Uni-go questions.... - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old Jul 30th, 2007, 7:10 pm Thread Starter
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Rio Rancho, NM, USA
Posts: 460
Uni-go questions....

Tire pressure of the trailer itself, and do you favor a particular pressure in the bike itself for optimal handling.....

Tongue height.....I notice the tongue is a bit elevated....I've spoken to others about this on the road at rallies. Has anyone lowered their hitch to lower the tongue height, and if you have, has it improved tracking?

Loading the trailer.....Is the greatest weight to be low and forward or should it be more weighted on the trailer wheel. Conventional wisdom points to the lower and forward as optimal.....any thoughts?

My questions originate from about four thousand miles of use with the trailer and notice it to be very "touchy on the interstate at speeds of above 70 MPH. I know I'm not the only one with this problem from conversations with other owners in person. It seems to track better in the twisties....Any info would be greatly appreciated. After the large investment after years of anticipation, I really want it to work well, not just on a marginal basis.

Thanks to all in advance for any input.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old Aug 1st, 2007, 11:06 am
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Location: Statesville, North Carolina, Good Ole USofA
Posts: 493

Hey ThickyBrick,
I see you purchased one after "sitting on the fence" for a while. Good for you, I think they are great and I love mine. When I can still scrape the pegs in the twisties with it tagging along, I'm happy.

My buddy and I purchased ours together and had Schoolhouse install them when we went to Mid-Ohio for the AMA Vintage Days last year. So here's some input from two trailers with thousands of miles on them. We've had good luck with 24 lbs. air but if you have a heavier load, stay with 25-26 lbs. as recommended.

When I load mine I put the heavy stuff on the bottom and forward. I do notice a difference if there is any weight up high. On switchbacks, or harder transitions, and when in dirty air from vehicles, there is more of the side-to-side wobble. The weight being high carries more momentum and throws the bike farther to the side you're leaning in, then you have to counter faster. Keep it low in the hull.

Funny timing you have because I just sent a letter to Mark at www.schoolhousemcacc.com and asked him if they entertained the thought of matching the hitch (u-joint) center with the axle center, horizontally. I personally feel the hitch should be at axle center or below. My wheels have been turning on this for a while now and I'm real close to move on the theory. I measured mine the other day and I'm looking at about 4-1/2" I need to move it down. temporarily I can simply add an extension plate to match the wheel center but the trailer will angle to much in the front and there are not enough adjustment holes to counter this. So my plan is to reverse the u-joint and flip the tongue 180 degrees, it might work. Any engineers out there want to chirp in? I may start on this this weekend or sooner.

On to tracking. We had to fine tune ours when we got back to North Carolina. We noticed each others tracking on the trip back. My trailer was right of the rear tire footprint and it was tilted to the right where my buddy's was the opposite. Simple adjustments to the hitch cured the footprint centering and the four bolts in the front for the tongue were loosened to adjust the tilt. All adjustments were done in about an hour. It helped a ton as far as how the trailer entered and exited turns. E-mail me for any specifics if you like.

Jim S.
* Everyone crashes. Some get back on. Some don't. Some can't.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 2007, 10:53 am Thread Starter
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Location: Rio Rancho, NM, USA
Posts: 460

I'm glad you opted for the install at Schoolhouse, as I endured several months of problems with poorly fabricated hitch mounts, along with another fellow on this board.

Received my package the second week of January, and made the maiden voyage in early May. Then the wobbles at interstate speeds (75 MPH posted), and other issues with mostly the hitch fitment. I'm still waiting for some replacement flush-head screws, but don't have the ambition to remind him again.

After the maiden voyage the pin fell out of the lid hinge, whereas he sent me a new one.

I'm taking a 3000 mile trip to Montana next week for the Bear Tooth Rally. I thought about not taking the Uni-go for all the problems up to now. However, we are camping, and that creates the need for more crap piled on the back of my bike. So I'm going to try it once more, with the suggested mods. I already pack low and forward, but won't have time to fabricate a plate to lower the hitch.

The recommendation for setting up the tongue is to eyeball it. I used a level with the bike on the center stand for starters, but am not sure how it tracks. I'm going to get an Olins set of shocks for front and rear this Winter, so perhaps that will help as well.

Yes, I sat on the fence hoping to hear some feedback on this item, and found very little. I think lowering the hitch to the axle will help, but geez-louise.....one would think these quirks could be sorted and corrected by now. The GT is a perfect platform for such a small trailer, and laying down three grand...one would expect somewhat more for the bucks.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 2007, 11:25 am
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In defense of the boys at Uni-Go, please be patient with them. While we were there getting the installs of our two trailers, we were enlightened of their operation from purchase to present. Man they went through allot when they purchased the company from the original owners in New Zealand. The hitch problems stem from the New Zealand jigs are metric and we use U.S size tubing. Just with the two size differences alone there are fitment challenges. Plus, they can't have a hitch for every motorcycle. Think about this too. You had people with deposits down at the NZ owned plant that wanted their product now. These guys were under allot of pressure to not only get the products out for people that had deposits down but they also had had us new consumers chomping at the bit to get one........NOW! They had issues with American vendors, like their hinge makers, who dropped Uni-Go's orders with no warning to do a bigger job that was paying more. That hurt :wtf School House is a small group who are doing their best with what they had and I believe they are going to get it corrected. Yeah, it's three grand but it's a great starting base. If you don't stay in touch with them how do they know there is a problem. When the dog wants in......it barks. I look at the possibility that back when the trailers were first being developed there may not have been allot of computer literate engineer types at the New Zealand site. I'm going to play with mine and see what happens. Should I re-phrase that? Trailer that is. The one thing that I like about them is that they are making everything right hear in the good ole U.S.A. that alone keeps me very patient because I like that. I'll definitely let you know what I find. In the meantime you and the others just forget about what kind of $$ you spent, fix the issues and RIDE!! Hell, my buddy was suppose to have a new hitch dropped off for his ST1100 and it;s not here either. We're still riding though and enjoying every minute. Take car and stay in touch.

Jim S.
* Everyone crashes. Some get back on. Some don't. Some can't.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 2007, 12:38 pm
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Peru, NY, USA
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Another Uni-Go Experience -

Originally Posted by Thickasabrick
I endured several months of problems with poorly fabricated hitch mounts, along with another fellow on this board.
Hello T-Brick - this is the above mentioned other fellow on this board.

We returned two weeks ago from a 2200 mile trip with the Uni-Go to the BMW MOA National in West Bend, Wisconsin.

The Uni-Go ran well, i.e. I'm glad I had it. My wife's bike had only her tankbag on it, which is the main reason why I bought this thing, and believe me we had it loaded. There was enough make-up in there that I almost thought I'd need a haz-mat license. I will say that rolling it into your hotel room is really great!

My biggest concern has not been tracking so much as the effect of a fully loaded trailer on my bike's ('03GT) suspension performance. I weighed it fully-loaded (weight forward, like Cobbler, and nothing heavy up high) before we left using my trusty bathroom scale, and found the wheel weight to be only 88lbs, and the tongue weight was 49lbs. The tongue weight is about what I'd expect if I had luggage strapped to my rear seat, but that weight is back a ways from the shock and is increased by this lever/fulcrum effect. Note that my bike received new Wilbers shocks fron and rear last year. Anyway, it doesn't seem like there's any detrimental effects on my suspension (no wallowing in a corner, bottoming-out, etc.).

Coming home to Vermont from Wisconsin, we were in the southern part of the Adirondacks, where we were immersed in something we hadn't seen in the midwest - curves. My buddy, who went out there with us on his VFR, commented on how aggressive I was hitting the corners - in the rain - towing a trailer! It was sheer joy at being back on great roads. But the point is the Uni-Go doesn't slow you down at all in the twisties. It tracks very well. I eye-balled the alignment of the trailer to my rear wheel and torqued the hitch bolts accordingly. I'm sure it would've been less fun with the stock shocks - the Ohlins will really help.

The GT is a little woosey in the turbulent air behind a big rig, even without towing the Uni-Go. I've felt the Uni-Go oscillation when behind a semi, and have learned to spend the minimum amount of time possible around them. The oscillation can get bad, but never so bad that it is a danger - it seems to be self-limiting. I've only felt it bad twice, and my strategy is to increase speed and get away from the truck. The wobble dies down once I'm next to the truck, and disappears when I'm past it. I've tried finding a sweet-spot behind semis by varying my following distance, but there's too many variables involved. Pass 'em!

I'm running 26lbs. religiously in the Uni-Go, and my alignment looks good. I've had the same hitch troubles T-brick had, and I'm still awaiting a new upper hitch. The one I have was an "interim" hitch fabricated by Mark Huffman specifically for my trip. It works OK, but we refer to it as Frankenhitch. T-brick has the same one I think. I'm not knocking Mark - he got me a working solution in time. I understand he's right out straight, so I'll be patient.

There's a lot of Uni-Go discussion on the BMW Luxury Touring board regarding Uni-Go - a lot of those boys pull trailers. Every one seems to like them, but they're not a plug-and-play type of accessory.

Any questions - fire away!

'03 K1200GT
(Dark Blue Rail Gun)
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