4x8 would be the best bet. Some smaller trailers will work but the tilt factor is there. I use to and may make some up next year a single tire tow. But it must be a class 3 hitch. I just got rid of my ellantra and had a class 3 on there and it towed good up and down the east coast. So hitch is first trailer size and tire size second. Go with 12" or more for tires.
  5. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    Last edited: Nov 22, 2015
  6. cra-z1

    cra-z1 XS650 Junkie

    I would not use one of those hitch haulers for a long haul. The rear wheel/sprockes,shaft,gears are still turning. Maye for a few miles.
  7. Bigfeet

    Bigfeet to many projects

    I've thought about using one but only if I removed the chain.
  8. XSLeo

    XSLeo XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    I found a used Triton aluminum trailer, 4x8 Very light and works very well. It has 12 inch wheels. Paid $500 for it.
    You might try searching on Ebay, that's where I found mine.
    The same thing new is around the $1200 price range.
  9. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    I've had similar thoughts, but consided these advantages:

    MUCH less $$$. Imagine how many tires, chains and bearings that $1000+ savings would get.
    Yes, the wheel/chain/trans are spinning, but under MUCH less load than if riding.
    Doesn't consume a parking space, easier to store.
    Doesn't require mandatory titling/registration/inspection and tow package hookup.
    NO ramp to muscle about.
    Once lashed and triangulated tied, simply lever or crank up. A real back saver.
    NO balancing and fall-down issues from muscling up/down ramps.
    Easier to hook-up. Slide into receiver hitch versus backup-and-hope "ball under hitch" dance routine.

    Any more?

    Edit: During trailering, MUCH more clearance for turns and backing up.
    MUCH less load on receiver hitch, if that helps...
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2015
  10. NONclow

    NONclow Confirmed Laquer Breather

    Bingo :thumbsup:

    Nice points Twomany! XSLeo, the only problem I have with "small" trailers are the tiny wheels that spin faster than the ones on the rig towing it. Not to mention wheel bearing service intervals on most trailers is lacking at best.....in my experience. lol

    My "trailering" duties are performed by an old 12' F350 U-Haul from a previous delivery job for all ye curious folk.
  11. I have used the single wheel hauler for over 10 yrs. I use to make them and sell them . Did good on sales and yes they are for short runs if you leave chain on. I did haul back a bike from FL to NJ that blew its motor at bike week but the chain was off. I have owned one like Leo said and it was the best one I had. Light weight with car tires and it went everywhere. I still own a 7x20 inclosed but you need a good truck to haul that. Best inclosed for bikes hauls great and not super heavy is a 7x14 dual wheel about $4000 but you get your money's worth. I used mine for bikes -hauling furniture-trash-flee markets you do get you money's worth. My 7x20 just left NJ last sunday with one of my guys who worked for me . Moving to FL so it gives me a reason to go to FL to get my trailer HAHA.
    Going back to single wheel I have pulled more people off highways with it that broke down. Here on the east coast if you break down on some highways you pay $250 to get your bike towed to there yard RIPOFF but that's the law so I would just pull up with my car pop the truck and in less than 5 mins we are out of there. Now you got me crazy I got to make one LOL
  12. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    Rich, were yours the 'lever-up' or 'crank-up' or 'fixed height' type?

    Uh-oh, waitaminit, welding fumes???
  13. No the ones I make are fixed with a little ramp that comes off. I will have someone else weld it HAHA. My buddy had that crank one and it got stuck all the time. My other buddy had that one that went into your truck bed and we were in FL for bike week and it broke so we had to lift bike into bed he was pissed I think he paid close to $2500 for it. I make mine out of 1/2" channel that you buy at metal shop . Cut v shape cut then bend it weld it up and put two flat stock sides and bolt or weld (I do both) put square stock to fit trailer hitch class three DONE.... I use bumper or frame rails for straps. Can make one for under $50.00. I even have a drawing somewhere on the first one I did. I kick myself for giving mine away. It could make you some money picking up bikes on short trips.
    True story .... I was on the statenisland expressway and about 30 outlaw bikers were on the side of the road I pulled over in my Elantra and said you need help???? They all looked at me like I was a crazy person. I told them I was a bike mechanic and told them I could tow them off the highway or to my house and fix bike. I already seen what was broke. Guy put new ignition in but used old bolt which is not hardened and head broke off. I told the guy I have those replacement bolts at my garage. I still think these guys think that I am a crazy person. So I popped the trunk hooked up the tow and they all smiled. Well long story but I towed to my home with 25 plus bikes following me fixed the bike in a half hour and made some important friends HAHA
    Mailman likes this.
  14. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    Haha, good one, Rich. Crazy like a fox.

    Trolling for customers...:laugh::thumbsup:
  15. Tomterrific

    Tomterrific XS650 Junkie

    I used a 4x8 trailer for years, pulled by a Miata. The larger diameter tires will raise the bed higher a bit so it is slightly harder to load.

    Some tips.
    Use 3/4" exterior plywood for the base. Paint the entire board with oil base paint, paying special attention to soaking the edges. Use roof coating on the bottom as a cheap waterproofer.
    Always load a trailer front/tongue heavy. A dart must have the weight at the tip or it will not fly straight. A trailer is the same.
    Pack/grease the wheel bearings right away. They are not packed from the factory.
    Bolt a chock in the front with 3/8" eye bolts at the corners for tie-downs. Use two eye bolts at the back of the trailer to tie the rear. I use six but never less than four.
    The bike must be tied down on it's wheels, never on the side or center stand. Never!
    Harbor Freight has good prices on trailers.

  16. jamesgs4

    jamesgs4 fuck this, let's ride!

    I made this out of a 4x5 trailer. no plates needed for a dolly in CO. chain off, 2300 miles without any problems.
  17. weaselbeak

    weaselbeak XS650 Junkie

    When I make small trailers I go to the salvage yard and get the rear axle out of a Chrysler product mini-van. The whole thing unbolts from the frame with a few bolts, shocks and all, and I just have to build a bed onto it. Really easy, and wheels and all I haven't spent 100 bucks to buy one. For super low ground clearance I ditch the suspension. You won't need 15 lbs in the tires for a lousy half ton load, and that softens the ride. The best part to me is that I get to custom build all the hardware for tie downs, wheel chocks & such to suit myself. People keep talking me out of them and right now I'd have to go borrow one from my son, as I only have a suspension trailer here, using ramps. I did once build a trailer hitch single wheel mount carrier, and it worked fine.
  18. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi smg,
    mine just grew.
    It started life as a small boat trailer I bought used.
    I removed the boat support rollers and grafted on an 8 foot length of 5" channel iron up the middle.
    The channel supported the bike and the trailer's tilt feature allowed easy loading.
    Diagonal tie-downs out to the axle spring ends to keep the bike steady and it's good for the long haul.
    You can stop there just to tow a bike.
    I later added a 4' x 8' carrier box to take camping gear.
    Then stiffer springs to take a bike AND camping gear.
    Then converted the box sides and tailgate to lift-off pieces and added outboard channels to carry a sidecar rig.
    Then after the initial sidecar test load added a stiffer leftside spring so the trailer sat level.
    Usual trailer caveats:-
    Always carry a spare wheel and whatever's needed to change it.
    Make sure the lights work and the safety chains are in place.
    Add a whip antenna or other mirror-visible thing as a visual aid for backing up when empty.
  19. weaselbeak

    weaselbeak XS650 Junkie

    That's not a bad price at all.

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