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Towing a Motorcycle with a Sidecar
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CaptBMF
Posted 3/20/2016 7:37 PM (#88338)
Subject: Towing a Motorcycle with a Sidecar


New User

Posts: 2
0
Location: Dickinson, TX
Folks; What type of trailer do one recommend for towing a motorcycle with a sidecar? (e.g. 5’ x 8’ open or enclosed) I have a 40’ Land Yacht. (i.e. Motor Home) If I tow using an open trailer, then I can wrap the motorcycle [when the engine is cool] with industrial packaging wrap or fabricate some type of rock shield on the front of the trailer. Thanks. Cap'n Blaine
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CCjon
Posted 3/20/2016 10:43 PM (#88341 - in reply to #88338)
Subject: Re: Towing a Motorcycle with a Sidecar



Extreme Veteran

Posts: 348
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Location: NWHouston
Capt, unless your sidecar rig is unusually narrow, most enclosed trailers only have a 60" wide opening on the back. I struggled to fit a URAL in several ramp doors on trailers that were six foot wide but the doors were narrower. Finally opted for an open trailer for rig hauling.

Extra wide trailers with ramp doors are out there, are pricey, but nice to have if you can swing it.
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cortcomp
Posted 3/21/2016 10:34 AM (#88345 - in reply to #88338)
Subject: Re: Towing a Motorcycle with a Sidecar


Member

Posts: 16
0
What is the average width of a rig? Mine (which is mounted very close to the bike), will go on an 8 x 5 trailer that i'm finishing up now. I think it's like 4-4.5 ft wide IIRC measuring it?
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Reardan Tom
Posted 3/21/2016 10:54 AM (#88347 - in reply to #88338)
Subject: Re: Towing a Motorcycle with a Sidecar



Elite Veteran

Posts: 1173
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Location: Reardan, WA
One consideration if you go with an enclosed trailer is not only making sure the door opening is wide enough to get your rig into the trailer but also that the trailer is wide enough to allow you to comfortably dismount and move around to tie down. I bought a 7' wide enclosed trailer thinking I wanted as narrow trailer as my rig would fit in and this would allow me to see out the mirrors on my truck better while towing. While that part worked, I was never happy with the narrow trailer because dismounting and tying down was a challenge. I just sold the 7' wide to my son at his request. Works fine for his dirt bikes and other requirements. I've got an 8.5 wide enclosed on order now and I'll put mirror extenders on my pickup.
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Al Olme
Posted 3/21/2016 1:08 PM (#88352 - in reply to #88347)
Subject: Re: Towing a Motorcycle with a Sidecar


Expert

Posts: 1734
100050010010025
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
One thing to keep in mind when choosing a trailer...where are the wheels?

If the wheels are under the bed as they are on most snowmobile trailers (up here in the frozen North snowmobile trailers are common and since they are both wide and cheap they are a tempting choice) the deck height is increased and the wheels are usually smaller diameter to keep the deck as low as possible. That means the little wheels are turning faster and that's harder on the bearings.

On either enclosed or open trailers the wheels can either be inside the footprint of the deck or outside. Inside is more common on enclosed trailers and that often means that thers is a big bump on each side to accommodate the wheel. These are often in the way when it comes time to roll in your rig. Sometimes its an issue and sometimes its not but you need to know ahead of time.

On trailers with the wheels outside the deck you need to be aware of the total width of the trailer. Now no thinking person would ever do this but say a guy was to load up for a trip. He gets the rig on the trailer and heads out of town but he needs to stop at the bank on the way. So he drives into the drive up teller lane and makes his transaction. Thinking he has checked one more thing off his list he pulls forward and suddenly there's a very loud and definitely NOT GOOD sound. It was his trailer, stuck between the posts on the drive through lane. Backing up is not an option as the trailer fenders are actually bending from contact with the posts on both sides. By this time there is a small crowd gathering, laughing and pointing. The folks from the bank are coming out too. There's nothing to do but to put the pedal down and try to power out. The trailer pops free but both fenders are bent. Not bent so badly that he couldn't go ahead on the trip but bent badly enough to be annoying and to require the judicious application of a long 2x4 to bend them back out...sort of.

Like I say, no thinking person would ever let this happen, DAMHIK!
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CaptBMF
Posted 3/21/2016 3:07 PM (#88354 - in reply to #88338)
Subject: RE: Towing a Motorcycle with a Sidecar


New User

Posts: 2
0
Location: Dickinson, TX
Gentlemen; Thank you for all the great responses. I currently have a Landgrebe TD40 Tow Dolly. It's a heavy duty. Tow dolly and toy hauler all-in-one. The deck is fine for my Triumph Bonneville T100, but will not accommodate a Ural Patrol or equivalent.
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cortcomp
Posted 3/21/2016 3:11 PM (#88355 - in reply to #88338)
Subject: RE: Towing a Motorcycle with a Sidecar


Member

Posts: 16
0
I'm glad others are thinking/doing this, i figured people would be put off or poke fun that i'd be trailering some and not always riding.

I'm building a trailer for mine to match my 66 c10/wood in the sidecar floor/wood in the truck bed now. Little 5x8 tilt model. but again, mine was custom mounted when i got it, it's very close to the bike, i did little but strengthen the mounts and add a leaf spring for stiffness:



Edited by cortcomp 3/21/2016 3:17 PM




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DirtyDR
Posted 3/21/2016 3:43 PM (#88358 - in reply to #88338)
Subject: Re: Towing a Motorcycle with a Sidecar



Veteran

Posts: 254
1001002525
Location: Edwards, CO
I like to take the Ural and the Rokon for week long camping trips and such so I have an open trailer I use with a bike rail on the tongue for the Rokon. I have had the K100/EML rig on it also to get it home from Denver when I first bought it and the K100/EML is actually 4" narrower than the Ural. Haven't tried the GS rig but I am pretty sure it is too wide for the trailer.












Edited by DirtyDR 3/21/2016 3:47 PM
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cortcomp
Posted 3/21/2016 3:48 PM (#88359 - in reply to #88338)
Subject: RE: Towing a Motorcycle with a Sidecar


Member

Posts: 16
0
Man that is some gorgeous country!
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DirtyDR
Posted 3/21/2016 3:50 PM (#88360 - in reply to #88359)
Subject: RE: Towing a Motorcycle with a Sidecar



Veteran

Posts: 254
1001002525
Location: Edwards, CO
cortcomp - 3/21/2016 1:48 PM

Man that is some gorgeous country!


That's just my yard, come out for the sidecar national this year and see how good it really gets around here.
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High Octane
Posted 3/21/2016 9:31 PM (#88362 - in reply to #88338)
Subject: Re: Towing a Motorcycle with a Sidecar


Member

Posts: 25
25
Location: Estelline South Dakota
I bought a Baxley trailer to transport my moto from the frozen north to southern parts in the winter. It's a drop deck trailer with wheel chocks to lock in the front wheels. It's an open trailer with a front gauard to keep the rocks and road debris from damaging your moto. The double wide trailer is set up for two full dressers or three smaller bikes, and my hack fits right on. Electric brakes and built strong enough so u don't have to worry about it bending the first time you hit a rough RR track at speed. I think Baxley makes the best bike trailer, but be prepared to spend $6k for one. Goggle them.
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Reardan Tom
Posted 3/22/2016 9:12 AM (#88366 - in reply to #88338)
Subject: Re: Towing a Motorcycle with a Sidecar



Elite Veteran

Posts: 1173
10001002525
Location: Reardan, WA
Some very fine trailers here but a little too pricey for me- http://www.ironhorsetrailers.com/ I sure like this concept though.
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Al Olme
Posted 3/22/2016 11:36 AM (#88367 - in reply to #88366)
Subject: Re: Towing a Motorcycle with a Sidecar


Expert

Posts: 1734
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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
The Ironhorse people have anew "Wide Body" version that has a 7'6" opening at the back. The wheel wells are internal so that may be an issue but the bigger issue is the $9,700 price tag for a version with one wheel chock. This is the obvious top of the line option. Here are the specs that interested me...

Tailgate Opening Width 7’6?
Tailgate Opening Height (top closed) 4’3?
Tailgate Opening Height (top open) 6’3?
Tailgate Width 8’4?
Tailgate Length 4’4?
Deck Height Above Ground 1’3?
Interior Width at Wheel Well 6’8?
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J.R.
Posted 3/22/2016 2:15 PM (#88373 - in reply to #88367)
Subject: Re: Towing a Motorcycle with a Sidecar


Extreme Veteran

Posts: 356
1001001002525
Location: Crockett Tx
A friend used to tow his Harley rig on the ground. Just broke the chin so nothing was turning. I pulled a 175 scrambler with axle hooked to trailer hitch. Ropes from handle bars to bumoer kept everything straight. I agree with Al about snoemobile trailer. We use a flat-bed car hauler to carry both rigs. Little wheels are hard on tires and bearings.
J.R.
Sec.
Tex. rep
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VLAD
Posted 3/22/2016 2:59 PM (#88376 - in reply to #88338)
Subject: RE: Towing a Motorcycle with a Sidecar



Extreme Veteran

Posts: 420
100100100100
Location: DENVER, COLORADO
Smaller (narrow) rigs can be towed on regular 3 rail trailer.

Edited by VLAD 3/26/2016 10:27 AM




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Hack'n
Posted 3/22/2016 4:23 PM (#88380 - in reply to #88345)
Subject: Re: Towing a Motorcycle with a Sidecar



Expert

Posts: 4833
2000200050010010010025
Location: Boise, Idaho
Rig widths vary a lot. With an open trailer you have to consider the total width of the rig, taking consideration anything that might interfere with existing sides or inboard fenders.
With a covered trailer you have to consider the throat opening at the top of the ramp and clearance for handlebars, mirrors and room to tie the rig down.

Lonnie
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NCGLSidecarist
Posted 3/22/2016 7:42 PM (#88386 - in reply to #88338)
Subject: Re: Towing a Motorcycle with a Sidecar


Veteran

Posts: 119
100
We tow our sidecar outfit on an Ultimate Trailer made in bolder Colorado. It has a bed that lowers to the ground and raises using a compressor. There is a stone shield on the front and I have never had any problems with nicks. Our outfit is a Hannigan Classic attached to a goldwing f6b. The trailer has about a 70+ in. bed with. You can see Picts on Claude Steiner's Facebook page. He runs Freedom Sidecars up in Pa. An important issue is to use a chock and cross tie the back wheels. so that the rig doesn't "dance" sideways on the trailer. Just another option fwiw!
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