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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wanted to put out a little more data on the HF trailer, in case anyone may wants to purchase one. Mine now has 3000 miles on it and it really surprises me. I'm running with PTMS, a spare tire, spare hub. and a hand held IR. Running at 75 mph with 100 degree ambient, the tires got pretty hot, the bearings did not, The highest bearing temperature I got was 125 measured with the IR at the wheel just outside the outer races. The highest tread temperature I got was 156 while my rear truck tires were running around 142. I've never had a truck tire blow out in 300,000 miles. I like to see trailer tires run no more than 20 degrees higher than my truck tires which are lightly loaded 10 plys (I'm not really sure why). I don't plan to change out the 12" trailer tires unless I start having issues. It's pretty nice running with an inexpensive spare, knowing I can replace a blown tire and stop at the next walmart and pickup a new mounted spare for less than $90.

The big advantages to the trailer are cost, size for storage, and flexibly over a custom motorcycle trailer. One disadvantage is weight distribution. You need more weight upfront if you want to center your vtx over the little trailer, so you likely won't be able to add a permanent rear ramp like you could on a large trailer. In fact I store a 3' x 9' folding aluminum ramp upfront below the frame, which allows me to center the bike with good tongue weight. Another thing nice about the little trailer is my wife doesn't mined driving the truck with the trailer in tow. If it make sense for the truck to come with us - say across Colorado, I get to ride; that wouldn't happen with a big trailer.
 

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The Dude That Rides
2007 Honda VTX 1800N1
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Thank you for writing all that! I was thinking about getting one of those to pull my bikes with, if the need ever comes up.
 

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2009 VTX 1300R, Long Island NY
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I wont tow my bike on a trailer with anything less than 15" wheels. I drive too fast, and the VTX is why to heavy. It does look nice, but I personally believe it is too heavy of a bike. I wouldn't go any faster than 55 mph with a trailer like that.

This is my trailer. Aluminum 6x12 trailer with 15" wheels:
 
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Kind of hard to argue with actual data on tread and bearing temperatures. If those are not too high, then it would seem the smaller trailer with the smaller wheels is fine to haul a VTX at highway speeds.
 
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I had a Harbor Freight 4x8 folding trailer that I bought new around 2008 and I recall it had the 12" tires. I used it almost all the time to haul just about anything: my 1996 Nighthawk 750, riding mowers, appliances, furniture, and even overweight loads of topsoil and gravel. That stupid trailer never once had an issue with the tires or the bearings. Only due to the NY salty winters did rust finally take it out, but after 8 or 9 years of use I felt I got my money's worth. I would trust hauling my VTX on it if I still had it (before it got all rusted out, that is!).
 

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I have the 4x8 folding one . I had a lot of weight on there before. Only thing is it leaks grease from the wheel hubs
 

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Please don't take my comments as I do not like or trust the HF trailers. I like, and do trust them. My issue has nothing to do with the trailer manufacture, it is with the size and rating of the wheels/hubs. One might not have issues after thousands of miles, until that one day. I just encourage people to be careful with towing, if you shred a tire or seize a bearing on a short trailer that is heavily loaded, it can make for a not fun experience.

I am just suggest keeping 12" and smaller wheels at or under 55 mph (I think the max tire rating is 65 mph), the hubs on the smaller bolt pattern axles and 12" tires also typically aren't rated for higher speeds. To get ratings where you can go normal interstate speeds, you need a 15" or greater wheel.

One could say trailering in excess of 65 mph regardless of wheel size and tire rating is dangerous. I would agree, but if I'm going to do it, I'm going to, I would only do it with a setup that has a published rating higher than the speed I'm going.

My wife accidentally ran into a car at < 20 mph back in 2016, there wasn't much damage to their car (<$6k on a C-Class Mercedes doing repairs in NY), we are still in the middle of a law suite. I couldn't imagine what would be going on if they actually had documented proof of exceeding a manufacture rating that caused the accident. If you cause injury or God forbid death due to improper trailering (load, speed,...), I would just have to assume there would be a huge legal nightmare.

PSA over.

Enjoy that great trailer!!! I really do like that setup. A condor removable chock would make for easy loading, unloading and securing of your bike (it would make positioning it quick once setup). I know it costs as much as your trailer, but it is worth it... It keeps the weight down, can be used in the garage in addition to the trailer, and leaves a very minimal footprint when off of the trailer. I focused on keeping my trailer deck as smooth as possible, so my anchor points are 5k lbs recessed, and the only part that sticks up is the chock anchor seen below:

(click on images for full size)

Condor Chock installed on my trailer:



Footprint with chock removed:



Strengthening under the trailer:


Using the chock off of the trailer:

 

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On one hand we have an opinion that 12" and smaller wheels should be kept at 55 mph even though this opiner says the tires are rated for 65 mph. On the other hand we have actual data on the temperature of the tires and bearings running at 75 mph in 100°F heat indicating there was no problem. It is, of course, everyone's right to have and express an opinion. Personally, I trust data far more than opinions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
JPT, Thanks for the input and I do appreciate your comments. I always look at ratings too, although I've done enough towing to know to trust and verify. That's why I run with the IR in addition to TPMS. The stem temperature monitor is next to worthless. I feel you actually get a better indication of tread temperature from the increase in pressure than you do from the valve stem temperature monitor. Trailering much like motorcycle riding is serious business, and we need to take all hazards in to account as best we can, and make our own decisions. My trailer ratings are actually really good. 2100 lb gross tires / axle (assumed). Harbor Freight calls it 1750 lbs allowing for the 250 lbs trailer weight plus a deck. I figure I'm running at less than 1300 lbs gross, well below the 2100 lbs gross. I ignore The really heavy tongue weight I put on my 10,000 lbs truck hitch. In my experience the new Chinese trailer tires are so much better than the old china bomb tires. The Carlisle tires on my trailer are speed rated to 87 mph. Now both Goodyear and Carlisle are selling speed rated tires out of china now.
l
Based on my experience I feel a major tire or wheel failure would be a non event. With my heavy tongue weight, 10,000 lb hitch, and 7,000 lb truck, I feel like I could drop a wheel off the trailer, pull over, and be back on the road in less than 45 minutes. One of my safety concerns with the little trailer, is what happens in a sudden stop accident. The real plan is avoid at all cost, but I also tie the bike off with straps front to back. The rear strap is 1100 lbs so if the trailer experiences a sudden stop the VTX will destroy the little trailer as it slams into the back of my truck. I also added two stiffener braces to the very slender trailer tongue. I like your wheel chock I use a similar arrangement when I put my little bike in my truck bed. My system loading the VTX on my HF trailer is pretty involved and time consuming. First I pull the front tire into blocks in the center front of the trailer. Then I loosely strap the front forks vertically. Then I slide the rear tire to perfect center and block it in place. Then I strap it front to rear and add and tighten all my straps. My side straps only keep the bike from moving side to side, so you go down the road and they never loosen. It's actually pretty similar to what you accomplish with the the wheel chock. Some people use side straps to take brake load; I guess it works, but I don't do it.

Back to ratings. My little Triumph Is rated to carry 460 lbs. Riding double with gear I've probably had as much as 420 lbs and that only works because I completely upgraded the Triumph suspension. My VTX has 22,000 miles on it with the stock suspension on it. I can run my vtx at 70 in high winds with my wife on it and a 500 lbs load when is only rated for 400 lbs. I did have the rear suspension on level 5 and about 3/8" of preload on the front. Go figure, I can't run 70 on the little bike with my wife on the back with no gear and no wind.
When I went through my stock suspension I added front fork preload adjustment. The front adjustment is really not too important for a VTX, but worked out really well for me because at the minimum adjustment it adds 0.4" of preload which made up for 22,000 mile set on my Honda progressive springs.
 

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JPT, Thanks for the input and I do appreciate your comments. I always look at ratings too, although I've done enough towing to know to trust and verify. That's why I run with the IR in addition to TPMS. The stem temperature monitor is next to worthless. I feel you actually get a better indication of tread temperature from the increase in pressure than you do from the valve stem temperature monitor. Trailering much like motorcycle riding is serious business, and we need to take all hazards in to account as best we can, and make our own decisions. My trailer ratings are actually really good. 2100 lb gross tires / axle (assumed). Harbor Freight calls it 1750 lbs allowing for the 250 lbs trailer weight plus a deck. I figure I'm running at less than 1300 lbs gross, well below the 2100 lbs gross. I ignore The really heavy tongue weight I put on my 10,000 lbs truck hitch. In my experience the new Chinese trailer tires are so much better than the old china bomb tires. The Carlisle tires on my trailer are speed rated to 87 mph. Now both Goodyear and Carlisle are selling speed rated tires out of china now.
l
Based on my experience I feel a major tire or wheel failure would be a non event. With my heavy tongue weight, 10,000 lb hitch, and 7,000 lb truck, I feel like I could drop a wheel off the trailer, pull over, and be back on the road in less than 45 minutes. One of my safety concerns with the little trailer, is what happens in a sudden stop accident. The real plan is avoid at all cost, but I also tie the bike off with straps front to back. The rear strap is 1100 lbs so if the trailer experiences a sudden stop the VTX will destroy the little trailer as it slams into the back of my truck. I also added two stiffener braces to the very slender trailer tongue. I like your wheel chock I use a similar arrangement when I put my little bike in my truck bed. My system loading the VTX on my HF trailer is pretty involved and time consuming. First I pull the front tire into blocks in the center front of the trailer. Then I loosely strap the front forks vertically. Then I slide the rear tire to perfect center and block it in place. Then I strap it front to rear and add and tighten all my straps. My side straps only keep the bike from moving side to side, so you go down the road and they never loosen. It's actually pretty similar to what you accomplish with the the wheel chock. Some people use side straps to take brake load; I guess it works, but I don't do it.
Sounds like you got all your bases covered! I just want to make sure that people who read this thread put as much thought and testing into their setups as you have. Towing can be interesting at highway speeds, and many people think their short wheelbase car that is rated for 2k lbs can pull 2k at 85 mph because it falls within specs (ignoring the tongue weight and tow vehicle load rating). You have a truck, like I do, towing with a full size pickup (long wheelbase) is much safer with these smaller utility trailers.

It also seems like you have thought about load management during panic stops. Having a chock is real helpful with this too, since it also provides the horizontal (front to back) stability as long as it is reinforced. I was suggesting it for ease, once you have found your sweet spot you can mount it there, so loading is quick. Another advantage of the Condor mount system is, you can buy multiple chock trailer mounts, and mount them at multiple locations (one for each bike) to achieve the desired tongue weight.

I went from a 4x8 utility trailer to my 6x12. It does not have brakes, but I may swap the axle to one with electric brakes in the future because of those potential panic stops. I also may increase the rating to 3.5k lbs once I do that. The only physical difference between my trailer and the 3.5k trailer is the axle (which those axles come with brakes).
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sounds like you got all your bases covered! I just want to make sure that people who read this thread put as much thought and testing into their setups as you have. Towing can be interesting at highway speeds, and many people think their short wheelbase car that is rated for 2k lbs can pull 2k at 85 mph because it falls within specs (ignoring the tongue weight and tow vehicle load rating). You have a truck, like I do, towing with a full size pickup (long wheelbase) is much safer with these smaller utility trailers.

It also seems like you have thought about load management during panic stops. Having a chock is real helpful with this too, since it also provides the horizontal (front to back) stability as long as it is reinforced. I was suggesting it for ease, once you have found your sweet spot you can mount it there, so loading is quick. Another advantage of the Condor mount system is, you can buy multiple chock trailer mounts, and mount them at multiple locations (one for each bike) to achieve the desired tongue weight.

I went from a 4x8 utility trailer to my 6x12. It does not have brakes, but I may swap the axle to one with electric brakes in the future because of those potential panic stops. I also may increase the rating to 3.5k lbs once I do that. The only physical difference between my trailer and the 3.5k trailer is the axle (which those axles come with brakes).
You may be able to buy new hubs and electric drums without replacing the axle. I think you'll need new hubs with longer studs, accommodate brake drums. If you check it both ways it might be cheaper to just by the axle and wheels with brakes as an assembly so everything fits for sure. When I bought the harbor freight trailer I thought I might be putting an upgraded axle wheel assembly under it. Now I doubt I'll do that. Only time will tell.
 

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I too use a Condor front chock in my 16 ft, Wells Cargo enclosed trailer. I also have put together a wood and hard rubber frame brace (~ 6 to 8 inches wide and ~16 inches long) that just goes under the two frame lowers about center line between the front and back of the bike (~ under the riders seat). I have it set to where after putting the bike on the Candor chock, I lift on the bike just a little and slide the frame brace under the frame so the bike is sitting lightly on the brace, then tighten down the straps and I can tighten securely without having to worry about damaging the shocks or other running gear and the bike is steady as a rock going down the road and don't have to worry about the straps loosening or coming off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I too use a Condor front chock in my 16 ft, Wells Cargo enclosed trailer. I also have put together a wood and hard rubber frame brace (~ 6 to 8 inches wide and ~16 inches long) that just goes under the two frame lowers about center line between the front and back of the bike (~ under the riders seat). I have it set to where after putting the bike on the Candor chock, I lift on the bike just a little and slide the frame brace under the frame so the bike is sitting lightly on the brace, then tighten down the straps and I can tighten securely without having to worry about damaging the shocks or other running gear and the bike is steady as a rock going down the road and don't have to worry about the straps loosening or coming off.
Sounds like a really solid system. It's nice to go down the road with a solid system especially when your doing long distance inter
I too use a Condor front chock in my 16 ft, Wells Cargo enclosed trailer. I also have put together a wood and hard rubber frame brace (~ 6 to 8 inches wide and ~16 inches long) that just goes under the two frame lowers about center line between the front and back of the bike (~ under the riders seat). I have it set to where after putting the bike on the Candor chock, I lift on the bike just a little and slide the frame brace under the frame so the bike is sitting lightly on the brace, then tighten down the straps and I can tighten securely without having to worry about damaging the shocks or other running gear and the bike is steady as a rock going down the road and don't have to worry about the straps loosening or coming off.
Sounds like a really solid system. I do a lot of long distance interstate hauling. I appreciate having a system you have confidence in.
 

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JPT - that is a fantastic trailer setup you have there! And the bike looks great as well - love the silver and the two-tone fairing.
 

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I use a 4x8 trailer ive had for 30 years, rated for 1200#. With front shocks loaded and tied at 6 points its safe to haul at 90mph on interstates.
 
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