I’ve bought a trailer – 11 Jun 2016.

As indicated in my last post, I have bought a trailer to tow behind my bikes. I know many motorcyclists can’t understand why anyone would want to but, I like my comforts when I go camping! I have a large tent, take an air bed, like to have a comfortable chair and loading this onto the bike with sleeping bag and a few clothes leaves no room for cooking equipment or anything else.

Moving my luggage from the bike to the trailer will get rid of the top-heavy load secured with various straps and will provide some security. Also I won’t have to squash as few clothes as I can get away with into as small a space as possible and, as the trailer is water tight, I don’t have to use a lot of individual waterproof bags.

I’m not a fast rider so the speed restrictions imposed by towing don’t bother me.

I bought the trailer from a friend in the local “Old Cranks”motorcycle club who’s given up camping. He used to tow it behind a Panther single so my Guzzis should be able to manage it.

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Sorry Brian, but I’m going to have to remove the panther stickers!

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It’s a motorcycle specific trailer designed to meet UK regulations which state (as at Jan 2016);

  • You can use motorbikes with an engine size of 125cc or more to tow small trailers.
  • Your motorbike has to be clearly and permanently marked with its kerbside weight.
  • The trailer must be no more than 1 metre wide and must be clearly and permanently marked with its unladen weight
  • When the trailer is loaded it must weigh no more than 150 kilograms or 2/3 of the kerbside weight of the motorbike – whichever is lighter.
  • When hitched, the distance between the end of the trailer and the rear axle of the motorbike must be no more than 2.5 metres.

The trailer doesn’t have anything to show its unladen weight. I’ve spoken to two other people with similar trailers and theirs don’t either. The Fire Bike’s not marked with its kerbside weight (243Kg/536lbs) either but I can make up the plates easily.

The bike has swivel hitch so there is no restriction when the bike leans over.

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The trailer was made by Consett Trailers who are no longer in business. However there are still plenty of their trailers in use here.

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It’s made of plastic mouldings mounted on a steel chassis with rubber-in-torsion suspension.

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It has a lockable lid which should keep the water out.

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The trailer can be stored on end to save space.

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I weighed the trailer at each wheel and under the front prop on the bathroom scales then added the figures together to establish an unladen weight of 50Kg. This gives me a luggage allowance of 100kg behind The Fire Bike, which has a quoted kerb weight of 243Kg, but I have no intention of carrying that much stuff. It’ll be more bulk than weight.

I’m guessing that the trailer was made in 2002 as the date codes on the three tyres are the 13th and 14th weeks of that year and I suspect that they are the originals. The spare doesn’t look like it has ever been used.

I offered the trailer up to The Fire Bike to see how it would look and took some measurements to work out the tow hitch height but more of that another time. I found that it’s actually only 40mm wider than the fairing but I don’t think I will be doing much filtering!

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I’ve given the trailer the “once over”, re-greased and adjusted the wheel bearings, pumped grease into the swivel hitch and tested the electrics. There wasn’t much else to do. I’ve just got to get a registration plate made and should make up something to show the unladen weight.

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