Tongue length? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 8 Old Apr 3rd, 2009, 12:17 am Thread Starter
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Tongue length?

I understand the tongue should be twice as long as the trailer width.

Does that mean the total length of the tongue, or, it's length from the front of the trailer bed forward?

Joe Van Orsdol
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post #2 of 8 Old Apr 3rd, 2009, 6:22 am
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Re: Tongue length?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joevano
I understand the tongue should be twice as long as the trailer width.

Does that mean the total length of the tongue, or, it's length from the front of the trailer bed forward?
or length from the axel forward?

I just had an extension made for my trailer tongue and I also dropped the hitch by 5". What a wonderful difference!

When you're comfortable...Riding Is Wonderful

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post #3 of 8 Old Apr 3rd, 2009, 7:33 am Thread Starter
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Re: Tongue length?

Hi Jim, how are you doing?

You left in the question mark, I assume that is your answer, axle to hitch needs to be double the width!

Joe Van Orsdol
Zimmerman Mn
'02 K1200LT
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post #4 of 8 Old Apr 3rd, 2009, 7:38 am
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Re: Tongue length?

Actually, mine was a question. I am no trailering expert.

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post #5 of 8 Old Apr 3rd, 2009, 12:09 pm
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Re: Tongue length?

I have always used the formula of 60% of the weight in front of the axle and 40% aft of it. This normally leave you with about 10% of the total weight being tongue weight.


HTH,

Ron


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post #6 of 8 Old Feb 8th, 2014, 4:13 am
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Re: Tongue length?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joevano View Post
I understand the tongue should be twice as long as the trailer width.

Does that mean the total length of the tongue, or, it's length from the front of the trailer bed forward?
Hi I'm building a monowheel trailer and have got to the stage where I need to cut off the the excess length to the draw bar (I think you call it a tongue) the length of the trailer from wheel centre to front of body is 36" and the width is 24 " any suggestions before I cut? I was thinking 18" from the body to the u/j. What do think, I'm a little confused with the responses I've read.👍

Cheers Bren
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post #7 of 8 Old Feb 8th, 2014, 6:27 am
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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).

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Last edited by MOPMan; Feb 8th, 2014 at 6:35 am.
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post #8 of 8 Old Feb 10th, 2014, 4:32 pm
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Re: Tongue length?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MOPMan View Post
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).
Hi Jim/Mick thanks for your feedback and advise, it's a suck-it-and-see situation I suppose cheers Bren
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