To trailer or not to trailer - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-16-2009, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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To trailer or not to trailer

I'm still on the delivery voyage aboard my new '08 V purchased last week from AAParatrooper--about 900 miles worth from North Carolina back home to the Florida Keys. Rain has followed me pretty much the whole way so I can really say that I love this bike; my emotions have definitely not been masked by great riding conditions. No problem--nothing in the Versys mission statement says it is supposed to be the ideal interstate asphalt eater but it is doing just fine in that role.

After I'd passed few hundred bikes on trailers heading to Daytona for Biketoberfest--bikes that I would rather be riding on I-95; big bikes with big touring tires that last and last--I start thinking. Hmmm...maybe instead of grinding away my lovely Michelins that are good for maybe 6000 miles but sticky enough for real fun in the places I'd rather be riding (idea for a bumper sticker: I'd Rather Be Riding Deals Gap), it occurs to me that just maybe what I need is a trailer. And a nice little RV to haul the bike like a land yacht with the Versys as the dinghy. That makes more sense than hauling a great highway bike over the highway to bar hop with it in Daytona, doesn't it?

Any Versys trailer riders out there? I'd love to hear your insights. And pull-eeze, spare me the "bikes were made to be riden everywhere" diatribe. I've delivered it myself so often I know it by heart. Oh and I promise to stop posting these brain farts after I'm done this trip. Maybe.


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Red '08 Versys
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 12:08 AM
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Cant help you, the only bikes I have trailered were wrecked.

ST1300, Versys, SV650S
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 01:09 AM
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Bikes were made to be ridden everywhere...

OK, I am not a fan of trailering bikes, but I can see that there are (few) occasions where it makes sense. You are going on a trackday, the bike has to be track ready, it's easier to do that at home, leaving all the bits you don't need on the track in the garage. It also helps if the bike ends up in a condition that meets the latest gti criteria for trailering after said trackday...

If you are going somewhere in winter (well, maybe not you, you already are on the other side of the snowbelt) there are advantages to not trying to ride through the snow to get to a good starting point for a winter ride. There are also advantages to being able to start your day early and finish late even when the days are short and it's well below freezing, so you can get to your destination in a reasonable time. I prefer to ride, but on a couple of occasions it made sense to trailer to avoid wasting several days each way waiting for the passes to clear so you can ride over them, when you can fairly easily make it in a truck towing a trailer.

And, of course, if you are going anywhere in Forida, I'd trailer the bike. Actually, if I were going anywhere in Florida that didn't involve riding at a racetrack, I'd just drive without bothering with the trailer...

Gustavo


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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 08:27 AM
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I don't like riding at night or on the Interstate, so on my last trip I was heading up at night on a rainy day so I trailered. It sure made the trip a lot easier (and drier). I generally ride, but there are definitely times when you need more gear than you can carry on the bike or will be traveling for more hours at one time than you really want to ride.

Unless there is a reason to trailer I ride, but I sure like having the option. If you are only going to trailer occassionally you can rent a motorcycle trailer from UHaul for $15 a day. They also have larger trailers with ramps if you need to trailer more than one bike.

Steve

I bought a motorcycle because my wife said that I couldn't! Now I have two and she still says I can't have another one!
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Sounds like a challenge to me!

Now I have four!
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 08:44 AM
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You're lucky you can ride right now!! I went out for a ride yesterday because it stopped raining (with hints of snow in it) - well for the morning anyway. It was 2 degrees C, which for you would be about 35 degrees F. Had my hand warmers on and all my gear but holy Jeebus it was still cold
Seriously, I know what you feel like though. I hate driving miles and miles, (or kms and kms), on boring perfectly straight highways, wearing the snot out of the middle of your sticky hoops. The Versys is such a great twisty carver and that is where the fun really is. I've driven in Florida a few times and although the roads are perfect, they are pretty flat and straight. Are there any back roads that kind of follow the coast to cut down on the boredom of highway riding? This would be a lot more fun and likely add to the scenery.
Thats the ticket to a more enjoyable ride, even though you may take a bit longer doing it.

Oh and... Aren't bikes made to be ridden?

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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 09:06 AM
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People who trailer their bikes sit down to pee.
That is all.
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 09:59 AM
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Nothing wrong with trailering a bike. I live in a cold climate so trailering let's me take the bike to (supposedly) warmer places. I also live on the flat prairie which can be really boring to ride on. I haven't done it but I could see myself trailering the bike to more interesting landscapes.

Here are some tips:

Make sure the tires are good, that you have a spare tire and that your bearings are in good shape and greased well. I take spare bearings and grease with me just in case.

If you can, back the trailer up to a hill or curb to get the ramp as level as possible. I dropped my bike once, a slow motion drop that scratched up some plastic.

The best bang for your buck in a wheel chock is this one from Harbor Freight. I see they have it on sale for $29.99. It locks the wheel in place and holds the bike upright while you tie it down. I have no idea why someone would pay two hundred bucks for a wheel chock when you can buy this one for thirty.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg chock.jpg (8.9 KB, 105 views)

Last edited by charly; 10-17-2009 at 10:15 AM.
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 10:28 AM
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I've used a trailer for years and years, no shame.

Sometimes it's the prudent thing to do.

Get a wheel chock, yes!

John in AZ
'08 Versys
'11 Victory Cross Roads

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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 10:33 AM
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guess it all depends what you want out of having a bike
if you are one of 'those' collectors who go to historic meets to show off you bike, or try to win 'concours' competitions then a trailer is probably the only way to go.
if you just want to parade up and down the main drag a few times and be seen (or heard) then a trailer is the way to go.
if you want to ride, then unless you have a sepcialty bike, or incredible distance to travel before you get to where you want to ride, then ride the bike.

I can understand why in the US, with its huge distances you might want to trailer to get there. but if all you are doing as the focus of the event I'd ride, not trailer. but then again I have a bike to ride, not to preen, polish or otherwise pamper. i don't have a wife or partner that I have to spend qualtiy time ignoring or avoiding by being in the garage.

But ultimately go ride the bike, although preening and polishing isn't my cup of tea, if it encourages others or gives meaning to their lives who cares, thats their choice. not for me, but I'd never demand others conform to my ideas of what my life is about, and I wouldn't expect that of others
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 11:02 AM
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I buy motorcycles to ride them, I bought a trailer to haul crap to the dump...when my one of my bikes turns to crap and I have to haul it to the dump I'll put on my trailer...just saying.
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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by healdem View Post
if all you are doing as the focus of the event I'd ride, not trailer. but then again I have a bike to ride, not to preen, polish or otherwise pamper.
Hey, I'm the proud owner of a Trailer Queen even though it doesn't get preened, polished or otherwise pampered...


Quote:
Originally Posted by healdem View Post
i don't have a wife or partner that I have to spend qualtiy time ignoring or avoiding by being in the garage.


I'll have to tell that one to my wife...




Gustavo


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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 11:22 AM
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I like my trailer. It allows me to get to the place I want to ride quicker and in more comfort than the bike.

It is faster because we switch off driving and all meals are eaten on the fly. It is faster in another way. On the bike I will avoid the interstate somewhat. In the truck the interstate is the way we roll.

It also allows me to bring my wifes bike so my wife can come to these great spots and ride with me which she could not otherwise do. My wife is a passionat rider but can not put 1200 mile days in. her limit is about 350 or so. I'd rather see her putting those miles on in Colorado or North Carolina or Arkansas or Texas Hill country. than droaning along in Nebraska at 100 degrees.

Here is how we use our trailer. We network with other motorcycle enthusiasts around the country (thru the MTF forum and ST.N) so that we have some place to park the trailer where it is safe and then we go tour around their area for 3 or 4r days.

Setting up a base camp from one location can work too.

The sitting down to pee though is annoying. I hate when I dunk my nutsack in the toilet water.
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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 11:24 AM
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Much as I would like to, its not physically possible to ride my V from SEA to Palm Desert in the middle of January. With 200miles of the journey over some nasty mountain passes-Siskyuse, its tough in 4x4 sometimes.

So I do this,


I use the HF bracket referred to earlier at $29.99 its a bargain, but there is a 20% off coupon floating around in many magazines making it even cheaper.


Machog


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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 11:32 AM
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I trailer my bike a lot. I enjoy a nice ride going 35 mph through the side roads more than I enjoy going 70 mph on the interstates. I bought a Harbor Freight trailer and then built the wooden sides. I can pull it with my Honda Accord. Itís about 2 hours on the interstate from my house to a very nice National Forest where we like to ride. Sorry but my wife and I just canít sit on the Versys for 4 hours on the interstate.







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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 08:42 PM
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Fault cant be judged on anyone who cant tolerate long distance riding or inclement weather. I've toughed it out the best I can, and so far I haven't needed to trailer my bikes for any of my travels. I have had to use my Trailer In A Bag http://trailerinabag.com/index.html from time to time for service duty, and once for picking up a bike with a dead battery. I cant store a trailer in my condo complex, and don't have room for any other type of bike trailer.

"I read somewhere that 77 per cent of all the mentally ill live in poverty. Actually, I'm more intrigued by the 23 per cent who are apparently doing quite well for themselves." -- Jerry Garcia
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post #16 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-18-2009, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keyzduc View Post

Any Versys trailer riders out there? I'd love to hear your insights. And pull-eeze, spare me the "bikes were made to be riden everywhere" diatribe. I've delivered it myself so often I know it by heart. Oh and I promise to stop posting these brain farts after I'm done this trip. Maybe.
Wife and I trailered out bikes ( Her Versys, my V-strom) to Ephraim in Utah, 120 miles, then we rode the bike to Torrey , utah about 120 miles as well. It was very neccessary because of her auto-immune disease. You want to do something similar but with a Motorhome, WHY NOT ??? I'm for it, you always have a place to sleep no matter what, if it's raining you stay put and dry.
Yeah I know bikes were meant to be driven, but being macho kills.

2005 50cc scooter, 2007 GS500f, 2008 DL650 Vstrom,
I'm here for my wife's V . She lets me Farkle her Ride. No Diamonds for her, but shiney stuff for the bike is Okay
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post #17 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-19-2009, 10:21 AM
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I have a versa haul works great for mine
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post #18 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-19-2009, 11:38 AM
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I use one of these trailers to haul my dirt bike around, and sometimes my V.

I bought mine at Menards, but Harbor Freight sells them too. $179.

I bolted on a 1/2" pressure treated plywood deck, a "bike channel", and large screw eyes for the tie down straps.

I have used alot for 4 years with no problems. I get the hubs greased every 2 years or so.
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post #19 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-19-2009, 11:38 AM
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post #20 of 37 (permalink) Old 10-19-2009, 11:41 AM
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Also, I tow it with my 4 cylinder, automatic trans, Honda Accord, at around 75mph, about 5,000 miles per year, for 4 years.
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