Towing with a Motorcycle

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Towing with a Motorcycle

Postby rebelrider.mike » Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:16 am

Hi folks,
Anyone out there tow your tiny trailer with a motorcycle?
I plan to build a 1-person teardrop to take along with me on extended motorcycle trips. I'll be towing it with a 2014 Ural M70 (sidecar). I'd love to hear advice on trailer weight, breaks, or whatever you all think would be good to know.

Haven't designed the trailer yet, but here's some things about my bike that may help answer questions: my Ural is an EFI, 1WD only, with a disk break on each (3) wheel. Its a 750cc boxer engine that puts out around 44HP. I've never been able to wrap my brain around the difference between HP and torque, or how they relate to real world performance. The general consensus among Ural owners though, is that while they can't accelerate very fast, they can handle a lot of work, whether that might be heavy loads in the sidecar, or towing things. I actually know a guy who used his utility trailer to bring home 500lbs of concrete mix. He says as long as you can stop the Ural, you can tow whatever weight you want.

Well, there's no shortage of opinions from the experienced Ural riders, but I also wanted to get input from experienced trailer builders and towers too. Thanks!
Mike
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Re: Towing with a Motorcycle

Postby dancam » Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:57 am

I cant remember what the name was right now, but this was the inspiration for my build. The guy has a 1.6L 90hp bike though. I dont ride bikes. Ill try to remember the website and get back to you if i do.
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Re: Towing with a Motorcycle

Postby swoody126 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:12 am

as a former owner/wrangler/rider of a 2008 Gear-Up and one who has tow'd many sizes/types of trailers over many miles of all types of terrain I APPLAUD YOUR QUEST

the general rule of thumb has traditionally been to have brakes on any trailer w/ an unloaded weight that excedes 1/2 the weight of the tow vehicle(obviously more important for the trailer once it has been loaded)

the term MINIMALISTIC comes to mind

* consider the trailer to ONLY be a hard sided tent that allows dry/secure sleeping off the ground

* don't excede the width/track of the tow vehicle

* build as light weight as possible

* utilize the same wheel/tyre combination as on the tow vehicle, maybe even the same suspension system

* rear lighting system that looks like a bonfire when you hit the brakes

* no frills on/in the trailer

* kitchen carried in/on the tow vehicle

* nothing butt clothes & sleeping system in the trailer

* carry a pup tent on the tow vehicle in the event you have to abandon the trailer

* the tongue may need to be set off center to provide balance behind the hitch coupler

* consider a paint scheme that compliments the Ural's

the list could go on butt you can start here

as you might guess i pondered your quest long n hard b4 the medicos pulled the plug on my riding

my ultimate quest was to visit all 5 extreems of the lower 48 on a motorcycle making a trail around the edge

Brownsville, Texas > Key West > north eastern tip of Maine > north western tip of the Olympic Penninsula > south western corner of California

hope this helps

sw
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Re: Towing with a Motorcycle

Postby rebelrider.mike » Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:33 am

Thanks Swoody, I'm thinking along the same lines you are. I've been looking around at various trailers here and across the internet, and they're all great, but larger than what I have in mind.

Another feature that I didn't mention, for folks unfamiliar with Urals, is that they have a proper reverse gear built right into the transmission. So reversing won't be an issue for me. Maybe I should get a rear-view camera. And mirror extensions...
Mike
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Re: Towing with a Motorcycle

Postby Bilgeboy » Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:25 pm

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Re: Towing with a Motorcycle

Postby BigGoofyGuy » Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:05 pm

dancam wrote:I cant remember what the name was right now, but this was the inspiration for my build. The guy has a 1.6L 90hp bike though. I dont ride bikes. Ill try to remember the website and get back to you if i do.
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Have you found out what it is? It looks really nice.
:thinking:
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Re: Towing with a Motorcycle

Postby BigGoofyGuy » Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:25 pm

Bilgeboy wrote:Go here: http://www.idahobedroll.com/


It is a very compact teardrop camper for one. I like the design. I think it is neat.
Image


I think this one could be towed by a motorcycle or small car. Wide Path Camper.
http://www.widepathcamper.com/
Image


I like the Go Little Guy Deuce since it can be pulled by a Smart Fortwo. I believe it can also be pulled by a motorcycle.
http://www.golittleguy.com/model?id=38&model=4x7-Deuce
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Re: Towing with a Motorcycle

Postby rebelrider.mike » Sat Feb 25, 2017 8:36 am

Thanks everyone, for the feedback!
I will keep all this in mind for my build.
Mike
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Re: Towing with a Motorcycle

Postby JaggedEdges » Mon Feb 27, 2017 6:37 pm

swoody126 wrote:
* no frills on/in the trailer

* kitchen carried in/on the tow vehicle

* nothing butt clothes & sleeping system in the trailer

* carry a pup tent on the tow vehicle in the event you have to abandon the trailer



That seems all ass backwards to me. Sure, overstress the TV with load when it's got a trailer to control, which only 15% of it's weight and 15% of anything in it, strains the suspension and tires of the tow vehicle.

Sure, try to keep the trailer as light as possible but loading up the tow vehicle instead is just stupid. If you've GOT TO carry it, put it in the trailer.
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Re: Towing with a Motorcycle

Postby swoody126 » Mon Feb 27, 2017 6:44 pm

JE, you're obviously not familiar w/ a URAL/sidecar rig

i'll just leave it at that

sw
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Re: Towing with a Motorcycle

Postby rebelrider.mike » Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:37 pm

I suppose my question may be a bit unfair for folks, but I'm such a noob, I don't know the difference between towing with a regular bike vs. towing with a sidecar rig.
One thing specific for Urals though, is they are designed to handle heavy loads over crappy terrain. I've had probably more than 400 lbs on it before with no difficulty.
Mike
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Re: Towing with a Motorcycle

Postby dancam » Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:05 pm

Ok, so my motorcycle experience is very limited and i never towed with one, so can you help me understand why its so much different than towing with a car?
It seems odd that braking causes the back end of your motorbike to lift so much. What is this caused by? Can you show me a photo of the reciever on your bike?
With the trailer being so light i would think that having the trailer tongue pointed down a bit, perhaps a significantly higher % tongue weight than the standard 10-15 that you do with a car, braking first with the rear brake and as much as you can with the rear before using the front i would think it would be ok. I just dont get why having a trailer unloads your rear tire rather than loading it....

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Re: Towing with a Motorcycle

Postby CamperDave » Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:51 pm

Dan, a few things to ponder....

First, 4 tires vs 2. (or even 3 tires)...

Next, under normal controlled braking a motorcycle with a trailer will do just fine. But, add any extra excitement to the mix and things change. On a motorcycle generally most of the braking is done with the front tire. All kinda of very scientific type forces tend to load up the front tire. Even when you just use your back brake your bike will squat, applying force to the front too. And when braking force is applied to the front wheel, everything wants to pivot on the front axle (think of a "stoppie").

In a corner, things become more interesting. That 200, 300, 500 lb trailer really wants to go straight. Best way to handle towing is to brake well before the corner and apply throttle to pull the trailer along thru the turn. If you are not pulling the trailer, the trailer is gonna push you. And remember, the trailer wants to go straight.

Getting the tongue weight "right" is an interesting game too. Too much tongue weight and accelerating might lighten the front end (think of a "wheelie").

Here's another look at my old bike/trailer set up. When I'm sitting on the bike, the trailers tongue is almost level.

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Re: Towing with a Motorcycle

Postby Andrew Herrick » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:28 pm

Anyone use the "Freedom" pivoting ball hitch? Seems like a good compromise between a standard ball (which could, theoretically, bind on a tight turn) and a $300 articulating coupler. It's recommended for motorcycles.

It's sold on Amazon. Of course.

URL: https://www.amazon.com/Freedom-Pivot-Ba ... B0053H9088
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Re: Towing with a Motorcycle

Postby TearDrop32908 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:30 am

I am just starting to put my Tear Drop plans together.
I will be towing it with a Honda VTX 1800 with a Voyager Trike Kit.
I was going to use the Northern Tool 4x8 bolt together aluminum trailer.
Just don't get a warm fuzzy with bolt together.
I found a local weld shop that will build me a trailer using 1.5x2 inch steel tubing.
It will also have a torsion bar axle with electric brakes.

I will start a build thread when everything gets started.
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