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I took a 4 day 1750mile ride from Ridgecrest, CA to Deming, NM for the LDRider Veteran's Day BBQ and celebration. Going I took the freeways so I would have plenty of time but coming home I took back roads (highway 191) North joining I-40 just East of Kingman, AZ.

When I was pulling into the Chevron station at Barstow, CA I was cold, tired, and aching to get home and it was already 7:30pm. Although there were no cars coming out of the station, I kept to the far right side of the entry/exit. At the last minute I realized that my bike and the left wheel of the trailer were entering on the sloped transition but the right wheel of the trailer would be hitting the curb. I was not going fast and I slowed, only going another 15' or so before coming to a stop, but the trailer did a barrel roll to the left and transitioned from wheels down, left side down, top down, and right side down with the lid coming open before I got it stopped.

I got off the bike, stepped on the right wheel, and pulled on the left wheel to right the trailer, completing the full 360 degree roll. I picked up the errant gear, tossed it in the trailer, closed the lid, got back on the bike and pulled up to the pumps and fueled up. Although it trashed the paint job with scratches on the left, top, and right side, the right side got the worst of it. It pulled just fine on the last 80 miles home. Inspection the next day showed that the lid was sprung to the left of where it should have been but a little heave-ho to the right put it back in alignment and it is ready for future travel.

Yes, it was a stupid thing for me to do, and yes, I was not happy that I let a stupid slip in attention cost me hours of work to be done to bring it back to acceptable asthetic condition. I guess my point is that the rotating coupler did its job and there was no twisting fed back to the bike as the trailer did its roll. I bought my trailer for $400 used around 1992 and I think its date of manufacturer is around 1987. The guy that owed it before me was using it to move his household from Ridgecrest to Death Valley and a grocery hauler. He even hauled a V-8 engine in it! Me thinks that might have exceeded the recommended maximum load rating...ya think? It was white and I painted it metalic silver to match my 2005 wing just last year. Oh well. Back to the garage for a complete disassembly, sanding and paint job.
 

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Mark,

Your attitude seems pretty good about all this.

Now when you paint it this time, you can take care of all the little things that you didn't like, the last time you painted it.

Good on Ya!

Bulldog
 

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Bad things always happen in Barstow.............

now you have a winter project................
 

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Mark, I hope you did not have as many wittnisses as I did when I fliped my trailer on my first loaded test run. I had about 30 people picking up contents before I could get off the bike with my wits.

Glenn
 
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Mark

Mark, Great attitude about the tip over!! I'm usually pretty upset about stuff like that for awhile until I get everything back in perspective. Anyway, just wondering if the Bushtec, being higher off the ground with larger diameter wheels rolls easier than one of the trailers thats closer to the ground with 12" tires on it. Seeing I'm thinking about getting a trailer in the near future, it got me to thinking about the logistics of the center of gravity on each different trailer.
 

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That is the reason I won't use a swivel hitch. I have a home built trailer that has been every where and is 30 years old, been up on a single wheel many many times, but never would roll over. I have a new trailer now with regular trailer hitch and its been up on one wheel a few times but no roll over. If I had been using a swivel hitch, I would have rolled em both.


JMHO 8)
 

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Tom ------- I will 2nd that.
 

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KA7W said:
That is the reason I won't use a swivel hitch. I have a home built trailer that has been every where and is 30 years old, been up on a single wheel many many times, but never would roll over. I have a new trailer now with regular trailer hitch and its been up on one wheel a few times but no roll over. If I had been using a swivel hitch, I would have rolled em both.


JMHO 8)
AT some point, i think your trailer is going to go up on one wheel and it will be a little further than you want, only two things are going to happen. 1) your going to "tweak" your frame or 2) your going to get pulled over with the trailer. In which case, the trailer and the bike are going to get "tweaked"

I'm NOT FLAMING YOU, just making a observation. it's my personal choice to have a swivel hitch, I believe it has already saved my butt and my bike frame. If your more comfortable w/o a swivel, thats your choice and I respect that.

Ride safe ( and stay away from the curbs:lol: )
 

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I read a big article by a dude that sold and pulled trailers for 30 years . He said every roll over he ever saw was due to a swivel hitch and he would NEVER own one. So ka7w is right on.
 

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The bike has been over on it's side several times with the trailer hooked up, (That was with my old trailer) I have approx 300,000 miles of towing that old trailer, 30 years ... A little over 1 million miles on Goldwings, 1975,1980,1985,1988,and now a 2001 with 207,000 miles on it.

I may have bitten off more than I can chew !! I will try and be a little more careful in the future..

Edd
I believe KA7W's logic may be a little flawed, to say the least.
What is your logic and why is it better ?? Mine seems to be pretty good to me !!

j-mac

AT some point, i think your trailer is going to go up on one wheel and it will be a little further than you want, only two things are going to happen. 1) your going to "tweak" your frame or 2) your going to get pulled over with the trailer. In which case, the trailer and the bike are going to get "tweaked"
Please come by and show me how to get it to turn over, I have been trying to make it flop for many years now.. I need your expert knowledge to show me how to do it ! Thank you in advance !!

I can not get it to come up on one wheel just by turning, I have to hit a curb pretty hard then turn very hard away from the curb...

By the way, that old trailer is nothing more than a cut down kit trailer, Made by Harbor Freight... Old flimsy car top carrier on top. It has seen 120 MPH many times in its life !!. The new trailer has made Alaska and back, and several trips to Oregon/Washington and back plus two trips to Iowa and back..

Yeah, you guys are probably right, You have more experience with trailers on bikes than I do and I am sure you are much better riders than I am.

JMHO 8)
 

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I may be way off here myself, but I have read many posts about someone hitting a curb or pothole while using a swivel hitch and their trailer flipped but the hitch saved the bike. I have yet to read one by someone who hit a curb or pothole at a relative slow speed and and the lack of a swivel hitch caused their bike to flip. I know I am probably going against conventional thinking here but I think there is enough play in the standard coupler to take care of this kind of mishap. High speed mishaps or collisions from the side may be something else, but in that case one might have big problems regardless of the style hitch being used. This is just my opinion and not worth much to anyone but me. lol
:shock:
 

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My logic has something to do with the amount of torque a 350 pound trailer can generate when it is kicked up into a roll and the amount of torque a regular hitch and bike can withstand. If a trailer hitch that swivels isn't preferable to one that doesn't, then why not go all the way and have the trailer hitch locked solidly to the bike and have no hitch ball and no movement between the bike and trailer? Ridiculous, but do you have proof this wouldn't be safe other than logic and common sense? In engineering school, if you don't understand if your ideas are right or wrong, you are taught to look at the extremes of the problem (in this case it is the hitch that has no limits on swivel or one that doesn't swivel at all). Which is preferable?

A trailer going into a roll at high speed would pull me and my bike over with devastating results with a ball type hitch. I would prefer to have the chance this not happening. If anyone has definitive proof a ball hitch is safer than a swivel hitch, I'm all ears. A few random experiences is not proof.

Don't let common sense get in the way of bias and prejudice.
 

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Edd,

300 pound trailer in roll axis, How much torque compared to a 1100 pound bike with heavy rotating tires and a Motor spinning ???? I have never even felt it try to turn or twist the bike, never !!

Number two, a regular hitch will easily go 45 degs with no problems, I even ride hard in the twisties pulling a trailer, drag the foot pegs. No biggie !!

You guys are right though ... I should not do what I have been doing for many years because it is all wrong !! I should listen to more folks with less experience !! I do know that the younger crowd with less experience knows more than the older guys who have been riding for 55 years plus. I will work hard to try and change my ways !!.


300 lb trailer with swivel hitch... Hit a large rock and it will just rotate and lay down on its side. Then you gotta pull off the road and get off the bike and pick the trailer up.

300 lb trailer with regular hitch ,, Hit a large rock and it will rotate to about 45 degrees, then the torque is bled off via a semi-flexible tongue and the trailer flops back to the ground, bounces a bit and you just keep on going on going !!!!

Your choice, I know what myself and many other folks will choose !! 8)

JMHO 8)
PS ... There are some trailers manufactured that will not swivel at all, if the bike moves, it moves, no differential rolling at all. They are the single wheel trailers !!
 

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I agree 1000% with Tom on this. I have seen with my own eyes two motorcycle trailers flip upside down using a swivel hitch. There is nothing to stop it from flipping over on its lid once it starts. You can lean a GL1800 using a regular trailer hitch until you are dragging the bikes pegs and crash bars and you will not pinch or bind the trailer hitch. You couldn't pay me to put a swivel hitch on any trailer I would ever own.
 

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I was considering changing to a swivel hitch but will not after this report. I was unaware that the swivels are of the unlimited type and will let the trailer roll over 90, 180, 270, or a full 360 degrees. This just seems unsafe to me. My standard ball and coupler will let me lay the bike down on the crash bars without lifting a trailer wheel. I don't see any need for more rotation than that. I have also hit pot holes in the road and seen the trailer go up on one wheel, even seen both wheels come off the ground but did not feel the bike twitch at all. I just watched the trailer bounce in my mirrors. The only time I even noticed the trailer pull the bike to one side was when a wheel bearing locked up. It felt like the wind was strong from the right until the tire exploded in a cloud of smoke.
 

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KA7W said:
The bike has been over on it's side several times with the trailer hooked up, (That was with my old trailer) I have approx 300,000 miles of towing that old trailer, 30 years ... A little over 1 million miles on Goldwings, 1975,1980,1985,1988,and now a 2001 with 207,000 miles on it.

I may have bitten off more than I can chew !! I will try and be a little more careful in the future..

Edd
I believe KA7W's logic may be a little flawed, to say the least.
What is your logic and why is it better ?? Mine seems to be pretty good to me !!

j-mac

[quote:1koaqg7l]AT some point, i think your trailer is going to go up on one wheel and it will be a little further than you want, only two things are going to happen. 1) your going to "tweak" your frame or 2) your going to get pulled over with the trailer. In which case, the trailer and the bike are going to get "tweaked"
Please come by and show me how to get it to turn over, I have been trying to make it flop for many years now.. I need your expert knowledge to show me how to do it ! Thank you in advance !!

I can not get it to come up on one wheel just by turning, I have to hit a curb pretty hard then turn very hard away from the curb...

By the way, that old trailer is nothing more than a cut down kit trailer, Made by Harbor Freight... Old flimsy car top carrier on top. It has seen 120 MPH many times in its life !!. The new trailer has made Alaska and back, and several trips to Oregon/Washington and back plus two trips to Iowa and back..

Yeah, you guys are probably right, You have more experience with trailers on bikes than I do and I am sure you are much better riders than I am.

JMHO 8)[/quote:1koaqg7l]


Tom,
Just wondering , you running Car tires on your trailer?? Inquiring minds wanna know!!!!


Matt(Ashland,MA) :a13:
 

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Edd said:
My logic has something to do with the amount of torque a 350 pound trailer can generate when it is kicked up into a roll and the amount of torque a regular hitch and bike can withstand. If a trailer hitch that swivels isn't preferable to one that doesn't, then why not go all the way and have the trailer hitch locked solidly to the bike and have no hitch ball and no movement between the bike and trailer? Ridiculous, but do you have proof this wouldn't be safe other than logic and common sense? In engineering school, if you don't understand if your ideas are right or wrong, you are taught to look at the extremes of the problem (in this case it is the hitch that has no limits on swivel or one that doesn't swivel at all). Which is preferable?
By this logic every door in my house should have to be made to pivot 360Degrees on its hinge...

I think a swivel is not a bad Idea... but it should be so tight that you can't turn it by hand... It should take the tourqe of a 350 lbs trailer to turn it, with a lot of friction. This would allow the trailer to go over in that EXTREEM case (never happen!) but should keep it upright in every other possible situation...
 

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To settle this,,,,,I think we need a video of a trailer flipping over at least 180 degrees, with both types of hitches.
Anyone want to volunteer? :cry:
 
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