Pulling a trailer - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-18-2009, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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Pulling a trailer

Been toying with the idea of getting a trailer so I could haul more stuff. I know at least one member here has rigged his Vulcan to pull a small trailer. Has anyone else? I'd like to know how heavy their trailer is and how it affects handling and fuel economy. Pics of their trailer hitch would also be helpful, along with any tips.

I'm keepin' all the left over parts. I'm gonna use 'em to build another bike!
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1989 VN750 acquired December, 2008, 6,711 miles
Currently 23,298 miles

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1987 VN750 project bike, acquired August, 2009, 33,000 miles and balancer sticking out of the case, currently awaiting attention and parts
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-25-2009, 08:13 PM
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I know it's done all the time (I don't know about with a Vulcan, my boss tows a trailer with his Goldwing), but I just can't recommend towing a trailer with any motorcycle. It should be fairly safe out on the interstate, but I can see it causing a lot of problems when trying to make evasive maneuvers in town, which I have to do on a regular basis. Jerry.



Here is a link to an article written by editor Art Friedman for Motorcycle Cruiser magazine back in 2000. I just have to agree with him on this one. No offense to anyone who feels differently.

http://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/str...oad/index.html

I am a motorcyclist, NOT a biker.


1997 Vulcan 750, purchased about a week ago
2006 Sportster 1200 Low
2013 Royal Enfield Bullet 500, converted to carb
2001 Yamaha XT225, heavily modified
2004 Honda Rebel 250
1979 Vespa P200E
2002 Vulcan 750 parts bike
1994 Yamaha XT225 parts bike

Last edited by VN750Rider/Jerry; 12-25-2009 at 08:23 PM.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-25-2009, 10:46 PM
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I would love to have a small enclosed bike trailer to take to home depot or costco. But I know it would be very impractical. Costco is about 5 or 6 miles away, and pulling the empty trailer would probably be more dangerous because it would be bouncing around too much. That's why I have a pick-up truck.

Rubyrick

MY BABY...
'05 VN750
16,000 miles +
Kawi tank bib
Kawi rear rack
Small windshield
DEKA M/F battery
VN750.com Grill Cover
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Clear Alternatives LED brake light
Cortech mini tank bag on rear rack
Pirelli MT66 Tires: 110 front / 150 rear
Splines lubed when tires installed at 10,650 miles
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-26-2009, 12:54 AM
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I also have a pickup truck. A 1966 Ford pickup truck, with a well built 390/C6 in it. It will lay rubber for half a block.......

I use it to haul everything in, including my dirt bike and quad, I have a camper shell for it, for those long weekends up north in the summer, and I also use it to tow my father in laws boat up to the lake. Jerry.

I am a motorcyclist, NOT a biker.


1997 Vulcan 750, purchased about a week ago
2006 Sportster 1200 Low
2013 Royal Enfield Bullet 500, converted to carb
2001 Yamaha XT225, heavily modified
2004 Honda Rebel 250
1979 Vespa P200E
2002 Vulcan 750 parts bike
1994 Yamaha XT225 parts bike
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-26-2009, 02:11 PM
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Hey fc, here is a link to some low MC trailers, riding on a single wheel.

http://www.thirdwheeltrailers.com/index.php/home

I don`t have any experience pulling trailers, and therefore cannot pass any educated judgement on using them. Just consider though, that this trailer will increase the length of of your ride by a minimum of 50% or 4', and its` fully loaded gross weight is 180 pounds, with no brake. If it jacknifes on you in an emergeny stop, things will get really hairy, really fast, IMHO. Stay safe and enjoy the ride, whatever you choose to do.

I`m just posting this to bring a potentially safer design to your attention, ie. narrower, lighter, lower Center of Gravity.

Gordon

1991 VN 750 -"Cosmic Lady" or "Bad Girl"?
Purchased May 16, 2008
Approx.19,300km (12,000 miles)

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TOP TEN THINGS A NEW RIDER/OWNER SHOULD DO. Click on link.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-26-2009, 04:45 PM
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My general thinking is , if you need a trailer on your bike to "haul more stuff" .......... you got too much stuff.

The biggest safety issue I see with trailers is most folks on the road are not used to seeing them behind a bike. They tend to be low to the ground and can easily hide from sight behind an adjacent car. Drivers can see the rider on the bike but might not notice the trailer untill they are already on top of it cutting behind a bike.

One of those fiberglass poles with a Hi-vis flag can help alot, but the I also agree you are safer just packing less crap.

Years back I read a piece in Cycle World about this guy touring europe. He rode a Ducati Super Sport, and all his luggage was neatly tucked away in bags, inside the BMW 320i his butler was driving behind him.

The Vulcan does have enough power to pull a small trailer, but to me , the sacrifices to the fun factor of being on a bike in the first place make it an illogical add on.

KM

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-26-2009, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OlHossCanada View Post
Hey fc, here is a link to some low MC trailers, riding on a single wheel.

http://www.thirdwheeltrailers.com/index.php/home
That is really something to think about! Way too expensive for me, however. But it does look like a great way to take a cross-country motorcycle trip and haul a few more things than you otherwise would be able to.

Rubyrick

MY BABY...
'05 VN750
16,000 miles +
Kawi tank bib
Kawi rear rack
Small windshield
DEKA M/F battery
VN750.com Grill Cover
LED license plate frame
Clear Alternatives LED brake light
Cortech mini tank bag on rear rack
Pirelli MT66 Tires: 110 front / 150 rear
Splines lubed when tires installed at 10,650 miles
Splines lubed again at 14,400 with stubby valve stem install

Place your mouse on the X below and drag to the O

X
Even though you can't see Him, GOD is there! O
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-26-2009, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the input. What I was looking for is information, and you have all given me things to consider.

I too have a pickup truck, but it's not as much fun to operate and doesn't get the mileage the Vulcan does. And better mileage is why I got into motorcycling. I can haul more "stuff" on my Rebel than I can on the Vulcan, thanks to a custom rear rack. Why they made the Kawi rear rack so small baffles me.

Hoss, I've seen the single wheel trailers, and in addition to the benefits you mentioned, they track directly behind the bike's tires. So you don't have to worry about a trailer tire catching a pothole. But they have a limited payload compared to two wheel trailers, some use tube tires, and are just as, if not more expensive than, two wheel trailers.

If I had a trailer, it would primarily be used on longer trips travelling major roads. That kind of riding bores me, compared to secondary/interesting/twisty roads. But I would have the bike once I arrived, and could detach the trailer for fun rides. Plus, I would be able to carry a tent, sleeping bag, more clothing and other nice to have "stuff".

If some idiot is going to pull in behind me so close that they would hit a trailer, they are probably so oblivious that they wouldn't see me either. Probably happens every day, unfortunately. That's when KM's LED lights mounted to the back of the bike would come in handy: "Come any closer, and you'll see how well I shoot!" Come to think of it, RPGs mounted on both sides and back of the trailer, could do a lot to rid the road of stupid drivers!

What I have been pondering may not be practical/more than I want to spend/compromise my safety too much. Again, thanks for the input.

I'm keepin' all the left over parts. I'm gonna use 'em to build another bike!
_____________________________________________
"Black Beauty"
1989 VN750 acquired December, 2008, 6,711 miles
Currently 23,298 miles

Old Blue
2001 Honda CMX250 Rebel acquired July, 2008

1987 VN750 project bike, acquired August, 2009, 33,000 miles and balancer sticking out of the case, currently awaiting attention and parts
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-27-2009, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flitecontrol View Post
If I had a trailer, it would primarily be used on longer trips travelling major roads. That kind of riding bores me, compared to secondary/interesting/twisty roads. But I would have the bike once I arrived......
That to me sounds like a much better case for getting a trailer you can pull with your truck that you put your bike on. You can then carry buttloads of stuff and still have your bike when you get there ..........


KM

If You Are Not Sure If I Am Joking or Not....I AM !!Photos:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/knifemaker1954/sets/
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-27-2009, 01:44 PM
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Being a dirt bike and quad rider, I am quite used to hauling bikes to a place where I can ride them. But on a street bike, I had just as soon ride there. A lot of my miles have been on long interstate highway rides. I have crossed the country several times on that kind of roads.

The Vulcan 750 can actually carry quite a bit. I have bolt on leather saddlebags, an extended backrest, a luggage rack (all Kawasaki stuff), and a very large, wide and tall T-Bag attached to the extended backrest, which sits on the luggage rack. There is also all the space on the passenger portion of the seat to carry stuff. If you wanted, you could also use a tank bag. Jerry.

I am a motorcyclist, NOT a biker.


1997 Vulcan 750, purchased about a week ago
2006 Sportster 1200 Low
2013 Royal Enfield Bullet 500, converted to carb
2001 Yamaha XT225, heavily modified
2004 Honda Rebel 250
1979 Vespa P200E
2002 Vulcan 750 parts bike
1994 Yamaha XT225 parts bike
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