Need Advice on Trailering

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by Fattie04, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. Fattie04

    Fattie04 New Member

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    Hey Folks,

    Need your advice on trailering my bike. I have an 04 Fat Boy, and I just purchased a tilt utility trailer on which I installed wheel rails, tie down eye-bolts and a front wheel chock. I plan on hauling the bike around six hundred miles mostly interstate but also through two or three major cities along the route. So what sage advice can you give regarding tie-down points, loading and unloading, things to look out for and things to do or NOT to do. Any advice is appreciated as I have never transported my bike this before. Thanks !!
     
  2. Gas Gauge

    Gas Gauge Junior Member

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  3. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    Welcome to the Forum.
    Could give you a lot more info if I saw a few pictures of the trailer your using. Some trailers really lend themselves to trailer a bike properly and some don't. If this is going to be the 1 & only time you are transporting a bike, then a utility trailer will do it. Of course it will work, but I myself would not use a utility trailer again to transport a bike.
    Naturally what your using to toe it with make a difference also since most bike trailers don't have their own brakes.

    I trailered my bike a few times and each time used a different type of trailer. The difference between the trailers was Absolutely incredible.
     
  4. Wayne R

    Wayne R Active Member

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    I would suggest using the tie down soft hooks, keeps the tie down clamps away from your painted parts so nothing gets scratched, also be careful not to pinch cables or wires when strapping down, Harley sells them and any trailer supply dealer would have them
     
  5. Gas Gauge

    Gas Gauge Junior Member

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    so Hoop, that brings up a very good aspect to this thread! If a guy was going to start looking around for a trailer, what type would you reccommend?

    (let's assume it's for a full dresser and used as least as Fattie described)
     
  6. whatyardwork

    whatyardwork Banned

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    Is the trailer new or used?I ask because I wouldnt trust wheel bearings on a used trailer going across country.Pic up a spare tire for the trailer.A flat on an odd sized tire in the middle of knowhere can be a nightmare.

    Check the tension on the straps early upon your journey.If anything is going to loosen up it will often happen within the 1st few miles.
     
  7. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    I absolutely would not touch a trailer that had leaf springs. Torsion bar is the only way to go for several reasons.

    Leaf spring trailers bounce around the highway like a rubber ball. The design of a Torsion bar trailer allows the trailer to be closer to the ground also. The ramp ANGLE is so much less which makes the bike SO much easier to load.
    You pay more upfront for torsion bar but you will be so much Happier on long trips.
     
  8. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

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    In addition to the info in the trailering tips, a couple I can think of;
    * What is the trailer floor made of? Look under it, and make sure it's not thin wood with a large distance between braces. We had a guy recently post about his back wheel breaking through the deck.
    * Check the wheels/tires and bearings carefully. Also everything else under the deck like springs, axles, bolts, welds.
    * If the trailer has small diameter wheels, remember they are spinning faster than your tow vehicles wheels and are more prone to failures.
     
  9. NYSDEUCERIDER

    NYSDEUCERIDER Active Member

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    Wheel bearing maintenance cannot be stressed enough! I've towed a pop-up, as well as my horse trailer many thousands of miles but before either rolled out of the driveway for the first run of the year, I serviced the bearings. Totally cleaned them and inspected every bearing and race for ANY sign of discoloration or peeling. I used white litium grease as the camper came with it and I was MUCH impressed with the results. HANDpack your bearings, and when you think you couldn't possibibly get any more grease in them, do them once more! *LOL* Nasty job, but SO much more fun than sitting alongside the Interstate waiting for it to cool enough to even touch.
    I always had an extra stock of bearing sets in my parts cabinet. I even went so far as setting up my spare tire carrier with a complete hub assembly. Overboard? Probably, but how many trailers have we all passed on the highway with bearing failures? and lastly, every time you stop, make it a habit walk by each wheel and touch the hub, feeling for unusual heating. Your tow vehicle might be doing seventy, but those little trailer wheels are going WAY faster, so have a heart, back off the throttle. Always check your lugnuts after towing 50 miles or so after having them off.
    ..... and another trailering tip.... ALWAYS check your hitch pin before getting in the seat. Some cowardly loser once went thru the parking lot of a horse auction I attended and pulled as many pins as he could. Some were lucky and had their insert slide out right there in the lot. Others were going down the highway before the hitch failed. The wreckage and crippled/dead horses was awful.
    Don't forget safety chains....MEATY ones! They work! and make triple sure your hitch and ball match for size! Very easy to confuse the 1 7/8 and the 2". I lost a good friend when a 2 inch hitch popped off a 1 7/8 inch ball. When the vehicle hit a bump, the boat and trailer crossed into his lane after the single 'dog chain' safety chain failed. Yeah, I take trailer safety seriously. I'll get off my soapbox now...... Happy trailering! :)
     
  10. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    Great Advice. Nothing better than being prepared. I bet you were an Eagle Scout! :)