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Hey, folks -

Thinking about getting a trailer due to a recent increase in trackday participation. Would be really interested to hear what people like/dislike about their particular set-ups, whether you put your bike in a van or pickup truck, or car and trailer set-up, etc. Even a discussion of brands would be helpful: the trailers on the Cyclehauler website (www.cyclehauler.com) look good, but if anyone has firsthand experience with that or any other trailer brands (include links if you have 'em, please), that would be really helpful.

Thanks in advance! :)
 
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For open trailers, I think Kendon is the name. Real nice with some chrome and diamond plate. Folds-up out the way when not in use, comes with a ramp that slides underneath. I started with a somewhat rusty Harbor Freight 4X8 flatbed for a few seasons, then bought a 6X10 Pace American enclosed cargo trailer with a ramp door, side door, e-track. I love it. I'm doing 14 track days this year (not with the Monster though until it gets broken in.) I love leaving everything packed and ready to go. I hitch up, grab some clean socks and t-shirt and leave. Everything stays dry when it rains, and you have a place to change clothes as well.
 

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OK, here's a really dumb question, but I'll ask it anyway. When you see folks with pickups or vans and a ~18" wide ramp to get the bike into the back - how do they get the bike up the ramp? Riding it up seems like it wouldn't work, cuz if you had to put a foot down there'd be nothing there, and rolling it up seems impractical since the bars will be 7 or 8 ft off the ground on a full sized truck, plus it would be kinda heavy to push.

So what's the technique?
 

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Michael I've got one of those real skinny ramps and a big ass pickup with the camper package (although I've no camper) which makes the bed even higher.

Not a dumb question at all!

Luckily, I have a short hill next to my driveway which I back the pickup into and then ramp sits horizontal so I can load/unload alone. However, in order to do it on the flats, you definitely need 2 people. One at the bars, one at the tail. The guy on bars controls front brake and steering, the guy at the rear maintains vertical stability and applies force to push it up. The tricky part is when front guy has to climb up on the tailgate while keeping the brake on. No real trick there, just presence of mind while scrambling up... Rear guy pushes the tail and can walk up the ramp. Bringing it down is same thing, just in reverse. I wouldn't suggest riding it up. It _can_ be done and I've done it but way too much risk if you make a mistake.

Two ramps are great: one for the bike, the other to walk up. I guess a good 2x10 would work for that but make sure it doesn't slide while you're on it...

If I had to do it again I would think about a wider ramp, but not sure if I'd be able to slide in under bike for transporting.
 

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I have a folding ATV ramp that's probably 20" wide when folded and 40" wide when open. It's ~75" long.

If I've got enough room to get a running start, I can load my Monster or 888 into the bed of my Dodge Dakota 4x4 pickup just by running alongside of it up the ramp.

I just bought a 5'x8' Big Tex utility trailer that's wide enough to hold 2 Monsters. At $700 it's a little more expensive than some of the other utility trailers, but it does have full-size wheels and tires (important if you get a flat in BFE) and a tongue jack so the trailer can be unhooked and left behind when the bikes are loaded.
http://www.bigtextrailers.com/spec/30sa.html

For about $125 you can have a fold down ramp added, something like this.
http://www.bigtextrailers.com/spec/35sa.html

I just use my ATV ramp. It's longer than the available ramp so the angle at the ramp/trailer junction is not as acute. I ride the bikes up and then the folded ramp fits beween the bikes. All I need now are some Pit Bull wheel chocks and I'm going to add some eye-bolts to make it easier to attach tie-downs.
(BTW, they also have a MC-specific trailer http://www.bigtextrailers.com/spec/35mc.html)

Zieman also makes some nice bike-specific trailers. I had actually purchased one of these, but the shop that I ordered it from was jacking me around on it and then didn't have it ready for a trip that I was making, so I cancelled the order.
http://www.dragbike.com/news/10-00/product_zieman.htm

--Fillmore
 

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Michael I've got one of those real skinny ramps and a big ass pickup with the camper package (although I've no camper) which makes the bed even higher.

Not a dumb question at all!

Luckily, I have a short hill next to my driveway which I back the pickup into and then ramp sits horizontal so I can load/unload alone. However, in order to do it on the flats, you definitely need 2 people. One at the bars, one at the tail. The guy on bars controls front brake and steering, the guy at the rear maintains vertical stability and applies force to push it up. The tricky part is when front guy has to climb up on the tailgate while keeping the brake on. No real trick there, just presence of mind while scrambling up... Rear guy pushes the tail and can walk up the ramp. Bringing it down is same thing, just in reverse. I wouldn't suggest riding it up. It _can_ be done and I've done it but way too much risk if you make a mistake.

Two ramps are great: one for the bike, the other to walk up. I guess a good 2x10 would work for that but make sure it doesn't slide while you're on it...

If I had to do it again I would think about a wider ramp, but not sure if I'd be able to slide in under bike for transporting.
Hah! That's kind of what I was thinking, but then I thought, "nah, there must be a more elegant way to do it that I'm not seeing."

For occasional use (i.e. a track day once in a while) do you rent a U-Haul or something like that?

Looks like the SF group may be doing a Pridmore/CLASS day in October and while the track is near enough to ride to I think I'll want to carry along extra stuff, so trailering the bike would be nice.
 

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I also have the Big Tex 5 / 8 trailor. I like it alot. Ive taken my bike to San Diego and several other places to visit relatives and go for rides. I think the most important thing when looking for trailors is to make sure they have at least 14in wheels. Some only have those dinky 12in wheels that I wouldnt trust my bike riding on.
 
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If you can scrape up the dough and have a place to keep it, I'd highly recommend an enclosed trailer. I hauled my race bike all over the place on an open trailer, and was always cleaning road debris off the thing. Then there's the whole part about keeping your expensive tools and stuff in the car/truck/SUV so no one liberates them from your open trailer. I think enclosed trailers tend to hold their value a little better than their open kin, if that's a consideration.
 

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Trailers are some tough choices, no doubt. Enclosed offers protection from weather, road grime, and the casual thief. Open offers much lower cost, easier towing, and you can spot trouble with the tie downs before a bike falls over.

I ended up going with an open 4X8 built by a local trailer company. Very well built with a 2500lb axle, sturdy rails about 18" high and a 3' drop tailgate, and 14" wheels. Trails like a dream.

I use six tie downs for the Monster and a front wheel chock I fabricated to bolt into the front of the trailer. Based on some good advice I gleaned from another forum, I use tiedowns on the lower fork legs and rear swing arms so the bike rides on its own suspension. The other two straps are preventers rigged laterally from the frame straight out to the rails to limit side-to-side motion but not compress the suspension. I also have the bike on the rear pit stand (Bull Dog - it's sturdy enough).

I just completed a trip from central FL through GA to the mountains in NC/TN and trailered over everything from the superslab to some godawful rough mountain roads and back. I was glad the bike could work on its own suspension in some places, because I saw it do plenty of it in the mirror! Worked like a charm.

For loading, my trailer tailgate ramp causes the exhaust to hit so I have to use a ramp over six feet in length. I started out with a 2X10X8', but it was too narrow and really flexible under the weight of the bike. I switched to a 2X12X8' which is perfect.

Mark J
 

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That single rail model seems overpriced. Looks like small (12") wheels and pretty light construction.

I only paid $600 for the 4X8 mentioned in my post above, and it's much more trailer in terms of build and versatility.

Mark J
 
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