ball or pin hitch? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 10 Old Mar 3rd, 2012, 12:35 pm Thread Starter
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ball or pin hitch?

Okay,
I've read/searched the various threads regarding hitches, especially the bushtec vs. the dauntless, but I haven't seen anything regarding pros. and cons of a ball hitch vs. a pin hitch.
I visited the bushtec website, but it didn't have relevant info. I have seen some posts mentioning ball tongues coming off the ball hitch during mishaps, and how some prefer that or not, but again, looking for advantages and disadvantages of each.

FYI, I'd be using it on a K1200LT.
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post #2 of 10 Old Mar 3rd, 2012, 1:05 pm
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Re: ball or pin hitch?

J, I have pulled my cargo trailer all through the north GA mountians using a fixed ball hitch and a standard coupler and have never had any issues. I pulled it with a K100RT and a K1100LT and never had any problem achieving proper lean angles in the twisties. I have recently installed a Dauntless hitch on my K1200LT but have not pulled thet trailer yet. I don't anticipate things to be any different with the LT except more comfort

Ride Safely,
Steve

'09 K1200LT "Clyde"
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post #3 of 10 Old Mar 3rd, 2012, 2:07 pm
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Re: ball or pin hitch?

I have used a ball coupling, a Uni-Go coupler, and a similar coupler on A Third Wheel Trailer, all behind my LT (not at the same time).

I have a Dauntless hitch, and I had them fabricate the receiver (well, technically the receiver is the part that stays on the bike, so this might be called the ball mount) to have BOTH a mount for a ball AND the flat pate with four threaded holes for Uni-Go and other hitch methodologies. This way I do not have to mess with adapters and am ready to hook up and go.

Not really a big deal, as they normally make the ball mount with one or the other, but since each mounts in a different spot, I saw no reason not to go with both. I think they charged me an extra $50 or so to do it that way.

Antony (Tripod)
Dallas' Northern Suburbs
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post #4 of 10 Old Mar 3rd, 2012, 3:29 pm
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Re: ball or pin hitch?

The Bushtec Hitch pin only works with the Bushtec trailer. The good part is the part of the trailer that slips over the hitch pen turns 360 degrees. If the bike "takes a nap" the trailer wheels stay flat on the ground. I pulled a Buchtec for over 55,000 miles with no trouble. They make a great trailer.

Stevie Shreeve
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post #5 of 10 Old Mar 3rd, 2012, 5:02 pm
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Re: ball or pin hitch?

+1 on the Bushtec pin connection. Absolutely NO back and forth or side-side action in the hitch. Ever. Ride just as hard with the Bushtec following as without. Been VERY impressed with the weight transfer under heavy braking. Even in a curve when a less-than-attentive driver appeared in my lane. John Preston at Bushtec will tell you it is because of the way the Bushtec hitch mounts on the LT - weight transfer goes into the whole bike, not just the rear wheel.

Jim Taylor
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post #6 of 10 Old Mar 3rd, 2012, 6:58 pm
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Re: ball or pin hitch?

The theory behind the ball versus captured hitch pin is that the ball is designed for a car/truck that only goes left or right,
a motorcycle "leans" and as it does the ball is already halfway out of the coupling,
to eliminate this you would need a swivel coupling on the front of the trailer tongue
and by the time you pay for that the captured hitch pin is cheaper.

personally I prefer the captured hitch pin,
it makes sense and I feel it's more secure

butt............

when I had the collision with the Elk my bike did a wheelstand and the coupling snapped in half,
the trailer went into the ditch
while the bike slid down the road with me rolling out in front of it.

With "hindsight" that is the preferred scenario,
I had enough to deal with and no time to worry about getting run over by my own trailer,
so guys make sure those safety chains will break when you need them to.


Hans
St. Petersburg FL

2002 K1200LTE
"Silver Buffalo" Totaled 5/06
2005 LT
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post #7 of 10 Old Mar 3rd, 2012, 9:08 pm
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Re: ball or pin hitch?

Somewhere on Bushtec's site is a short video demonstration of two bike tipovers, one bike using their pin hitch and the other using a ball mount. Granted, it's an extreme scenario but it demonstrates what previous comments are describing.

Howard Schisler
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2009 BMW K1200LT - 60k miles
2012 BMW F650GS (sold)
2005 BMW K1200LT - "Gray Ghost", traded at 120k miles
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post #8 of 10 Old Mar 3rd, 2012, 9:11 pm
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Re: ball or pin hitch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by deputy5211
I have used a ball coupling, a Uni-Go coupler, and a similar coupler on A Third Wheel Trailer, all behind my LT (not at the same time).

I have a Dauntless hitch, and I had them fabricate the receiver (well, technically the receiver is the part that stays on the bike, so this might be called the ball mount) to have BOTH a mount for a ball AND the flat pate with four threaded holes for Uni-Go and other hitch methodologies. This way I do not have to mess with adapters and am ready to hook up and go.

Not really a big deal, as they normally make the ball mount with one or the other, but since each mounts in a different spot, I saw no reason not to go with both. I think they charged me an extra $50 or so to do it that way.
Tony,

Could you post a photo of this? I'd like to see what that looks like. Being able to tow different types of trailers without changing the lower half of the Dauntless hitch would be a convenience.

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 #9 of 10 Old Mar 4th, 2012, 1:49 am Thread Starter
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Re: ball or pin hitch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverBuffalo
With "hindsight" that is the preferred scenario,
I had enough to deal with and no time to worry about getting run over by my own trailer,
so guys make sure those safety chains will break when you need them to.
Well, I don't know anything about safety chains for a trailer behind a motorcycle, but behind cars and trucks, they're suppose to catch the tongue of the trailer in the event it becomes decoupled for whatever reason. I can't remember where I learned this a long time ago, but every since, I always notice how the vast majority of trailers in tow have their safety chains improperly connected. They are suppose to cross each other, connecting on opposite sides of the bumper from their mounting points on the tongue/trailer. This way, an X is formed and can catch the tongue in the event of decoupling. Safety chains connected where they are essentially hanging parallel to each other do not provide any measure of safety, therefore they're useless in this arrangement. What you end up doing is dragging a trailer down the road with the tongue grinding on the pavement, creating rooster tails of sparks. I've witnessed it, and it wasn't pretty.

With that logic, it would seem safety chains should be attached to the motorcycle hitch the same way, so I'm puzzled when I see pics of uni-trailers/n-line trailers and the likes, which have only one safety chain. Either some designer/engineer didn't know what they were doing, or they hung one on to give unaware buyers a false sense of security.

I agree about the laydowns- I think I would prefer to have a trailer breakaway, especially considering what's most likely in it and the overall fact they're not worth near as much as my safety and well being.

Last edited by bikerj; Mar 4th, 2012 at 2:48 am. Reason: correct grammar
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post #10 of 10 Old Jun 12th, 2012, 6:56 pm
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Re: ball or pin hitch?

You might want to check the hitches these guys are offering. Not so sure if it's relevant though.
http://www.hitchanything.com/
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