View Full Version : PARK BRAKE on MC trailer?

12-06-2006, 01:57 AM
I have a 2005 MC tandem axle trailer and have to install a park brake to make it road legal or get it registered in europe. Has anyone done this and if so could you direct me to some instructions & source for the necessary parts:)
One idea that I have is to make a completely new tow bar, since my one is foldable. If there is an easier way, please let me know.

12-06-2006, 08:21 AM
All the European trailers I have seen have used a mechanical cable as the parking brake. I am just not sure how you would tie that into a surge/hydraulic system. I wonder if you fabricated a way to have the tongue actuator stay in the closed position (pressurizing the disc brakes), if that would suffice as a park brake??

12-07-2006, 04:03 PM
Over here we have cable operated brakes, not hydraulic. The handbrake (or parking brake) is a lever that acts on the same cable as the ';surge' brakes, so there is still only 1 braking system. The bit of the law that says you have to have a parking brake also states you have to have a safety breakaway cable attached - It's a steel cable attached to the other end of the handbrake that loops around your towball (or somewhere else on the car), so if the trailer comes detached it pulls the parking brake on before it snaps.
To see the type of hitch you need, check out:-

That said, loads of people here (in UK) have imported MC's with hydraulic brakes, and no handbrake. Don't come crying to me if you get a ticket, but no-one seems to care and I would have no problem towing one. Another thing to note is that the maximum width of trailer is 2.3 metres if your tow vehicle is less than 3500kg. American MC trailers are wider than this. UK trailers have narrower wheels and mudguards. Check out mine attached. Again loads of people have them and I wouldn't worry about this either in the UK. Also in the UK your boat/trailer doesn't have to be registered (but I don't know about the rest of europe)

12-07-2006, 04:10 PM
Oh yes, forgot to mention - UK ball hitches are 50mm. I have heard of a US spec trailer coming detached from the tow vehicle because the ball is an imperial not metric size??

If you wanted to rig up a hydraulic parking brake you could rig something up using a hydraulic handbrake kit, as in rally car type handbrake - a lever and in-line mastercylinder plumbed into the brake line. Do a google search for 'hydraulic handbrake kit' and you'll get plenty.
This link:-http://www.motordrive.com/acatalog/Non-Carbon_Accessories_Mit7-8-9.html
gives you a good pictorial view, although it's a v.v. expensive professional set-up. You could get all the bits in the UK for around 50 pounds ($100). Not sure about USA.

12-08-2006, 01:46 AM
Thanks for the replies rallyspitman!

I am going to take my MC to Finland which is another world compared to UK. Trailers need to be registered and inspected yearly. US trailers are typically for 2" tow ball and a 50mm tow ball is almost perfect. That is what I use in NZ. I am looking for a hand brake kit, haven't yet checked out your links, but will do ASAP.
To my knowledge there are no limitations to the width of the trailer, at least not 2.3m. I'll tell ya more when I get that far.;)