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Poll: Do you trailer with your bike in gear?
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Do you trailer with your bike in gear?

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  #1  
Old 10-25-2011, 11:08 AM
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Poll: How do you trailer?

Another thread earlier today brought up an interesting topic regarding bike setup while trailering. Seems there is popular opinion that trailering with a bike in gear could lead to engine and/or transmission issues.

Personally, I rarely trailer unless heading to the track. That said, when I do I've ALWAYS without exception trailered with the bike in gear and have never had any issues.

Am I just lucky?

How do you trailer, and IF YOU HAVE HAD ISSUES that were proven to be related to trailering I'd love to hear more about it.
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  #2  
Old 10-25-2011, 11:28 AM
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Re: Poll: How do you tow?

I always tie down bikes in N. Thought it was to prevent a binding or pressure on the drive train. Once it is tied down it should not matter because the bike should not move forward or backword in transport. But I always leave then in N.
If a trailered bike is able to move forward or backword even a little it will probably eventually come loose and tip. Only slight exception would be if a Baxley Sport isnused.

Related but could be kind of fuel on the fire, no it is not good practice to tie a bike down leaning on the kickstand either!

Just what has worked for me all these years. I own a dedicated enclosed Trailer for my bikes. Used to haul 4 at a time, daughters, 2 sons and my dirt bikes. Never had one tip or rub. Could be I have been lucky.
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  #3  
Old 10-25-2011, 01:04 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

Hey Vic, a trailer came in handy when you were 800 miles away from home and you lunched the transmission on your RS.
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  #4  
Old 10-25-2011, 02:07 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

Hey Rick and Vic, With a bad trans who cares what gear the bike is in
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  #5  
Old 10-25-2011, 02:10 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
Hey Vic, a trailer came in handy when you were 800 miles away from home and you lunched the transmission on your RS.
Well hell, at least we know that his transmission didn't go bad due to trailering in gear if he had never trailered.
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  #6  
Old 10-25-2011, 02:58 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

With the strains incurred with accelerating hard with bikes with 100+ horsepower, and then downshifting, sometimes not too smoothly, to slow the bike down, it occurs to me that the little bit of push or pull that the drivetrain will encounter on a trailer while strapped immobile is absolutely and profoundly insignificant.

What shall we worry about next?
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  #7  
Old 10-25-2011, 03:29 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

Rob, Especially with the way RTs bang into 1st
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  #8  
Old 10-25-2011, 03:47 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ROB
With the strains incurred with accelerating hard with bikes with 100+ horsepower, and then downshifting, sometimes not too smoothly, to slow the bike down, it occurs to me that the little bit of push or pull that the drivetrain will encounter on a trailer while strapped immobile is absolutely and profoundly insignificant.
Rob,

You make my point precisely and the reasoning behind this poll. Earlier today in another thread ( http://www.i-bmw.com/showthread.php?t=36815 ) Jerry/Pirate informed another member that he may have done a big no-no by not ensuring a transportation company had his bike in neutral for transit and I asked WHY?

Jerry said that he'd always heard so... he even did some quick research to find the following quotes which we know to be true as he found them on the internet.

"Leave your bike in neutral. You should never ship a motorcycle while in gear, since an engaged transmission can cause internal damage." from http://www.dmv.org/how-to-guides/mot...-transport.php

"Do not ship with cycle in gear. Leave the bike in neutral. Engaged transmissions during shipping can cause internal damage." from http://www.wikihow.com/Transport-a-Motorcycle

As you've mentioned, with the forces we put on out drivetrain and trannies on a regular basis, I have a hard time believing that trailering for an endless amount of miles would have any substantial effect.

Further, not that I have liftoff power from a standstill, but I like to leave my bike in gear as to aid in keeping the front wheel in the chock in the case of a strap failure.
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  #9  
Old 10-25-2011, 05:17 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

+ I have the Pitbull trailering system, no straps needed
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  #10  
Old 10-25-2011, 07:32 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ROB
What shall we worry about next?

Peas, are they good or bad.
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  #11  
Old 10-25-2011, 08:11 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee
Peas, are they good or bad.
I'm ALL for whirled peas...
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  #12  
Old 10-25-2011, 08:17 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

Fill the trans with peas, in gear or not it won't matter. Oh but what's the air pressure in the trailer tires? That makes more difference than in gear or not.

Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold
Pease porridge in the pot nine days old.

I never eat it if it's over 9 days old. I don't eat rancid casserole either. Hot or cold.

But I do trailer in neutral. The bike that is, not the truck.
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  #13  
Old 10-25-2011, 08:18 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee
Peas, are they good or bad.


Here we go!
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  #14  
Old 10-25-2011, 08:49 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

Definitive statement:
Fresh peas, either snow peas or fatter pod peas, are good.
Frozen peas are iffy at best.
Canned peas suck.

There you go!
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  #15  
Old 10-25-2011, 09:01 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

BLPD, and in Arkansas, they call it "mobile homing," or "tornado magneting," not "trailering."
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  #16  
Old 10-25-2011, 09:02 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ROB
Definitive statement:
Fresh peas, either snow peas or fatter pod peas, are good.
Frozen peas are iffy at best.
Canned peas suck.

There you go!


and whenever I trailered my dirt bike years ago, it was in neutral...just the right thing to do!
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  #17  
Old 10-26-2011, 04:07 AM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

If I use my trailer, I use the engine of the bike to ride the bike on the trailer - with me walking next to the bike. The bike is in first gear when I ride it against the 'chock' - and I let it push in real hard. I then kill the engine, leave it in first gear, let the clutch out and the bike is secure.
The way of tying the bike down means there is no way the bike is moving forward - or backward. I usually put a rope on the frontwheel in the the direction of the tow-hook, so there is no movement possible. Never had problems, with any bike towed.

Edit: pictures of my K1 and my K1200S on my (small) trailer:



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  #18  
Old 10-26-2011, 06:04 AM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

I'll tow if crossing the great prairies be it CDN or US. Saves the tyres...
Unless I'm really not in any kind of rush...

Cheers
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  #19  
Old 10-26-2011, 03:22 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ROB
With the strains incurred with accelerating hard with bikes with 100+ horsepower, and then downshifting, sometimes not too smoothly, to slow the bike down, it occurs to me that the little bit of push or pull that the drivetrain will encounter on a trailer while strapped immobile is absolutely and profoundly insignificant.

What shall we worry about next?

Is Molsen a good name for a dog ?
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  #20  
Old 10-26-2011, 06:41 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

So we know that leaving it in neutral doesn't hurt the transmission but we're not quite sure whether leaving it in gear might hurt it.

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  #21  
Old 10-27-2011, 07:58 AM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattB
... Seems there is popular opinion that trailering with a bike in gear could lead to engine and/or transmission issues....
Ok, lots of replies ,so good, some just not so good. Let's look at this with a little logic thrown in.

Sitting on the bike in gear not running, how far does the bike move front to rear?
Answer is about 6 inches.

Now THINK people, do you tie down the bike so poorly that it can move 6 inches back and forth? No. No. And hell no.

So it doesn't matter if the bike is in gear or not! And as Rob said, if it can take 100+hp from a dead stop then 550 pounds rocking back and forth just wouldn't matter anyway.

Now fast forward to the unloading. You're doing it by yourself. You drop the rear ties. (You do use rear ties don't you?) Then you go up front. All is well with the world. And you drop one of the front ties. AND THE BIKE ROLLS BACK AND FALLS OVER BECAUSE YOU LEFT IT IN NEUTRAL. Well D'uh. There's your answer right there.

The REAL question is, why do so many say they tow to "save tires"? Do the math and you could buy a new set when you get there! People tow for convienience, comfort, or just the fact that they don't like cold or hot or wind or traffic or whatever. But it a'int saving any tires.

What kind of oil are you using?
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  #22  
Old 10-27-2011, 08:56 AM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cabnfvr
Ok, lots of replies ... People tow for convienience, comfort, or just the fact that they don't like cold or hot or wind or traffic or whatever. But it a'int saving any tires.


You're right bud, but I am saving the bike's tyres...

Car and trailer tyres will last 50,000 miles.


Cheers
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  #23  
Old 10-27-2011, 12:40 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Louis
You're right bud, but I am saving the bike's tyres...

Car and trailer tyres will last 50,000 miles.


Cheers
So while not really my intent with all this, as my intent was basically to see how many (like I) think that trailering with a bike in gear being dangerous to your motor/tranny is BS.

However, Louis, your comparison is not exactly fair either. While I agree that car tires will get 50k, there's more at play here then just saying I get 7k (yes, even I can get 7k out of a set of PR2's) out of bike tires and 50k out of car tires.

How bout for starters that with a car trailer setup you are wearing minimum 6 tires at once, 8 if it's a double axle trailer, or 10 in the case of dually pickup as well. Let's also consider that many I'm guessing would be towing with a truck/SUV which does not get high mileage numbers out of tires and cost much more comparatively to care tires.

Why have I been sucked down this rabbit hole?
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  #24  
Old 10-27-2011, 12:55 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattB
So while not really my intent with all this...
That's OK. It was my intnet.

Let's just assume 3.75 per gallon.
Bike to Texas -- 3500 mile trip. Bike gets 42mpg. 312 dollars.
Tow to Texas-- 3500 mile trip. Truck gets 15 mpg. 875 dollars.

875 - 312 = 563

In gear or not, last time I looked 563 would buy a set of tires.
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Old 10-27-2011, 02:56 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

Quote:
Sitting on the bike in gear not running, how far does the bike move front to rear? Answer is about 6 inches.

I respectfully disagree.

With the RS it is important to not allow the bike to roll forward with the kickstand down. To prevent this, you can roll the bike forward until it stops with the engine off and the clutch engaged before putting the kickstand down.

Now sometimes it rolls a bit and other times it doesn't roll much.

I think the concern about having the bike in gear when trailering, is that you might be at the limit of movement (backwards or forwards) when you leave the bike in gear.

Generally there is no movement of the bike when on smooth pavement. However, a large bump could cause the suspension to move up and down. This may in turn result in some movement of the wheels relative to each other.

The question is then whether "banging the transmission," even if it doesn't move, is significant or not?
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Old 10-27-2011, 03:53 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

when necessary i trailer with bike.....out o gear

i also use ' soft straps ' that usually try to attach to the upper suspension

mounting points

then i tension straps to what i approximate 60-70 of suspension travel

i DO NOT dog it down with the suspension ' bottomed out '!!!!

reason being

even tho the bike is trailered.....................

it absorbs ALL the bumps along the way.............miles on the trailer ARE

' MILES ON THE SUSPENSION ' !!

buckin along down the hiway does still put wear & tear on the suspension
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  #27  
Old 10-27-2011, 05:17 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Tail
miles on the trailer ARE

' MILES ON THE SUSPENSION ' !!

buckin along down the hiway does still put wear & tear on the suspension
RT, I'm not sure what this has to do with the initial post/question which takes into account the likelihood of motor and transmission issues... but I agree that the bike suspension doesn't know if it's on the road or trailer bed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW
I respectfully disagree.

Lar, I respectfully disagree with you as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW
I think the concern about having the bike in gear when trailering, is that you might be at the limit of movement (backwards or forwards) when you leave the bike in gear.
Again, I INTENTIONALLY load my trackbike powered into a chock ensuring that it's driving forward into the chock as I hit the kill switch ensuring AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE play is available for the bike. The "rolling forces" really can't be all that much IMHO, especially when compared to the power and stress the crank places on them each time a ride is undergone.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW
The question is then whether "banging the transmission," even if it doesn't move, is significant or not?
Putting my money on NOT! Has anybody here had issues personally, or even know anybody DIRECTLY that claims issues stemming from this? I'm doubtful.
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  #28  
Old 10-27-2011, 05:33 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattB
RT, I'm not sure what this has to do with the initial post/question which takes into account the likelihood of motor and transmission issues... but I agree that the bike suspension doesn't know if it's on the road or trailer bed.



Lar, I respectfully disagree with you as well.

Again, I INTENTIONALLY load my trackbike powered into a chock ensuring that it's driving forward into the chock as I hit the kill switch ensuring AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE play is available for the bike. The "rolling forces" really can't be all that much IMHO, especially when compared to the power and stress the crank places on them each time a ride is undergone.
Putting my money on NOT! Has anybody here had issues personally, or even know anybody DIRECTLY that claims issues stemming from this? I'm doubtful.


i was just answering the over riding question

' how do you trailer ' ????????

some also trailer kickstand down with the weight biased against it

some say this help in that the suspension does NOT get knackered

[ive actuall seen busted fork seals !! ]

others have said it results in frame damage

all issues/conserns when trailering
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Old 10-27-2011, 06:07 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

I never trailered when I did own a harley well only when it broke down I made sure to put it in gear when I hauled'em
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Old 10-27-2011, 06:54 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

I run Royal Purple in mine when I trailer, to take up the backlash, if I inadvertantly leave it in gear.
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Old 10-27-2011, 08:37 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
I run Royal Purple in mine when I trailer, to take up the backlash, if I inadvertantly leave it in gear.
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Old 10-27-2011, 08:42 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
I run Royal Purple in mine when I trailer, to take up the backlash, if I inadvertantly leave it in gear.

Then yeah, Rick, you'll be OK!
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:28 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
I run Royal Purple in mine when I trailer, to take up the backlash, if I inadvertantly leave it in gear.
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Old 10-28-2011, 02:08 AM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

I always use fore and aft tie downs if I need to move my bikes (generally inside my 2007 VW Transporter van). If they're tied down securely, there's no need to keep them in gear.
I do want to look into a front wheel chock though.

Best wishes all.

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Old 10-28-2011, 03:52 AM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fastlikehell
If I use my trailer, I use the engine of the bike to ride the bike on the trailer - with me walking next to the bike. The bike is in first gear when I ride it against the 'chock' - and I let it push in real hard. I then kill the engine, leave it in first gear, let the clutch out and the bike is secure.
The way of tying the bike down means there is no way the bike is moving forward - or backward. I usually put a rope on the frontwheel in the the direction of the tow-hook, so there is no movement possible. Never had problems, with any bike towed.

Edit: pictures of my K1 and my K1200S on my (small) trailer:




Frits

I'm with you on this, particularly since my trailer is identical to yours!
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:36 AM
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Red face Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattB
RT, I'm not sure what this has to do with the initial post/question which takes into account the likelihood of motor and transmission issues... but I agree that the bike suspension doesn't know if it's on the road or trailer bed.

Lar, I respectfully disagree with you as well.

Again, I INTENTIONALLY load my trackbike powered into a chock ensuring that it's driving forward into the chock as I hit the kill switch ensuring AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE play is available for the bike. The "rolling forces" really can't be all that much IMHO, especially when compared to the power and stress the crank places on them each time a ride is undergone.
Putting my money on NOT! Has anybody here had issues personally, or even know anybody DIRECTLY that claims issues stemming from this? I'm doubtful.

Well stated. As were Tim's points.

Agree that the worst case scenario I proposed is very unlikely to occur. And even if it does, the transmission is unlikely to have detectable damage right off the trailer.

Would mention that it is possible (on my RS at least) to move from 1st to neutral and back after the bike is tied down. This may imply that there is sufficient play left in the transmission and no damage would occur.

BTW, I load and unload the bike without assistance. My front wheel chock is wide enough that the bike can lean on the kickstand. The left side is then secured with enough slack to allow the bike to be straightened by tying down the other side. The front and back suspensions are not compressed (would this result in a smother ride?/different thread?).
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:08 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

I prefer to have the bikes covered when traveling, especially during the winter when getting away from the snow. The enclosure keeps them free of salt spray and flying rocks and such. I have a feather weight Rolling Jack double that has a great dump feature, weighs only 700 lbs and with the 2 bikes tied down the total weight is approx 2000 lbs. I have installed two Condor P/S chocks with the trailer mount adapters, just tilt the trailer and drive up into the chock. From this point I tie at 3 points, through the frame in front of the rear pegs then the front wheel to the chock. With the GT being larger than the S I have to remove the rear rack and the windshield in order to zip down the top without stressing the zippers. It tows like a dream and the low profile is very aerodynamic. Oh, the bikes are in neutral.





Here on the back of my brother's Dodge Journey.

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  #38  
Old 04-25-2013, 10:32 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

I just make sure I use a trailer with full size tires...Having a bike come off a trailer is no fun - especially when followed by a logging truck...don't ask...
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:19 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

Just my 2 cents about trailering...

"Never trailer a bike on the centerstand or leave the sidestand in down position"... he's seen a number of bikes with bent/ broken frames because the bike is "off" its suspension which takes the jolts while trailering
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:11 PM
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Lightbulb Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

I found this recommendation for a hitch mounted carrier (not a trailer).

"Leaving Motorcycle in Neutral While Towing with Hitch Mounted Motorcycle Carrier?

Question:
Is it recommended to just leave bike in neutral? Any hard bumps might kick the bike in gear. Pulling chain or belt would be excessive/labor intensive. So what is your recommendation. Is it required in the state of California to have any additional lights, since this would be over the 6 length from the hitch?
asked by: Mark

Expert Reply:
I have spoken with one of my contacts at Oldenkamp, the manufacturer of the Hitch Mounted Motorcycle Carrier. He tells me that the motorcycle should be left in neutral while it is being towed. With a chain drive bike, he recommends either removing the chain or making sure the chain is as tight as possible if you are going to tow for distances over a hundred miles or so."

http://www.i-bmw.com/newreply.php?do...ote=1&p=596399

And this.

"Safely Transporting Your Motorcycle
Some companies prepare your bike for you with their door-to-door shipping service. For others, you might have to get your bike ready.

Wash your bike and make a note of any existing damage for insurance purposes. For extra security, take pictures.
Remove all personal items from your bike's saddlebags and under-seat storage.
If you've installed an alarm on your bike to prevent theft, deactivate it so it doesn't go off during transport.
Check to make sure all tires are properly inflated.
Look for fuel leaks.
Fold in the side mirrors and lock the handlebars.
Leave your bike in neutral. You should never ship a motorcycle while in gear, since an engaged transmission can cause internal damage.
If you are choosing to have your bike shipped in a crate, drain the gas tank and remove the battery."

http://www.dmv.org/how-to-guides/mot...-transport.php
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:23 PM
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Question Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

Here's another question/thought.

When going over bumps the weight of the bike will result in some compression and decompression of the suspension.

Does this movement result in any energy/movement being transferred to the driveline?

If so, could this repetitive action result in localized wear of the driveline/transmission?
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:39 PM
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Question Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

And one more question.

What is the purpose of leaving the bike in gear?

That is, after the bike is tied down.

I can see the purpose of leaving it in gear prior to tying it down. That would keep it from rolling if there is a slight slope to the trailer bed.
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Old 02-08-2014, 02:25 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW
Here's another question/thought.

When going over bumps the weight of the bike will result in some compression and decompression of the suspension.

Does this movement result in any energy/movement being transferred to the driveline?

If so, could this repetitive action result in localized wear of the driveline/transmission?

If you let the bike suspension free it will be another suspensión system asociated to the main suspension (trailer), in other words if after a bump (as example) the bike push down the trailer, that force goes to the trailer suspension, The difference will result in a smooth ride, like the seat suspensión + cabin suspensión of the modern trucks.

I don't think that movement result in any wear or damage, after all is nothing compared with the work of the suspension in a usual ride .

Hope you understand my comment
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Old 02-08-2014, 02:33 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW
And one more question.

What is the purpose of leaving the bike in gear?

That is, after the bike is tied down.

I can see the purpose of leaving it in gear prior to tying it down. That would keep it from rolling if there is a slight slope to the trailer bed.
I don't like the idea of let in gear the bike, AFTER tie it. I think the same as you. I would put in gear the bike to prevent an accident before/during/after posicion it on the trailer, then tie, after that let the bike in neutral.
If you have the bike with the rear Wheel blocked making the system completely anelastic, any eventual movement of the bike will result in important forces in the transmision
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Old 02-09-2014, 01:53 PM
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Question Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

It would be interesting to find out how BMW ships their bikes.

There are conflicting opinion here and elsewhere on the internet.
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Old 02-09-2014, 04:47 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW
It would be interesting to find out how BMW ships their bikes.



Quote:
There are conflicting opinion here and elsewhere on the internet.


As always....
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Old 02-10-2014, 10:38 AM
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Post Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

I'm picking up my k12rs this week from the dealer.

I'll ask if the crated bikes arrive in gear.
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Old 06-04-2014, 09:00 AM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

I always leave mine in gear.
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Old 06-04-2014, 09:25 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

On my 2000 KRS, it has been hauled once I moved to NE in the bad weather, so it was hauled in my pickup nose in, in neural.
It took two large guys to extract it from my truck
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Old 04-09-2016, 10:20 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

Just curious, are we the only ones who hate to tow the bike? Pillion and I have been cross country 5 times, Texas probably a dozen or more times doing more 800 mile days 2-up on a K1200S than we can count, and have taken 500 mile rides on a weekend just to see if we like the seat on a new bike. Unfortunately age does catch up with at least the body and the back, knees, wrist, and neck invariably fail to see the joy in such long rides today. But we hate trailering.

I'm not looking for answers as there are no easy ones. I'm just in confessional.
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Old 04-10-2016, 12:11 AM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cabnfvr
Just curious, are we the only ones who hate to tow the bike?

I'm just in confessional.

I trailer my bike only if broken. The best part is to ride


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Old 04-10-2016, 09:03 AM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

Trailering is not a crime!
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Old 04-10-2016, 12:44 PM
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Re: Poll: How do you trailer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
Trailering is not a crime!

I don't say that, there are tastes for all
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