The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
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Never tried a trailer personally. The few times I've seen a bike towing a trailer it was behind a full dresser Harley, a Goldwing, or a trike ridden 2-up. I've only ever seen 2 wheeled trailers, I can't imagine a 1-wheeler would be particularly safe or stable behind a motorcycle.
The version with 12" wheels is better for extended highway speeds. They used to be a lot cheaper... Simplest and least expensive setup would be taking half a sheet of 4x8 plywood and bolting a cheap large lockable tote box to it.
I think most people avoid trailers because of the added weight, drag, and cost. You'll also need a beefy bike with a strong enough frame to handle the stresses of towing with enough motor to pull the extra weight up grades and enough wheelbase and weight to stop the trailer from deciding the direction of travel.
If you've packed enough stuff that you need a trailer, its time to rethink what all you're taking in my opinion...
I know nothing about bikes - but we did meet a biker in Pakistan who had had a custom SIDE CAR added to his old 800 (?) BMW in Kazakhstan. I think he'd done lots of off roading etc in it .... might be an idea ....
I'll assume that people have put two and two together, and realised that I am in fact the numpty that's got this trailer build idea into my head.
The story is this. I've done about 23,000 miles on my Honda XR650L, and it's been fantastic in just about every way.
I met up with my girlfriend in USA, and we've travelled together.
A friend of a friend was selling this mint condition BMW for a song, and I couldn't resist the opportunity. So I got the bike, and along with it, the idea of touring two up; down to Argentina and maybe beyond.
I am an engineer, and I am a sucker for a project to make something interesting.
So the trailer thing really struck a nerve.
I am going to do it somehow. Ideally build as much of it as I can myself, but probably end up getting something and modifying it. We'll see.
Thanks for the links. I did find a few of them myself, and was quite taken with the Trail Tail site. Certainly not conventional.
What I struggled to find was information on building a trailer as a DIY project. But there we go. I'm sure it's possible without an internet walkthrough!
And still being used (now with a different bike), to carry his dog around 8 years later
I can give you the guys email address if you like, but there's not a huge amount to tell. Homemade monowheel trailers are normally mounted to the bike with a UJ off a car driveshaft. In this case the trailer attaches to the back of the bike's subframe, but do be cautious about this - The subframe on the bandit in the pic with the dog is not the original one due to weld failure. Some people run steel tube back from the maincradle to tow from, but this looks ugly and messy.
I've been looking at this type of project for some time and have found some excellent research on the dynamics by an Austalian academic - I will dig it out and post links later. In the meantime here is some inspiration
The first question you have to answer is where do you want to go? If you think you will encounter bad roads with lots of potholes then one-wheel is the only way to go, otherwise you have a pothole detector. However, if most of your roads will be at least reasonable then stick with two wheels, it will be much more stable.
For my trip in 1988 Bombay - Europe I built myself a one-wheel trailer. Went to the bike wreckers and bought the remains of a farm bike: frame with rear end and suspension. I cut out the top frame tube and bent down the lower tubes, forming the base chassis. Two more straight tubes were welded in from the back, joining the front of the contraption, where I welded in and agricultural UJ. The neat thing about that is that using a broken power take off shaft I had a ready-made coupling. I welded a solid plate onto the UJ which bolted onto the tow bar, taking up the slack in the splines.
The tow bar was constructed from square section tubes. The big wheel on the trailer was good for when we went through some of the big pot holes in India and Pakistan.
Behind our CX500 the whole thing was quite rideable, but handling was a bit like a truck. Prerequisite was riding two-up with a loaded trailer, otherwise the overloaded trailer made the rig unstable.
As an engineer you will appreciate that there is a right way of fitting the UJ and a wrong way.
At the end of the trip the CX was sold and the trailer shipped back to NZ, where I had a tow bar built for my R75/5. We used the trailer only once with a light load and it turned out that the BMW couldn't handle it. Every bend we faced death. As this and your bike are very similar I would be very hesitant to put such a contraption on an oilhead BMW.
One thing I can say: it attracts attention, but takes the fun out of riding. I would rather get my other half to ride a bike.
I've changed the idea slightly. Leave the big dirt bike here in San Francisco for a few months, and trial this trailer thing around Mexico for a while.
The re-assess. Probably switch back to the Honda.
I picked up a cheapo flat pack trailer from a hardware store, to base the contraption on. The down to the Dept of Motor Vehicles, and got a plate for it, after a superficial inspection.
Then I found an army surplus store and something that looks like it'll work as an enclosure.
Not sure about the ethics of the idea, but it's done now.
I've got an ex-military transport case for Dragon Missiles. Should be waterproof, and certainly heavy duty.
This weekend I'm going to hack the trailer down by 13 inches (look what America's done to me! .... 330.2mm) to make it narrower. Add LED tail/turn lights, and try to knock up some kind of 360 degree swivel, to allow the bike to lean without causing road-traffic accidents.
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