Bill's Honda Helix pages
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Trailers
The "hauling power" of the Helix is legendary (check the stories of the Iron Butt Rally and the Four Corners Tour) but even that's not enough for some Helicites -- this really wild owner decided that only a trailer can fill his need to haul - - uhm - - freight?

If you try this, please note that I do not accept ANY LIABILITY for the results! The Helix was not designed to pull a trailer and I am not suggesting that you do so.
Trailer hitch brace

But here's one way it has been done. Entirely fabricated by the owner, the two bars seen at left move the pulling point to the frame only a slightly above and a little forward of the rear axle centerline.

This makes it impossible to lift the front wheel no matter how hard the Helix pulls. The designer points out that these braces are essential for control of the trailer -- pulling AND stopping it!

Do not skimp on the strength of these, and be sure that they are adequately anchored to the scooter's frame!
Trailer hitch brace

(Right) This is the forward end of the left "tow bar."

The right side is similar, but some differences in length and position are demanded to prevent interference with normal muffler movement. In order to mount the reinforcing strut and plate on the muffler side, you must remove a small part of the heat shield that covers the frame. Think about this before you start in case you do not want to alter the Helix's original design!
Here are some comments from Mike: "This hitch is designed to fit behind the tail light assembly and behind the mudflap. The distance between the clearance hole centers is the same as the holes that mount the rear mudflap. You will have to remove the lower rear skirts, the tail lights and the mudflap. You will need longer metric bolts to remount the mudflap as they must go through the hitch.

You must also trim about 1" from the bottom of the mudflap (determined by the tongue height of the trailer.)

With one hand hold the trailer hitch up, with the other hand hold the mudflap up and put the longer bolts through both and into the frame. Then replace the tail light assembly.

You will notice in one picture that I have welded on an additional "backstrap" of steel to the back of my hitch in an attempt to reinforce it further.... it did little to help and I do not recommend you pursue that.

Now for the grey area.

This hitch is not strong enough to prevent bending if you have a sudden stop or carry a large load in your trailer. (Bill's comment: "You shouldn't be doing either of these!") You must reinforce the hitch to prevent this. Buy some 1/4" round bar. Weld a flat piece of steel (1/8" thk. x 1/2" wd. x 4" lg.) to one end of the round bar. Drill a clearance hole for a #10 self tapping screw approximately 1/2" from each end of the mounting plate.
You will position this plate half way between the mounting screws for the plastic
side panels on the bottom of the frame. However, for the muffler side, you must position
the mounting plate approximately 4" farther to the rear to allow for suspension travel. The muffler does move with the swingarm motion and would bend the reinforcement strut.

The other end of the round bar is welded to the back of the hitch. Be sure that you allow enough room for the tire to move and for suspension travel. I allowed 5" between the bends of the round bar.

Attach these bars at the back of the hitch to reinforce it. You cannot weld it up ahead of time as you really need to eyeball where it must go. I showed a crude representation of it on the drawing -- the final mounting plate was not made per the drawing; however, you should see the final version in the pictures.

You should still be able to access your air filter and screws. However, I have not yet attempted to remove the rear wheel when the trailer hitch is in place. It is only a little extra work to remove the hitch in the event of a tire change.

Finally I removed my finished hitch, primed painted and clearcoated it."

Trailer hitch

And this is the weight bearing part of the hitch.

Note that the upright part is not at a perfect right angle to the base -- the angle has to match that of the existing license bracket.

Sketch of trailer hitch

Above is Mike's sketch -- he warns that you must carefully check the measurements against your particular trailer because the hitch height (5-3/4 inches above) depends on the trailer tongue level. Also: some trimming of the scooter will be required to mount this hitch. If you do not want to modify your Helix then this is not for you. Please note that Mike holds the copyright and plans to patent the hitch -- so you might make one for yourself, but do not try to sell them

Helix with trailer





The finished project!


Helix with trailer



And here's the back view.

Be sure to hook up those lights!

The Helix's lights are none too visible anyway, and the trailer totally blocks them!

When I asked Mike about those lights, he sent the (below) photos of his wiring, with this comment:

"I drilled a hole in the Helix trunk for harness routing, under the protective trunk insert and near the hinge as shown in the picture.

The wiring for the Helix lights runs right underneath that point. I used a 5 to 4 wire converter as shown. If you use only a 4 wire harness you will have to choose between running lights and brake lights. You may also get a ticket....heh heh...

The completed wiring connector can drop right down and out the trunk as shown. Don't short yourself on wire harness length. This converter came with 3ft. of wire. (Walmart)

You might also "stiffen" that suspension on the Helix. It will ride better for towing the trailer.

I also came up with another reinforcement mounting point (on the muffler side) for those not wishing to cut up their heat shield. Let me know if you are interested.

Also; when removing and reinstalling the tail lights. Do yourself a favor and "loosen" the trunk bolts. It will make things go so much easier.

Mike

Wiring the trailer lights
A warning from Bill: All states require trailers to be secured to the towing vehicle with (crossed) chains or cables.

In this case, it's a little doubtful if a cop would stop you for failing to have safety chains, but it is the law!

Helix trailer lights connector

 

 

When you're not trailering, the lighting connector can be easily stowed in the Helix's huge trunk.

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©2006 Bill Laudeman; all rights reserved. Page updated Thursday, November 1, 2007 20:35 Eastern time.
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