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adding trailer hitch to sidecar
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Posted 12/9/2014 8:46 PM (#81597 - in reply to #81101)
Subject: Re: adding trailer hitch to sidecar


Posts: 5
Location: Canberra Australia
Back to the trailer hitch, I settled on pulling the trailer from the chairs right hand main frame, this is almost centre of the rig setup. I have not noticed any undo handling affects under acceleration or braking (BTW I do not have a brake on the chairs wheel). It ended up being relatively easy to make the hitch which was fabricated out of a piece of 35x70mm box metal bolted to the frame at the front and side. The hitch and the trailer being custom made together meant we could get the tray pretty much horizontal. The good thing about the sidecar is that we can get away with a standard ball and hitch arrangement and not worry about bike angles etc.

Our trailer was from a design I had seen before, esentially a 3'x4' flat bed with leaf spring suspension with a 440lt car cargo (roof) box bolted to it. Luckily my rig builder still had a little paint from when he made the chair so we got it color coordinated and pin stripped to match the bike & chair.

I was recently re-aligning the rigs toe-in and bike-lean when I noticed the hitch bar had risen up at the rear (tow ball end), there was about 1/4" gap between the bar and the chair frame where previously it sat flat. The way the bar was bolted I believe did not give sufficient clamping support to stop the trailer levering the bar up when we travelled over rough roads. So I've now installed a third bolt that goes through the bar and the chair frame to stop this upward movement. I think there was another contributing factor, that being how I loaded the cargo box, there was insufficient downward force on the tow ball as I had been distributing the load to give a nuetral ball. I've since found out this is wrong, and on a bike only setup could be quite dangerious if the load slips to the rear and creates an upward force on the ball that could lift the rear of the bike. I believe the ball should have about 10% of the trailers weight and the cargo secure so it cannot slid backward.
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Posted 12/10/2014 8:26 AM (#81600 - in reply to #81597)
Subject: Re: adding trailer hitch to sidecar

Extreme Veteran

Posts: 314
Location: Savannah Ga
I see the pic now, good looking dog. I didn't see the one with your son,( I take it) in the car before either. that seat looks like a good fit
10% is a good figure, I find 15% creates the best ride and stability with the trailer, but I pull a camper that hits 500+ lbs. I have 2 other trailers that are fairly lite
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Posted 12/12/2014 5:08 PM (#81641 - in reply to #81165)
Subject: Re: adding trailer hitch to sidecar


Posts: 11
DirtyDR - 11/18/2014 2:34 PM

On both of my rigs I have the hitch on the sidecar frame and neither one pulls or pushes any worse with or without the trailer that I can tell. Both sidecar rigs have pretty much the same distance between the sidecar and bike wheels so the trailer tracks real nice and in the Winter you can only see one set of tracks in the snow. I did offset the tongue on the trailer a little to get the trailer centered and tracking correctly but that is just me being anal, I do not think it really matters.

That is a lot of snow indeed and hard to even ride the motorcycle
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