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Discussion Starter #1
weather they feel it is still safe to pull there trailers with cracked frames showing up. What is there take on this. Should we avoid pulling a trailer until this thing gets cleared up? Does my Bushtec trailer hitch cause a problem with the frame? Does my Zephyer trailer cause any problems. John, what do you suggest we do?
 

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Now we are into a gray area. Is a 165 pound trailer as prone to cause a problem as a 500 pound camper? And given any weight or type trailer is there more of a chance of the frame damage with 2- 145 pounders on the bike, or 2-255 pound riders? Is the problem more likely to happen with this or that type hitch?
This could turn into a real cluster %#@$ real quick!
 

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I have been towing or involved in towing a trailer since 1979. I have towed with a GL1100, GL1200, GL1500, GL1800, ST1100, PC800 and numerous other makes and models of motorcycles, more than a million miles. I have never had a frame crack or brake. To my knowledge the only motorcycle to exhibit any pattern of frame failure is the GL1800. The GL1800 frame issues are new ground for Honda and Honda owners. Honda is going to move very cautiously to determine the root cause, as would any good company. That means owners may not feel "loved" however Honda has and continues to resolve frame related issues on an individual basis. To date no frame failures have been declined due to a trailer hitch or towing. In my twenty-five years in this industry I have no knowledge of any towing related warranty being declined, by Honda or any other manufacturer.

Based on the inspection data generated by Fred H., there is no common denominator to the new frame cracks. Cracks have shown on bikes with no hitch, on bikes with a hitch but not used for towing and on bikes that tow.

Let’s assume that Honda enhances their liability disclaimer into a warranty position and refuses to replace frames where hitches or trailers are involved. How long will it take for the touring masses to move onto another marquee? Honda is very aware of owner’s usage with regard to towing, and has been for many years. A case could be made for "implied consent" with regard to towing. Every manufacturer I am aware of designs, engineers and builds touring motorcycles for applications they are aware the motorcycle may be exposed to. In my motorcycle career I have been privileged to be invited to participate as a design team member in the ground up design and engineering of a major motorcycle model. Through this experience I gained a wealth of knowledge regarding the processes involved and I use that experience daily in how my company & I approach projects and products.

Should you tow a trailer with your GL1800? Every time you throw your leg over the seat on your motorcycle you are seven time more likely to risk accident, injury or death than in an automobile. If you do anything other than simply ride your motorcycle you further increase that risk. Towing falls into the "increased risk" category. You, individually, choose to tow. You, individually, choose to increase your risk. Doing so means that you have consciously violated the disclaimer that Honda has placed into its Owners Manual (as have EVERY other motorcycle manufacturer).

We know from gathered data that the cracked frame struts under the seat are not trailer or hitch related. We know from recall data that the center stand cracks were not trailer or hitch related. We can surmise from the Fred H. data that the new frame cracks are, more than likely, not trailer or hitch related.

Do I feel it is safe to tow with a GL1800? Yes, however that is my personal opinion. GL1800 owners must make individual decisions relating to how they wish to ride and use their motorcycle.

Do I think the Bushtec trailer hitch compromises the GL1800 frame? NO and the Bushtec GL1800 Vertical Receiver Hitch engineering speaks volumes. Our approach was and remains to make the hitch an integral component of the motorcycle which distributes the trailer related load uniformly to the FRAME at multiple points, not hang the weight or stress off the subframe as other manufacturers have chosen to do.

What do I suggest regarding towing or installing a hitch on a GL1800? I suggest owners make informed, educated decisions regarding usage of their motorcycle. Accessories, including but not limited to trailer hitches and trailers, should be researched and evaluated as to their impact on the service life of the motorcycle. If, individually, you are uncomfortable towing under the current circumstances by all means STOP. I don't plan to stop and I think most other logical, reasoning GL1800 owners will avoid the hysteria and continue to tow or ride their motorcycle as they always have. I will most certainly pay closer attention to my "T-Clock" inspections and increase the frequency of my routine look at suspect areas of the frame.

I trust that Honda will make things right! Maybe not as quickly as we would like, but Honda will make things right! Acquiring the necessary information will allow Honda to resolve the issues surrounding the frame related issues. I would much rather see Honda "ACT" than "REACT".
 

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But Mr. Preston you have a conflick of interest . We can only go by what Honda says our warrenty is good for . If they say the hitch is the cause of the frame break we are out about 18,000 dollars . We don't own a business that can recover such loses . That is just my opinion . Jim
 
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though I did pull a trailer behind my Aspencade I don't feel comfortable doing it with my gl1800....I always have the frame issue in the back of my mind. Is it strong enuff??? looks like no more fat girlfriends for me :lol:
 

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Jim, I have no conflict of interest. I am a motorcycle rider as I presume you are as well. While Honda has not stated anywhere that trailer hitches or trailers are the cause of the frame issues, if they do my company will not be able to recover and I will lose far more than you could ever imagine. I never lose sight of where my loyalty lies and that is with the riders who purchase my products.

Just an informational question, Are you a GL1800 owner? Do you have a hitch installed on and/or tow a trailer with your GL1800?
 

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Yes i have an 03 in the recall , but i haven't had it done yet . Not feeling right about it yet . And yes i have your hitch on the bike . Jim
 

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John and Jimmy D,

I have to go with John on this one. I have an '03 that was in the recall and did take it in for the re-weld this January. Fred H looked at the re-weld in Marble Falls last weekend and said it was a super job of welding. Even before he said that, I had decided to continue pulling my trailer. The week I purchased the bike (Jan '03) a Bushtec hitch was installed and my new Turbo was ordered. I now have over 18,000 miles on the bike and about 1/3 of that has been with a trailer behind me. I have a trip planned this summer for 3 weeks and will cover 6,500 miles on that trip with the trailer loaded with most of four persons luggage and all our smaller souvenier purchases. Simply said, I don't think that the trailer towing is the cause of this problem and will continue to tow. In addition to all that, if I was to consider that towing was a contributing factor, I would have to think that those heavy quick camp and other camping units would put far more stress on the frame than a cargo trailer would even come close to.

Just my uninformed opinion fellas!
 

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John, I appreciate your response to this sensitive subject. Your opinion is right on the mark,

Should you tow a trailer with your GL1800? Every time you throw your leg over the seat on your motorcycle you are seven time more likely to risk accident, injury or death than in an automobile. If you do anything other than simply ride your motorcycle you further increase that risk. Towing falls into the "increased risk" category. You, individually, choose to tow. You, individually, choose to increase your risk. Doing so means that you have consciously violated the disclaimer that Honda has placed into its Owners Manual (as have EVERY other motorcycle manufacturer).
it is the individuals choice to tow a trailer or not. If anyone is not 100% comfortable with putting a trailer behind their MC because of concern over the integrity of the frame, then by all means do not do it. I, personally, am considering the purchase of a trailer but these new frame cracks have made me re-consider my decision. In my opinion, the frame issues are in the back of "most" every GL1800 owner's mind, whether they tow a trailer or not. Do the benefits I expect to gain from utilizing a trailer in my travels outweigh the possible effects of voiding a warrenty or creating additional stress on a suspect frame? These are questions I have to answer myself and to be truthful, I am having difficulty with it.

For DALEC, post edited to reflect that IMO, "most" owners have the frame issue in the back of their mind.
 

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<The frame issues are in the back of every GL1800 owner's mind>

Is that really true? I know at a few different periods on mainly this board some were really paranoid about the frame issue, but is this really an over-riding issue that is weighing heavy on every 1800 owner's mind? It's seldom even a topic of conversation with most owners I know or have any contact with, and other than among many things on a list I watch in my normal maintenance program that is it. I certainly don't worry about it while I am out on my many rides or trips.

DaleC

P.S. I live in California (33 years) and I suppose "some" people worry all the time about earthquakes too, but that is never in the back of my mind either.
 

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BUSHTECH WROTE
How long will it take for the touring masses to move onto another marquee?
I personally would make the move with my next purchase.
 

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Tell ya what

I recently wrecked & am replacin my 01 Wing with 77,000 miles on it, I'm gittin ah new 03 Wing, but i don't plan on keepin it long, as soon as th 05 Wings come out i'm gonna trade for an 05 Wing. Ya caint beat ah Goldwing! :mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ron, I love your picture. But, if Honda sees it & you have a problem don't you think your warranty will be out the window? I just don't want to see you get burned.
 

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I am probably one of the newest Goldwing riders pulling a trailer around.
I bought an 04 wing. Two weeks ago we bought an 04 Bunkhouse camper fully loaded.
We hooked it up using a Bushtec hitch, hit the interstate headed to the Gathering, set the cruise around 70 and let the good times roll!
If fear was my primary concern, I would sell my bike, my car, quit scuba diving, quit flying and lock myself in a room.

I ain't smart enough to be afraid of what pulling a trailer may/maynot do to the frame.

mike
 

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Blue Wing

Naw, them Wings can take it. I jumped my 01 Wing for almost three years on ah regular basis. It didn't hurt it none. That's why i'm gittin another one , they're GREAT bikes. :mrgreen: Anyhow th 01 is totaled now & i'm movin up to an 03 ABS this friday.YYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAHHHHHOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LET'S RIDE 'EM :rw1:
 

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stapler101 said:
I ain't smart enough to be afraid of what pulling a trailer may/maynot do to the frame.

mike
Mike,
Welcome to Winging; we'd like to have you around for a while. If that statement is really true, then that could turn out to be a real problem for you. However, if you're merely ignorant, that can be fixed if you're so inclined. Pulling a heavy camping trailer two-up at 70mph is not a good idea. To do so with the cruise control engaged is suicidal. Why? I'll let you look for the answers...or not.

Stu
 

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ron melton wrote:
Ya caint beat ah Goldwing!
But what if they said you couldn't pull a trailer, period? Bushtec's question
was would you stay with Goldwing as your tourer if they said NO trailers?

Stu_O Wrote:
Pulling a heavy camping trailer two-up at 70mph is not a good idea.
Yeah, but Stapler101 might be too new to know that the is really
only 65 MPH. :p
 

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GINOMAD

Th idea of ah trailer bein pulled behind ah motorcycle jest don't seem natural ta me, never has. :mrgreen:
 
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