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Thread: Uni Go Trailers Quality questions

  1. #1
    Registered User CaptRehkopf's Avatar
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    Question Uni Go Trailers Quality questions

    I think I have read about everything that went wrong but "has it been corrected"? That's why I posting this thread, hoping some Uni-Go owners will chime in and speak for the current model condition/suitability/quality. I'm worried about buying a used one until I know which years, model numbers have had all the problems. I doubt if problem model serial numbers are published but I can ask.
    Because of the unknown issues regarding past models/serial numbers and hitches I will probably have to buy a new or near new Uni-Go hoping to bypass the problems BUT I'm not sure if all the problems have been corrected, thus the reason for my post.
    Ride Safe,
    Robert Rehkopf

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    Thumbs up Uni Go Trailers Quality questions

    I purchased my Uni Go in July of 2004. At that time it was being made in New Zealand. I've pulled it for aprox.15,000 miles behind both an 04RT & 05LT. The only problem I had was with the original wheel bearings which failed within 2000 miles. I replaced them with American made bearings and have had no problems since. The hitch I used on both bikes is a Dauntless hitch made for the Uni Go. In checking the Dauntless site I can't find one for the Uni Go any more. Too bad, It's a great removable hitch. The trailer pulls so easily that I can hardly tell that the trailer is on the bike.

    Lee
    Lee Hilsabeck
    2005 K1200LT
    2000 KLR650

  3. #3
    Honey Badger Semper_Fi's Avatar
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    I got one and pulled it behind my Goldwing

    No issues, other than having to rewire the interior light - real cheap switch.

    Have a hidden hitch and works well.

    With the RT and the wife's ST do not see too much more towing in the future - may be putting it up for sale, Black.

  4. #4
    Registered User CaptRehkopf's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Bushtec doesn't make hitch for 1998 K1200RS

    See below: Bushtec Trailer is out for me!

    Robert, I apologize that I meant to say Bushtec offers BMW hitches for the LT & RT, not the RS.

    John A. Preston CEO
    Bushtec Mfg & Sales, Inc.
    PO Box 459
    180 Mount Paran Road
    Jacksboro, TN 37757
    (423) 562-9900 Office
    (423) 562-9911 FAX
    Home of the original "Performance Sport Trailers"
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten"
    bushtec@aol.com
    www.bushtec.com
    bushtec@aol.com
    Ride Safe,
    Robert Rehkopf

  5. #5
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
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    Having been a dealer for Uni-Go for a few years I have heard more than a few observations and have responded to many performance questions by email, phone, on the road and at rallies. Over all I think that the trailer is a stylish, practical and performance oriented little trailer. However, both NZ and the U.S. manufacturer have had their share of quality issues. Many of the issues were based in supplier problems. After a bit of a 'falling out' with the Stateside manufacturer (Schoolhouse Motorcycle Accessories), I must admit that I have not been able to confirm current quality. I can confirm that the trailers that we ordered for customers were, overall, somewhat of a disaster which really did cost us in many ways. But that was over a year ago. Nuf said 'bout that.

    Bearings were a problem for many (cheap ones from China or Korea I think). Our replacement ones were just fine.... provided that the housing in the wheel was snug (many were not). 30 lbs torque required. Make sure that space is in the hub though.

    Advertised to carry 100lbs. Do Not Attempt This! 65 max and I would even cut that back a bit. Light and bulky stuff is best. We have carried about 60 lbs on most camping trips. 38 lb tongue weight makes the trailer very stable and almost part of the bike.

    We have about 30,000 miles on our trailer and it is still performing well. On our last trip we had a wheel bearing problem by the time we hit Santa Barbara but we were able to make it to Dauntless Motors (just east of Seattle) where Jay (owner) provided some of the best service and hospitality. The bearing spun in the hubs due to poor original design (NZ). They snugged it all up better than new. I highly recommend this terrific shop for any trailer, sidecar and hitch needs. Hard to find but worth the trip.

    Performance wise we have never had an issue. We have had the loaded trailer running just over 100 mph with no issues. Statdawg took us on a tour through some backroads of Penn. A delightful tour but to the point of this discussion, we encountered an extremely tight right turn hairpin which ascended rapidly at low speed. Two up with loaded trailer the whole rig performed like a champ (I don't think that we have ever dropped down so far negotiating a turn before!). I don't know how a two wheel trailer would have performed under the same situation. Another point about the one wheel is that it will likely never hydroplane.

    Backing the trailer takes a bit of practice and very sure footing. Slip and it all goes over. As well, slow riding takes some practice but the more you practice the better your chances in unfamiliar or emergency situations. It took a while to competently ride at a walking speed and make U turns (two up and fully packed).

    The NZ trailers also had a suspension pivot bolt issue which, as I understand it, Schoolhouse improved.

    Those are just some quick thoughts at this point (got to get back to my real job here). If you live anywhere near Dauntless they will create a hitch but they do need the bike there. But talk to Jay about that one. Also check out their step into the one wheel trailer market (of special interest to the GS folks for now). -Bob
    saltyfogriders@gmail.com
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    Larry's River, Nova Scotia, CANADA

  6. #6
    Registered User CaptRehkopf's Avatar
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    Question Uni Go quality questions still?

    Thanks for the responses. It appears that nobody knows if the quality control problems have been corrected? And it seems the problems were/are serious and problematic through out the entire manufacturing processes, both in NZ and USA. So that definitely rules out just buying a used one and hoping it is a 'good' one. And until something can be said for the current production/manufacturing processes it appears that I'm out of the Uni Go search.

    Can anybody speak for the other mono wheel trailers, some look like they would tip over if something shifted, etc?

    Any recommendations regarding a mono-wheel or a small/light two wheeler would be appreciated?
    Ride Safe,
    Robert Rehkopf

  7. #7
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptRehkopf View Post
    Thanks for the responses. It appears that nobody knows if the quality control problems have been corrected? And it seems the problems were/are serious and problematic through out the entire manufacturing processes, both in NZ and USA. So that definitely rules out just buying a used one and hoping it is a 'good' one. And until something can be said for the current production/manufacturing processes it appears that I'm out of the Uni Go search.

    Can anybody speak for the other mono wheel trailers, some look like they would tip over if something shifted, etc?

    Any recommendations regarding a mono-wheel or a small/light two wheeler would be appreciated?
    Check with www.dauntlessmotors.com Off road rig right now with street version pending. Excellent construction and components. Different style than Uni-Go but certainly worth a serious look. -Bob
    saltyfogriders@gmail.com
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  8. #8
    Registered User CaptRehkopf's Avatar
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    Exclamation Uni-Go Dealer response

    Hi,
    I was watching the Uni-Go sales on EBay and finally wrote the seller asking him about the quality and manufacturing problems and what is it like now. Below is his response:
    The bearings used in the US versions have not had that problem. Over the last two years selling the Uni-G0's I have had the opportunity to speak to more then 40 UniGo owners of both the US and New Zealand trailer. One gentleman had over 50 miles on his. Some of these owners had some small problems but all were handled, and you could not buy one back from any of these owners. I am willing to bet that the complaints you have found on the web were resolved and most still have their trailers and they are happy. The problem with web complaints it seems no one goes back to acknowledge the problem was solved. If you are uncomfortable don't buy, but if you want the Best motorcycle trailer on the market order a UniGo
    I then wrote him back and ask if he would send me three names of both satisfied and not-satisfied customers and let me ask them for myself. And if there were any problems, who paid for shipping, etc. back to them to get it fixed. I also ask about what was not covered in the warranty and he never replied. If there are still problems it would cost a ton to ship it back and forth.
    Ride Safe,
    Robert Rehkopf

  9. #9
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptRehkopf View Post
    Hi,
    I was watching the Uni-Go sales on EBay and finally wrote the seller asking him about the quality and manufacturing problems and what is it like now. Below is his response:
    The bearings used in the US versions have not had that problem. Over the last two years selling the Uni-G0's I have had the opportunity to speak to more then 40 UniGo owners of both the US and New Zealand trailer. One gentleman had over 50 miles on his. Some of these owners had some small problems but all were handled, and you could not buy one back from any of these owners. I am willing to bet that the complaints you have found on the web were resolved and most still have their trailers and they are happy. The problem with web complaints it seems no one goes back to acknowledge the problem was solved. If you are uncomfortable don't buy, but if you want the Best motorcycle trailer on the market order a UniGo
    I then wrote him back and ask if he would send me three names of both satisfied and not-satisfied customers and let me ask them for myself. And if there were any problems, who paid for shipping, etc. back to them to get it fixed. I also ask about what was not covered in the warranty and he never replied. If there are still problems it would cost a ton to ship it back and forth.
    My previous experience is that Schoolhouse will cover shipping costs. In their defence, they have tried very hard to provide an improved product but it seems that forces beyond their control as well as 'growing pains' may have had a tremendous impact on their survival. In terms of other opinions you might contact previous distributors. Not sure how many are really active any more.

    We still enjoy ours and will likely never sell it. Maybe a trip to Ohio and a visit to the point of assembly would help answer the quality question. -Bob
    saltyfogriders@gmail.com
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    Larry's River, Nova Scotia, CANADA

  10. #10
    BMWBHW
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    I'm not sure why the Unigo would be out of contention... I've heard similar stories of quality issues. But honestly, I'm not sure how prevalent they are (statistics anyone?)... Too often, it is the bad stories that get the most press versus the great stories. The few bad stories I've heard were associated with bearing issues but have not heard any true horror issues (safety concerns).... but more often, hear great feedback from new and old unigo owners. As an example, on this forum, I continuously hear about some of quality issues associated with BMW motorcycles (final drive, clutch, etc.)... but in no way would it prevent me from buying one because, in my opinion, the benefits out weight the risks. As an aside, I would not expect BMW (or any company) to provide me a list of their private customers to go ask about their personnal experiences... forum's like this are perfect for that.

    I can only speak to my own experiences and say that I LOVE my unigo... I would buy a brand new/old one any time and any day... I've loaded it well beyond 65 lbs with no issues through any twisties or highway driving experiences going over 100 mph taking 5k mile trips... when the time comes, I may have to buy some new bearings or other maintenance items... in the meantime, I'll continue to love mine I'm no way affiliated (or previous distributor/etc) of unigo... just a customer that wanted to figure out the best trailer to buy for a couple thousand dollars

  11. #11
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tourunigo View Post
    We still enjoy ours and will likely never sell it.
    I've never seen a trailer I like better. As an experienced packrat, I also keep this cartoon handy.

    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  12. #12
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwbhw View Post
    I'm not sure why the Unigo would be out of contention... I've heard similar stories of quality issues. But honestly, I'm not sure how prevalent they are (statistics anyone?)... Too often, it is the bad stories that get the most press versus the great stories. The few bad stories I've heard were associated with bearing issues but have not heard any true horror issues (safety concerns).... but more often, hear great feedback from new and old unigo owners. As an example, on this forum, I continuously hear about some of quality issues associated with BMW motorcycles (final drive, clutch, etc.)... but in no way would it prevent me from buying one because, in my opinion, the benefits out weight the risks. As an aside, I would not expect BMW (or any company) to provide me a list of their private customers to go ask about their personnal experiences... forum's like this are perfect for that.

    I can only speak to my own experiences and say that I LOVE my unigo... I would buy a brand new/old one any time and any day... I've loaded it well beyond 65 lbs with no issues through any twisties or highway driving experiences going over 100 mph taking 5k mile trips... when the time comes, I may have to buy some new bearings or other maintenance items... in the meantime, I'll continue to love mine I'm no way affiliated (or previous distributor/etc) of unigo... just a customer that wanted to figure out the best trailer to buy for a couple thousand dollars
    Good points. Three things: is your trailer from NZ or U.S.? If U.S., when did you purchase? Secondly, if you are packing beyond the 65 lbs then check the wheel well for wear. I do believe that there was a bit of variance around the rubber 'bump stop" length. The shorter ones allowed the tire to rub on bumps and subsequently wear the well enough to leak. I suspect that you have inspected the wheel bearings often enough to ensure mechanical integrity. Those little things rotate like a router so attention to them is highly recommended. Third, what is it that you pack that takes up 65 lbs? We carried a two room tent, camp gear, and an assortment of tools and a variety of 'just in case' items. Tight packing but it all got in. That came to about 65 lbs with a 38 lb tongue weight.

    Overall I fully understand the enthusiasm of being a Uni-Go owner but many owners in the past couple of years have, unfortunately, had less than enthusiastic experiences. But, as I have said before, maybe that whole scenario has turned around for the better. I would love to have enough on the road so that maybe even a little Uni-Go Owners Group could be developed. That was something that I thought would be advantageous for both owners and the manufacturer back when we were an enthusiastic dealer for them. -Bob
    saltyfogriders@gmail.com
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    Larry's River, Nova Scotia, CANADA

  13. #13
    Registered User CaptRehkopf's Avatar
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    Question Uni-Go Satisfied Owner

    Quote Originally Posted by bmwbhw View Post
    I
    I can only speak to my own experiences and say that I LOVE my unigo... I would buy a brand new/old one any time and any day...
    Thanks for the input from a satisfied owner! Can you say which manufacture NZ or USA and how old and how many miles on it? Any more satisfied owners out there? I'd really like to hear from you. Online or offline at CaptRehkopf@comcast.net
    Ride Safe,
    Robert Rehkopf

  14. #14
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptRehkopf View Post
    Thanks for the input from a satisfied owner! Can you say which manufacture NZ or USA and how old and how many miles on it? Any more satisfied owners out there? I'd really like to hear from you. Online or offline at CaptRehkopf@comcast.net
    A point not mentioned is the utility of this little trailer when journeying two-up. It really does allow one to spread the weight/bulk around. So now you have an eleven foot motorcycle (albeit three wheels) which is suitable for sport touring ...... and looks it. Storage is easy when not in use and entry to a motel room (or elevator) is easy with just the trailer. (or, as we did, squeeze bike and trailer through a doorway in New Orleans!). Additionally, it is always a conversation piece wherever you travel. When conforming to quality demands in finish work (ie paint, fiberglass, hinges etc) it is most certainly worth the investment. -Bob
    saltyfogriders@gmail.com
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    Larry's River, Nova Scotia, CANADA

  15. #15
    Registered User CaptRehkopf's Avatar
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    Response from UniGo trailer US manufacture

    Hello Robert, We don't give out any customer info (Privacy Laws). The internet is a great source of information but it tends to mislead people very easily. We are aware of a number of early problems like wobble, bearing failures, leaking and fender wearing. These problems, most of which occured nearly 5 years ago when the trailers were made in New Zealand, were adddressed long before we even bought the company and moved it to the US. There are also a number of debates raging on the internet about wheel alignment and uneven tire wear. The wheel is at a 6 degree tilt to drive the trailer to one side as it travels down the road, this prevents the "swimming" effect that can cause wobbling. Several customers have attempted to "fix" this "mialignment problem" and created poor handling characteristics with their re-engineering. We have only had 2 warranty issues this year out of 496 trailers. We also support and maintain parts for all of the models manufactured by the previous manufacturer.
    Regards, Mark Huffman

    Best description of the problems I have heard yet. I will talk to Mark and ask when the problems were corrected so a used trailer maybe an option.
    Ride Safe,
    Robert Rehkopf

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