HOW IT ALL BEGAN:
Wwwaaayyy back during the Dark Ages, known as Jr. High, I would sit in my 8th grade art class, draw motorcycles, and dream of the day when I'd finally be old enough to get my license, graduate from high school, hop on my bike, and ride off for days - camping in and exploring the rugged mountains of the Oregon Coast Range and beyond...
After a few tests and prototypes, the final design incorporated all of these needs and made those desired features its strengths.
The new design needed to be lightweight, yet strong - simple in design yet versatile in application - totally adaptable and moldable, as well as extremely tunable. It also needed to be an Investment not a Purchase, meaning the trailer itself could be adapted for use with several different types of tow vehicles as well as maintained and upgraded as new parts become available, needed or desired. The towable also needed to be able to be altered and customized as usage demands of the trailer could potentially change over time.
Then several years later I heard some friends had started a new motorcycle luggage company designed around the very same ideas of freedom on a dirt bike I had yurned for as a kid. The GiantLoop saddle bags changed the entire industry by creating the ability to efficiently carry the needed camping supplies on a dirt bike without modifying the bike itself with extra racks and luggage mounts. I was intrigued and blown away and of course bought a setup. I had purchased a plated Yamaha WR a few years before and fell in love again with riding and the escape it offered. The bags worked great and didin't get in the way of the rider at all! In fact I still love my GL setup and still use it to this day!! Those GL bags and the AltRider hemispherical bags began to re-inspire my love for exploring the area in which I live with my motorcycle.
Well, more time passed and I ended up selling my trusty, by now very old XR, and the trailer sat and collected dust. I entered that stage in life all of us experience at some point when adult life and adult responsibilities seem more important than a childhood’s questions and dreams.
From my fondness of drawing motorcycles I realized many dirt bikes, including mine, either came with a hollow rear axle, or could be easily converted to a hollow axle. I felt that would be the best place to potentially attach a trailer - away from the movement of the suspension, in the direct center of the spinning mass of the rear wheel, and as low as possible on the bike itself, helping to eliminate as much trailer input into the bike as possible. I racked my brain and began to put some ideas onto paper. My original design looked more like I bolted a small backwards wheelbarrow to the rear axle of my motorcycle. It wasn't the prettiest but I liked the concept. I added a pivot to the front of the trailer design to help with tracking and trailer input. Later I began to incorporate my moto-trailer designs into my art classes during high school - it was a great place to work out design flaws!
I began to wonder if a small trailer might be the answer. I also wondered if a motorcycle could even tow a trailer. I needed something more than just saddlebags. The idea seemed crazy, but it also solved a lot of my problems. I knew the biggest problem with towing a trailer off-road was the simple fact that trailers have two wheels. When one wheel of the trailer is raised, for instance while encountering a rock in the road, the trailer twists independently of the tow vehicle. All of that independent twisting motion of the trailer would be transferred directly into the tow vehicle, and in my case, that'd be my motorcycle, and its rider, a.k.a. me. Hmmmm...that was not an option. The two wheeled trailer concept just wasn't going to work. Besides, two wheels are just too wide to be efficiently towed down a single track trail - a capability I felt was of huge importance for the type of trip I had in mind.
I wanted to see what the Pacific Northwest had to offer, up close and personal, from the saddle of my motorcycle. However, only being in 8th grade at the time, meant I still had a few more years before I would even be eligible for my drivers license, let alone able to undertake a motorcycle trip of the caliber of the one I was dreaming of - Sure, things were still “a ways” off at that point. But, being a kid, I couldn't think of a better time to start planning a “Pacific Northwest Off-Road Motorcycle Journey of Exploration.” Yup, it was going to be epic!
The Revolution is the end result - a fully tunable, lightweight motorcycle trailer that can be altered and adapted to serve a specific purpose as well as configured to be used with a variety of differing vehicle styles.
It wasn't until I had a non-motorcycle or automotive related accident (yup, slipped and fell on a patch of ice while walking over to a neighbors house - gracefully I might add) and severely broke my leg, that I finally saw the true potential of my now decades old motorcycle trailer idea. One day during my recovery I was in bed, trying to heal, my leg in the air, watching motorcycle videos because that's what one does when they can't ride their motorcycle, they watch videos of other people riding motorcycles.
I even went as far as to cut up my old original trailer and create a much lighter version that would accommodate an additional GL bag. It worked great! It also reminded me that it is nice to have the ability to keep the big bulky items off of the bike if possible, and as with most things in life, it always helps to maintain as low of center of gravity as possible.
Well, time went by.... I graduated, took some time off from school, decided to go back school, went to college for a while, pretty much worked and lived my life. "Life Happened" and I never went on my big moto adventure, the usual things in life that seem to get in the way during one’s 20’s did...but I never lost sight of it either. Several years passed by until one day I rediscovered some of my original trailer designs, and I have to admit, I was intrigued. I decided to finally build a usable version to test the concept once and for all.
I needed something compact, light weight, off-road worthy, no wider than the rider, and able to follow along everywhere the rider wanted to go.
However, once I started working out the details of the list of equipment and supplies I would need, it quickly became apparent that I was facing a very serious lack of cargo hauling ability. How was I ever going to haul the amount of camping gear I needed for my solo PNW Motorcycle Journey of Glorious Exploration? I wasn't going to wear my hiking backpack and ride with 65 pounds of gear strapped to my back, no, no, that test failed miserably, that wasn't even an option.
SPiN Cargo - Bend, Oregon
The features they needed were the same features I wanted for adventure motorcycle touring - a lightweight modular trailer that could be towed by potentially any motorcycle, with minimal effort, that could easily and relatively inexpensively be converted for use with a different type of motorcycle, quad, or other style of atv. Since I was in bed anyway and had nothing better to do than to heal and tackle a new towable trailer design, I set out on creating the best motorcycle trailer one could have.
I began watching Long Way Down with Charley Boorman & Ewan McGregor. (That's a great series if you havent seen it, even better if you have!) In one episode, the group was at a Unicef charity event with Sir Richard Branson promoting the concept of “Doctors on Motorcycles.” They expressed the need for doctors to be able to quckly cover the vast distances between villages, all the while carrying all of the supplies required to treat a wide variety of patients and ailments. Once I saw that scene unfold upon the TV in front of me I realized, “They need my motorcycle trailer!”
Other than weighing in at a hefty “way too much,” the original trailer worked great for how it was built and accomplished what it was designed to do - to test the idea of a single wheeled trailer’s ability to keep weight off of the bike and it’s suspension, plus offer the extra cargo space desired to make a long distance solo off-road motorcycle trip safer and more enjoyable. I also wanted a towable in which I could build my daily basecamp around, with the ability to carry extra water, plus a battery for lights, electronics, and extra power. The rear axle attachment meant I could also drop the trailer off at a potential campsite quickly. Without having to unpack, it allowed me to explore the surrounding area with just me and my bike, unencumbered by the weight and bulk of all of my camping gear or massively over sprung suspension.
I finally settled on the idea of a small single wheeled trailer. The idea stemed from the concept of the travois used by many Native American Tribes - (a type of sled consisting of two joined poles dragged by a horse or dog.) The travois worked great for what it was, so with that concept in mind, I decided I needed to design a solid mounted, narrow frame, cargo carrier of some type.
I planned on using my current bike at the time, an ’83 Honda XR350R - a great bike that I was used to, but not one I wanted to see with permanently mounted luggage racks, suitcases, and saddlebags. It was purely a dirt bike with dirt bike capabilities set up the way I wanted it, for the dirt, and for this trip I wanted to keep it that way. But I also needed to be able to carry the food and supplies I obviously had to have access to.