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adding trailer hitch to sidecar

I have done some research so I think I have answered my own question but finding the answer was harder than I thought it would be. with that in mind I thought I would start another thread to discuss this topic a little and maybe help others later down the road

I have a 97 Goldwing GL1500 and a Motorvation II on it. I want to pull my camper and cargo trailer but the unit does not have a hitch. I have a hitch on my bike but if I use it then I would run dangerously wide

I have found in my research that either running the trailer tire in the bikes track or the cars track is the answer most give
I would think using the cars track would be best as you would gain the tongue weight on the car to help on right handers and stability in general

I have seen a few different bikes with hitches built in or attached to the inner most frame rail of the car. In my case if I did that I would be creating 2 more tracks as my camper would now be between the bike and car tire

So unless I am wrong in my thinking I need to fabricate and weld a hitch onto my rig

I would like to here from those in the know, is it considered best to use the rigs tire track for trailers to follow.
would you put the trailer tire dead on behind or offset a little to the inside
and what would be considered a good lead length behind the car for the ball to sit

I will post pictures of the process once I get started

97 1500 SE Motorvation II sidecar USCA # 8913 Double Dark Side # 1522 Goodyear Fuel max 175/60 R16 PILOT ACTIV 130/70 18

The trailer tows best off of the center of the bike, but as you have figured out you end up with a rig that is way to wide. The more you move the trailer to the right, the more effect it has as to pushing and pulling on the sidecar on acceleration and deceleration. So, the best answer I have found is move the trailer to the right, just enough that the left side of the bike and the left side of the trailer are even. In other words move it over but no more then you have to in order to keep the rig from being to wide.
There are two schools of thought on this, one is to move the hitch on the bike, the other is to have an off set tongue on the trailer. I prefer the off set hitch as when you make an off set tongue on the trailer it is to easy to jack knife when backing up. Also should you ever need to tow the rig with a two wheel bike or a car it just looks odd.
Jay G
DMC sidecars
866-638-1793
http://www.dmcsidecars.com

now see this is the kind of info I need. I guess I wasn't thinking about the drag & push that the camper will create when behind the sidecar rather than the bike
OK so I need to find a way to use the bikes hitch. would be easy if I had a receiver, I would just fabricate a offset tube. Hmm I'll have to see what I can do once I get it all hooked back together
I hope to hook the rig back up tomorrow

97 1500 SE Motorvation II sidecar USCA # 8913 Double Dark Side # 1522 Goodyear Fuel max 175/60 R16 PILOT ACTIV 130/70 18

On both of my rigs I have the hitch on the sidecar frame and neither one pulls or pushes any worse with or without the trailer that I can tell. Both sidecar rigs have pretty much the same distance between the sidecar and bike wheels so the trailer tracks real nice and in the Winter you can only see one set of tracks in the snow. I did offset the tongue on the trailer a little to get the trailer centered and tracking correctly but that is just me being anal, I do not think it really matters.

Off setting your trailer tow bar moves the mass of the trailer to the left more which while you are still pulling further over to the right, the mass does not have the same effect as it would with the trailer not off set.
Jay G
DMC sidecars
http://www.dmcsidecars.com
866-638-1793

jaydmc - 11/18/2014 1:39 PM

Off setting your trailer tow bar moves the mass of the trailer to the left more which while you are still pulling further over to the right, the mass does not have the same effect as it would with the trailer not off set.
Jay G
DMC sidecars
http://www.dmcsidecars.com
866-638-1793

I have had this discussion on a couple of other sites and I guess I still do not see how offsetting the tongue, especially on a trailer this small, would make that much difference. To me it still seems like the same thing as having a 2 rail trailer with only one bike on it.

I actually offset the tow bar to the left, port, so the trailer is wider on the right, starboard, side but I know what you are saying.

OK I got the sidecar mounted back on the bike, Thanks to Jay for setting me straight on the elec. lean set up. I re-measured and I think I can use the inner frame rail like in the above pictures for my hitch

NOW I have a problem that I can't seem to figure out how to correct
so far no matter how I adjust everything I can't get the cars frame to be level from front to back and the front outside corner is down even more
so the best way I can think to ask for advise is to give my measurements and ask if you had this what would you change to correct it

OK in the rear I can get the frame almost dead on left to right at 11"
the front inside (close to bike) is at 10"
the front outside is at 9 1/2

what I found is if I adjust the rear top link it will level the frame but it pushes the back of the bike over so far to the outside it looks like it's going to fall over
if pictures of my set up will help I will take them

just a note, the rig rides real smooth at all speeds, it seems to only pull when I accel. hard and barely pushes when I brake so I feel good about the toe in setting. I followed your advise Jay

97 1500 SE Motorvation II sidecar USCA # 8913 Double Dark Side # 1522 Goodyear Fuel max 175/60 R16 PILOT ACTIV 130/70 18

I pull camper with GL1500 using standard Goldwing hitch. No problems. No modification needed. My camper stick just 2" past saddlebag on the left.
Will hitch installed on sidecar frame put more force on the frame and attachments on the bike?

VLAD, looks like you have a rig about the same size as mine, you don't find running off the bikes hitch puts you at the limits on width on small 2 lane roads or tight bridges. That is my biggest fear, being so wide I don't have room to move one way or the other in an emergency situation. I was thinking about just off setting my hitch by running a piece of 2x2 angle out toward the car and put a brace from the end of it back to the saddlebag mount of even the frame found for the crash bar. sort of triangulate the hitch if you will

I'm sure you know, we are looking at close to 500 + lbs. with our camper when loaded so I need to be comfortable with the set-up

Attached files

97 1500 SE Motorvation II sidecar USCA # 8913 Double Dark Side # 1522 Goodyear Fuel max 175/60 R16 PILOT ACTIV 130/70 18

When setting up your rig, First pre load the suspension on the bike to how it is with you on the bike. We do not care what it looks like with out you on the bike. You will find that as the rear of the bike settles more then the front when set up this way with no load on the bike, the out side front of the sidecar will sit low. Once you are on the bike it will level out.

So after you have the bike sitting where it does with you on the bike next level the sidecar frame and hook up the lower mounts and set you toe. DO NOT TRY AND HOOK UP THE UPPER MOUNTS UNTIL THIS IS DONE.

Now, and only now you can then hook up one of your upper mounts, set lean out and then adjust the other strut so that the bolts slide right in with out forcing them. In other words so that the front and the rear are taking the same load and not forcing stress into the system.

See attachment.

Jay G
DMC sidecars
http://www.dmcsidecars.com
866-638-1793

Attached files

BASIC SIDECAR INSTRUCTIONS.doc (388.5 KB)