Originally Posted by joevano
I'm going to build a trailer. My preference is to use a kit with 12" wheels but have no reason other than " bigger is better".
Is there any real reason to go with either an 8" or 12" wheel?
I'm looking at a Harbor Freight kit with the 12" wheels, or Northern Tool with 8".
A few thoughts pro and con:
12" wheels will spin slightly
slower than 8" - but neither will never even close get to an rpm that will outpace what the bearings are designed for.
12' wheels - due to the profile of the tire - don't have as big a footprint as the 8" - no real issue on a trailer except that the 12" may have slightly less drag, the 8" more grip in a curve.
Load rating on either is WAY
above what you'll ever need. I run my 8" tires at 20 psi instead of 60. Not only does this insure full tread contact with the my light total load (#350) it also allows for more sidewall flex and better shock absorption. It also allows the tread to wear evenly.
8" tires allow you to more easily match the ride height of the frame of the HF trailer to the hitch height of the LT - an extremely important component. You usually need to flip the springs on the 12" or incorporate a bend in the neck of the hitch.
8" tires provide a lower center of gravity and less unsprung weight.
8" tires are less expensive.
12" tires somehow "look" better since they are closer in size to your motorcycle wheel circumference, although I prefer the "low slung" look of the 8".
12" tires will ride better over pot holes.
Regarding those bearings you get with either kit - toss them and buy some ISO certified Timken or SKF bearings. The Chinese ones included are absolute garbage - keep them as back ups only. The ISO rated ones will last 100K miles in a heartbeat and worth spending a few extra bucks for peace of mind.
Go here and talk motorcycle trailers until the cows come home:
or here to look at the one I built:
The trailer build pictures start about half way down the page.
Next topic: dino or synthetic grease for those new bearings...