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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All - two questions in one following an 8K trip across country in September (what a trip!) on my VTX1300.

First - I did this trip with a fair amount of gear and no passenger. I had a bag on the rear seat and a large bag on the cargo rack. I think the seat bag was probably 35-40 lbs and the rear bag probably the same. I spent the entire trip trying to get my bike to feel stable by shifting loads ahead of the rear axle (i.e. to the rear seat), shifting loads lower (i.e. heavy stuff in the saddle bags), but it seemed that no matter what I did the bike felt unstable at slow speeds, and on tight cornering I could really feel the front wheel seeming light and unstable. I should mention that the bags were very stable, and not shifting during my rides. Before everyone jumps in - I KNOW that I was carrying a bit of gear for one person (I'm not the 1 pair of jeans and 1 pair of underwear for a month type of guy...).

If I did this again, are there any suggestions on how to improve the bike handling? I'm thinking of suspension upgrades or such?

Second - While I never liked the idea of a trailer, I talked to a slew of bikers who LOVED having a trailer verses a top heavy load (typically they were on Ultra Classics or GoldWings), and I'm starting to consider that. I hadn't seriously considered trailering behind my VTX, but I see that a few guys do that. I've heard that the Bushtec trailers are fantastic. I'd love anyone's comments about trailering, especially with the 1300. I'm especially concerned about handling (obviously...), and what happens if you need to pound on the brakes in a corner, etc.

Thanks in advance for any feedback - and Merry Christmas to all!
 

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Didn't see it mentioned....what was the preload on the shocks set at?
Did you try different settings?

Tire air pressure ?
 

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Welcome to the board.
First. One should NEVER pound on the brakes in a corner, with or without a trailer.

The 1300 pulls a trailer just fine. I would much rather pull a trailer than over load the bike. You can over load a trailer also. Just dont go over board. Take it easy till you get used to pulling it. Give yourself a little more space to stop.

Bushtec trailers are sweet but pricey as well. There are many, many choises of trailers. I chose an Aluma. Been very happy with it.

You have several choises in hitches.
I went with Dauntles. Hitch Doc and Hitch USA make nice hitches as well.
Bushtec has there own hitch. Some have made their own hitches.

Feel free to contact me with any questions you have.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
A couple comments on both of these previous posts....
First - the shocks are set on the highest setting (I think that was a "3") and the tire pressure was maintained at the factory spec (something like 33, 34? - I just read it off the frame every time). I've kept the factory tires on the bike, and the issue was the same after putting new rubber on mid stream.

As far as braking in a corner - you are ABSOLUTELY right that you should never do that - but I always look at worst case conditions, with the concern that the trailer makes a stupid move even stupider (I guess that's a word)....

Thanks for your feedback on trailering. I wouldn't expect to be dragging the floorboards with a trailer in tow, so the idea of taking it easy is where it is at.
 

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Most guys run closer to 40 front and rear on the tires. Shocks move from 1-5, 5 being the more stiff.

Progressive shocks / springs are a nice upgrade however they do not increase the capacity of the bike.
Steering stem upgrade bearings to all balls makes the bike feel more planted also IMO.
All available at the site sponsor.

I can't imagine the bike having too much weight on it. Mine actually feels better with a bit of weight on the passenger seat.
 

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Most guys run closer to 40 front and rear on the tires. Shocks move from 1-5, 5 being the more stiff.

Progressive shocks / springs are a nice upgrade however they do not increase the capacity of the bike.
Steering stem upgrade bearings to all balls makes the bike feel more planted also IMO.
All available at the site sponsor.

I can't imagine the bike having too much weight on it. Mine actually feels better with a bit of weight on the passenger seat.

:agree:Mine feels way better with eitgher a passenger or luggage than w/o.
Considerably more stable/solid a ride.
Stock tires with 'bout 40 pounds front and back.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That's good to know on tire pressure, which is something that can make a MASSIVE difference on handling (duh..).
 

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I take long trips with my wife on back and the largest luggage I could buy. The bike handles good, even in heavy rain the weight helps with traction. I know I can't do any fancy cornering but I don't think that would work with any type of bike. I ride with HD and BMW's with no problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have to say that after starting this thread, I'm still a bit confused why my bike seemed to handle so differently with a load on it (and not in a good way). It sounds like most people either PREFER the load or don't have any real issue with it. I guess the two things worth trying would be increasing tire pressure and possibly swapping out my rear shocks. And, of course, there is the idea of a trailer - which sounds like a solid choice as well....
 

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Let me first say that with no luggage, but with me and the wife the load exceeds the recommended. We started with the largest T-bag/with a roll bag on top. Set the shocks at five and left them there. Then went to the trailer the next year. Now I have to monitor what is to be taken, because "some people no matter how large the bag will feel it's necessary to fill it!" With the trailer I preffer the T-bag in the trailer over the axle, except when the ice chest is full then behind the axle.

We have not had any problems with our X in any situation.
 

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I have to say that after starting this thread, I'm still a bit confused why my bike seemed to handle so differently with a load on it (and not in a good way). It sounds like most people either PREFER the load or don't have any real issue with it. I guess the two things worth trying would be increasing tire pressure and possibly swapping out my rear shocks. And, of course, there is the idea of a trailer - which sounds like a solid choice as well....

Ok, a couple of suggestions/comments.

You'll be surprised what a difference there is with about 40 #'s of air front and back.
Also check shocks to make sure you have the same setting on both sides. And finally, examine the shock bushings for wear or damage.

Then it get's more expensive, but those are things to try first, IMO.

Best of luck.
 
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