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Discussion Starter #1
After lurking for forever, I've decided to risk it all and post a question. Nothing like living on the edge.

I'd like to pick up a trailer but have a hard time with the new prices. Is there any kind of guide for values vs. cost? Nothing is ever located close to me so it would be nice to have a well educated guess before making a trip to see something.

Thanks for any help.
 

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I am assuming that you are talking about a cargo trailer to pull with the bike.

The New Prices go from $595.00 to over $7000.00. If your not a Cosmetic Nut and have to have every thing Color matched with all of the GooGaah's. Look into the Piggy Backer. It is $595 plus $59 delivery, and best bang for the buck. Plain Black and ready to roll in just a couple of hours of assembly. If you want color mach it can be painted. On the other hand if you don't like the style or looks of the Piggy, be prepared to spend a lot of your hard earned Gas Money for something you may only use just a few times a year.
 

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George
THANK YOU, THANK YOU VERY MUCH :!: :lol:
I'll dbl that.. :lol: :lol:
$595.00 all U can eat :D :D


Pat G
 

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I picked up this used 80 something Holsclaw for a couple hundred bucks, painted it black, new tires/wheels/bearings, and love it. Got between 3 and 4 hundred bucks in it, and it has about 22 cubic feet space, 190# empty. I can also tow it behind my truck or van if I need to. I wasn't about to paint it Illusion Red to match the bike. Geez. Wouldn't match my orange truck or green van, then. :lol:

 

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For about $1895.00 you can get this White Jell Coat finish, trim, top rack and 12" wheels from Time Out Trailers. 18 sq. cubic ft.

Ken L.
 

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The nada guide seems suspcious.. I looked up bushtec trailers, and it says (for example) that there are no options for the Road Star, which is definitely not true... You can spend $4K on a new Road Star if you take a lot of options... yet the guide says there are no options, and seems to be pricing just the base model... So don't get too upset if you see a used one priced MUCH higher than that nada guide..
 

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rv8or
If you were to use a trailer only a few hundred miles a year, both you and the bike can put up with almost anything if you are careful.

If you are on this board, it is probably because you have a Wing. You probably have a Wing and not a Shadow for your touring because you figured it was worth twice the money to get the quality of ride from the Wing.

Selecting a trailer is much the same. If you don't use it much, there is no reason to tie up your money in something that just sits. A lot of people do that with back yard boats.

If, on the other hand, you plan to do thousands of miles touring, then both you and the bike will be a lot better off if you have a trailer that has 4 inches of hydraulically damped compliant suspension and a body shape that is as far from a parachute as you can get. Hydraulic damping is easy to check. Push down on the trailer an inch or two, then quickly release the trailer. It should not rise as fast as your hands move when lifting you hands from the trailer. If you can not push your trailer down on one side an inch or two, then your suspension is not compliant.

Also, the angle between the lines drawn from the tire contact points to the hitch should not be greater than 30 degrees, or said another way, the distance from the hitch to the line between the tire contact patches (axle line) divided by the length of the distance from one tire contact patch to the other should be a buck eighty five or more.

There are three reasons for this geometric ratio. Yaw stability, lateral wheel snatch, and pitch inertia. The last two are hell on the bike aft frame. If you can feel a pot hole or bump in the handlebars when the trailer hits the bump or hole, then you can bet your bike is feeling it a lot worse. Depending on the severity of the yank, the bike is strong enough to take it for a while. That is why it does not make much difference if you only use a trailer a little.

However, each event adds to the fatigue of the bike frame. A fatigue curve looks something like this. One event is allowed at a load of 100 units, two events are allowed at a load of 50 units, 5 events are allowed at 25 units, 10 events are allowed at 15 units, 100 events are allowed at 10 units, 1,000 events are allowed at 8 units, 10,000 events are alowed at 7 units, 100,000 events are allowed at 6 units of load, 1 million events are allowed at 5 units of load, etc.

If you lived where you had to travel 5 miles of a very bad road each time you left, a poorly suspended trailer could be damaging your bike sooner than if you had all smooth roads to travel daily. You can see this type of damage in some of Fred Harmons "other cracks" photos.

Lateral yanks are directly related to the included angle between the wheels, and the compliance of the suspension. It is not hard to check the compliance of the suspension. The wheel vertical travel should be at least 4 inches to match the Wing. From the wheels off the ground to empty on the ground should be about 15% to 25% of the overall wheel travel. From empty to max load, the wheel suspenion should move about 35% to 40% of its overall travel, leaving about 30% to 50% of its travel remaining.

For 4 inches of travel, that would be 5/8" to 1" from wheels off the ground to on the ground empty. From no load to full load (just step in your trailer) should be an additional wheel vertical movement of about 1.5 inches to almost 2 inches, (plus the 5/8" to 1" depression of the empty trailer) or a little more than 2" to a little less than 3" total from wheels off the ground. Two guys in the trailer should push it the rest of the way down to the stop, another inch to inch and a half.

Vertical inertia loads are related to the pitch inertia of the trailer and again the drawbar length to the center of the mass. There is one inertia relief system available.

A couple of years ago, I was at the Harrison Arkansas gathering and one of the Wingers there had a homebuilt cargo trailer that several riders talked about having a drawbar that was too long. Of course it was a difficult thing to manuever at a gas station, but it was far easier on his 1800 than the other homebuilts there, as well as being more stable.

An instable trailer is like a deer in the bushes. Nothing may happen mile after mile, but when it does, it is often unrecoverable.

Instability builds with speed and the damping period gets longer and longer until it no longer damps, but diverges. It is entirely possilble to ride at divergent speed successfully, when there is no excitation to start the oscillation. That is like roulette. It is far better to keep the speed below the divergent speed.

There are a lot more refinements in the better trailers to talk about such as systems, lighting, body materials for longevity, Lid opening size versus access, convenience of lighting, latch and lock systems. compressed air systems, Tire life of both trailer and bike, fuel cosumption, and on and on.

I am sure that Dave Hannigan, John Preston, and other trailer manufacturers, as I would, be happy to talk about the strong points of our products.

In any event, what ever you decide to buy, turn it up on its side so you can see the chassis and suspenison. If it looks bad under there, it probably is.

If there is a way to follow the trailer of you choice with someone else pulling it and you don't mind putting your laptop in there for a ride on a rough road, it is probably pretty good. You can tell a lot by following a trailer on a rough road and on a freeway speed run in wind.
 
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Lucky Phil said:
This trailer is so homely that its CUTE. :lol: :lol:
sorta like one of them puppies with the mashed in noses, i forgot the breed
 

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Tom Finch said:
rv8or
If you were to use a trailer only a few hundred miles a year, both you and the bike can put up with almost anything if you are careful.

If you are on this board, it is probably because you have a Wing. You probably have a Wing and not a Shadow for your touring because you figured it was worth twice the money to get the quality of ride from the Wing.

Selecting a trailer is much the same. If you don't use it much, there is no reason to tie up your money in something that just sits. A lot of people do that with back yard boats.

If, on the other hand, you plan to do thousands of miles touring, then both you and the bike will be a lot better off if you have a trailer that has 4 inches of hydraulically damped compliant suspension and a body shape that is as far from a parachute as you can get. Hydraulic damping is easy to check. Push down on the trailer an inch or two, then quickly release the trailer. It should not rise as fast as your hands move when lifting you hands from the trailer. If you can not push your trailer down on one side an inch or two, then your suspension is not compliant.

Also, the angle between the lines drawn from the tire contact points to the hitch should not be greater than 30 degrees, or said another way, the distance from the hitch to the line between the tire contact patches (axle line) divided by the length of the distance from one tire contact patch to the other should be a buck eighty five or more.

There are three reasons for this geometric ratio. Yaw stability, lateral wheel snatch, and pitch inertia. The last two are hell on the bike aft frame. If you can feel a pot hole or bump in the handlebars when the trailer hits the bump or hole, then you can bet your bike is feeling it a lot worse. Depending on the severity of the yank, the bike is strong enough to take it for a while. That is why it does not make much difference if you only use a trailer a little.

However, each event adds to the fatigue of the bike frame. A fatigue curve looks something like this. One event is allowed at a load of 100 units, two events are allowed at a load of 50 units, 5 events are allowed at 25 units, 10 events are allowed at 15 units, 100 events are allowed at 10 units, 1,000 events are allowed at 8 units, 10,000 events are alowed at 7 units, 100,000 events are allowed at 6 units of load, 1 million events are allowed at 5 units of load, etc.

If you lived where you had to travel 5 miles of a very bad road each time you left, a poorly suspended trailer could be damaging your bike sooner than if you had all smooth roads to travel daily. You can see this type of damage in some of Fred Harmons "other cracks" photos.

Lateral yanks are directly related to the included angle between the wheels, and the compliance of the suspension. It is not hard to check the compliance of the suspension. The wheel vertical travel should be at least 4 inches to match the Wing. From the wheels off the ground to empty on the ground should be about 15% to 25% of the overall wheel travel. From empty to max load, the wheel suspenion should move about 35% to 40% of its overall travel, leaving about 30% to 50% of its travel remaining.

For 4 inches of travel, that would be 5/8" to 1" from wheels off the ground to on the ground empty. From no load to full load (just step in your trailer) should be an additional wheel vertical movement of about 1.5 inches to almost 2 inches, (plus the 5/8" to 1" depression of the empty trailer) or a little more than 2" to a little less than 3" total from wheels off the ground. Two guys in the trailer should push it the rest of the way down to the stop, another inch to inch and a half.

Vertical inertia loads are related to the pitch inertia of the trailer and again the drawbar length to the center of the mass. There is one inertia relief system available.

A couple of years ago, I was at the Harrison Arkansas gathering and one of the Wingers there had a homebuilt cargo trailer that several riders talked about having a drawbar that was too long. Of course it was a difficult thing to manuever at a gas station, but it was far easier on his 1800 than the other homebuilts there, as well as being more stable.

An instable trailer is like a deer in the bushes. Nothing may happen mile after mile, but when it does, it is often unrecoverable.

Instability builds with speed and the damping period gets longer and longer until it no longer damps, but diverges. It is entirely possilble to ride at divergent speed successfully, when there is no excitation to start the oscillation. That is like roulette. It is far better to keep the speed below the divergent speed.

There are a lot more refinements in the better trailers to talk about such as systems, lighting, body materials for longevity, Lid opening size versus access, convenience of lighting, latch and lock systems. compressed air systems, Tire life of both trailer and bike, fuel cosumption, and on and on.

I am sure that Dave Hannigan, John Preston, and other trailer manufacturers, as I would, be happy to talk about the strong points of our products.

In any event, what ever you decide to buy, turn it up on its side so you can see the chassis and suspenison. If it looks bad under there, it probably is.

If there is a way to follow the trailer of you choice with someone else pulling it and you don't mind putting your laptop in there for a ride on a rough road, it is probably pretty good. You can tell a lot by following a trailer on a rough road and on a freeway speed run in wind.
Well................I have to ask this question............

I tow a Piggybacker XL with the 12" Wheels and torsion axles.............

I do realize that your product is far superior to most.......but also has the pricetag to go with it.

Now.......there are far more trailers out there that do not have the drawbar as designed on the Tailwind........such as the Bushtec, Aluma, Escapade, and who knows how many homebuilts........there are thousands of these on the road. From what I can tell.....the basic design being just as the Piggybacker.......with the exception of the suspension on the Bushtec.

From the pics of Shiela Winnie's trailer......the rear of her bike took a pretty significant whack. From what I have read on this site.......the frame of her bike was not damaged. The hitch and trailer was damaged......but the frame was not.......correct me if I am wrong......enough to bend the drawbar on the trailer.

Just how many people have actually had frame damage to their GL1800 that can be linked to towing a trailer.

There is no doubt that the Tailwind is an awesome trailer......but in real world use.......is it really a possibility that other trailers are any more harsh on the GL1800 Frame???

I may get flamed for this.......but.....I had to ask.

Anyone else out there.......what trailer do you tow......and how many miles have you towed it????

It just seems to me.....with all of the trailers on the road.......other than Tailwinds............we would be hearing of frame failures daily if it was that critical.

I will shut up now.

RRP
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the responses...

Yes, I've got a 01 Goldwing and I do a lot of long distance riding. This new model wing is new to me as my much older version just had a sudden rear tire failure. I lost the arguement but used it as an excuse to upgrade.

Knowing that I'll pull a lot of miles with a trailer, I'm leaning towards the trailers with good suspension but I have to be realistic with pricing. I'm just not going to be in the market for a new trailer. Life and psycho ex-wife will do that to you I guess.

Again, I appreciate the responses and will keep watching for the good information.
 

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Ron,

Fair questions, all.

First, there is a difference between strength and fatigue resistance. If you go back to the fatigue spectrum outline that I posed above, you will see that you can get away with a very high load once ( average) and a load that is about half as high twice, etc.

We do not know the extent of Sheila's bike damage yet. I hope there is none. She does not have time for that.

I will pull names out of the following eMail to me in the spring, but I feel sure you will get the idea.


Dear NAME and the others that really have helped. At this moment, I am agreeing with both Tom and NAME. I feel the stiff frame trailer has much to do with the vibration causing metal fatigue on the rear frame supports. I purchased what looked to be very "Air-Smooth" Trailer from TRAILER NAME. However, the frame and Axle's are very stiff and could possibly cause the stress to the frame. The crack was 3/4 way around the side support under the side bags and not the primary frame and not in a weld. At this moment, I am not planning to pull until I can talk to the Honda Engineers at Daytona or at the Factory. The logic makes since on fatigue and having worked metal most of my life, it could be possible. If any input, I would appreciate the info. Thanks guys.

From there, the bike was inspected and declared unridable. Here is a copy of the letter from the person wiht the cracked frame to Honda.

Attention: Customer Support

The purpose for this Letter is directed at a recall on my 2002 GL1800 Honda Motorcycle and the new Frame installed by NAME Honda in TOWN and handled by the owner NAME.

When taking the Honda in for service and asking them to also do another Frame-Recall, I had waited about an hour when NAME came for me and informed me that the Frame had cracked. He asks me to come and take a look at the frame. After some conversation about the crack, I was told the reason for the frame defect was due to the bike having a Trailer Hitch installed on the Bike. I told Mr. NAME that the Bike had only pulled the light-weight trailer 5 times and was never overloaded. He indicated that I could not ride the Bike and it was to be left at their shop.

My wife made the Two Hour trip to pick me up and the Bike was left. After many phone calls to Mr. NAME, I was told that Honda would replace the frame with an exact same frame as the one cracked and Honda took no responsibility for the damage and I would need to Pay for the removal and re-install of all accessories. Honda Claimed per NAME that the replacement was only Good Will and Honda would possibly not do if the same frame fractured again.

I purchased the Bike for Our Retirement and Had planned to use the small trailer Manufactured by BRAND Trailers in STATE as our luggage trailer And the Hitch was installed By Honda in TOWN and was manufactured by MANUFACTURER. We had planned to visit Bike Week in Florida and the Bike was ready but we had no way to do the trailer under the cirminstances. We drove down. Not a happy Trip. The Wing sat in the Garage.
We paid $336.62 for the misc. charges relating to the rebuild. Head Bearings, Gaskets, Coolant, Brake Fluid, Boot-Joint, Reinstall accessories and replacing the steering head Bearings. I knew I was going to be charged and I agreed to pay due to having little choice in having a bike that I could not use. The Invoice number was 9636998 and dated 2/24/06. The invoice shows the Date in as 2/16/06. I still have a Bike that cannot be used as intended due to the fear of damaging the frame with the trailer or just riding the Bike with no assurance the frame will hold due to the same frame design being used.

My question for Honda is what now. What will be the Status if the frame breaks again? Will the frame be covered? Can I still use the Trailer and Bike as intended? Was the Frame installed just like the 2002 Frame or was the frame different.

Hopefully you can understand how we feel after having our most favorite Toy deemed useless as far as how we intended to use the bike. No one ever told us that the Wing is not stable or the Frame will not handle the Trailer package. All the web sites on Honda show trailers as do the Honda publications. I guess I am just confused on what we should do at this time and I am asking you for guidance on how best to proceed. We had planned a month long tour of the west this summer and now that too is on hold.

I would appreciate any insight you might have or any information you have about the future use of our Bike.


Thank You



The reason we included the inertia relief system from the first trailer was that I had heard that, at that time, 2002, there were 8 of these aft frame cracks and that seven of them had been pulling trailers.

We have not built a motorcycle touring trailer without vertical inertia relief since 1963.
 

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PIGGYBACKER

If one likes the piggybacker trailer, the same trailer can be had for around 300 bucks. A Harbor Freight trailer in a box
and the Sears cartop carrier and Voila' you have the same setup
as the piggybacker.

That being said, the piggybacker comes put together, whereas the HF/Sears homebuilt needs to be bolted together...

Both versions pull very nicely, are quite rugged and carry a lot of cargo. I have built 3 of these over the past few years,
but I keep going back to campers.

I don't like sleeping on the ground, setting up tents in the dark, packing/unpacking, etc.

I know that campers ain't pretty, but my motto now is "If I can't live IN it, I don't want it"... :lol:

My camper of choice is now the Aspen Classic. It's great and tows like a
champ! If you're going to spend BIG BUCKS on a trailer, may as well
get one that you can camp in, unless you are into motels.

A great source of trailering info can be had on the Delphi Forums. Look for Motorcycle Towing Forum.
 

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RRP,
I have a Tailwind with over 8500 miles on it since March. While the drawbar system is an improvement, it is only one of the engineering points that influenced my decision. The coil-over suspension at each wheel that allows the wheel to move AWAY from the impact was another feature that I liked. I haven't been able to make my trailer bounce, even if I pick up a corner and drop it, nor does it leave a skid mark from the tire. I think that the softness of the suspension design greatly increases both the smoothness and comfort of pulling from a driver's standpoint.
I felt the trailer layout with a lid that allows easy access to everything in the trailer was important so that we would not have to dig around for items we had packed.
Personally, I like the styling, but everyone has different opinions on that. I think that the sleekness of the design makes it less likely to be affected by sidewinds.
The rear relays and air-compressor were just the icing on the cake.
I had intended to pull a trailer only when Sally and I were together. Because of the ease of use, I now leave it attached all the time.
What was important to me may not be important to other people. Knowing what I know now, I am still convinced that I made the best choice for my riding needs.
I'm glad that there are many choices out there! You'll surely be able to find the one that fits your needs too!!

Have fun.

Andy
 
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Re: PIGGYBACKER

bobvail said:
That being said, the piggybacker comes put together, whereas the HF/Sears homebuilt needs to be bolted together...
Correction.... The KIT where you already have the carrier and he sends you the trailer has to be put together.

If you buy the 20cuft unit WITH the CARRIER it comes COMPLETLY assembled, shipped via freight.
 
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