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Trailering Questions

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

  1. SpeedUp

    SpeedUp XS650 Member

    I have a related question about motorcycle trailers. I've been having problems with mine because it usually wobbles at speeds between 60-70mph. Could it be just bad tires or there's something wrong with the balance?
  2. ThatXS650Guy

    ThatXS650Guy More Sparky than Speed Racer

  3. MaxPete

    MaxPete Life with Lucille...I suggest, she decides. Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    I don't own a trailer at present but one thing I can confirm for sure is everything people say about NOT running those tiny little wheels and being certain to grease the bearings at least once a year. You want tires of about the same size as on a small car (minimum) and good sturdy bearing arrangements - particularly if the thing ever gets backed into water.

    In my experience, most trailer problems come from bad bearings or blown tires - both of which are a result of tiny wheels going too fast with a load that is too heavy (except of course for trailer lighting :cussing::banghead: :wtf: which has caused more cursing and swearing than just about any other kind of technology in history).
  4. ScooterMagoo

    ScooterMagoo XS650 Enthusiast

    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
    gggGary and MaxPete like this.
  5. mrtwowheel

    mrtwowheel Honda Etched On Brain Top Contributor

    SpeedUp, you should have slightly more weight in front of the axle than toward the back of the axle. When the bike is loaded and the trailer is unhitched the trailer should rest on the tongue, not tilt back with the tongue in the air. Check your springs, you may have a broken leaf, if you have leaf springs. Other than that there's tires and bearings. If tires and bearings are good, I would suspect a broken or weak spring on one side. Also, Google.. "toe in" in relation to trailer building, an improper "toe in" set-up on a trailer can be a squirrely thing.

  6. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi SpeedUp,
    the wobble won't happen if you simply slow down, eh? Or speed up, does it wobble at 80? (sarcasm over, onto advice)
    I very much doubt it's the trailer's tires causing the high speed wobble.
    Although if your trailer's rims don't have the largest heavy duty tires on them that'll fit, you should make the swap.
    Check the hitch weight, heavier is better, mebbe 50lbs minimum.
    Check the trailer wheel alignment. Parallel is OK. A little bit of toe-in is better. Toe-out will cause wobble.
    Check that all the trailer's running gear is solid and working as it should.
    BTW, is your trailer shop bought, shop bought customized or homebuilt?
    It's that a minority of customizers and homebuilders have enthusiasm that exceeds their build skills.
  7. Ford F150 Short Bed 90's era fits a stock XS650 perfectly ! Tail gate closes right to the rear tire. 4 bed anchor points. U turns and parks easily and security is best. My opinion, sell the Subaru/Prius, get a Pickup ! RT
  8. XSLeo

    XSLeo XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    If you weigh the bike and trailer the tounge weight should be 10% of the total \. If the trailer and bike weighs 800lbs, the tounge weight should be 80 lbs.
    Easy way to check tounge weight is with a bathroom scale. If the weight is wrong , move the bike forward or backward to get weight right.
  9. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi Leo,
    depending on the trailer's design there may not be any forwards or backwards for the bike to move in.
    One thing that could be moved forward is the trailer's spare wheel. (and if the trailer don't have a spare wheel Murphy's Law says it's bound to need one.)
    What I have noticed is that the longer the trailer's tongue, the less hitch weight it seems to need.
    My multi-purpose trailer is happy with about 70lbs hitch weight but the far longer tongued sailboat trailer only has about a 25lbs hitch weight and it steers just fine.
  10. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    Google: "trailer sway".

    Many causes, many solutions...
  11. I have used many trailers and even a tag a long. The problem is the tire size at high speeds. I use to have a homemade with 15" tires and that pulled great at 85 mph. I had a 10" tire from harbor freight and it was all over the road at speeds over 70 mph.. Sometimes you can get the flex out of them by welding in a V arm on the front post if its just a single post to hitch. Never flipped one.
  12. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    I watch Tritons on CL and like their PWC trailers (modded) for one XS, Don't REALLY need it, I have the van but gotta admit it's getting harder to trust my balance getting bikes up and down that long ass ramp, not riding just walking along side and getting from back of van down to the ground while holding up the bike. Would like to use the Prius to tow, want to keep things light and low.
  13. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

  14. So, trailer wobble, bouncing, security, price, parking, all these factors to consider. Sorry but Out West its all resolved by a Pick Up ! Lowered 2wd, hooks always behind the seat to help out other bikers. And dogs & single ladies love trucks too.. Once a truck owner, always a truck owner. Im trying to help you -RT
    gggGary and MaxPete like this.
  15. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi TimeMachine,
    Q. Why should a pickup driver always wear a ball cap?
    A. To hide the circumcision scar.
    Seriously though, if you can get away with using a 2 seat vehicle that sucks gas and has ~50 cubic feet of open top storage that's empty 90% of the time as your only 4-wheel transport, your life's circumstances are different to most others.
    Our family vehicle seats 4 in comfort (or 5 if they don't mind squeezing together) and has a towing ball for the few times a year I need to use a trailer.
  16. True that is Fredintoon . Circumstances have kept me in a pickup by choice. Minivan & kids are long in the past. But so is my old "family" 70 Chev long bed.. Just saying how securely a truck hauls bikes, two even. I'd go nuts worrying about my precious metal XS bouncing around back there where I couldn't even yell out to it. :shootme:
    lakeview likes this.
  17. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi TimeMachine,
    OK you got me. I have to admit that back in the day I owned an F100 3 on the tree longbed and a family sedan.
    The truck got used to haul junk to the dump, haul firewood from the local woodlot, take me and my buddy hunting and (far too often) move one of my daughters from one nasty little furnished apartment to another.
    "Dad! I gotta move!"
    "OK, I'll be there Saturday"
    "No! I gotta move now, I found dirty underwear underneath the bed"
    "So? Ain't that where you've always kept it?"
    "It wasn't my underwear!"
    "I'll be there this afternoon."
    But that was then. These days my daughters are settled in their careers and live in distant cities and my youngest boy comes round to borrow my trailer.
    And you say that dogs and young ladies love trucks? Tell you what's a real chick (and dog) magnet, hang a sidecar on your bike.
    TwoManyXS1Bs likes this.
  18. Ya, would enjoy trying that side car out, Along with my daughters dogs.. Thx, Fred all good !
  19. FLEA

    FLEA XS650 Junkie

    rich (d /cycles) , if you still have that drawing of the hitch you made ,any chance of you posting it ,looking at making something up as my hilux 4x4 with a 2 inch lift is now a bit high for loading bikes on to (plus I'm getting older and hopefully wiser)
  20. 650Skull

    650Skull Dinosaur Lives Top Contributor

    The Hilux wont like that weight off the back of the tray............
    gggGary likes this.

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