Our Motorcycle Trailer Design Philosophy - Part 3
The Design of the Ultimate Motorcycle Trailer
Another important factor is the suspension travel. Most automobiles have from 4 to 6 inches of suspension travel to be able to take the various rough road conditions that you encounter on highways today. Many trailers with small tires and solid axles have only an inch or two of travel before the suspension bottoms out, resulting in a very rough ride, which can also be very dangerous. Even trailers with rubber torsion bar suspension do not have more than an inch or two of suspension travel. Our SST’s new “Air Ride” suspension has over 4” of travel.
We see some trailers that even use motorcycles tires plus have a very limited amount of suspension travel. First of all, these small cross section tires do not provide as much cushioning like the larger cross section tires that we use. Secondly, according to the National Highway Safety Administration, only tires rated “ST” are legal to use on a trailer. We do not know of any motorcycle tires that are “ST” rated. Thirdly, if you have a flat in Podunk, Nowhere with one of these motorcycle tires it is very difficult to locate a replacement, often times you have to have one shipped in. Our tires are directly replaceable with tires and wheels found in any Wal-Mart.
Potholes & Curbs:
With the condition of today’s roads and our general economy not having the money available to really keep things in repair, as they should, we see a lot of potholes many of which are ridiculously large and deep. These can really throw a motorcycle off balance and we all keep a close lookout to avoid these. All of our products incorporate independent suspension such that when a tire hits a pothole or curb that it does not affect the other tire trying to tip the trailer over. If you have ever ridden a scooter you become extra aware of pot holes as the tire diameter is so small on a scooter that if you get into on of these deep potholes it can literally flip you over the front of your scooter. The same it true for using small diameter tires on a trailer.
We do not use these small diameter tires on any of our products not only for this safety reason but also for the durability reason. A small diameter tire is spinning much faster than a large diameter tire, which creates two problems. First, it spins so fast that it can overheat the tire, which can result in blowouts. I don’t know how many times I have seen a small trailer on the roadside with a blown tire and they are always these small diameter tires. Secondly, these small tires turning so fast creates an additional aerodynamic drag that you don’t need when pulling a trailer behind a motorcycle. We have conducted extensive research to select bearings that have a minimum rolling resistance, selecting tires that have a narrow contact area and have the right rubber compound to give a very low rolling resistance.