Motorcycle the only family vehicle?


XS11JAMMERIII

Learning the Ropes
In '73 while preparing to change duty stations, our car spun a main bearing. With limited time my wife and I decided to sale the car, she and our young one would take the bus and I road the bike. She was six months pregnant at the time. I had a week to report and with the car's engine making horrible sounds when running we could only get $20 for it.
For six months we survived with just my CB750K. Plastic shopping bags had just been introduced and were our grocery hauling salvation. I could haul six bags by tying the handles of two sets of bags and laying them across the seat like saddle bags bungee the other two down.
My wife was a real trooper and handled things without complaint. Can you imagine her being ready to pop and riding two up? She did. The popular catch phrase for Marine Wives at the time was "I Never Promised You a Rose Garden".
 

brianinpa

Five Star Vetteral
Country flag
When I was single my 85 GS550L was my only means of transportation. When we got married, my new wife brought an early 80's Ford Escort into the marriage, so the 85 GS550L was still our only RELIABLE means of transportation. :mad: That Escort spent more time in the shop than it did on the road, and probably explains my hatred towards anything with a blue oval on the front of it.

Thankfully, my wife enjoyed riding on the back of the bike and we waited for three years before having children. Trips to the commissary was about the only thing that was a problem as it was had to carry a lot of stuff, so we would take the car with a lot of hoping and praying.

I think we were married a year before we said enough was enough and traded it in.
 

Dave Ireland

Vetter Aficionado
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For the last four years I haven't bothered putting a car on the road.
I find the GS is more than adequate for normal duties. Shopping is a cinch, and even picking up steel stock is easily handled. Anything really large or awkward is deliverable for really cheap or free, even in the sticks around here.
wRS8Dyz.jpg
The Vetter has made a real difference, even though I had a screen and lowers on before, the Vetter is far better. I'm feeling the cold more each winter though, and will eventually put a car back on the road for the foul months.
 

XS11JAMMERIII

Learning the Ropes
A 70’s Remembrance
My wife and I were riding to our different jobs. I had one of those tall, round on top sissy bars that were so popular in the seventies on my Honda CB750. I dropped my wife off at work and absent-mindedly plopped her helmet on the top of the bar and headed to my work. Coming to a stop I went over a bump in the road. At the stop, I heard a "clumpa, clumpa" going past me as her helmet continued into the intersection and stopped bisecting the lanes. I had to choose from;
1. Ride on past the helmet as if I was not associated with it (new Bell R/Ts were not cheap) or
2. Mosey out and retrieve it with a, 'Hay! Look what I found!' look. I was the only rider in sight so it was,
3. Just go get it as quickly and inconspicuously as possible.
I had to time this feat with the cross traffic but with beeping horns and prat calls, inconspicuous was off the table so I redoubled quickly.
I bunged the helmet and went on to work. The ideas of how I was to explain why the helmet she lovingly polished every night was now customized with all over quotation marks boiled down to just come clean when I picked her up. I was reminded why I married this wonderful woman when after being at first surprised yet then full of understanding at my situation. Of course the promise of a new helmet payday helped. Although she never did, I suspected she kept it to show my friends when I got too full of myself.
 

Scott-E

Vetter Aficionado
Country flag
I spent 6 years in the US Navy and 19 years in the US Army. I ended up visiting other countries all over the world. In some countries a motorcycle is the most common form of motorized transportation. In most cases it's the family’s only transportation. I was especially impressed by the ingenuity of the people in the Philippines. The largest motorcycle a citizen could own was 125cc. I was amazed by what they could do with those little bikes. One thing that really impressed me were the trailers they built. Traffic is crowded on narrow streets. In most instances even small oncoming cars can't pass each other. One of them must pull over into a parking space to allow the other car to get by. They use a single wheel on the trailer and it's no wider than the handlebars so they can get through tight traffic conditions. I was so impressed I copied their trailer design they pulled behind small motorcycles. This is a picture of my bike and it's trailer before I put my Windjammer fairing and Vetter saddlebags on it. I pull my foot locker with it when I need it so I can leave the truck with my wife if she needs it while I'm gone for 1 weekend a month and 2 weeks a year. Yes, that is a 20" bicycle wheel. I figured if those guys in the Philippines could get away with it, so could I. I've pulled that trailer for several years and I've never had tire problems with it. I do carry a spare tube and even a new tire as well but I've never use either of them.

DSC00675.jpg
 

Scott-E

Vetter Aficionado
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Just a quick question ,is the trailer on a ball hitch so you can backup easily?
A ball hitch will not work. The trailer would fall over and never stay aligned with the bike. The hitch is a two axle universal joint. The vertical axle allows the trailer to move right or left as it follows the bike. It also keeps the trailer in line with the bike. When you lean into a curve the trailer leans with the bike. A horizontal pin allows the trailer to move up and down. Some commercially manufactured single wheel motorcycle trailers us an actual automotive universal joint like the one in the picture below.

Hitch_Cleat_Joint.jpg
 

Scott-E

Vetter Aficionado
Country flag
Makes sense,I didn't know.Thanks..good way to do it.
Thought I would post a couple of pictures of my DIY hitch. The vertical axle is a 5/8" shaft with wheel bearings mounted in a 4" X 3" 1/4" thick steel tube. The horizontal axle is on the trailer. It's a standard 1/2" X 6" tractor pin. The pin slides into the 1/2" holes in the steel tube and the hitch on the trailer. It cost a lot less to make and it's much easier to hook up and go than using an automotive drive shaft universal joint.
The hitch on the bike.
S5030055.jpg

The other half of the hitch on the trailer.
S5030056.jpg
 

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