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I am ordering a new aspen classic trailer and wondering if I should put brakes on or not. I have an 08 wing with ABS I've heard a little about both sides just wondering what you guys thought.I need to know soon caus e their gonna start building it.I've horror stories about the brakes lockin up and you have to have them set just perfect.then their is the wiring and where to mount the accuater bike or trailer if its on the trailer how do you wire it on the trailer. Im guessing its gonna be over 600# fully loaded
 

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You won't need electric brakes it may have been done by someone
but most all of us have no brakes on trailer
 

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600 lb trailer

I'd put brakes on it. The setting doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to be under the maximun need, so you don't lockup the trailer brakes. I pulled a 425 lb trailer behind a Valk with no brakes. There were several times I wished I'd had them.
 

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Just something to think about. I have a Bunkhouse camper (nearly indentical to the Aspen) and when I asked about putting brakes on it, I was told by them (Bunkhouse people) that although they are available, they don't like to do it because when trailer brakes are applied, they upset the balance of the bike.

As it was explained to me, a motorcycle steers mainly with the front wheel/tire, and the rear tire merely serves to keep the back of the bike from dragging on the ground. When you apply the brakes on a motorcycle, about 75--80% of the braking is done with the front tire due to forward weight transfer during braking. If you have brakes on a trailer being towed by a motorcycle, when you apply the brakes, due to braking action by the trailer brakes, there is a rearward weight transfer and the front tire becomes somewhat unweighted. This serves to reduce the braking effectiveness of the bike, and if you are in a turn, could cause loss of control and possible crash.

Now, I'm not saying that this WILL occur, but it could, and if it's enough of a safety issue for a major motorcycle trailer manufacturer to avoid mounting them, even to recommend NOT putting brakes on a trailer, then it's good enough reason for me to avoid it as well. I guess that may be why you don't see trailer brakes on other makes of motorcycle trailers, either.

I agree that an extra set of brakes could make for more effective braking when pulling a trailer, but the safety issues and concerns just keep me aware that it will take longer to slow the bike down and bring it to a stop.
 

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I have pulled this all over and most of the time it is packed so full and heavy it resembled a "blivit". (50 pounds of s**t in a 5 pound bag)
I know it is there when I stop but have never had a problem stopping it.
I do have ABS.
Plan ahead and you should have no problem.
 

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I ordered my Aspen Classic two weeks ago. I've decided not to go with trailer brakes mainly because I hear more folks not using them than have them without issue. Though, those that have the brakes feel more confident with them. I've pulled a packed Harbor Freight trailer around the country without any issue. And though that's not apples to apples, I feel pretty good of starting off my Aspen adventures without the brakes.
 

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This question has been raised several time...the consensus by mebers of the board and the manufacturers of the trailers is NO BRAKES

I pull a Bushtec which is at times heavily loaded....never had a problem stopping....it just takes a bit longer....just as it takes a bit longer to stop with two people on the motorcycle as with one

The brakes on the Goldwing are more than adequate to stop within a safe distance....this of course is dependant upon you, the driver/rider operating your motorcycle in a manner "safe" with it's current configuration....in other words, when you are towing a trailer you must ride differently than when not towing
 

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I guess I'm getting in a bit late on this topic but when I purchased my Aspen Classic in 2003 I ordered the electric brakes and purchased a prodogy brake controller http://www.tekonsha.com/prodig.html . This unit is mounted in the right front pocket (Key) . It works wonderfully! I hope I haven't jinxed myself by saying that but I am thankful I have this setup. I have the Force set on the controller where the rear brakes aren't locking but I can feel their assist. When my wife and I take our yearly trip or vacation we are usually on the road for a couple of weeks. The trailer is pretty full so I appreciate the trailer brakes. I think the key is to get that controller set right.

Bryansong
 

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I 2000 I put a Dexter axle, equipped with electric brakes, under my Kwik Kamp (500#) trailer that was pulled by my 94 1500. To make a long story short the brakes locked up every time I hit a hard/sharp bump in the pavement. The factory sales manager advised me that " the brakes were not intended for small trailers, they bounce too much". They then added a disclaimer to their brochure stating that.

There is a heavy magnet on the arm that is rotated by it being attracted to the face of the drum and energizes the brakes. The bounce causes the arm to swing and "on goes the brakes".

Scared the snot out of me a few times and then the arm was disabled by a zip tie.
 
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I went through this very scenario a few years back with Trailmaster , finally I contacted the manufacturer of the axle that Trailmaster uses , Dexter . I was told point black NO , never on a motorcycle trailer for the very reason Ted experienced above .

If the actual manufacturer of the axle and brakes said no , who was I to argue ?
I towed the Aspen with a 15hunert and never had a single issue with not being able to stop . Use common scenes and adjust your riding style accordingly . ;)
 

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I have no personal experience with MC trailer brakes but two members of my Chapter both ordered Aspen Trail Master Trailers with brakes in 2004 and today neither one of them use their brakes. One because he could never get the sensitivity set right so he just quit using them and the other because one side came apart inside the drum and tore everything up in there. He decided the return just didn't justify the cost of repair. Neither one of these two were ever really happy with the brakes on their trailers.
 

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I bought a used Aspen without brakes and added them. Spent a couple of hours in a very large parking lot stopping with and without them. Different settings from almost no assist from trailer to total locking of trailer from 70 down to stopped. Any amount of trailer braking shortened stopping distance. No ill efects to bike when trailer brakes set to lock up wheels other than long black marks and smoke. Mounted prodigy controler on trailer with switch to cutoff brake power on handle bar. Dont understand no brakes on a trailer that weighs 2/3 weight of bike. Changing riding habits wont work when someone in a cage does something stupid. JMO
 

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I have an '04 Aspen Classic. The instruction booklet that came with it, on the second last page, has product bulletin #260 (dated Nov. 13, 2000) which says "Dexter Axle does not recommend the use of brakes on small touring trailers designed to be pulled by motorcycles.....We strongly recommend that this practice be discontinued. Proper control...can be very difficult. Even a slight imbalance of the trailer brakes may cause the rider to lose control. A secondary issue is spontaneous and unexpected actuation of the brakes....."
 

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After speaking to one of the fellows I mentioned in my prior post He mentioned that the problem is not in straight-line braking but when cornering, more at low speeds than high speeds. In a straight line there were pretty much no problems at all with the brakes no matter how they were set up. Very much what Z06505 posted. Apparently the problem comes in when cornering at lower speeds as in making a left or right turn through a residential intersection or turning around in a parking lot. It is there that my friend found problems. He says that using the brakes tended to pull the bike towards the inside of the corner and the slower he was going the more he noticed the effect. Anyway that’s his story.

Personally I have always wondered why “surge” brakes aren’t used on these little trailers. I have never had bakes on mine but have had a few moments when I wished I had
 

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I have brakes on my Aspen and like them, have a controller that is progressive. When first applied they take a period of time to engage and only engage up to a certain point, just a slight drag when fully engaged.

If they are set so they drag a lot, they do try to pull the bike down at slow speed turns. I do keep them adjusted regularly.

When we got our camper I just didn't like the idea of 500# pushing me down the road. Some say they have had bad experiences with them, I haven't.

What ever you get enjoy it!
 

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brakes on Aspen

I am ordering a new aspen classic trailer and wondering if I should put brakes on or not. I have an 08 wing with ABS I've heard a little about both sides just wondering what you guys thought.I need to know soon caus e their gonna start building it.I've horror stories about the brakes lockin up and you have to have them set just perfect.then their is the wiring and where to mount the accuater bike or trailer if its on the trailer how do you wire it on the trailer. Im guessing its gonna be over 600# fully loaded


I have a 08 Wing with ABS. I have had 2 tent trailers. The first one I sold because it had no brakes. The second one is an 06 Aspen Classic with electric Brakes. Loaded I usually tow 700 lbs..
I am here to tell you that you need brakes. I found out the hard way that the wing is not designed to stop an extra 700 lbs.. The most important thing is to get the brakes adjusted so they brake evenly or else it wants to through you on the ground when coming to a stop. Jack it up, tighten each brake fully, then back both off 7 or 8 clicks and you should be good to go.
my controller is in the trailer. Set the controller for light braking for the trailer. You want it to assist stopping the trailer, not stopping both the trailer and bike like you might do when towing with a 4 wheeler. I love my Aspen, got it second hand. I got rid of that foam bed and replaced it with a Queen Airobed 120v and put a 1 inch foam pad on top for insulation from the cold air in the bed. I then placed a large home tractor battery from Walmart and a inverter from Best Buy in the trailer rear right to blow up and deflate the bed. Having the air bed allows you to keep your bed made with pillows and a heavy down comforter. I even have room on the hinge side for my two chairs. I couldn't sleep on that hard foam bed.
The bike keeps the battery charged well.
I know that you probably have already bought your trailer, but maybe this will help someone else.
If anyone has any questions I will be happy to help with tent trailers.
The problem I have now is strong noise in my phone and head set when applying my trailer brakes with my smart phone and JB Bluetooth. maybe someone can help me with this one. Thanks, Marshall
[email protected]
 

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I am pretty sure when the OP asked this question back in 2009 he got his answer and made a decision.
 

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I bought a used Aspen without brakes and added them. Spent a couple of hours in a very large parking lot stopping with and without them. Different settings from almost no assist from trailer to total locking of trailer from 70 down to stopped. Any amount of trailer braking shortened stopping distance. No ill efects to bike when trailer brakes set to lock up wheels other than long black marks and smoke. Mounted prodigy controler on trailer with switch to cutoff brake power on handle bar. Dont understand no brakes on a trailer that weighs 2/3 weight of bike. Changing riding habits wont work when someone in a cage does something stupid. JMO
Was the trailer loaded when you conducted the test?

It seems to me that the amount of tongue weight has a lot to do with whether the trailer degrades the bikes ability to stop. More = badder. In fact, readfing this I am amazed at the weights people are talking about towing.

I suppose that a lot of tongue weight would tend to unload the front tire of the motorcycle, bad thing, and the total weight would just require more total braking power. With only two tires, the contact patch area could be overwhelmed at some point even oif the brakes were still doing the job.

So, it seems to me, the answer to brakes vs no brakes depends on the weight you are talking about, how much of that weight is on the tongue, and whether you can get the controller dialed in to match the weight and bias. And, maybe if you really need brakes, your trailer may be too heavy.
 
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