Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Macomb, MI, USA
Re: Tongue length?
Again, I'm no expert, but have had several trailers that I have pulled behind cars and various motorcycles. I pull 3 of my 5 current trailers behind bikes.
I will always go with a longer tongue than any 'formula' recommends.
I have had small trailers over the years that were built by professionals which would run true, w/o issues, when behind a 4 wheel vehicle regardless how they were loaded. Those same trailers, behind a motorcycle, COULD BE A PROBLEM. Get it loaded with a little more weight to the rear, or get in gusty winds, etc. and watch out!!
A trailer being pulled behind a motorcycle is a different story than when pulled behind a 4 wheel vehicle. A bike has less weight and stability. Consider the movement of your bike hitch when passing a big truck (for example). The wind will likely make you lean a bit left and right as you hit the air turbulence from the truck. What does that lean, back and forth, do to your hitch? Can you understand that your hitch will also move back and forth? The higher the hitch is from the pavement, the more the movement!! The potential danger is that movement begins a trailer wag that might only get worse. Add additional length to the tongue and the problem is gone - just a bad memory.
I don't mind having an extra long tongue... If nothing more than it makes it easier to get into my trunk or walk behind the bike...
Many years ago, I was told that the ideal place to attach a trailer to a bike is where the rear tire touches the pavement... The higher and farther back from that 'tire patch', the more your hitch will move with leans. In addition, the higher the hitch is, the more chance there is that the momentum of the trailer will push up on the rear of your bike in a quick stop, rather than down (to add traction to your rear tire).
When you're comfortable...Riding Is Wonderful
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Joyfully, MOPMan (Jim Mick)
Last edited by MOPMan; Feb 8th, 2014 at 6:35 am.