Sunday, April 28, 2013

Apr 28 2013 - Red Girl gets a trailer hitch

Last summer I decided I’d borrow the Uni-Go trailer from Red Dog [my Piaggio MP3 500 scooter] and try to get in a little camping. There were no hitches available for the NT700V so I engaged Bandon Fabrication to build one, the same shop that built Red Dog’s. The project turned out fine but because I took two trips to Mexico [on another bike] I used up all of my available camping time. Shortly after returning home I was contacted by a local BMW rider who’d heard about my Uni-Go and stopped by to ask if I’d sell it. After some discussion we agreed on a price we could both live with and it went away the next day. Hey, everything’s got a price, right?

That left me with a hitch I no longer had need for so I decided to sell it. Before it’s gone I thought I’d post a few pictures of the installation sequence in case anyone is interested in building one of their own. I won’t attempt to instruct in the actual fabrication end of it as that’s the rightful domain of people in the trade; personally I’m clueless in that area. Hopefully the photos will shed some light on how we did it.

Components included with the hitch:
1 ea Main Hitch Frame assembly w/pre-drilled plate for hitch ball
2 ea Vertical Support Rod
2 ea Upper Vertical Rod Support Bolt, 3 x ½” w/locking nylon nut
2 ea Lower Vertical Rod Support Bolt, 1 x ¼” w/locking nylon nut
2 ea Foot Peg Bolt, 2 ½” x 5/16” w/nut, flat washer, & locking washer

The photo below shows the hitch as it will be sold. The next photo shows the hitch with the Uni-Go receiver installed. The buyer will need to provide his own ball or receiver as needed. I’ve had both a regular ball and a Uni-Go receiver installed so holes are pre-drilled for each.

Installing the hitch
To begin remove the saddle and slide the Vertical Support rods down through the slots in the plastic just to the rear of the chassis box mount connection point.

Next step connect the vertical support rods to the chassis box using the large bolts. If your chassis box doesn't have the holes pre-drilled do so now, then connect the rods.

Remove passenger foot pegs. These will be the forward connecting points for the main hitch rails.

Next slide the main hitch rails into the bike from the rear. Go all the way forward until the rails are positioned at the tops of the passenger foot peg brackets. Using the longer bolts provided connect the hitch rails and at the same time re-install the foot pegs in their original position. Do not tighten yet, wait until everything is installed and aligned.

Connect the vertical support rods to the main hitch rails. 

Finally check the alignment of the rails to make sure nothing is rubbing; then tighten all nuts firmly.

This was Red Girl as set up to pull the Uni-Go trailer.

That should do it for now; I’m posting the hitch on the NT700 Owners Forum and expect it will go away fast. As for Red Girl I’m anticipating a nice long summer tour on her starting in May sometime. Per usual I haven’t a clue where I’ll head but that’s the fun of it.

Hope to see you on the road.