Royal Enfield Owners Club,  Humberside Area
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SOME NOTES ON BUILDING A BIKE TRAILER
Keith Cousins

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I initially considered buying a new trailer and having a tow ball fitted to the bike - but after pricing it up it was going to cost around around 500 - 1000 depending on the type and condition of trailer required.There is some lovely fibre glass trailers out there but they cost a arm and a leg.

After surfing the Internet ( especially Ebay ) I decided to go down the DIY route utilising my CSE Grade 2 woodwork skills - which as I was working with metal & Plastic did not really come in handy.Thanks to Andy a friend at work for the welding to the axle and my brother for connecting the tow ball electrics to the bike.

I eventually decided to build the trailer utilising a second hand galvanised trailer with Indespension suspension ( similiar to those sold by Halfords ) and a Halfords type car roof luggage box. I would like to say this was totally my idea but good old Ebay was the source of the idea when I saw one being sold for about 400.

I sourced my second hand galvanised donor trailer , Roof box ,Tow ball ,Lighting board & reflective stripes for about 175 in total.

Step 1 - The trailer was dismantled down to its component parts - very straight forward as it originally came flat packed from the maker and basically the major parts were simply bolted together.

Step 2 - The Law states that a trailer being towed by a motorcycle must not exceed one metre in width and the maximum length of the trailer is 2.5 metres , measured from the motorcycle rear wheel spindle to the rear most part of the trailer .Lighting regs as per other small trailers.

As the trailer axle with wheels was wider than one metre it was easy to cut the box section axle on each side of the draw bar mounting point - remove the excess axle and weld back up to achieve the maximum width whilst retaining the Indespension suspension units.The overall trailer length exceeded 2.5 metres but as the draw bar came bolted to the axle mounting point so again it was straight forward to drill the draw bar nearer to the tow hitch end and bolt to the axle to achieve the overall 2.5 metre limit in length.

Step 3 - Utilising most of the Galvanised trailer body parts removed from the axle I constructed a simple ladder shaped flat bed which bolted to the axle .This created a roof rack for the car roof box to be bolted on utilising the four U shaped screw fixings as supplied with the roof box.This allows the roof box to be removed from the trailer within minutes to access the spare wheel or store independantly to the trailer if you so wish.

The draw bar was drilled to form a carrying point for a spare wheel which sits unseen under the roof box when attached to the trailer.

Step 4 - A 3 ft wide prewired trailer lighting board was simply bolted to the rear of the ladder section to complete the construction. As the roof box was second hand I cleaned it up and gave it a coat of spray paint .Some refective stripes were applied just to make it more visible. I was going to stop at this point but I utilised/adapted a unused car dog guard and fitted this as a luggage rack to the top of the roof box.Handy for keeping the beer air cooled.

Step 5 - I was lucky and had found a second hand tow ball & motorcycle mounting frame on Ebay for 10 - a bargain.A new one fitted can cost around 200. After cleaning the rust off and holding it up to the bike frame I found it lended its self to be attached to the bike at the pillion foot rest mountings and shock absorber top mountings with the help of some home made extension plates .After fitting the extension plates to the mountings the frame was then simply bolted to the extension plates after all being spray painted.

The completed trailer weighs in at around 42 kgs unladen.

The law allows you to tow up to 150kgs or two thirds of your bikes unladen weight , whichever is the least. As my bike weighs in around 180 kgs - then I can tow up to 120kgs . The trailer weighs around 42 kgs - therefore this leaves me around 78kgs of cargo weight - more than enough for camping gear etc.

The rubber Indespension suspension units make the trailer bouncy to tow when unladen but initial trials laden have proved succesful up to the 60 mph speed limit.Handling is fine with little adjustments needed to normal riding techniques.

All in all I am pleased with the result - enjoying the build ,utilising existing materials and saving money to boot !

Roll on the good weather.

Cheers

Keith

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