New Unigo - First Impressions Pt 1 - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 20 Old Jun 20th, 2007, 7:46 pm Thread Starter
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New Unigo - First Impressions Pt 1

Since Howard S. and I bought our Unigo's together and promised a dual review, here is my part 1. Based on an e-mail to Howard, so if it sounds a little strange you'll know why.

Picked up the trailer Friday and proceeded to drive it around for 1300 miles.

After hook-up, training, checkout, and payment - we hit the road for St. Louis. Right away I was thinking - "what nut says 'you don't even know it's back there'?"

The tail wagged the dog all the way to STL. I thought maybe high winds or tight u-joints. My wife was behind me most of the way and said it was weaving pretty bad. My mother-in-law called it a horse's tail swatting at flies. A Harley guy followed for a while and when we stopped at the rest area he asked how it tracked, said it was weaving about quite a bit.

Called Mark on Saturday. He said it shouldn't weave about. Suggested putting the bike on the center stand and eyeball the verticalness of the Unigo. Did that in my parent's garage and the trailer was leaning way left. Removed the body from the frame, loosened the draw bar attach bolts at the front of the frame and twisted the frame fully clockwise looking from the rear as far as I could, held the frame in place with a 2 x 4 and tightened the draw bar. Now the trailer looked vertical.

Riding that day and all the way home Monday was much, much better. Judy noticed no weaving and I only noticed a slight more buffeting than normal when coming up on and overtaking trucks.

Mark said he should have checked this before I left but he and I both forgot. So make sure you get trued up real good if you haven't already.

Otherwise the trailer is great. Just hooked up, plugged in and drove off. No other problems.

Things I notice -
Gotta plan stopping areas better, can't back out at all.

Getting leaned into a turn takes a slight more effort.

Staying consistent through any corner takes a slight more effort.

Speed bumps may catch the trailer frame - keep slow

Otherwise, it really does handle well and is very easy to ride with. Rain, traffic, winds, mountains, etc.

Get used to talking to people. Traveling caravan style with the MINI, LT, and Unigo draws lots of attention, comments, and questions. I think I sold 3 trailers!

Judy, an ex-fiberglass finishing specialist, was giving Mark fits pointing out defects and supposed defects. LOL However, for a pod shaped, hand layup unit, the finish smoothness is pretty good, not perfect, but very good. Paint match is also very good, not perfect, but very close. I only notice the depth of color difference in certain light, but as we discussed before, my color seems to change color with different light anyway. The lid isn't a perfect fit, but is waterproof, and the gaps look decent. This type of flush look is difficult to perfect. I like it just fine though.

Overall, love it. It is no less or more than I expected. Hope you feel the same. I am going to contact Mark to let him know that I am maxed out on frame adjustment and see if he has any other suggestions.

Looking forward to hearing about your Unigo pick up and first ride thoughts. See attached pics.

Also, I used no isolation relay pack and see no reason to, based on a well maintained electrical system on the trailer and bike.

I would say one reason some may have trouble with the ABS faults is that per Stick's wiring chart, supplied by Unigo, he mentions the black/gray vs gray/blue wire. The chart says either can be used for the taillight circuit. Don't do it, at least on 2002 and newer. The black/gray is the center taillight and is monitored by the ABS computer. Not sure exactly how, but just don't use the center bulb to tap into. I also haven't rechecked current with an ammeter, but will. If I remember correctly, the wires looked like 22 ga. Good for the 6 total amps the brake bulbs (trailer and bike) are rated at. Regardless, this circuit is protected by a 15 amp fuse, so there should be no normal overcurrent conditions. If current is marginally high, LED 1157 bulbs in the trailer will solve that problem.

Feel free to ask any questions if thinking about a Unigo -

OK, Howard - your turn.




John

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post #2 of 20 Old Jun 20th, 2007, 8:19 pm
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Hey John, you'll get used to it and will even be able to strafe tweestees with it after awhile.

Backing it up is a royal PITA. There's been many times that Sandar the mag stood behind it, picked it up and straightened out till I got the hang of it. The trick is to react as soon as you see it in the mirror. If you don't, you're too late and have to start over, or have it picked up.

Once, fully loaded and passing a string of semi's in West Texas, thru a deep cut (highway cut thru a hill), doing about 95, I felt the bike start to shimmy like a Road King with 3/4" axles. I stood up some and it got worse, so I sat back down and just kept ripping. It seemed that the combination of above, plus the high winds we were riding in lofted the unigo and it was back there wagging in the air. Which led me to think about putting wings on one and not even bothering with the wheel much.



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post #3 of 20 Old Jun 20th, 2007, 9:31 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grifscoots
...Once, fully loaded and passing a string of semi's in West Texas, thru a deep cut (highway cut thru a hill), doing about 95, I felt the bike start to shimmy like a Road King with 3/4" axles. I stood up some and it got worse, so I sat back down and just kept ripping. It seemed that the combination of above, plus the high winds we were riding in lofted the unigo and it was back there wagging in the air. Which led me to think about putting wings on one and not even bothering with the wheel much.
Grif: Or, maybe put one of those down-draft wings on it, like the Indy cars use. That would keep it planted to the asphalt, although your mileage would probably suffer.

John: thanks for posting this info. When I, uh, get my Unigo I'll have additional info to think about. The day we made our deposits they said "4-5 weeks". It's been almost 9, and yet that's OK because as I told Mark Huffman: "I'd rather have it right than have it soon." As we discussed offline there was a problem with the lid. They are reworking it.

My turn to post a review, you say? OK, here's a photo of what I have. So far, I'm very pleased to see there is no effect on handling or mileage!
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post #4 of 20 Old Jun 21st, 2007, 7:50 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grifscoots
Hey John, you'll get used to it and will even be able to strafe tweestees with it after awhile.

Backing it up is a royal PITA. There's been many times that Sandar the mag stood behind it, picked it up and straightened out till I got the hang of it. The trick is to react as soon as you see it in the mirror. If you don't, you're too late and have to start over, or have it picked up.

Once, fully loaded and passing a string of semi's in West Texas, thru a deep cut (highway cut thru a hill), doing about 95, I felt the bike start to shimmy like a Road King with 3/4" axles. I stood up some and it got worse, so I sat back down and just kept ripping. It seemed that the combination of above, plus the high winds we were riding in lofted the unigo and it was back there wagging in the air. Which led me to think about putting wings on one and not even bothering with the wheel much.
Thanks for the tips Grif. I could back on tippy toes - but takes forever.

Heading down Black Mountain just east of Asheville about 9:00PM and some guy in a 525 BMW came flying up behind me, thought it was my wife, but should have known better. I do not like being overtaken on that section of road, so we traded the lead the rest of the way down the hill. I bet he got a kick out of being passed by a trailer hauler at over 90. It does track real well. I was loaded at about 50 lbs.

Strafing is a good term, cause you have to be real smooth on the transitions. Fairly quick left/right stuff has about 120" of wheelbase to deal with, and the first half goes fine but the rear half has a little delay. Still way better than a two wheel trailer.

Thanks again for the pointers.

John

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post #5 of 20 Old Jun 21st, 2007, 7:54 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hschisler
Grif: Or, maybe put one of those down-draft wings on it, like the Indy cars use. That would keep it planted to the asphalt, although your mileage would probably suffer.

John: thanks for posting this info. When I, uh, get my Unigo I'll have additional info to think about. The day we made our deposits they said "4-5 weeks". It's been almost 9, and yet that's OK because as I told Mark Huffman: "I'd rather have it right than have it soon." As we discussed offline there was a problem with the lid. They are reworking it.

My turn to post a review, you say? OK, here's a photo of what I have. So far, I'm very pleased to see there is no effect on handling or mileage!
I do feel for your wait. I was not too reliant on that 4-5 week thing, knowing that spring orders where coming. I'm just glad I was able to schedule the pickup in with other business.

I think this Saturday will be a good day for you. Be sure to take some gear to throw in the trailer for ballast. 20-30 lbs is good.

John

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post #6 of 20 Old Jun 21st, 2007, 7:55 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hschisler
Grif: Or, maybe put one of those down-draft wings on it, like the Indy cars use. That would keep it planted to the asphalt, although your mileage would probably suffer.

John: thanks for posting this info. When I, uh, get my Unigo I'll have additional info to think about. The day we made our deposits they said "4-5 weeks". It's been almost 9, and yet that's OK because as I told Mark Huffman: "I'd rather have it right than have it soon." As we discussed offline there was a problem with the lid. They are reworking it.

My turn to post a review, you say? OK, here's a photo of what I have. So far, I'm very pleased to see there is no effect on handling or mileage!
Howard,
Looks like you are missing a few bolts!

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post #7 of 20 Old Jun 21st, 2007, 3:04 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grifscoots
Once, fully loaded and passing a string of semi's in West Texas, thru a deep cut (highway cut thru a hill), doing about 95, I felt the bike start to shimmy like a Road King with 3/4" axles. I stood up some and it got worse, so I sat back down and just kept ripping. It seemed that the combination of above, plus the high winds we were riding in lofted the unigo and it was back there wagging in the air. Which led me to think about putting wings on one and not even bothering with the wheel much.
That happened to me once! Scared the B-jeebers out of me. I just slowed down and it all settled down.

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post #8 of 20 Old Jun 21st, 2007, 3:08 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowlesj
Since Howard S. and I bought our Unigo's together and promised a dual review, here is my part 1. Based on an e-mail to Howard, so if it sounds a little strange you'll know why.
I pulled one for a while. I finally figured out that the receiver was slightly askew. I had a welder tack it on square to the hitch. That solved the tracking issue. When backup up I would use the reverse gear. To back out to the right, I'd turn the bars to the left and watch my right mirror. When the U appeared, I'd turn the bars back to the right. Then I would try to keep it at the same angle until I got where I wanted to be. After a while it was easy. Have fun with it!

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post #9 of 20 Old Jun 21st, 2007, 3:38 pm
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I just slowed down and it all settled down.
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post #10 of 20 Old Jun 24th, 2007, 7:29 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hschisler
John: thanks for posting this info. When I, uh, get my Unigo I'll have additional info to think about. The day we made our deposits they said "4-5 weeks". It's been almost 9, and yet that's OK because as I told Mark Huffman: "I'd rather have it right than have it soon." As we discussed offline there was a problem with the lid. They are reworking it.

So Howard, did you get yours yet? I think I must have ordered mine about the same time as yours - end of April. Marks wife told me about 5-6 weeks and Mark came into the shop and told me it should be about 2-3 weeks. That was before the problems with the fiberglass. Been almost 9 weeks for mine too, but really haven't had an urgent need for it yet. Talked to Mark June 19th and he said I'm 3rd in line, mines painted - just needs assembled. So hoping for this week. Maybe I'll see you down there at pickup!

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post #11 of 20 Old Jun 24th, 2007, 8:20 pm
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So Howard, did you get yours yet? I think I must have ordered mine about the same time as yours - end of April. Marks wife told me about 5-6 weeks and Mark came into the shop and told me it should be about 2-3 weeks. That was before the problems with the fiberglass. Been almost 9 weeks for mine too, but really haven't had an urgent need for it yet. Talked to Mark June 19th and he said I'm 3rd in line, mines painted - just needs assembled. So hoping for this week. Maybe I'll see you down there at pickup!
Nope, and no word from our friends at Unigo this week. I'm starting -- just starting -- to get a little peeved.

Original estimate was "4-5 weeks". We had some phone calls back and forth; problem with the lid, as previously reported. Last week they said it would be ready by mid-week (the week just finished); no word from them when that deadline passed. I emailed them yesterday; no reply yet. Like you I don't have an urgent need for it but yesterday was 9 weeks and I, uh... would like to use it this summer -- for CCR.

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post #12 of 20 Old Jun 24th, 2007, 8:34 pm
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Like you I don't have an urgent need for it but yesterday was 9 weeks and I, uh... would like to use it this summer -- for CCR.
That's exactly the trip I'm counting on it for. Hopefully it'll be ready by late August! They're closed on Monday's, so I guess we'll both be calling on Tuesday. I'm sure they want the balances owed on them. I would imagine with some of the problems they've had, that cash flow has got to be getting to be a problem.

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post #13 of 20 Old Jun 24th, 2007, 9:17 pm Thread Starter
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I couldn't reach them on the phone last week either. During my pick up, Mark said they were very busy, to the point that any more advertising would wreck 'em. Hang in there.

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post #14 of 20 Old Jun 25th, 2007, 6:30 am
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I couldn't reach them on the phone last week either. During my pick up, Mark said they were very busy, to the point that any more advertising would wreck 'em. Hang in there.
At this point no problem. Mark and his wife seem like really nice people. I'm sure he's doing everthing he can to get these out. I guess we should feel good that he is concerned about putting out a product with problems and is doing everthing he can to make sure they go out without any.

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post #15 of 20 Old Jun 25th, 2007, 11:08 pm
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Cool I'm on the list as well . . .

Howard and Carl,

Visited the shop on June 2nd - talked with Mark, his assembly technician and his wife - nice people - was also told 5 weeks maybe sooner! Saw several units being packed up for European shipment. So we ordered one.

Left voice mails earlier in the week- no reply. Drove by the shop last week on Wednesday around 3:00 PM to chat and check schedule - closed sign out no one around!! Vacation ?? At other Rally's?? Picking up parts??

Will contact on Tuesday just to get an update!!

From a customer "service" perspective during a build on specialty items like this communications is everything - period!!

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post #16 of 20 Old Jun 26th, 2007, 6:43 am Thread Starter
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Howard and Carl,

Visited the shop on June 2nd - talked with Mark, his assembly technician and his wife - nice people - was also told 5 weeks maybe sooner! Saw several units being packed up for European shipment. So we ordered one.

Left voice mails earlier in the week- no reply. Drove by the shop last week on Wednesday around 3:00 PM to chat and check schedule - closed sign out no one around!! Vacation ?? At other Rally's?? Picking up parts??

Will contact on Tuesday just to get an update!!

From a customer "service" perspective during a build on specialty items like this communications is everything - period!!
They are still a small operation. And remember, if Mark or Rick is typing e-mails and on the phone, they aren't assembling trailers. Working with fiberglass in a production atmosphere, especially a product with the attention to detail expected of the Unigo, is tricky at best.

Not like you can drive in like with a seat where they rip of old add, stretch and attach new materials, and off you go. Plastics behave diifferently each time.

Mark probably shouldn't have gave out such early delivery times.

BTW - Mark did appreciate your wiring drawing. Hang on a bit longer.

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post #17 of 20 Old Jul 6th, 2007, 1:30 pm
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If you overpromise, underdeliver & don't return phone calls and e-mails in a timely manner, you will surely be out of business regardless of your product's quality and price.

Making a quality product in a timely fashion is tough stuff. Good customer service communication is easy and common sense.

I love the looks of the Uni-Go but have held off pulling the trigger due to stories just such as this, as well as reports of poor quality fit and finish.

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post #18 of 20 Old Jul 6th, 2007, 6:32 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowlesj
They are still a small operation. And remember, if Mark or Rick is typing e-mails and on the phone, they aren't assembling trailers. Working with fiberglass in a production atmosphere, especially a product with the attention to detail expected of the Unigo, is tricky at best.

Not like you can drive in like with a seat where they rip of old add, stretch and attach new materials, and off you go. Plastics behave diifferently each time.

Mark probably shouldn't have gave out such early delivery times.

BTW - Mark did appreciate your wiring drawing. Hang on a bit longer.
Responding to your post, John, and to bibleman's which followed.

When we picked up our Unigo last Friday Mark got about a dozen phone calls. Each time, his wife takes the call and then either goes back and forth to him for answers to the caller's questions, or puts Mark on the phone. Either way, it really delayed our departure. He needs more hands on deck.

Fit and finish? There were several significant (IMO) problems with the finish on the trailer. Mark spent a lot of time buffing out problems, and I see a lot more problem areas now that the trailer is home.

I haven't used it yet but we will enjoy it. It just wasn't the "4-5 weeks" that Mark mentioned when we paid our deposit and it took 2-4 days to get an email reply (when there was one). Yes, the lid problems were out of his control but these aren't the first cases of that problem. I feel certain they could sell every unit they make if they could do it right the first time and do it more timely.

Howard Schisler
2015 BMW K1600GTL
2009 BMW K1200LT - 60k miles
2012 BMW F650GS (sold)
2005 BMW K1200LT - "Gray Ghost", traded at 120k miles
2005 Honda Shadow 650 (sold)
AMA, IBA, BMW MOA. CCRs: Braselton 2006, Osage Beach 2007, Duluth 2012


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post #19 of 20 Old Jul 16th, 2007, 12:36 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hschisler
Responding to your post, John, and to bibleman's which followed.

When we picked up our Unigo last Friday Mark got about a dozen phone calls. Each time, his wife takes the call and then either goes back and forth to him for answers to the caller's questions, or puts Mark on the phone. Either way, it really delayed our departure. He needs more hands on deck.

Fit and finish? There were several significant (IMO) problems with the finish on the trailer. Mark spent a lot of time buffing out problems, and I see a lot more problem areas now that the trailer is home.

I haven't used it yet but we will enjoy it. It just wasn't the "4-5 weeks" that Mark mentioned when we paid our deposit and it took 2-4 days to get an email reply (when there was one). Yes, the lid problems were out of his control but these aren't the first cases of that problem. I feel certain they could sell every unit they make if they could do it right the first time and do it more timely.
That is quite dissapointing. Any defects that you see should be more than obvious to Mark who builds them. The fact that he is letting them out the door would indicate to me he isn't worried about his reputation long term. Maybe he is in over his head? Not for me to judge.

I will continue to wait on the sidelines - or until Bushtec calls my name loud enough that I don't wish to wait longer. Bigger and more money (and more wheels), but they produce a high quality product - on time and with excellent customer service and communication.

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post #20 of 20 Old Jul 22nd, 2007, 10:28 pm
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Cool Updated Unigo Wiring Diagram

Grif,

Here is wiring diagram with color of wires added to tap into a K1200LT

If this does not work the previous owners of the Unigo may have changed the Unigo wiring. If you need that set up let me know I have that as well . . .
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Dan Finazzo
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"Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted to get"
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