If you’ve looked and looked and can’t find a hitch for your bike, don’t take it personally. Hitch manufacturing is a tiny business in the overall powersports market. It’s easy to find a hitch for popular towing bikes like Gold Wings and Harley dressers. But if you have a less common trailering bike or an older bike, don’t be surprised if there’s no hitch made for your bike.
Fear not. You can get a hitch made for your bike if none is available, it will just take a little extra effort on your part. A welding shop or machine shop can often fabricate something for you that will work just fine. You can make the process easier by researching the available hitches and determining what style of hitch might work best for your bike.
If you own a cruiser style bike, a fender style design may work best for you. A fender mount hitch will only work, however, if the fender bolts to the frame. Cruisers designed to handle optional saddlebags will have the necessary support. Even if your bike wasn’t explicitly designed with a saddlebag option, your bike may still have the necessary support if it is a related model.
If you own a sport bike, dual-sport, or bike that doesn’t have much in the way of rear fender, a towbar design is a better bet. For a towbar style, you want a miminum of four attachment points to create a sturdy hitch. You’ll want one attachment point on each side at the approximate level of the trailer tongue. From the rear of the towbar, you need one attachment point on each side to support the tongue weight of the bike and to keep the towbar level when braking.
Take your research and your bike to a couple of fabricators. If you aren’t sure who to approach, start with a local custom bike shops or independent service shop. Show them pictures of similar bikes with hitches and discuss what you’d like for your bike. Any fabricator you choose will need to have your bike, or a model just like it, on hand so they can make measurements and check for clearances.
Your hitch should be sturdy with no flexibility, and adequate clearance of any moving parts, like your rear tire. The best hitches are made with ¼” steel, then powdercoated or chromed to resist rust. You can find powdercoaters in just about every area of the country. To have a hitch chromed, you’ll probably have to send your hitch out. Chroming is an environmentally dirty process, so it requires a lot of specialized equipment. A popular company that does chrome for motorcycles is http://www.classiccomponents.com/. A Google search may turn up someone closer to you.