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Old 12 Jul 2003
Windwalker's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: On the road
Posts: 20
Cargo Trailers

Doesn't seem to be to much discussion here on this subject. In some posts I've read, I even get the impression if your caught pulling one of things, your no longer a purist. I certainly can appreciate the added concerns and limitations to where you can pull trailers, but in some trip planning can’t they be a real asset.

I'm planning to tour the UK all of Europe, eastern Europe and parts of Central Asia for and an extended period of time. I will be riding a Harley Davidson Wide Glide. By my bike choice I will be staying to back country paved or hard packed roads. In researching and planning my trip I'm looking at all possible options. I live in the north eastern part of British Columbia and we have hundreds upon hundreds of bikes heading up the Alaska Hiway each year. I've had the pleasure to meet many really interesting travelers on their journeys. Many of these travels were pulling trailers on a wide variety of bikes, not all of them were the big decker or cruising kinds either.

In talking to some of these bike pullin trailer travelers ... they all swore by them and would never leave on a long trip with out them. From talking to them .. this planted the seed to see if pulling a trailer would fit into my plans. As I have indicated I will be traveling for a number of years. What ever I’m carry will be my home. Two reasons that really interest me in thinking about pulling a trailer is, I would be able to pack more stuff plus it would allow me the freedom to drop off most of my stuff and travel around less encumbered from a destination point.

Now in saying all this .. I sure would be interested in hearing from travelers who have done this and what type of trailers they would or would not recommend. I have added a few of links to trailer manufactories that I'm interested in.

Thanks for any advice,




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Old 12 Jul 2003
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Cairo, Egypt
Posts: 456
I wonder how one of these would do crossing sand dunes..... hmmmm


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Old 4 Oct 2003
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I did India, Nepal and overland to Europe on a CX500 two up with a trailer. One thing to consider when travelling in third-world countries is that you will be travelling on third world roads. That means potholes. Lots of them.

BMW used to make a car named Isetta. It had two wheels spaced apart normally in the front and two rear wheels very close together in the back, which did the steering. That way they saved the diff. The Germans quickly nicknamed this car the Pot Hole Detector!

That's what you will have towing a normal trailer. I've seen holes big enough if you'd chucked us, our bike and the trailer in them it would have been about level with the road. I've also seen a few trucks that went too fast through those holes. The front axle came right off.

In India I can recommend therefor only one-wheel trailers, and that's what we had. They used to be very popular for a while in Holland, apparently named Freebird. (Don't know whether this is a brand name.) There are still companies in Holland and France making them.

I built one myself: went to the wreckers and bought the frame with rear end of a 100 cc farm bike. Chopped the steering head and the upper frame tube off, bent the whole lower part of the frame flat and built a tapered steel box with lid into it. Nice and solid and lockable with padlock. For a coupling I used the universal joint off a power take-off shaft and a matching splined shaft, which I got for next to nothing from an ag machine shop. Fully loaded this weighed probably 50 - 80 kg.

Two up handling was a bit funny, but quite manageable. We even negotiated a couple of pretty bad and steep dirt roads, but that wasn't fun. In Iran I rode alone at 140 km/h through long bends without major wobbles. Don't try that on an airhead BMW, though. I've got a picture, but nowhere to post it.

I don't know what other Asian countries are like, but I think if you try towing a 2-wheel trailer there you'll loose it.

Salut from Southern France, the bikers' paradise,

Jenny & Peter.

Europe to NZ 2006-10
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Old 5 Oct 2003
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Location: Vancouver BC Canada
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A comment - you don't NEED that much stuff! One of the most common emails I get after travellers have been on the road for a while is "I just sent back another box of stuff I don't need" and then AGAIN a few months later "I just sent back another box of stuff I don't need" and again...

Some travellers report that every time they stop for a bit, they buy more stuff they absolutely have to have, then a bit later "I just sent back another box of stuff I don't need."

If Peter and Kay Forwood can travel for years - two-up - on a Harley Electra Glide, wthout a trailer, surely you as a solo traveller don't need a trailer?

Yes the idea of getting rid of the trailer is nice when you pull up somewhere - but you can MORE easily get rid of luggage. Unloading a trailer then finding somewhere to park it will be a problem. Parking a trailer full of stuff is an invitation to theft, whereas the average third world hotel can store your gear reasonably safely in your room. And you will use hotels in the third world more than you think - they're cheap, and safe, where camping often isn't.

We met a couple in Tunisia that hauled a trailer in North Africa - their tales of flipping trailers (on bad roads and sand dunes and subsequent crashes turned me off trailers permanently.

KISS principle is the travellers mantra - Keep It Super Simple, keep it light, take less - much less.

hope that helps,

Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.


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Grant Johnson

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