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Trailers behind bikes - what's legal? what's not?

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by Chairman, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. Can anyone point me to the legal details on trailers to be towed by bikes? If the answer is in the ADRs, what clauses?

    Do they need brakes? Maximum sizes? Load capacity?

    Any advice most welcome

  2. Good question. Well, they don't need brakes. There is only one manufactorer who supplies trailers with brakes. I have a "Frog Glass" trailer. No longer made, and probably one of the lightest trailers made.

    In Victoria trailers only have to be registered if they are wider than the towing vehicle. So if I tow a trailer behind my sidecar rig, then I don't even need rego. (Or one could fit really wide panniers, or tow a Uni-Go.)

    I think it might be one of those questions better not asked, we don't want the authorities taking an interest. I'd phone some of the trailer suppliers for the good oil. I'd start with Classic Trailers. It will be different state to state too I would think.

    Speaking of Uni-Go, I was quite put out to hear that they have been sold to the Yanks. Bad news, except for the Kiwi who sold it of course.
  3. brakes on trailers r now illegal so i found out at a rally i went 2 in kyogle, because they are down right dangerous, because they are a electronic brake what tends 2 happen if u r braking and u hit a bump in the road and 1 of the trailers wheels loses contact with the ground that wheel actually locks up so when it hits the ground again it will have a tendancy 2 actually drag the tralier around throwing the rider from the bike... while it is not illegal for exsisting traliers coz they are alredy fitted i would suggest not purcashing a second hand 1 with brakes. u just have 2 remember to remain concisious in ur braking 2 do all ur braking precorner coz the trailer will keep ur bike up right as u try lean through the bend...

    as for trailers kmart had a little box tralier kit u could buy for $150 then all u need 2 do i replace the hitch that comes with it with a swivel hitch
  4. I may be wrong, but I thought that the Aero FX trailer by Performance Trailers was the only motorcycle trailer that had brakes. (Well, that's what Rob from Performance Trailers told me.) And his setup isn't electronic, it's hydraulic. He also showed me testemonials saying that it works great, but then he would wouldn't he?!

    His website is here: http://performancetrailers.com.au/

    When I'm towing a trailer I don't change my braking at all. In fact it doesn't seem to effect the handling at all. My biggest worry is that I might forget that it's there and try to lane split! :shock: But then my trailer is very small, and I am very careful how I pack it (all the weight over the axle, and 15kg at the hitch).
  5. So the kitchen sink is coming to Tassie? Or is it just the vanity mirror? :p
  6. I can't believe the price of them trailers $5200, thats a lot of money, I will pay for the taxi to follow me. :LOL:
  7. I've just never really understood trailers on a bike???
  8. [​IMG]

    Well . . . it does make it easier to bring your cage along . . . if you're likely to be needing it! :)
  9. That is just a decoy Volvo... so the other Volvo drivers think that one of them is already about to run you over and they go looking for another bike! :LOL:

    GS5hundy trailers are useful when one wants or needs to carry a lot of stuff using a bike. There are many reasons people might want to do that.

    If you've ever tried to pack enough gear for 2 adults for a camping trip onto one bike (panniers, rear bag on a rack, tank bag and one can still be struggling for room by the time one packs a few days worth of clothes and food in).

    Some people get around that by not changing clothes much (ewwww), or by wearing bike gear most of the day (which is an option in some places but not all).

    Other people like to travel in comfort and a trailer gives them that option.
  10. In qld the trailer has to be no more than 6foot by 3 foot wide , trailers have there uses

  11. Phudd you are welcome breath of fresh air, lot's of stories to come out I bet :LOL: :LOL:
  12. Damn, that's a big esky.
  13. When you ask what's legal, are you asking a question from the legal perspective or what your mates think?
  14. Correct, he is as far as i know the only one to have brakes. They are hydraulic over-ride disc brakes. Classic industries have what they call brake retarding or somthing like that, crude i think, but i havent tested a classic trailer to see how well it works.
    Well said. Loading your trailer correctly is very important for good handling. My 600 likes 15kg on the hitch and my FJR likes 20 to 25kg.
    Most people would be astounded when you tell them what is achievable with a trailer in tow. Once you get used to how the trailer feels, it won't change your riding style much at all, and if your prepared to go a bit further and push the limit, you will find some interesting things you can do whilst towing the trailer.
    The biggest thing is to not worry about the trailer, basically forget the damn thing and concentrate on what is in front of you and just ride. If you keep thinking of the trailer and what it is doing etc, your concentration isnt where it should be, and that could lead to undesirable things happening.
  15. Road operations ( Road use management – vehicle standards and safety) regulation 1999
    Part 8 Braking systems
    I see no mention there of brakes been illegal for motorcycle trailers nor have Qld transport sent me any amendments of any kind stating such.

    Queensland Transport Operations Road Use Management Act 1995 Traffic Regulation 1962 Reprinted as in force on 7 July 2006 Reprint No. 4J This reprint is prepared by the Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel .This regulation is reprinted as at 7 July 2006. The reprint shows the law as amended by all amendments that commenced on or before that day Reprints Act 1992

    Page 221 traffic regulation 1962 reprinted as above
    Schedule 1
    Weight and dimensions of trailers
    48.(4) However, the trailer shall not exceed 2.7m in length or 1.25m in width

    there is a pamphlet about swivel hitches, I’ll have to go find it again.

    There is no mention at all of motorcycle trailers ( swivel hitches, brakes etc) in VSB01 guide to building small trailers It is, as it says a guide to building small trailers. I have a meeting with QLD transport this week, and provided I have time I will talk to the inspectors out back

    Performance trailers manufactures trailers with brakes as mentioned before, and if brakes are now illegal, wouldn’t they have to cease building trailers with brakes electric or otherwise and cease advertising trailers with brakes?

    Classic industries call their’s FMR Forward Motion Retarder
    I have yet to have a close look to what that actually means apart from been a ?fancy term? if you like of saying brakes

    Practical experience
    Have built 11 trailers for various people, 9 of which I know are currently registered and I have had no complaints so far. I have made and also own the fibreglass moulds for said trailers and am currently developing a disc brake system. I’ve done 45,000km plus towing trailers, of which I can document around 30K, up and down dirt roads creek crossings etc as well as travelling interstate, on the bikes that I own, 96 600 suzuki bandit, FJR1300, as well as ridden bikes with trailers such as the GTR1000, 900 diversion, st1100 either testing or riding them home cos someone else couldn’t for some reason or other, also stuffed around with a Suzuki gz250 for a bit to see if it would tow a trailer, it would but didn’t really like it. Top speed with the 600 and loaded trailer was 152 (GPS), it just ran out of puff and the feejer with partially loaded trailer so far is 196(GPS) with more go in it yet.
    I have experienced some stilted movement when trying to lean the bike in corners, the reason for this was the swivel hitch wasn’t greased properly, wack a grease nipple in it and keep it greased and I also grease the ball and inside the coupling and haven’t had the minor problem since. You do have to take wider lines thru corners and travel a bit more in the center of the road but you soon adjust to it. Pre-braking before corners isn’t necessary, it depends on how confident you are with the trailer behind you. I certainly have yet to have the trailer stand the bike up mid corner under brakes, my experience so far is that the trailer will push the ass of the bike out as it wants to go straight ahead and you end up backing it in thru corners. If the towball height is too high then I could see that it could want to stand the bike up but why would you leave things set wrong like that? The towball height should be in line with the center of the axle in the riding position ie, with you siting on it and all your gear loaded and ready to go down the road.
    Some bikes like a 96 600 bandit are known to dive in the front under brakes,non adjustable front ends and very soft. If you brake hard in a straight line the front will dive and thus the rear will rise accordingly and with a trailer in tow, the trailer will push the arse end higher and/or push the arse out sideways same as for braking mid corner. Depending on how far your willing to push it, it can lead to finding out some interesting things, of which I will only discuss over a few drinks.
    The trailer wheel hitting a pothole and bouncing in the air and the brakes locking it up possibly causing the rider to be thrown? Umm….when the tire comes back down and the weight of the trailer puts weight back on wouldn’t that quickly overcome the brake? There would perhaps be a small skidmark but I seriously doubt that it would stay locked like a maxi. If that wheel stays locked with all the weight of the trailer on it, wouldn’t one think that it was adjusted up way to much? Wouldn’t you notice the extra effort the bike would take to tow the damn thing in a straight line? The drag would be rather significant. Having a trailer tire blow out at speed would be a worry.
    I’ve seen trailers bouncing so much that I’ve been scared to follow them, and they had more the 2 inches sideways movement, yet when you talk to the rider they say didn’t really notice anything at all. I followed a GTR1000 trike and GTR1000 with trailer all the way from Clare SA to Warrick Qld and that trailer behind the bike bounced around rather good and it hardly bothered the rider at all. We travelled from Bourke to Moree and some sections of that road a nothing but potholes but I hardly noticed the trailer hitting them even at speed, the front end was copping it tho. I had 40+ bottles of wine and some other breakables and apart from a couple of rub marks on some labels ( I only had them in some carboard boxes) nothing was damaged at all.

    A properly set up trailer and bike can result in the most enjoyable riding and touring especially 2up that you can get. I know guys who’s wives have taken up riding with them because of what a trailer can offer. I’ve talked to a lot of people who tow trailers most reckon that having brakes would be ideal to have.

    I’ll post up some pics shortly.