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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, here we go. I use CAR TIRES on the homemade trailer I pull behind my motorcycle. They're cheap little 13" radials and they work GREAT! I doubt they'll ever wear out, puncture or cause any problems whatsoever so I don't bother with a spare. These tires have a great load rating and they're made for highway speeds. The trailer pulls perfectly with these tires and it rides and corners great.

Now, if I could only put a car tire on my bike, I'd have a perfect setup!

:wink:
 

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Gizmo said:
I doubt they'll ever wear out, puncture or cause any problems whatsoever so I don't bother with a spare.



Giz,

Before the others catch it, ibtrike, ka7w, and others. I will invite you to run the roads in this part of the world, Texas is the world aint it!! Unless the tires that you speak of are "Solid Rubber" or foam filled (like the Ranchers here do) They will puncture, and at the most out of the way place, and worst time to find help. Count on it! Murphy is on the job, and he don't miss a trick.

Couldn't help myself.
 

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Gizmo,

It is your trailer and cargo, so you do what you want to.

What is really important here is weight rating, and sidewalls.

If it were me, I would hate to add $16,000 - $20,000 to the price of a cheap tire. Hell if your tires will never wear out, will you be changing them because of damage from "UV", dry rot etc. ? If not, they are one hell of a good set of tires.


A spare? I ain't going nowhere with a trailer, without a spare, jack and lug wrench. You will never need these items, until you do!

If this is strictly an economic question, how much can the difference be on outfitting your trailer with appropriate gear? What is the risk factor?

If you are being "Cheap" then you will either reap the rewards or pay the Piper at some point.

Bulldog
 

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George,

Texas doesn't have all the road hazards, just most of them.

I just posted on the General board about a rear tire flat I had yesterday.

Last week, I saw three cars on the side of the road with flats within 3 miles of each other.

What tires are used on a trailer are not nearly as important as the trailer's suspension, to the bike. (Trikes are not so affected).

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Bulldog said:
Gizmo,

It is your trailer and cargo, so you do what you want to.

What is really important here is weight rating, and sidewalls.

If it were me, I would hate to add $16,000 - $20,000 to the price of a cheap tire. Hell if your tires will never wear out, will you be changing them because of damage from "UV", dry rot etc. ? If not, they are one hell of a good set of tires.


A spare? I ain't going nowhere with a trailer, without a spare, jack and lug wrench. You will never need these items, until you do!

If this is strictly an economic question, how much can the difference be on outfitting your trailer with appropriate gear? What is the risk factor?

If you are being "Cheap" then you will either reap the rewards or pay the Piper at some point.

Bulldog

Weight ratiing and sidewalls? The car tires I use are rated to carry a car, which is probably 5 times heavier per wheel than the trailer I pull behind my motorcycle.

"UV, dry rot, etc."? C'mon Mr. Bulldog, perhaps you shouldn't assume that I know nothing about tires. I agree that these tires could, indeed, get old before they're worn out. IMO, that's a good thing!

Spare? Choices, choices..... I'd rather take along things I know I'll need.

"Appropriate gear" and "economics"? Personally, I'd rather have sound, durable and nearly bulletproof tires than the junk that some motorcycle trailer manufacturers use. If I do have a flat with a car tire, at least it's easily fixable or I can get a replacement at a reasonable price almost anywhere on the continent.

"Risk factor"? Although I only have a few thousand troublefree miles on these car tires on my trailer, I cannot see anything risky about them. As I said in my original post, the trailer handles great in every situation.

As for paying the piper, I've already done that in motorcycling many times over. That's why I do what I do!
 

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What's the difference between a "car" tire and a trailer tire? My 7'x16' Haulmark has "car" tires on it. So does my 40 Ford trailer.

Seems to me that "motorcycle" tires are for applications/vehicles where the tire doesn't always stay upright, hence they are rounded. Trailer tires always stay upright, hence they are flat on the bottom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wanderer said:
What's the difference between a "car" tire and a trailer tire? My 7'x16' Haulmark has "car" tires on it. So does my 40 Ford trailer.

Seems to me that "motorcycle" tires are for applications/vehicles where the tire doesn't always stay upright, hence they are rounded. Trailer tires always stay upright, hence they are flat on the bottom.
IMO, the main difference between a "car tire" and a "trailer tire" is that one is on a car and one is on a trailer. Generally, trailer builders will put on the cheapest tire they can find that fits the load rating they desire. There are exceptions to the "cheapest tire" rule but, unfortunately, they are the exception.

You see all kinds of different tires on motorcycle trailers. Most of the trailer manufacturers will use 8" or 12" wheels with bias ply trailer tires. There's not too much inherently wrong with a bias tire on a motorcycle trailer IF you can find high quality tires that are designed to handle freeway speeds and last for tens of thousands of miles. Unfortunately, the el cheapo "Wally World" type of trailer tire that is often used is pure junk that will probably not last for a 3000 mile trip.

Radial tires always have the advantages of decreased rollng resistance, superior ride and their steel belted construction greatly reduces the chance of puncturing. More than likely, if a radial does get a puncture, it will develope a slow leak and not blow out like a bias ply tire. Hence, IMO, the radial is safer.

To my knowledge, radial tires in 12" and under sizes are generally not commonly available but 13" radials are so that's what I put on my home-built trailer. They work great.
 

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I've run a lot of what I'm sure many would consider to be cheap trailer tires on small trailers, mostly for snowmobiles and boats, and I've never had an issue with premature tire wear. Most premature trailer tire failures are caused by overloading, misalignment or improper inflation.

I've attached a copy of what the Dexter trailer axle people have to say about non-trailer rated tires. This info came with my new Rance enclosed trailer, it came with 14 inch Goodyear radial trailer tires.
 

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I am amused when someone makes a statement that everything Wal Mart sells is junk... last time I looked .. Wal Mart also sells Michlin tires.. but I guess they are substandard tires from Michlin huh ?

Wal Mart is here to stay... so get use to it...

cosmic
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
cosmic_chariot said:
I am amused when someone makes a statement that everything Wal Mart sells is junk... last time I looked .. Wal Mart also sells Michlin tires.. but I guess they are substandard tires from Michlin huh ?

Wal Mart is here to stay... so get use to it...

cosmic
That's a good point, Cosmic, so I'll partially retract my blanket derision of "Wally World" tires. To more accurately illustrate my point, I'll use the following example.... when you buy a trailer tire and rim unit for $20.00, no matter which store it's from, more than likely you're getting what you're paying for.

The purpose of my original post was to illustrate that there may be other good choices for your trailer. I've used those "$20.00" tires before and have not had very good luck with them....to the point of wondering if carrying one spare was enough on a longer trip!


Aht Six's post is also relevant. I wonder how many trailer builders put on a tire that barely meets specifications? We Wingers have the reputation of being very safety conscious. We even have airbags on our bikes, for gawd's sake! Why would we try to barely get by with trailer tires? The tires I'm recommending far exceed the specs needed for carrying a light trailer.... a good thing IMO.

While the car tires I use may not be specifically rated for trailer use, they are designed to carry much heavier loads of people, which, IMO, makes them inherently a better designed tire. The trailer tire doesn't know if it's mounted on a car or a trailer or if it's being pulled by a pickup or a motorcycle....it just rolls along carrying the load.

I'll continue to use car tires on my trailer because I know they'll last for a long time, I know they perform well and I feel totally confident in their safety.

Ride safe.
 

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Gizmo said:
You see all kinds of different tires on motorcycle trailers. Most of the trailer manufacturers will use 8" or 12" wheels with bias ply trailer tires. There's not too much inherently wrong with a bias tire on a motorcycle trailer IF you can find high quality tires that are designed to handle freeway speeds and last for tens of thousands of miles. Unfortunately, the el cheapo "Wally World" type of trailer tire that is often used is pure junk that will probably not last for a 3000 mile trip.
Have to disagree with you based on personal experience. Three of the four trailers I've had have had 8" wheels/tires. I pulled one of them 20k miles one summer. Those "junk" WalMart tires performed quite well and still had another 20k miles left in them. I guess I got what I paid for. lol

Most motorcycle trailers have a max weight rating of less than 500 lbs. One doesn't need a "super duper" tire for that kind of load. Buy what you want and, hopefully, you'll be as happy with your choice as I am with mine.
 

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I'd like to see a picture of your trailer with the 13 inch tires. I figure it's overkill and probably would just carry a pump and plug kit. If you can flatten a underloaded tire because of road debris, you would probably flatten 2 tires on your car and a spare wouldn't help anyway. Besides, why would we carry a spare for a trailer when we don't (or it's REALLY rare) carry one for the front and rear of the bike. We usually carry a pump and plug kit don't we. Unless we're taking the ALCan highway and pulling a trailer with spares for EVERYTHING.
 

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Guys
just my 0.2 cents worth, my cousin has bike trailer that he pulls w/ his truck, loads an HD Softail on it & hauls a$$ :wink:
The trailer has 8" wheels :shock: & there are NO ISSUES :)
The tires, rims, bearings, springs are fine :wink:
So ya see the 8" tires do work very well :) :)
just my MHO, not trying to start any wars :lol: :lol:
OH BTW, this trailer PRIOR to being a bike trailer, it was a BOAT Trailer & carried a 16ft boat, we added an aluminum deck & cut the tongue down now it has a new life hauling a bike & quads :wink:
 
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