GL1800Riders Forums banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,008 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
New to the Goldwing. Just picked it up yesterday. I need to put on a hitch. Got a few questions. There seems to be some hitches with a lot of bracing and then there is one that just seems to mount in 4 places and sells for 130 bucks. What should I look for in hitches? Thanks in advance

Bruce
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,131 Posts
I second the bushtec, but to each his own. You will find many different opinions on this subject.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,305 Posts
alabamaWing said:
New to the Goldwing. Just picked it up yesterday. I need to put on a hitch. Got a few questions. There seems to be some hitches with a lot of bracing and then there is one that just seems to mount in 4 places and sells for 130 bucks. What should I look for in hitches? Thanks in advance

Bruce
There are lots of choices for hitches. If you'll be towing a light trailer, the hitch you mentioned may be OK. For heavier trailers - loads plus trailer of 200-400 lbs - you may want a more robust hitch like Dauntless, Rivco, Bushtec and the like. If your load will be more than that, or if you'll be mounting a carrier platform on the hitch, Bushtec would probably be best.

You'll probably hear a lot about the bike's subframe and dire warnings about hitches that mount to it. The hitch you mentioned for $130 mounts entirely to the subframe, while most other hitches mount to the frame at the rear crash bars and the subframe. IMO, since one never hears of subframe failures, the dire warnings are a matter of opinion only.

Be an informed consumer and you'll wind up with a hitch that matches your needs and wallet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
700 Posts
alabamaWing said:
New to the Goldwing. Just picked it up yesterday. I need to put on a hitch. Got a few questions. There seems to be some hitches with a lot of bracing and then there is one that just seems to mount in 4 places and sells for 130 bucks. What should I look for in hitches? Thanks in advance
Wanderer said:
There are lots of choices for hitches. If you'll be towing a light trailer, the hitch you mentioned may be OK. For heavier trailers - loads plus trailer of 200-400 lbs - you may want a more robust hitch like Dauntless, Rivco, Bushtec and the like. If your load will be more than that, or if you'll be mounting a carrier platform on the hitch, Bushtec would probably be best.
Wanderer - Please accept my experience in stating that a sub frame only hitch is NEVER acceptable. The Honda Trunk/saddlebag sub frame was designed by Honda to support a maximum of 40 pounds including the trunk & saddlebags. Even a platform or cooler will exert stress on the sub frame which it was not designed to accommodate.

Wanderer said:
You'll probably hear a lot about the bike's subframe and dire warnings about hitches that mount to it. The hitch you mentioned for $130 mounts entirely to the subframe, while most other hitches mount to the frame at the rear crash bars and the subframe. IMO, since one never hears of subframe failures, the dire warnings are a matter of opinion only.
Again, I ask you to respect my experience here as I can tell you of numerous sub frame and main frame failures, some directly related to improper hitch application and some not. Just because you don't hear about it on this board does not mean that it isn't so. Our little world here represents a very small percentage of the Goldwing population.

A trailer hitch purchase for a motorcycle based on price alone is very poor justification. Any failure will not show up in the short run. It may take 10,000, 20,000 or more miles of constant towing for a failure to appear and then you may not see or find the failure because, as we all know, if it is out of sight it is out of mind.

4-point frame mounted hitches are the only acceptable design for the GL1800. Bushtec, Rivco and Hitch Doc are the only 4-point frame mount hitch manufacturers.

Wanderer said:
Be an informed consumer and you'll wind up with a hitch that matches your needs and wallet.
I could not agree more! When a consumer does due diligence on design, engineering, manufacturing and package contents, the Bushtec V.2 GL1800 Vertical Receiver Hitch is almost unbeatable in value. YES, it appears to be a more costly hitch, however when the value added features and items of the various Bushtec packages are calculated into the price, it is not more expensive and may be less costly in the long run.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
bushtec said:
4-point frame mounted hitches are the only acceptable design for the GL1800. Bushtec, Rivco and Hitch Doc are the only 4-point hitch manufacturers.
So then the 6 point mounted hitch from Kuryakyn is stronger yet???

Our receiver hitch for the GL1800 is good looking, strong, and very easy to install. This hitch features a 6 point mounting system for superior strength and rigidity. Installation can be performed easily with the bike on its center stand, and requires only a few common hand tools.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,844 Posts
I echo John Preston's comments. There certainly have been main frame and secondary frame failures associated with hitch loads.

It is my experience that John's hitches are more compatible with the later Wings.

The Rivco hitch is certainly strong also.

I have something over 200,000 miles on GL 1800s pulling Champion, Hannigan, Streamliner, and Tailwind trailers using V-1 Bushtec hitches. I have never heard of a failure of a Bushtec hitch. John's hitch does not require mods to the Wing Frame as in drilling out threads.


This Tailwind trailer was hit broadside at 35 mph by an S-10 pickup and there appears to be no damage on the Rivco hitch that was pulling it, nor the bike. The trailer needed a new aft half draw bar, right side body panel, and left wheel spindle, although it was pulled 2,460 miles in a day and a half in the damaged configuration after a sledge hammer was used to beat the drawbar partialy back straight, in the parking lot in Seattle where the lower right photo was taken. The other three photos were taken two days later in Spring Branch, Texas.



The bent drawbar section is 2 inch .065 wall square steel tubing. Pretty strong stuff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
700 Posts
wheeler1963 said:
bushtec said:
4-point frame mounted hitches are the only acceptable design for the GL1800. Bushtec, Rivco and Hitch Doc are the only 4-point hitch manufacturers.
So then the 6 point mounted hitch from Kuryakyn is stronger yet???

Our receiver hitch for the GL1800 is good looking, strong, and very easy to install. This hitch features a 6 point mounting system for superior strength and rigidity. Installation can be performed easily with the bike on its center stand, and requires only a few common hand tools.
Wheeler1963 - You missed a very important KEY word in my statement; that being FRAME mount. The Kuryakyn GL1800 hitch is not a 6-point frame mount hitch. The Kuryakyn GL1800 hitch is a 2-point frame mount with sub frame burden, since the four rear mount points mount to the sub frame. The Kuryakyn design places virtually all the tongue weight onto the sub frame.

The Kuryakyn also has the most play in the receiver to head fitment of any hitch manufactured and will induce movement into the trailer due to the play in the receiver. 1/4" of movement at the coupler can translate into more than 2" of movement at the trailer due to the pendulum effect of the tongue. This type of hitch related movement can induce general instability and sway into the trailer, especially at higher speeds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
John,

I respect your views, as you probably have a lot more experience with motorcycle trailers than I do. But I can't say I have ever experienced any sway with my Kury hitch and homebuilt trailer at any speed. It's a very solid fit and stays right behind me at all speeds and road conditions.

Yes you were correct with the frame part, I did miss that part. But with a tongue weight of less than 9 pounds, I don't think the sub-frame is being stressed too much. It's a matter of balance. My humble 2 cents worth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,628 Posts
I bought the bushtec hitch, and paid more for it than I did the trailer (I don't do a whole lot of towing, so don't need the latest/greatest trailer). I just didn't want to take a chance on a subframe hitch. Besides, it only hurt for a little while. :wink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,305 Posts
bushtec,

You are correct that this forum's members are a small sampling of Goldwing riders. However, I disagree that they are not representative of the trailer towing population. Many of us do have subframe mounted hitches and have used them quite a bit without problems. I have not heard of one subframe failure either on this forum or off it. You speak of this as a fact, however you are also a buisnessman selling hitches who's "claim to fame" is the fact that they do not mount to the subframe. If this were a truly dangerous situation, at least a few (and many more if truly dangerous) of the members here would have experienced it. Even owners of the all subframe mounted hitch in the original post have commented (in other posts) that they haven't had any problems with it. As I mentioned, your hitch is quite appropriate in certain applications, i.e., those with heavy "Y" (up and down) component forces as in hitch racks or very heavy tongue weights. The hitch I have actually strengthens the subframe in the "Z" (lateral) component of forces due to it's mounting. I stand by my comments that there are other hitches available that will not damage the subframe and will provide reliable service.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,260 Posts
I would trust John Prestons and Tom Finches hitch views on this one
 
C

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Personally I like the Rivco trailer hitch ( here is a direct link to their website: http://www.rivcoproducts.com/ ). They sell direct, publish a truly professionally designed catalog, maintain an excellent website, have given me great service and technical assistance, and make a hitch system of exceptional quality utilizing a four-point mainframe attachment setup.

There are numerous features that differ between the Bushtec and Rivco. A prudent buyer will discover those differences and utilize them in making their hitch buying decision. Some will find the Bushtec meets their needs while others will chose Rivco. And still others will find hitches that utilize sub frame attachment fill their needs.

I don't think anyone is doubting anyone's word or we should "trust" someone over someone else. I just think it would only be fair for those who talk about sub frame failures as a direct result of these sub frame type hitches to actually rely on facts of actual failures that can be documented by real owners or insurance documentation or photographic evidence rather than just hearsay anecdotal evidence (a term often used in contrast to scientific or real or provable evidence). Anecdotal evidence, most of the time, cannot be proven, substantiated or backed up by actual facts. It often gets started off like this:" Well, JoeBob swore to BillyBoy it really happened this-a-way...". I know we would all welcome real evidence to help us make rational, intelligent decisions. Producing that evidence would be a genuine service to members of the GL1800 community who are in the market for a trailer hitch. And MORE IMPORTANTLY, if that evidence really does exist, it could potentially be live saving information to those who own sub frame mounted hitches. If there are actually so many of those failures out there surely it would be quite easy to show us 15 or 20 REAL failures. Or 2. Factual documentation can not be disputed.

Anyway, I assume most of the folks on this board (or at least the ones that spend alot of time at their computers posting to this board) have chosen Bushtec and wear their Bushtec "cheerleader sweaters" proudly. And they should; because the Bushtec equipment is really good stuff. And all my friends who own Bushtec products have really great things to say about the products, the service and John Preston. That outfit deserves all the cudos it receives. The motorcycle world needs more quality manufactures like them.

However there were several reasons I chose Rivco. Some time back a friend of mine purchased a Rivco hitch for his 1800 and brought it to my house so I could help him install it. Right off the bat I was extremely surprised at the extraordinarily high quality of the workmanship, especially the welds. A close look reveals alot! Also I was shocked at how lightweight it was! When I put the hitch, tongue, ball, hardware and trailer wiring isolator (which comes stantard at no extra cost) on my shop scale it ALL weighed LESS THAN 9 pounds! So I knew I was not going to have to carry alot of extra dead weight around on the rear of the motorcycle for the duration of my owning the bike. I was also impressed with the instructions Rivco provided. They were clear, well written and the photographs were worth many thousands of words. Another feature I really liked was the flexibility of having three tongue height options. My friends trailer was perfectly level with the 3" drop tongue. But you can order a 0" drop or a 6" drop in addition to the 3" drop, depending on your exact need. To me that is a fantastic feature. In my opinion nothing looks worse than a trailer behind a beautiful GL1800 riding down the road OUT OF LEVEL! And it dosen't have to with this height adjustment feature the Rivco offers. As it turned out, I needed a 6" drop for my little yellow Aluma MCT trailer to sit dead level when loaded and my wife and I on the bike ready to ride. The rear shock was set at 25. Finally, I already owned a Pakit Rak (manufactured and sold by the SUPER NICE folks at Dixon Y Machine, Inc. ( http://www.dixonymachine.com/ ) and the Rivco hitch mounts through the hole I had already cut for the Pakit Rak. Plus Dixon Y fabricated an adapter that allows me to use my Pakit Rak with the Rivco hitch when we go on short weekend trips to the North Carolina beaches or mountains. To me that's the best of both worlds!

Below are a few photos of the Rivco hitch from their website:

This is the Rivco Hitch, Hardware and Isolator


Here is their isolator. The nice thing about this isolator is it has peel and stick tape on the back so it fits perfectly and sticks firmly to the underside of the bottom of the CD/CB area of the trunk.


Rivco provides a nice spring loaded attachment for the rear reflector that makes it easy to slip on when the tongue is removed.


Below is a photo of the installed Rivco Hitch attached to our Aluma MCT Trailer. I also installed the Black Tie swivel.


My last picture is of our Pakit Rak hooked up to the Rivco Hitch
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
700 Posts
wheeler1963 said:
John, I respect your views, as you probably have a lot more experience with motorcycle trailers than I do.
You really don't have much respect for my twenty-five years of experience, but since you built a trailer I may not know as much as I think I do, LOL?

wheeler1963 said:
But I can't say I have ever experienced any sway with my Kury hitch and homebuilt trailer at any speed. It's a very solid fit and stays right behind me at all speeds and road conditions.
Your Kuryakyn hitch is NOT a very solid fit! All you have to do to validate my statement is reach down and grab the ball head assembly. IT WILL MOVE UP< DOWN< and SIDE WAYS which it should not do. Any movement at the hitch will result in significantly more movement at the trailer.

wheeler1963 said:
John, But with a tongue weight of less than 9 pounds, I don't think the sub-frame is being stressed too much. It's a matter of balance. My humble 2 cents worth.
If you are only running 9 pounds of tongue weight you will potentially have more serious problems than which hitch you are running. Tongue weight is the brain of a trailer. ALL TRAILERS require a minimum of 10% of the total gross trailer weight as tongue weight to provide optimum performance. This is a trailer industry standard, not a Bushtec standard. Accurately measuring tongue weight with a dial fish scale will eliminate virtually all load related trailer handling issues

Wanderer said:
bushtec,

You are correct that this forum's members are a small sampling of Goldwing riders. However, I disagree that they are not representative of the trailer towing population. Many of us do have subframe mounted hitches and have used them quite a bit without problems. I have not heard of one subframe failure either on this forum or off it. You speak of this as a fact, however you are also a buisnessman selling hitches who's "claim to fame" is the fact that they do not mount to the subframe. If this were a truly dangerous situation, at least a few (and many more if truly dangerous) of the members here would have experienced it. Even owners of the all subframe mounted hitch in the original post have commented (in other posts) that they haven't had any problems with it. As I mentioned, your hitch is quite appropriate in certain applications, i.e., those with heavy "Y" (up and down) component forces as in hitch racks or very heavy tongue weights. The hitch I have actually strengthens the subframe in the "Z" (lateral) component of forces due to it's mounting. I stand by my comments that there are other hitches available that will not damage the subframe and will provide reliable service.
You obviously have no respect for the twenty-five years of trailer design and engineering that I have committed my lifes work toward. You obviously don't trust my word which is my reputation. My comments are based on hands on experience with as many as 50 GL1800 trailer delivery and hitch installations per week. I see more GL1800's in a month during the riding season than you will see in an entire year. I see under the seat and under the bike. In fact, based on my experience over the past twenty-five years I can generally tell a customer more about their bike than they know. What I know about hitches is stated as fact irrespective of your skepticism; and my comments have nothing to do with selling my product.

Will every hitch that is not a 4-point frame mount present an issue? NO, however some will and do. My goal is to prevent and eliminate any potential issue for buyers researching GL1800 trailer hitches. Buy and use whatever product you are comfortable with. At the same time remember that some of us are truly professional and dedicated to the motorcycle industry. Unlike the self professed experts on this and other boards, I really do know what I am talking about. You may not like what I have to say or the way I say it, but the absolute fact is you can take what I say to the bank. My trailer safety seminars at the major rallies have been attended by thousands over the past fifteen years and are responsible for making and keeping many trailer towing riders safe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
alabamawing,

Good luck with your hitch bama. You'll find whichever suits your needs. :)
 
C

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
I agree with most of what John Preston says in the summation (last) paragraph of his last post. I have disagreed with him on some issues in the past, however I have come to really like his products, and especially his very savvy customers.

But I, probably like John, don't sit back in my little nest and take every single morsel of information fed to me by friends, media, advertising, various marketing ploys, "experts" "non-experts" or a myriad of other information venues as the gospel.

When I am researching an item to purchase, ESPECIALLY one related to my and my wife's safety, I NEVER TAKE ANYTHING AT FACE VALUE. I weigh comments and information according to source. Although not quite as exact as assigning 10 as most credible to 1 as least it runs something like that in my small non-expert -on-anything mind. An example as far as motorcycle trailer hitches go: John Preston: 10, Albert Einstein: 1

But when I come across a statement like this, " What I know about hitches is stated as fact..." even when it comes from someone as reputable as John, I have to get some real facts to back it up. It would be like researching something and seeing someone claiming "mine is by far the best, just trust me". I will, after a little factual research.

That research is easy with Bushtec/John; just look at the track record for their product, service and integrity. Outstanding product, outstanding service, outstanding integrity. Easy; research complete.

Not so easy if a guy wants to buy (or has) a sub-frame mounted hitch and has heard all these boogieman stories about failures you can either see or not see; that come right away or after thousands of miles of towing a trailer. If I'm in that group (which I'm not) I would most certainly want some experts and industry safety leaders to PLEASE help me in my research. The "stories" circulating could potentially end my life so PLEASE step up and help me. IF, IN FACT, YOU DO HAVE ACTUAL REAL PROOF, OR EVIDENCE, OR PHOTOGRAPHS OR ANY DOCUMENTATION WHATSOEVER PLEASE SHARE IT WITH US TO PUT THESE "TALES" OF SUB-FRAME FAILURE TO REST. I don't think anyone cares a hoot about brand names (and we don't want that brought into the equation so we can leave the lawyers out there licking food stamps), just actual proof that 15 or 20 of these things have really caused failure.

Then, with that actual evidence in hand, I can take steps to protect my family and myself. Conversely, if there really is no evidence or proof, I can purchase and/or continue towing knowing I will be doing so safely.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top