BMW K1600 Forum banner

1 - 1 of 1 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
207 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I know it's kind of a leap for me to consider towing a trailer with my GT since I've never done so on any other bike. However, getting older and having a very bad back, has made me realize that if I want to attend BMW events and do the required camping, I need to carry bigger tents, cot and stuff to keep off the ground as much as possible. Hanging all that stuff in bags lashed to the bike isn't very practical so the trailer idea came about for these types of trips where I'll be camped for more than a couple days.

I went with the DMC hitch after seeing one installed on a fellow board member's bike at the Falling Leaf Rally in Missouri last month. I liked that it's not visible when not in use, you can change the tire without removing the hitch and is seemed very secure on the bike. I ordered one when I got home from the rally.

I was also keeping an eye out for a reasonable trailer and one popped up on Craigs list about a week after I started looking. I found an Aluma MCT that's red. The color is about as close to the red on my GT as it could be without having it custom painted. Best of all it is a 2008 model that was hardly used and just like brand new. The previous owner bought it then suffered a back injury which won't allow him to ride any longer. I have sympathy for him, but what the heck. It was a LOT off retail on a new one and it just had to come home with me.

I did get around to my DMC hitch install last week. It went for me just like it is pictured by another board member here:

http://www.k1600forum.com/forum/bmw-k1600-accessories/1951-dmc-hitch-installation.html

A couple of observations -

- 4 hour install time is optimistic. Probably just that for the hitch itself, not the wiring. Be sure to have a helper when it comes tie to actually hang the hitch or you will scratch up parts near it on the bike.

- The wiring is pretty straight forward. The colors on the DMC harness did not match up to the 5 wire plug on my Aluma trailer so there was some monkeying around to get it all hooked up properly. Once done, it was fine.

- I'm not a fan of the supplied wire taps. I was considering using positaps instead, however after studying the area where you need to use the taps, I went with the supplied ones. I did use generous amounts of dielectric grease on them.

- I'm not a big fan of the 5 wire plugs. They seem to eat the end of the wires off pretty easily over time so I left the extra wire length on the bike side in case the plug needs to be rewired in the furute and there will be plenty available to do so.

I put it all together and took it for a ride the other day. Only about 43 F and rain, but I really wanted to give it a go. I put 120 pounds of dog food bags in it and hit the road for a 75 mile test drive.



The GT towed it nicely. The MPG did go down to about 36-37 from my normal 45 or so. Not bad for the capability to carry a lot of stuff for my base camp at the next rally.

It took some getting used to with the limitation on leaning and extra stopping distances needed. Another sacrifice that will be worth it going to and from events.

I decided to try a swivel hitch on this rig. I've read a lot of pros and cons concerning their use and value. I figured if any advantage was to be gained, this may help.

Got it installed a couple days ago. The extra length did require I lengthen the trailer wiring and safety chains. (Nothing ever goes as planned!)

I decided to take it on the same ride I did before the swivel hitch install to give the hitch a comparable evaluation. Again, cool (48 F) but no rain this day. The winds were very strong (25 gusting to 35 mph) and becasue I was riding a ciurcuit, I got the full effect from all angles during this trip.

From what I read prior to my install, most don't believe the hitch makes much of a difference except in a fall or tip over.

This is NOT my experience at all.

First, the stability of the bike in these strong gusty winds was incredible. I wasn't being blown all over the road. Even passing oncoming semi trucks was more comfortable. This would probably have been true with or without the swivel hitch, I just noted it on this ride because of the windy conditions.

I was able to better lean the bike , take corners faster and the trailer seemed to track better. I could take corners more like I do without the trailer without having to slow to the posted recommended speeds at the corners. I didn't feel my lean angle being limited by the hitch and ball limitations like I did with the standard hitch. There was one particular right turn onto another road that is actually about 140 degrees rather than a normal 90 degree turn. Without the swivel hitch, I could just barely avoid going into the oncoming traffic lane while making the turn. With the swivel hitch, no problem maintaining my lane at even a faster speed.

Like I mentioned above, I am new to towing with a motorcycle and have no prior experience with it so I went into this very open minded about the possible benefits.

All I can say is the difference was VERY significant on my bike towing this trailer. Maybe others tow differently, however I would not tow without the swivel hitch on my trailer.

YMMV
 
1 - 1 of 1 Posts
Top