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Discussion Starter #1
So, I am an avid whitewater kayaker. I live very close to three great rivers. I was thinking that it would be cool to build a little (light) trailer to tow my kayak to and from the river.

The kayak is 6'5" long about 23 inches wide and weights about 40lbs. With all the gear it weights about 55lbs.

The speed limit on the different river roads in no more than 45 so I don't need something that would go 100mph (but that would be cool too)

Anyone ever built a motorcyle trailer? I was thinking it could be low profile enough that a person behind me could see my blinkers and taillight.

What would be good to use as wheels? I was thiniking that mountain bike wheels might work. They are light and strong.

Any ideas?
 

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The last time i went kayaking was also the 1st time i had really gone on a decent trip. 4 hours long nice and easy. Made it within sight of the takeout without dumping it and then i lost it on a rapid. Of course the take out was swarming with picnickers and fisherman watching me swim after my kayak through the rapids.

Trailer... How about a side car instead? That way the kayak can double as a passenger seat. or maybe you can retrofit one of these child bike carriers. http://cgi.ebay.com/Bicycle-Trailer-Bike-Trailer-Child-Carrier-Kid-Haul_W0QQitemZ300209933092QQihZ020QQcategoryZ64648QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
 

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mountain bike wheels may be strong but mountain bike tires are not really rated for the kind of loads and speed you are talking about and their small footprint will make the trailer more susceptible to rollover . Rear trailer wheels are about 12" - 14" steel rims and are pretty cheap at any camping and RV store.
 

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quote:Originally posted by Geeto67

mountain bike wheels may be strong but mountain bike tires are not really rated for the kind of loads and speed you are talking about and their small footprint will make the trailer more susceptible to rollover . Rear trailer wheels are about 12" - 14" steel rims and are pretty cheap at any camping and RV store.
...i've waited for this day for a long, long time. I HAVE TO DIsAGREE my man!!! if the load is truely only around 55 pounds, and the total weight of the trailer is less than 200, a 26" mtb wheel would more than work. heavy, box section downhill rims, double crossed spoke paterns, (you could even go as far as bailing and soldering the crosses) and wide, large volume tires would more than suffice. strong is an understatement. you'd have nothing less than a fully capable rolling platform. BUT, that can get expensive. i'm just saying that it could work...infact, work well! it'd be sexy trick and cause more conversation at the put-in than you'd likely want to deal with.
 

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puss man...why the wait. it's really easy and fun to disagree with the g-man. you're spot on about mt. bike wheels. a kayak cruising down the tarmac would be an easier load to handle than a decending geeto. a custom built mt. bike wheeled trailer would be a far more elegant solution than boat trailer wheeled rig. but a more costly one....cha-ching.
-parks
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think I will do it.

Catboy, what do you mean "a well calculated camber"?

A couple things i need to think through are: Do I use steel or aluminium, how do i hitch it to the bike (and where), do I need suspension?
 

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Catboy,

I have not doubt about the strength of the wheel catboy, I am just saying are mountain bike tubes and tires rated for sustained speeds of 45mph at almost full loading. I would be more worried about tire failure than bending a rim.

Personally, if you are going to bother building a two wheel kayak trailer why not build a two wheeled single rail motorcycle trailer that holds your kayak as well.

BTW a lot of trailers don't have shocks. In fact I am willing to say all but the big boat trailers don't have shocks. Some don't even have springs. The small rim with large sidewall tire is usually the only suspension dampning there is and what keeps your load from being beat to shit. A mountain bike rim with a low profile tire is going to pass a lot of the jolts directly to the chassis of the trailer.

A trailer rim with tire (13" rim with a 16.25 inch overall height) is $29.95. Can you get a mountain bike rim and tire setup for that?

I hope you know how to weld or have access to someone who is a welder.

Now if it were me building the trailer I would build a sprung trailer, and I would start by going to the junkyard and finding a chrysler K car. Chrysler K cars (and the minivans that use the same chassis) are I beam rear axles and depending on year leaf sprung. After that you are going to need a center backbone, cross braces, and a deck. Study existing trailers - they are simple to make if you know what you are looking at.
 

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Check w/"the Man" before you put a homemade rig on the road. There may be requirement for trailers that would dictate the type of wheels you use. For example, I know that you cannot use mobile home wheels to build a trailer as they are not rated for continuous use.
 

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i'd say look at bicycle trailer mounting points/systems to get a conceptual start. and look at wheelchair racers for an eyeball camber value. city tires are available for mt. bikes which would be more than able to handle a kayak load and speed. i used to do downhill mt races and the loads and speeds were far in excess of what you will prob. require of this rig. if you are mindfull of and sensitive to what you're doing, i doubt you'll have a problem with tire failure. maybe think of a two wheeled sling type of arangement to support the kayak in the middle and a separate rig which attaches the front of your boat to the back of your motorcycle....i think dragging part of a k-car around behind your bike is a bit overbuilt not to mention rude.
-parks
ps. if you want trailer trash cheap, go the g-man way...it will be less money spent.
 

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someone gave me one of these once - it was awsome. Hugh Mackie now uses it to tow his flat trackers to the track:

http://www.discount-trailers.com/folding-utility-trailer.htm

to be honest I don't think a person could build a trailer for less than this:

http://www.discount-trailers.com/small-utility-trailer.htm

if you are still deadset on building one - study this design as it doesn't get much simpler:

http://www.discount-trailers.com/kayak-canoe-trailer.htm

BTW, what bike are you towing this behind? If it is a cb750 I think you need to look at the weight rating on the bike and also you may want (ok may is sto strong enough - you need) to upgrade your clutch. Fully loaded my cb750 will overpower its clutch at highway speeds.
 

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I have a 12 foot kayak, and I transport it without a trailer. I put it right inside my car (2000 Ford Contour). I remove the rear seatback of my car (only two bolts), lay the front passenger seat down flat, and slide the kayak in through the trunk. The front of the kayak goes under the dashboard, and the rear of the kayak only sticks out a few inches out of the trunk. I just tie down the truck lid with bungees and I´m good to go.
 

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"Real" trailer wheels will take tremendous side loading....mountain bike wheels while very strong perpendicular to the axle offer probably about 2% of the side load strength of a typical trailer wheel. Go around a corner at 55mph on a flat tracking trailer (no lean like a bike) and you generate lots of side loading, compounded by the narrow bearing spacing in a bicycle wheel and the loads on the bearing would be tremendous.
At highway speeds (65mph) my guess is the tires would shred within 100 miles. Specially if you camber them and they run off the center of tread...plus camber would add a constant side load.

Trailer and a bike are totally different animals...bicycle has almost no side loading due to lean, trailers have TONS due to how flat they track.

Not to mention if it has to be registered...which in NYS they all do, it has to have DOT equipment on it. Homebuilt trailers have to go to the state police inspection center for certification. I've built all size trailers, up to the 23 foot 5th wheel I use now.

I say go for it....would eventually make a cool You-Tube video :)
JohnnyB
 

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"badges, we don't need no stinkin badges."
don't ask for permission, just do it... and ask for forgiveness.
(and stay off big roads...) (and branson is right (did i say that?) about side loads....be gentle and there won't be a problem).
-parks
 

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ever notice how they tow telephone poles? it's a very simple affair which doesn't require a cross-country/interstate capable solution. a quick trip from your house to the local stream is all you're doing.
-parks
 

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ever notice how they tow telephone poles? it's a very simple affair which doesn't require a cross-country/interstate capable solution. a quick trip from your house to the local stream is all you're doing.
-parks
 

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As usual Branson's got it right. A single axle trailer doesn't side load as bad as a multi-axle, but I tore up enough regular tires on car trailers back in the day to appreciate real trailer tires when I could finally afford them.

Think pulling with your bike suspension would be a must. Watch an unloaded solid axle trailer go down the road. They're only on the ground half the time. That might be bad behind a bike.

I have built a trailer using a Caravan rear axle. Yes they're handy for a lawnmower trailer, way too ugly to be exposed on your kayak trailer. Assuming you want to look like the cool guy that pulls his kayak with a bike, not the guy that desperately misses Junkyard Wars.

My first guess at a trailer design would be one center beam(tongue) with saddles to hold and strap down the kayak. I'd think about a-arm suspension so it would lean on the same axis as the motorcycle. You might be able use the front wheels off a bigger bike if you want to stick with that motif, have someone make you spindles. I dunno, either mountain bike or motorcycle shocks and springs. I'd think if you found a shock guy that wanted to play along and gave him the weight, dimensions, motion ratios and whatnot you could get it sprung right right off the bat.
 

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Dang...I missed the part about this being a trailer to TOW with a bike. Would make an even better YouTube video when a cross wind catches that baby mid corner or a tractor trailer going the opposite way gets it airborne.

It's a neat idea....but take it from someone that's made a bunch of mistakes, life threatening mistakes.... build a rack for your car. Heck...with something that light you could easily make rack that fit right into the reciever of a trailer hitch and carried the Kayak angled up over the trunk.

Not trying to throw a wet towel on the idea....but it seems like something that sounds cool, but could end up as a stay in the hospital.
JohnnyB
 
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