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Discussion Starter #1
As if I didn't have enough going on, we (I) decided that we were going to tow our bikes up to the West Coast Meet next week.

In order to do that, I started modifying an old jet ski trailer we've had since before my wife and I married.

I've been working alot lately, even putting in OT so I haven't had much time after work to do anything with it. Now we're down to the wire. Just 5 days to go until we depart for Graeagle and a much anticipated 5 day vacation.

I did manage to get the wheels off earlier this week and today managed to get new tires mounted as well as all the 3/4" plywood cut for the decking.

I got a little bit of welding to do, just to add a couple of supports. Repacking the wheel bearings this evening when it cools down a bit. Then I plan on replacing the brake/tail light assemblies.

I should be done with all of it by tomorrow evening. I hope. Then I should have a little time to prep the bikes for going riding. If it all works out, I'll be loading up on Thursday morning.

Planning on hitting the road by 10:00 AM so we can make it to the resort up in the Sierras by mid after noon. All of that depending how much trouble the remaining work is.

If I cannot complete all the work by Wednesday evening, we're riding up. No looking forward to the slab up I80 to Truckee if we do. Then again, if I'm in that corner and we ride up, I'll probably take the Aprilia. ..........sean
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'll post pics once I'm done. Right now it's just a frame of square tubes and some angle iron.

I finished cutting the metal for extra support structure. It started out life as a Tail Gator convertible trailer. It was built to haul 2 jet skis back when stand up jet skis were the big deal and sit downs were just getting started.

As such, it isn't large. It was also built as a convertible, meaning it could easily be converted to haul motorcycles with the Tail Gator kit. Apparently, the guy who engineered them died some time ago. There is still a Tail Gator company in SC, but it doesn't look like they make the type trailer we have.

It looks a bit like this:


Only without the rollers and up rights. The blue skids were mounted side by side for the second ski, but ours were just steel rails with PVC covered in carpet zip tied to the rails.

Ours doesn't have the landing gear up front nor the winch on the cross bar. Other than that it mostly looks the same. I'm adding another cross brace where the pictured trailer has one nearest the front. Ours didn't come with that.

Essentially, the PCV rotted away a long time ago, so I'm installing 3/4" plywood decking between the rails to support the bikes. Also, up front where the cross brace is getting welded in, I'm installing a pair of roll in chocks from Harbor Freight.

I've still got the bearings to repack as well as buy some new lights for the brake/park/turn signals. Other than welding in the metal that I've cut, painting the welded areas and screwing down the decking it should be a straight forward and simple conversion. ....sean
 

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I'm a sucker for a trailer project. I'm sure you'll convert this thing in no time. Looking forward to seeing the finished project.
 

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I'm a sucker for a trailer project. I'm sure you'll convert this thing in no time. Looking forward to seeing the finished project.
I’ve actually built trailers before from the ground up. Special project for the Air Force R&D unit I served in.

Locating the axle at 1/2 the distance from the hitch to the end of the rails plus an inch makes for a trailer that one person can easily maneuver around.

2 inches back for more tongue weight. Anymore than that and you have too much tongue weight and it takes 2 people to maneuver it around.

Unfortunately that little engineering tid bit didn’t make it to the people designing trailers today. My Haul Mark enclosed trailer is a prime example.

Tongue weight on that thing is well over 200 lbs and it’s a single axle trailer. It’s a right PITA to move around. I can do it by myself but it kicks my ass.

If I could relocate the spring eyes forward easily, I’d have done it already.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Got the hubs off today. What a PITA. The trailer had Bearing Buddies installed which makes removing the hub a difficult proposition.

Due to the Bearing Buddy being in the way, it is nearly impossible to remove the cotter pin from the castle nut.

I fought that battle and won, despite splitting the cotter pin on the right side into 2 pieces.

When I got the bearings out it was a worst case scenario. Both sides were rusted, obviously they were not packed properly prior to the Bearing Buddy install.

Complete replacement required. Luckily Autozone carries hub rebuild kits.

I mistakenly bought 1” kits but come to find out, I need the 1 1/6” kits so back to Autozone after dinner.

Good thing they’re only 8 minutes away.

Also got the extra support beams welded in this morning. Gotta finish up the bottom welds after dinner too.

I got a 2X diopter for my welding helmet recently. Good thing too as I couldn’t see my puddle forming to weld before.

Now that I can see, my welds don’t look like bird doo anymore. Or any less when sweat is running into my eyes.

Anyway, I set a goal to be done with all the mechanical stuff by tonight. Got a little ways to go but should achieve that goal.

Also picked up new lights at Autozone so that should be a 10 minute install. Good thing too as the studs were rusted on the originals and it took ages to get them off.

More a bit later....sean
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Progress since my last update....all welding is complete. Bare surfaces from welding prep painted. Hubs rebuilt and installed. Electrical....lights installed, still need to test for power to the lights and a good ground. Gotta install the deck and the roll in chocks. Oh, and some hub center caps to protect the bearings.

Still gotta buy the caps, and the roll in chocks. Not 100% on the roll in chocks. I have a system I built for my other trailer that captures the rear axle and hold the bike stable during transport. No suspension is compressed, and the bike is allowed to just ride along on it's own suspension. Considering just using the same parts to simplify my transport dilemma.

Called the resort today and confirmed reservations. Got the crap fuel run out of the 996 so it's ready for a full tank of Premium Techron. Seems to run the best on that. So, tomorrow after work, I gotta get the decking on, and finish up tests and all that. Hope it all goes well, and there are no other issues that pop up.

Still gotta clean and lube chains, fuel up the bikes and load them up once the trailer is ready. We leave at 10:00 AM on Thursday so I'll be up bright and early getting all the last minute stuff done. Wish me luck......nothing has gone according to plan so far.........sean
 

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Complete!! Well, mostly anyway. Got the decking on tonight, painted a few spots I missed last night and hooked up a battery to test the lights. Had to repair a faulty ground but that I expected. Measured it up for either roll in chocks or the system I built for my enclosed trailer. Will most likely use that as I think it will be less work to adapt it over versus fitting the roll in chocks and trying to figure out how to secure them and the bikes too.

The way I secure the bikes in my enclosed trailer, I built the stands and modded the trailer floor so I just roll the bike in, set the stand in place and pin the axle. Stand holds up the bike, and I bolt it to the floor. Done. Nothing else to think about. Bike rides on its own suspension. The stand holds the bike securely upright. It can't tip over. It can't roll forward or backward.

I'll post pics once I get the wheels on and move it down to the street. Gotta drop by the parts store in the AM for a new hitch lock and some bearing caps....and maybe a few cap screws so I can bolt the stands to the new trailer.

Coolers are all cleaned out, ready for ice and beer to take with. Gotta pack my clothes and gear in the AM also but I'm so close to being on the road I feel a little more relaxed about this trip. Supposed to have internet access at the resort so I might pop in and update elsewhere about the trip and the meet up...........sean
 

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Finished today, but far later than I wanted.

One thing I made sure of before I ever put the wheels on, was to make sure the lights worked.

Then today I hooked up the trailer to our Pathfinder only to find the place that installed the connector placed it all the way to the left side of the rear bumper.

The wire pig tail from the trailer didn’t reach . This necessitated a complete pig tail replacement. Then, when I got the thing replaced and plugged in, none of the lights worked.

Turned out, the harness from the Pathfinder was not fully connected under the rear of the truck. Took a bit of time to trouble shoot that.

Then it took ages to get the bikes loaded and secured. Didn’t help that it was about 100 out.

We finally got all loaded up and on the road about 6 hours late. Finally made it to the resort at around 8:45. Between traffic at the Yolo Causeway and some transmission over heating issues we hadn’t anticipated, we were delayed further.

So, we made it and the bikes were well secured using my transport system. The trailer hitch was not the most precise fitting which caused some amount of anxiety whenever it popped and groaned. I was more worried about losing the trailer than the bikes falling off of it.

Pics as promised:
51805


51806
 
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That has turned out nice Sean, a proper tidy job, congrats. Enjoy the meet, the beer, and (hopefully) the weather.

Still following your supersport thread with interest,;)
 

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That has turned out nice Sean, a proper tidy job, congrats. Enjoy the meet, the beer, and (hopefully) the weather.

Still following your supersport thread with interest,;)
Thanks jonh, I appreciate that. We rode close to 200 miles in the Sierras yesterday, including Hwy 49 and Hwy 89 along with about half of the East and North shores of Lake Tahoe.
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Then today we rode another 165 miles and it was breath taking. Some of the roads were absolutely empty of traffic aside from other riders.

We stopped in some really tiny little mountain villages, some with populations under 100 people. No, that’s not an exaggeration and yes, places like that DO exist in California.

We had lunch in a little town called Clipper Mills, at a place called One Eyed Jack’s. Clipper Mills Population? 142

It was a fantastic ride and took us pretty much all day.
 
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Nice job on the trailer and I'm glad to hear you've enjoyed the trip, once you got there, that is :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Yeah man, and thank you. The whole thing is a minor mystery to me. My father in law towed a 35 ft sail boat a number of times with the Pathfinder.

The trailer alone for that thing was over 1500 lbs. Total, all in and worst case scenario my trailer weighs 1200 lbs loaded with 2 bikes. The trailer is rated for that and then some. The Pathfinder has like a 5,000 lb draw bar rating.

No reason that the transmission should have issues then. The only thing I can think is that all the climbing in the Sierras was the problem.

The only time I was over 60 mph was on the down hill sections where I had to use neutral throttle and a dab of brake now and again to keep it under 70.

That’s the point where it gets an oscillation going that would flip the trailer if allowed to continue.

Other than that bit, the rest of the trip has been good....other than toward the end of yesterday’s ride my wife got fatigued and nearly tossed herself to an early grave.

As it turned out, she glanced off a guard rail after running wide in a left hand sweeper just before the town of Downieville. Could have wound up in a really serious crash.

Luck was with her and it was just a glancing strike. The guy riding sweep behind her said she got into a serious wobble after she bounced off but rode through it like a pro.

No damage to my bride but I nearly had a heart attack when I found out. I was busy looking through that corner so never saw it.

The yellow Gixxer is a little worse for wear but still intact. Right side plastic is gouged up a bit and cracked.
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My wife was completely uninjured. How, I can’t explain, but am eternally grateful.

We load up and head home tomorrow. As a parting shot, here is the trailer in front of our temporary home:
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The 2 sets of uprights you see are what secures the bikes to the trailer. A pin goes into the hollow axle on each side and is secured with a 5/8” diameter grade 8 bolt.

The uprights secure through the 2 1/2 square tube of the trailer structure with 4, 5/16 diameter bolts and 4 deck screws through the 3/4 plywood decking.
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Needless to say, once tightened up, the bike is going no where.

I’ll start another thread with our ride pics and map later in the “On the Road” section of the forum.
 
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