I’M getting ready to head to wingding in Knoxville Tennesse about a three-day trip for me and I’m gon na be pulling my Bushtech trailer. So I thought it’d be a good idea to talk to you a little bit about trailer safety and some things you want to make sure you do before you take a long road trip with your trailer
Now I’m going to be talking about things specific to the Bushtec trailer, but these things will apply no matter what trailer you’re pulling behind your bike.
So today we’re going to talk about trailers. I should also point out that pulling a trailer dramatically changes the handling and the operation of your motorcycle. Now, in no way do I or Build Chopper Framese recommend that you pull a trailer behind a motorcycle, because it will change the braking on the bike. The handling on the bike,
If you choose to pull a trailer behind your motorcycle, you do so at your own risk.Okay. I want the the tongue of the trailer to be just kind of right next to the hitch pin. So I get the right distance for the chain, I’m not actually going to put it on the the hitch-pin
I just want it to be in the same position: okay, on the Bushtec trailer. What we have is we have. You can see here a couple of holes that have been drilled into this, this welded on plate and there’s a hole on each side. So you can have two toed chains, one on each side.
And then we’re going to need the chain to go from here all the way up to this opening up here, which is on the trailer hitch, basically that we installed from RIVCO. So we’re going to get a piece of chain – and this is my my chain here – which I purchased at Ace Hardware –
And I made sure that the chain had enough strength to be able to handle the weight of this trailer. So you want to make sure when you buy your chain that it has enough tensile. Strength to you know, basically support the weight of the trailer when you’re pulling it, and that goes for all the other accessories too. For example, I have a spring link here that I’m going to use up here on the frame and I’m going to basically hook that in and that’s what’s going to connect to the chain you’ll notice down here. This has a 260 pound working load limit. So, with two of these that should translate to over 500 pounds. Well, my trailer fully loaded only weighs about 300
So that should be more than enough. I also have these other little. These little have these little ring clips. I can’t remember what these are called. They come from a company called blue Hawk and I’m going to try to connect that up here into this. This hole here so we’re gon na put this in first connect our chain, then we’ll have to cut the chain we’ll have to cut this to length. Hopefully I can do that with a hacksaw you, I’m probably going to also get a wrench and tighten that really good, so make sure it’s really good and tight. So now I’ve got my chain my ring on the first side, and I will eventually once I get this cut to size all to do the other side too.
Okay, I’m gon na put my little lock ring through there, and now I can see how long my chain needs to be. I want a little bit of slack in the chain. Okay, so you can see here kind of how much slack I have in that chain. I could maybe even go up one more link just to make it a little bit tighter. In fact, I may do that. So basically, what I think I’m going to do is I’m going to cut this link here, that I’ve got looped through the and then once I connected here. That should be pretty good and tight once this is on the actual pin and then I’m going to cut the chain for the other side and I’ll show you how we hook all this up.
Yeah I was able to use a hacksaw to cut this chain to the proper length, so I was able to get the links and I did it on both chain. So I have two chains now: the equal size, and now I’m going to going to put these into the bracket here and we’ll run them up here and I’ll. Show you how we connect these chains for maximum safety. Okay. So now I have my two chains, I’m going to I just like to criss cross them. I like to bring the one from the left side over to the right clip it in here and then I’ll. Do the opposite I’ll go underneath or over either one and I’ll clip this one to the other side, so that they’re kind of in a crisscross shape that way. In a worst-case scenario, if this tongue ever came loose from this pin, it would seem to balance the weight a little more. So let me go ahead and put that in there and you’ll see kind of what it looks like once. It’S all hooked up.So, one of the most important things you can do before you start pulling. Your trailer is to check the tongue weight on the trailer and that’s the amount of weight that this tongue is putting on your trailer hitch. Now I use one of these little scales like you’d use for luggage. You can buy these at Walmart or just about anywhere, and I hook it right in there in the heim joint if you’ve got a different kind of trailer, just hook it to the front of the little hitch cover that goes on to the hitch ball. And then you just lift up and look at the weight, and in this case it’s pulling 25 pounds now, whatever weight shows on here should never exceed 15 % of the total weight of the trailer. That’S fully loaded,
However, you know, however low did you have it so in this case I could. It should be 10 to 15 %, so if there’s 10 % 250 maybe 250 pounds for this whole trailer. Well, I know for a fact that I don’t have 250 pounds in this trailer because it’s almost empty I’ve got a few things in there, but not that much. So what I’m going to want to do is shift the weight of the items in the trailer so that this tongue weight is lower. Now what that means is probably moving some of the things toward the wheels toward the back of the trailer, the more weight on the front of the trailer the heavier this tongue weights going to be so, you want to manipulate the weight in the in the trailer
Okay, so, as you can see, there’s really not much in this trailer right now I mean you know it’s not like I’ve packed it for a road trip. In fact, I’ve just got stuff in here that I normally keep in here I get you know, paper towels and in these containers here I’ve got some detergent and adhesives and some rags and things like that, but you’ll notice, it’s all at the very front of the Trailer, so if I move this back over the wheels, you want the majority of your weight to be as low as possible and over the wheels. You don’t want it at the very back of the trailer, the more you have it at the very back of this trailer, the more it’s going to cause your trailer to want to sway and move around, so you want to have your weight distributed in the trailer As low as possible and aligned with the wheels of the trailer, it’s going to give you a much better ride down the road, what you want to make sure before you connect the trailer to the hitch, you want to make sure you’ve got your parking brake on. If you have a DCT model, if you don’t have a DCT model, make sure your bike is in gear, you don’t want the bike to accidentally roll forward or backward when you put the trailer on to the trailer hitch, because that extra weight pushing on the bike Could push it off of the kickstand once you have the bike on the in gear or on you know the parking brake on you can now put the trailer over the hitch. This is a Busch Tech, so it has. They usually use a little hemi joint over the pin, but you throw your other trailers. You would put the ball hitch in place, just as you normally would, and then you want to make sure to secure it.
In the case of a Busch Tech, we use this little locking cap like that. You want to make sure that it’s locked in place. I even like to lift up on the tongue of the trailer just to make sure it doesn’t come off now we’re ready to hook up our chains and plug in our electrical connector and then we’re going to check all the lights.
Okay, the first thing we want to do is check these running lights. All the way around. There’S two on the left and two on the right. You get the yellow one, the red one. Also, the tail lights should be illuminated when the bike is turned on. You can see they’re working and then we come around here to the right side of the trailer. Both the running lights on this side are working as well. Now we can check the brake lights and the turn signals. Okay, first, I’m going to check the brake lights. Do it a couple of times check with the foot brake and the hand brake, even though it shouldn’t be necessary and now, let’s check the left, turn signal and the right turn signal.
You know tire pressure is one of the most important things you can check on your trailer before you take a ride, so you want to make sure you check the pressure in each tire, this one’s about 10 pounds low, so I’m gon na have to put 10 Pounds in here to get it up to about 34 35, which is what bush tech recommends, but you want to check the owner’s manual of your particular trailer to find out what the pressure the recommended tire pressure is for your trailer tires. Now, if you’re on a bush tech, trailer you’re going to have to change the camber of your tires so that they’re vertical up and down you, don’t want them tone in or toed out at the top, and you do that using one of these loop pumps here,
Basically, you connect this to this little air valve here on the trailer. It may be different on your trailer and you pump it up until you get the tires on the trailer pretty much vertical and then you’re good to go. You may not have to do that on other trailers, but on the Busch Tech you have that air ride suspension and you do have to adjust each time you ride.
Now, on my Bush Tech, I have a an ice chest, as you can see here with one of these little vinyl covers on it, and I like to mount my ice chest backward so that the door opens this way.
The reason I do that is, if I forget, to zipper down this cover:
The wind can catch that if the ice chest is facing the other way, the wind could catch it and blow it up, and then you just got something catching the wind, so I always like to mount it backward that way. The wind is always keeping it closed. If I forget to zip it up, you also want to make sure that you’ve got your little snaps snap down firmly because you don’t want to go down the highway and have this cover blow off. So you want to make sure your ice chest is secured.
If you have an external ice chest on your trailer, regardless of the type of trailer you have, I hope you found this video valuable and I hope it helps you perform you’re trailering a little safer, a little easier, maybe more enjoyable. There’S a few of the things you want to remember when you’re pulling a trailer, you got to remember that your motorcycle now is about twice as long as it normally is. So when you go to make turns or change lanes, you have to be conscious of that. You’Ve got something you’re pulling behind you.
Now also, when you stopped to get gas make sure you pull forward far enough when you leave the gas pump before you make your turn otherwise, you’re going to clip that little curb that protects the gas pumps, you could damage your trailer, so be careful of that! Other than that also remember, you’re pulling two to three hundred pounds of extra weight behind your motorcycle. That’S going to affect your braking so allow yourself more time when it comes time to stop, because it’s going to take more braking power to stop your bike than it does without a trailer.
So in general you ride slower, you take longer to break and just be careful.