Saturday, March 02, 2013

motorcycle trailer build, hitch edition

Did I remember to tell you that it would be a fair amount of time between these postings?  The garage is simply too cold to spend much time in when the outside temps are below 30.  I know, I'm getting wimpy in my old age...I changed the differential gears in my car back in 1989 when the temp was below 0, and I was outside, too.  No, that wasn't fun, but I didn't have any money, either.

The other day, like maybe 2 weeks ago, I took the saddle bags off the bike, found that I needed new mounting bolts.  They were fully threaded bolts and the threads were mangled all the way up.  That is probably because they had worked loose....

So I bought new bolts and some lock nuts to go on the inside of the fender.  About $11 at Ace.  I will be putting blue loctite on them.  I will also put loctite on the saddlebag mounting bolts, as some of them were loose.  AND I put loctite on the belt guard, since one bolt was gone and the other a little loose.  Luckily I found a bolt in my box that worked and put a washer in there too, so that's fixed.  AND a nut had fallen off the mounting stud that holds the saddlebag lid hinge to the saddlebag.  Found that in the saddlebag and put it back on...the bolts are 8mm 1.25 pitch.  2.25" long, or so.  The other thingy in the pic is the bracket for the chains, it bolts under the ball.

I bought the hitch from a guy in MI that is a dealer oh never mind, I'm pretty sure that I told you all that.  I ordered it on Monday and it arrived on Tuesday, that is pretty prompt.  It fits perfectly and looks very nice. The chrome is very good, and the ball was included, Acme brand.  Wile E Coyote would not be ashamed to operate this bike.

It went together a little easier than I expected...The bolts hold the saddle bag brackets, the backrest/sissy bar bracket, and the fender on.  I was pretty sure it'd take a lot of messing around to get it on.  But putting a bolt on each side to hold the backrest on the fender in the right place allowed me to get the hitch in the right place with the other holes and bolts and then removing the first bolts move it into position.  The only problem I had was when I was putting the saddle bag on; I realized that I put both front brackets on the left side and the rear brackets on the right side.  So I had to take the saddle bag back off, remove the rear bracket on the left side and swap it with the front bracket on the right side.  It went pretty good when I had all the brackets in the right place.  I'll have to double check to make sure the bolts are tight; getting a wrench under the fender when the saddle bags are installed is a treat, let me assure you.

 The above pic shows the sissybar bracket in the center top, the saddle bag bracket, fender, etc.
 The above pic shows the belt guard, the saddle bag bracket, the side of the saddle bag and the side of the fender.
And this pic shows the side of the hitch, the end of the fender that I scuffed, the ball.  I don't know if I'll get one of those ball covers or not.  Maybe if there's a brake light incorporated into it....maybe I can make one.  You will be the first to know if I do.  :)  The hitch looks black, but it is shiny chrome.

Next up is to work on electricity...I need to redo the plugs powering the saddlebag lights and install the wires to power the trailer lights.  I need warm weather for that too, since that's bare hands and sitting still sort of work.  I also hope that my jack starts working again, because it's nice to have the thing a little higher.

Yes, the bike is dirty.  I could say it's because of the dust it has collected over the winter, I didn't cover them this year.  But in reality, the bike is just dirty.  I don't mind.
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