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Discussion Starter #1
I just finished fabbing up a trailer hitch for my 650. A couple of years ago a couple of buddies and I made some single wheel trailers to tow behind our bikes (at that time I owned a V-Strom 1000). Ever since I traded my Vee in fro the Burgman I've wanted to install a hitch. Of course me being Mr. Cheapo and balking at what a manufactured hitch cost I fabbed up a hitch using ideas that I had seen on other hitches.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Here is a picture of the bike and trailer connected up. I haven't taken it on any long rides yet but the short test jaunts are proving to me that the bike/trailer combination is handlng no different than when it was attached to the Vee.
 

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Would you be able to post some of the plans you came up with for it? I've wanted to build a one wheel trailer and make a hitch myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
GK pm'd you.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The trailer is really nothing mote than a T in shape with a extended arm torsion bar suspension. I'll be happy to answer any questions. My trailer was built with a specific size for the floor ( the plastic box is removable) so I could stack my camping equipment on it. The floor is expanded steel mesh sized 25" by 48". The tire is a 12" wheel with a scooter tire mounted to it. the hitch connection is a PTO universal joint to allow movement in the yaw and pitch axis but not rotate.

Greg
 

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Very cool rig, Greg!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks ChipDoc, I'm looking forward to using it this summer for some camping. Took it to the Texas Mile in Goliad, TX a couple of years ago ( around 1600 mile roundtrip run) hauling camping gear for my buddy and myself and had no problems whatsoever. Trailer weighs 120lbs (its way over built) and with 70lbs of camping gear the Burgman should have no trouble hauling it around.
 

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The Burgman will have absolutely NO problems with that and more if you choose.

The trailer looks very good, especially the wheel cover.
 

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Greg, if you could please, post some close ups of the hitch and receiver part and the rear swingarm of the trailer.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Dave here are some more photos of the hitch mount and modified swingarm. The swingarm is a trailer torsion axle ( 250lb rating, the lightest we could find) that had the arm cut in half and a 9 1/2' long piece of 1/2" thick by 2" wide piece of steel welded in place. This mod was done to give the wheel a longer moment arm and consequently a lighter weight loading.
Making the swingarm longer really smoothed out the suspension. The torsion axle was bought on Ebay, they make them right or left handed depending on which side you mount the wheel.
 

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With the trailer being that long, do you have to swing wide when turning?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The hitch connection is two pieces of 1 1/2" angle iron welded together. In my case you'll see two pieces of 1" square tubing on the back of the angle iron, this is there because it was easier to cut the V-Strom hitch in half than try to grind it of the hitch mount, so we just smoothed out the end cut and boxed it in. If that last statement was confusing please remember that this setup was originally on my V-Strom and removed when I traded in the bike. A 3/4" bolt was welded to the back side of the square tubing to mount the receiver to the hitch plate on the bike. The 3/4" bolt was used as this is the standard sized bolt used for a ball hitch so I can install one of those f I ever decide to tow a two wheeled trailer

The mounting ears and retaining bolt are made to fit your hitch mount so there is some leeway on how you want your spacing. I think the pictures will help here.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Jedd, yes you have to swing out a little wider, about a foot or so. The only time its really apparent in length is when you around things like gas pumps, when pulling out you need to be aware of its length. One of the reasons it was made so long was for stability. When we were initially building the trailer we tested the bike/trailer combination to speeds you normally wouldn't tow to. ( 100+) The trailer is so stable that you have to check you rear view mirrors to see that it back there.

Greg
 

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what size tubing & wall thickness did you use to bend the hitch frame around the back tire?


THX for posting pics, btw.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The tubing is 3/4" schedule 40 pipe, initially cut to 24" the J shape was made using a Harbor Freight tubing bender that I borrowed from a friend. the important length is 14 1/2" from the 98 degree bend to the 15 degree bend towards the top of the J.
the tube is cut that long to fit in the bending press, I made final cuts to fit after I had made both sides and determined the lengths necessary to get a nice snug fitment on the bike.

Note the 98 degree bend and the strut are in the same plane after you make that bend you need to put a 15 degree bend in the upper strut to clear the shock absorber. I hope the pictures make that last statement clearer.

Greg
 

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Hi Greg,

That's a really cool setup you have there. I was following a similar thread years ago in one of the motorcycle forums I used to follow. There was some concerns regarding how the trailer would react during sudden emergency stops. This would be like having to slam you breaks on the freeway due to a hazard up ahead. Some said that the trailer would jack knife because the bike would stop but not the trailer. However upon reading your post it appears that you have successfully towed the trailer in the past on your V. So I guess the concerns I read on that other forum may not really be an issue when towing a trailer behind a bike. Have you ever experienced doing a sudden stop on the bike while towing the trailer, and did you notice anything about how the trailer reacted behind you?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The mount for the ball is 1/4" sheet steel that was 4 X6", the tabs used to mount the hitch to the shocks are 3/16X2" steel strap and the long center support is 1/8X1 1/2" steel strap. As a note you notice that I added to more vertical support straps to the hitch. I found after I had made the hitch that there was vertical movement on the hitch ( very much a no-no, there should be no movement of the hitch in any plane).
The two added vertical supports are 3/16 X 1" strap steel. I made two tabs that were welded to the lower trunk support tube and then I welded two straps from the hitch in a vertical plane so I could attach them to the tabs with bolts.
This mod now gives the hitch 5 mounting points and removed any play in the hitch.

As a note the center support strap by its requirement I bent to clear stuff on the bike in essence made it a spring, that may have not been a problem using thicker strap steel but then you run into clearance issues.

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #18
One thing I do need to mention as far as tire selection. I bought the tire/wheel combination at my local Walmart and found that in this setup the car tire was causing a head shake issue on the bike when making sharp turns with the trailer attached. I believe the issue was because there is very little weight on trailer and the tires square profile was causing a squirming issue coming off the sidewall to the center of the tire. I eliminated that issue by putting a 130/70 X 12 Pirelli H rated scooter tire on the wheel. So my suggestion to the guys out there wanting to build a single wheel trailer is to buy just the wheel and not the wheel tire combo and save yourself a couple of bucks.

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #20
deflorence, no I have not had to do a panic stop with the trailer in tow. I have stopped quickly with it though in testing and found no real issues but then again it wasn't a panic stop. You are naturally going to travel farther in a panic situation as you are in essence carrying more weight. I would think that in a crossed up situation the trailer would be a real hindrance so I try to stay even more attentive than usual when I'm running with the trailer to keep from busting my behind!
The only real drawback I've found so far with the trailer is backing it up and getting it jack knifed, that makes for a pretty interesting few minutes until you get it straightened back up. ( it wants to tip opposite of the way you're turning ). If you make normal turns while pushing it backwards there is no problem.

Greg
 
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