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Pulling a trailer with an SUV

Pulling a trailer with an SUV

Pulling a trailer wi..

  • 27 May 2016, 10257 Views

MotuSid

Hot Hatcher

Member: 02 Nov, 2015

Total Posts: 319

  • 27 May 2016, 7:18 pm ( 22 Photos , 2 Videos )
The backstory -
Colleague of mine, Hyperwheelz, who owns a CBR600RR, had plans to go to the Buddh International Circuit for a track day - especially reserved for motorcyclists. He was wondering aloud about how him, and a friend - Utkarsh - riding a Ducati Panigalle 899, would be too tired if they rode all the way from Gurgaon to the track on the said day - or spend too much money staying at a hotel nearby for two nights (reach the night before, ride on track that day and then stay another night because they did not want to ride back in the night). I had the brilliant idea that they could probably load their bikes onto a trailer, take them to the track while enjoying the comforts of an SUV/Crossover/Car, finish the ride, and drive back in comfort too.
Well, he could source a trailer, my colleague said, but he (or his friends) did not have a vehicle to pull it with. I had another brainwave and asked Roshun if we could borrow Red Fox for a day. Roshun was very enthusiastic about it - in a decade (almost) that he has had the Scorpio CRDe Dx 4x4, he has never hitched up a trailer to it. First we had to confirm if the trailer could be attached to Red Fox, thankfully everything was sorted. (You will read about types of trailers and hitches etc. in a detailed post by Roshun)
A special BIG THANK YOU is also reserved for Sairee, who agreed to take a cab to her office and let us take her daily driver, Red Fox, that day.
D-Day -
The plan was to meet up at Redline Racing Store in Mansarover Garden, Delhi where the trailer was available, Sid and Utkarsh would ride till there on their bikes from Gurgaon (Gurugram?) and Roshun would drive Red Fox there with me.
We met Mr. Gurvinder - who owns the shop. He is a gentleman who knows a lot about motorcycles and is an avid racing enthusiast. Him and his son, Simran, are well known among the motorcycle racing circuit - especially in North India. Mr. Gurvinder helped us hitch the trailer to the Scorpio - it was a fairly easy process. Loading up the bikes and securing them - it looked easy though we (Sid, Utkarsh and me) realised later in the evening that it was not.
Okay, Photo Time!
This how the Scorpio-Trailer combo looks without the bikes on them. Photo courtesy Roshun
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This is what the trailer latches onto - this is fitted as standard on all 4x4 Scorpios, you can get it retro-fitted too
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The simple latch mechanism on the trailer, also note the receptor to connect the tail-lights. Photo courtesy Roshun
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Here is where you place the front tyre of the bike, then you push forward and....
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... the front tyre locks into place in a receptacle.
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Utkarsh and Sid were understandably concerned about their motorcycles - they are high performance, high maintenance, costly machines after all.
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We may have used too many restraints by the end of it.
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I was like an excited kid, running around taking photos or videos, and lending my help in whatever little way I could.

Finally we were ready to roll, Roshun drove from Mansarovar Garden till Jor Bagh, he then handed over the reigns to me - he had to go to the inauguration of the new Big Boys Toys showroom in Gurgaon.
My senses were on edge, I was constantly watching the mirrors to make sure the trailer was not in danger of snagging anywhere, every action had to be planned out way in advance. The weight of the trailer and the bikes was not an issue for the Scorpio, but the trailer did change the dynamics of the SUV. You could feel the tug from the trailer over every bump, your turning circle had to be significantly larger, you also had to keep eyes out to look for those pesky motorists who tend to swoop behind you without looking. Photo courtesy Sid.
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You had to be careful about the speed, the trailer was supported by two wheels who were independent of each other. They were susceptible to bouncing around over rough patches - which could damage the precious cargo on board. The trailer did not have brakes, panic braking was a no-no. The trailer has the tendency to continue rolling for a while after you brake, it takes some time for the momentum to be overcome - panic braking could make the trailer step out (shudder!).
Sometimes my brain would panic seeing these two bikes floating behind the Scorpio. Ha!...Photo courtesy Sid
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On the open road, I decided to stick to the right most lane. Handling traffic from one side was easier than handling traffic from both sides. People were curious, of course, seeing an SUV pulling two sports bikes - but they way they behaved was appalling. Most would drift too close to the trailer and stay there (hopefully not all of them were trying to take a photo as they were driving) - sometimes blocking traffic behind them. Utkarsh and Sid were engaged in a staring contest with drivers like these - though it may not have had much effect. We reached the track without any incidents, Yay!
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It was easier getting the bikes off the trailer - of course we had help there too.
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There were other interesting trailers, the one below had a base that could be lowered or raised up hydraulically - no hassle getting the bikes on/off the trailer
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A single-cab pickup truck also looks like a good investment, doesn't it?
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Then it was time for Sid and Utkarsh to suit up and enjoy riding their bikes on one of the best race-tracks in the world!
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Heading out to track
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This was Utkarsh's first time on track
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Sid was fast!
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Spent some time taking photos
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Some guys did not have the best of luck, this Suzuki suffered from a fueling problem
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Others were well...

Mr. Gurvinder gave some advice in between the two sessions to those who were willing to learn.
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I think most did improve on their time
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The final lap-time chart
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Night time driving was not going to be easy - it was complicated by the fact that the mirror glass of the right side ORVM of the Scorpio fell off as I was manually adjusting it. It has previously been damaged, and temporarily held in place with M-Seal, a fact I didn't know. Sorry Roshun! I stuck to the same routine - stick to the centre divider wherever I could and use a lot of caution in general.
Fun time I had. Exhausting, but fun!

Akshat Pokhriya..

First Gear

Member: 02 Apr, 2016

Total Posts: 94

  • 27 May 2016, 8:06 pm
A fun day overall guys. Some nice pics of the track.
What manner of thing was Rajeev driving?

MotuSid

Hot Hatcher

Member: 02 Nov, 2015

Total Posts: 319

  • 28 May 2016, 2:31 am
Rajeev was riding a track-spec BMW S1000RR, Akshat Pokhriyal

kaiserketkar

Moderator

Member: 26 Oct, 2015

Total Posts: 403

  • 28 May 2016, 10:59 am
Nice! I was curious how the drive felt when I saw Roshun's photo of Fox lugging the bikes. I guess it' must be like towing another car, right?!

MotuSid

Hot Hatcher

Member: 02 Nov, 2015

Total Posts: 319

  • 28 May 2016, 11:32 am
"Originally posted by kaiserketkar"
I guess it' must be like towing another car, right?!
It feels like an extension of your car, more like.

Roshun

Super Moderator

Member: 13 Oct, 2015

Total Posts: 2035

  • 29 May 2016, 5:45 am
"Originally posted by MotuSid"

It feels like an extension of your car, more like.
The challenge with a trailer is really reversing! It takes a lot of skill to reverse with a trailer, because when you turn right, the trailer goes left, and when you turn left the trailer goes right. So, you start turning in the opposite direction of which you want the trailer to go and midway, switch directions to get your car back into the correct position. Did this years ago with a tractor+trailer. It was tough. We didn't really have to reverse with the bike trailer though. It's light enough to pick up and turn around by hand when empty.

Praveen

Enthusiast

Member: 01 Dec, 2015

Total Posts: 2027

  • 30 May 2016, 12:27 pm
MotuSid Two bikes, trailer, SUV, track day fun..... good life! Nice pics btw. Goddamn, the Ducati is so beautiful!
Hyperwheelz Is your bike stock or have you done any modifications to it? Also, if possible please let us know how it is to live with a sport bike, especially in a country like India. I'm sure it would be an interesting thread!

MotuSid

Hot Hatcher

Member: 02 Nov, 2015

Total Posts: 319

  • 30 May 2016, 3:25 pm
"Originally posted by Roshun"
The challenge with a trailer is really reversing!
I briefly tried reversing the trailer - didn't write about it because it was a simple move. I believe games like Truck Simulator are a good way to understand how trailers work, also good time pass.

MotuSid

Hot Hatcher

Member: 02 Nov, 2015

Total Posts: 319

  • 30 May 2016, 3:28 pm
"Originally posted by Praveen"
Nice pics btw.
Thanks!
Hyperwheelz Is your bike stock or have you done any modifications to it? Also, if possible please let us know how it is to live with a sport bike, especially in a country like India. I'm sure it would be an interesting thread!
He's the silent type of guy, off-line or on-line. Will try coercing him into writing his experience with the CBR.

Hyperwheelz

First Gear

Member: 22 Feb, 2016

Total Posts: 14

  • 31 May 2016, 6:35 pm
"Originally posted by Praveen"
Hyperwheelz Is your bike stock or have you done any modifications to it? Also, if possible please let us know how it is to live with a sport bike, especially in a country like India. I'm sure it would be an interesting thread!
Yes, My CBR is still completely stock, I didn't felt like that I am missing something from the experience. Since I have owned this bike for so long now, I will soon post my experience so far.

Roshun

Super Moderator

Member: 13 Oct, 2015

Total Posts: 2035

  • 1 Jun 2016, 5:06 pm ( 4 Photos )
I just realized that perhaps the Mahindra Scorpio 4x4 is the only SUV that comes fitted with a trailer tow ball hitch as standard fitment that's rated for safely towing 2 tons of weight. This is the a standard ball-type hitch that you see in the posts above, and it can pull a trailer that has the specific receiver that can lock on to it.
However, what is most commonly sold in the aftermarket is the Pintle hook type of trailer hitch. This is what you will see fitted behind Jeeps pulling trailers or generators. It is the standard kind of agricultural hitch that can pull even a tractor trailer that has a standard eye / ring type receiver.

The third type is the receiver style hitch, which can be bought aftermarket and fitted to the chassis of the vehicle. It is also called a box-style hitch and comes as a tow bar, which can take multiple types of hitches, depending on the kind of trailer you are going to pull. Tata sells this as an accessory for the Safari Storme. This is what it looks like:

It bolts on to the chassis, and that eye can take any kind of hitch attachment, like the Scorpio-type tow ball or a Pintle hook. It can even be used to hook up a bicycle rack or luggage rack at the rear of the vehicle. This bar attaches to the chassis of the vehicle, under the bumper.

Here's a photo of a Tata Safari Storme that has the above hitch arrangement. It's sold as an accessory for the Tata Safari Storme.
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Fourth Div