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  1. #1
    Seasoned Member Zackybilly1's Avatar
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    Default Trailer Balls, Motorcycle Specific are here

    As mentioned in previous posts, I didn't have the time in our production schedule to make another run on more "trailer" balls and didn't know when I would. As an alternative, I flipped the project off to the lead-machinist that would actually be building the balls. I provided the material/machines/drawings and he provided the time and expertise. Therefore, I am kind of out of the loop on the trailer balls. If others can get the motorcycle specific balls, I'm happy. If the fellow building them can make a little for his time, hopefully, he will be happy, as well.

    The pic below is a comparison to the Rivco anodized aluminum ball (left), a ball from a production run I had made some time back (center) and the newest generation ball (right). The new ball is slightly taller with an even smaller "shank" or "neck" (0.750" OD) than the previous generation to allow even more swiveling clearances. The balls are constructed from 17-4PH material (171ksi...twice as strong as commercial heat-treat 4140 steel) and will never rust, peel, flake or the like. You could pick up your motorcycle with this ball and shake it hard without a ball issue.




    The limited clearance for the Rivco ball is what got me started building balls in the first place. Rivco makes a top-notch hitch, IMO, but their balls didn't work out so well for me. This was after a flying trip across the Cherola Skyway...ball/coupler would run out of clearance in hard cornering and thereby, I was torquing the trailer's suspension to get the bike over far enough to make the high-paced corners. Not for the faint of heart.




    The fellow building these balls does not tow a motorcycle trailer. He bounced the idea of building these balls off some of his friends and word got out. He has already sold several to some local GoldWing riders. This is the balls I will be pulling all my trailers with as of next week.






    I am not participating in the finances, order-taking, shipping, etc. for this project as I don't want to mix business with my hobby, however, I will assure you and guarantee that if you order the ball, you will get the ball. They have set up a PayPal account (trailerballs @ yahoo.com) which is, also, their email address. A young lady named Jennifer (who is, also, an employee here) will be the one processing the orders. From past experience, I can say with confidence that she gets stuff done promptly and efficiently.

    The price for the trailer balls is $50 flat-rate shipped anywhere in the United States. A good price considering the raw 2" material is over $24 per unit. I'm sure they would be more than glad to ship outside of the US with an adjustment in shipping cost. Shop now while quantities last.

    If I can answer any technical questions on the balls, I will gladly do so. If you have any questions about purchasing, shipping, etc., please direct them to Jennifer at the above email address.

    Z
    Last edited by Zackybilly1; 03-17-2012 at 05:01 AM.

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    Seasoned Member EarnhardtSPortsman's Avatar
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    I will say this. When I sold my wing and trailer, one thing I kept other than my rideing jacket and pants was my ZackyBilly custom trailer ball. I have the 2nd version I guess and will have it until I get another bike and then maybe get the 3rd generation. This is one NICE item for you trailer pullers.
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    Contributing Member TE Wing Rider - NC's Avatar
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    Oh My!!! Thanks Z for posting this. I just sent them a e-mail order request for 10.

    Now all I have to do is figure out where to get those chain spacer bar thing-ma-jigs.


    John
    Last edited by TE Wing Rider - NC; 03-16-2012 at 11:27 PM.
    John
    2003 GL1800A Black (Faster Color)
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    Seasoned Member Zackybilly1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TE Wing Rider - NC View Post
    Oh My!!! Thanks Z for posting this. I just sent them a e-mail order request for 10.

    Now all I have to do is figure out where to get those chain spacer bar thing-ma-jigs.


    John

    John,

    The fellow building the balls runs CNC lathes. The "Spreader Bar" thinga-ma-jig is an item built on a mill or machining center. I will talk to my mill guys this morning to see if they want to build them in their off hours to supplement the balls. The spreader bar is notched to "locate" on the tongue. The only tongues I am familiar with are Rivcos. For other types of tongues, I may have to impose on a few of you guys to get a width dimension of the non-Rivco tongues to insure a good fit.





    I cannot guarantee this will happen just yet as all off this is being done off the books and separate from my company. In short, the price would be too high for most if I were having to pay over-time rates to get these items built as we have been blessed with more than enough work for quite some time and don't see it letting up any time soon.

    My objective here is to set things up where my Goldwing family and the good people I work with to benefit from this venture. I stand to gain nor lose anything here and am only co-ordinating the effort between the two fine groups of people. My only obligation here, as I see it, is to vouch for the folks building/selling the parts since I am the one bringing them into the fold here. Again, if both parties are happy with the arrangement, I'm tickled shipless.

    I'll post back what I learn on the spreader bars.

    I'll be rigging out another hitch next week as I received word from Tom Finch that the Tailwind I have on order is close to completion. I've never pulled a titanium Tailwind...I'm stoked about it.

    Z

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    Seasoned Member Just Joey's Avatar
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    Oh my, I've not gone your way to get mine. Is it too late?


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    Seasoned Member MD11Pilot's Avatar
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    Default Balls

    Tims
    I have one of the first ones that I got from you through Tom. I am extremely interested in the spreader bar. Like Dale said...I will sell the bike but not my trailer ball. In fact that was one of the stipulations when I sold my 07...the Rivco hitch came off (I would have left it if he had wanted it) but under no circumstances would the ball be going.

    Dan
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    Seasoned Member Zackybilly1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Joey View Post
    Oh my, I've not gone your way to get mine. Is it too late?
    No, JJ, it's not too late.

    When I told you I had a ball (2nd generation) for you and Fast Eddie (EarnhardtSportsman), I set them aside at that time and meant what I said. If you recall, I put a condition on yours....you have to come pick it up. However, I could be talked into meeting you at Red Bluff (where I bumped into you before).

    Actually, the 2nd generation ball in the picture above is yours...hope you don't mind that I borrowed it for the picture.

    Z

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    Seasoned Member Zackybilly1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MD11Pilot View Post
    Tims
    I have one of the first ones that I got from you through Tom. I am extremely interested in the spreader bar. Like Dale said...I will sell the bike but not my trailer ball. In fact that was one of the stipulations when I sold my 07...the Rivco hitch came off (I would have left it if he had wanted it) but under no circumstances would the ball be going.

    Dan
    Dan,

    That was nice of Tom to hook you up with one. I was trying to be nice and provided a small quantity to him as a Christmas gift in return for the favors I have received from him unsolicited. Looking back, I may have done him an injustice. If I had provided him with enough balls for all of his towing friends, I would have had to ship them in a rail car. As the way it worked, I'm sure it put him on the spot trying to figure out what to do with them. Guess I didn't think that one all the way through.

    In our business, we don't want to be a "me too" or a "copy-cat" company (building the same thing that many others build). There is no money or fun in that. When shopping for a ball like this, I came up empty handed. Although we have machining capabilities, many times it is cheaper just to buy what is already on the market. These don't appear to be on the market and fortunately, we've got what it takes to build them.

    Z

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    Contributing Member TE Wing Rider - NC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zackybilly1 View Post
    John,

    The fellow building the balls runs CNC lathes. The "Spreader Bar" thinga-ma-jig is an item built on a mill or machining center. I will talk to my mill guys this morning to see if they want to build them in their off hours to supplement the balls. The spreader bar is notched to "locate" on the tongue. The only tongues I am familiar with are Rivcos. For other types of tongues, I may have to impose on a few of you guys to get a width dimension of the non-Rivco tongues to insure a good fit.





    I cannot guarantee this will happen just yet as all off this is being done off the books and separate from my company. In short, the price would be too high for most if I were having to pay over-time rates to get these items built as we have been blessed with more than enough work for quite some time and don't see it letting up any time soon.

    My objective here is to set things up where my Goldwing family and the good people I work with to benefit from this venture. I stand to gain nor lose anything here and am only co-ordinating the effort between the two fine groups of people. My only obligation here, as I see it, is to vouch for the folks building/selling the parts since I am the one bringing them into the fold here. Again, if both parties are happy with the arrangement, I'm tickled shipless.

    I'll post back what I learn on the spreader bars.

    I'll be rigging out another hitch next week as I received word from Tom Finch that the Tailwind I have on order is close to completion. I've never pulled a titanium Tailwind...I'm stoked about it.

    Z
    Z,

    I'm very pleased with the arrangements. I've always understood your views about the trailerballs and never wanted to place any pressure on you about them or the chain spreader, so you can keep it all fun. When I first saw the trailerball you made shortly after my incidient with my underbolt trailerball separating in route to the 2010 TTT. I knew instantly what you made was 1000 times more superior to what is on the market and lord willing short of be a criminal wanted to get one. Back then and still now I don't know jack about trailering with the wing. But I do learn although sometimes the hard way.

    Justing & Jennefer have already responded to my requests and my order has been placed. They promised to ship them on my requested dates, life is very good.!!!

    As for the spreader bar I too have the Rivco hitch. And I really do appreciate your efforts with coordinating. If they agree I'll get in line and place my order for some. If they don't I'll continue keeping my eyes open for other solutions. I'm hoping they will, because again I've not seen anything come close to being as good and functional as to the one you've made.

    "titanium Tailwind" as in color or metal?

    John

    P.S. Don't be surprised when I come back to ask you how you made the mud flap on your Rivco hitch. Surprise!!!! I'm asking!
    Last edited by TE Wing Rider - NC; 03-17-2012 at 05:15 PM.
    John
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    Seasoned Member keninsenm's Avatar
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    Zack,

    My thanks also for the notice that the hitch balls are now available. I've sent an email to get myself in line for one. I would be interested in the spreader bar for safety chain connections as well. Hope the folks can get that included in the product they offer. These make access and checking of the safety chains an easier proposition than found on most bikes. I look forward to using these products. I appreciate your help getting this done.
    So long ... Pudge
    Southeastern New Mexico'06 gold GL 1800 with Roadsmith trike kit"

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    Contributing Member N8's Avatar
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    Thanks for doing this amigo! You da' man! I just ordered one........

    I too, have a Rivco hitch, and would love to order the spreader bar when you find a supplier!

    I've already picked up my Champion Colorado Touring Trailer in Miami (It pulls fantastic!).....but I'll be putting it up for re-sale soon.........just after picking it up, I acquired a young Schutzhund Doberman and am now having a custom dog trailer built for me by Linn Bolton......( boltontrailers.com )

    I look forward to our paths crossing one day! .....................

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zackybilly1 View Post
    John,

    The fellow building the balls runs CNC lathes. The "Spreader Bar" thinga-ma-jig is an item built on a mill or machining center. I will talk to my mill guys this morning to see if they want to build them in their off hours to supplement the balls. The spreader bar is notched to "locate" on the tongue. The only tongues I am familiar with are Rivcos. For other types of tongues, I may have to impose on a few of you guys to get a width dimension of the non-Rivco tongues to insure a good fit.





    I cannot guarantee this will happen just yet as all off this is being done off the books and separate from my company. In short, the price would be too high for most if I were having to pay over-time rates to get these items built as we have been blessed with more than enough work for quite some time and don't see it letting up any time soon.

    My objective here is to set things up where my Goldwing family and the good people I work with to benefit from this venture. I stand to gain nor lose anything here and am only co-ordinating the effort between the two fine groups of people. My only obligation here, as I see it, is to vouch for the folks building/selling the parts since I am the one bringing them into the fold here. Again, if both parties are happy with the arrangement, I'm tickled shipless.

    I'll post back what I learn on the spreader bars.

    I'll be rigging out another hitch next week as I received word from Tom Finch that the Tailwind I have on order is close to completion. I've never pulled a titanium Tailwind...I'm stoked about it.

    Z

    Deja Vu. I've been playing around with an idea I had for my trailer tongue that had a shock absorber incorporated in it to smooth out the wing when pulling my trailer and your picture of the trailer is along the lines I was designing. Do you know where that type of tongue is made and if it may be available to retro fit to an existing trailer?

    thanks for you help,
    Roger
    Roger Studley
    Benson, AZ

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    Seasoned Member HiYoCheeto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PapaStud View Post
    Deja Vu. I've been playing around with an idea I had for my trailer tongue that had a shock absorber incorporated in it to smooth out the wing when pulling my trailer and your picture of the trailer is along the lines I was designing. Do you know where that type of tongue is made and if it may be available to retro fit to an existing trailer?

    thanks for you help,
    Roger
    That is a patented design by Tom Finch for his Tailwind Trailers. You would need to contact him through his website for answers to any questions you might have. http://tailwindtrailers.com/

    Zackybilly,
    Do you know if these balls will fit a Bushtec hitch? Just don't want to order one and it won't fit.
    Bolt is 3/4" diameter.

    Question asked in PM also.

    Thanks,
    Frank Carpenter
    "The worst of all fears is the fear of living.", Theodore Roosevelt

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    Zackabilly,

    Many thanks to you for your most excellent design and for whomever is actually producing these! Just sent an email for 2 and hope supplies haven't run out.

    I'm also interested in the spreader bar and hope to hear they will be available SOON!

    Best Regards!

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    Seasoned Member keninsenm's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Zackybilly,
    Do you know if these balls will fit a Bushtec hitch? Just don't want to order one and it won't fit.
    Bolt is 3/4" diameter.

    Question asked in PM also.

    Thanks,
    Frank Carpenter[/QUOTE]

    Frank,

    I'll stick my neck out here and say that I am about 99.5% certain that the hitch balls shown have a 3/4" bolt. Not certain about the length of the bolt, but looks to be at least 2 1/2" long to me.
    So long ... Pudge
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    Seasoned Member MD11Pilot's Avatar
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    Default Trailer Balls

    Frank
    YES, Tom Finch has one and he uses a Bushtec Hitch. I use a Rivco hitch.


    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoCheeto View Post
    That is a patented design by Tom Finch for his Tailwind Trailers. You would need to contact him through his website for answers to any questions you might have. http://tailwindtrailers.com/

    Zackybilly,
    Do you know if these balls will fit a Bushtec hitch? Just don't want to order one and it won't fit.
    Bolt is 3/4" diameter.

    Question asked in PM also.

    Thanks,
    Frank Carpenter
    Dan Drew IBA 49343
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    www.truelife.org



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    Seasoned Member HiYoCheeto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keninsenm View Post
    Frank,

    I'll stick my neck out here and say that I am about 99.5% certain that the hitch balls shown have a 3/4" bolt. Not certain about the length of the bolt, but looks to be at least 2 1/2" long to me.
    Quote Originally Posted by MD11Pilot View Post
    Frank
    YES, Tom Finch has one and he uses a Bushtec Hitch. I use a Rivco hitch.
    Thanks, Ken and Dan. Will order mines tonite.
    "The worst of all fears is the fear of living.", Theodore Roosevelt

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    Seasoned Member Zackybilly1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoCheeto View Post
    That is a patented design by Tom Finch for his Tailwind Trailers.

    Do you know if these balls will fit a Bushtec hitch? Just don't want to order one and it won't fit.
    Bolt is 3/4" diameter.
    The pitch inertia draw-bar not only works....it works quite well. Admittedly, the newer generation from Tom is more robust and precise (newer and older models pictured above...black one is the new type).

    Yes on the 3/4" stud down on the balls. The stud is 2-3/8" long to accommodate the thick aluminum Rivco tongue, appropriate washers, a Nylok nut and a Spreader Bar.

    We are working on getting the spreader bars going.

    Anyone have an idea of the width of the Bushtec tongue? Trying to determine if they'll need to build different type spreader bars for different tongues.

    Thanks, all.

    Z

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    Contributing Member Yogi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zackybilly1 View Post
    As mentioned in previous posts, I didn't have the time in our production schedule to make another run on more "trailer" balls and didn't know when I would. As an alternative, I flipped the project off to the lead-machinist that would actually be building the balls. I provided the material/machines/drawings and he provided the time and expertise. Therefore, I am kind of out of the loop on the trailer balls. If others can get the motorcycle specific balls, I'm happy. If the fellow building them can make a little for his time, hopefully, he will be happy, as well.
    Just wanted to say I just ordered one after seeing this thread
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    Seasoned Member Halfling's Avatar
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    Default Just ordered mine!

    Thanks Zackbilly1, I just ordered mine and can't wait to try it out!!! Well done to you and your team!
    John (Halfling)

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    Seasoned Member HiYoCheeto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zackybilly1 View Post
    The pitch inertia draw-bar not only works....it works quite well. Admittedly, the newer generation from Tom is more robust and precise (newer and older models pictured above...black one is the new type).

    Yes on the 3/4" stud down on the balls. The stud is 2-3/8" long to accommodate the thick aluminum Rivco tongue, appropriate washers, a Nylok nut and a Spreader Bar.

    We are working on getting the spreader bars going.

    Anyone have an idea of the width of the Bushtec tongue? Trying to determine if they'll need to build different type spreader bars for different tongues.

    Thanks, all.

    Z
    Thanks Z, ordered mine tonite.

    My Bushtec tongue is exactly 50mm wide just behind the ball. Let me know if you need more info.
    "The worst of all fears is the fear of living.", Theodore Roosevelt

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    Got mine on saturday... Nice work... its so pretty, not sure if I want to put a coupler on it...

    Thanks Smitty
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    Got mine yesterday. It's a great piece of work! Got it installed and will test it soon. Have no doubt that it will be a great piece of gear. Can't wait to get the spreader bar that mounts underneath the ball to allow easy connection of safety chains. The work to create this hitch ball is excellent. Fit and finish is great!! Communication with the folks who took my order was really good. Thanks to all who made it happen.
    So long ... Pudge
    Southeastern New Mexico'06 gold GL 1800 with Roadsmith trike kit"

    Those who would give up liberty and freedom for safety and security deserve neither and will lose both" Benjamin Franklin

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    Quote Originally Posted by keninsenm View Post
    Got mine yesterday. It's a great piece of work! Got it installed and will test it soon. Have no doubt that it will be a great piece of gear. Can't wait to get the spreader bar that mounts underneath the ball to allow easy connection of safety chains. The work to create this hitch ball is excellent. Fit and finish is great!! Communication with the folks who took my order was really good. Thanks to all who made it happen.
    I just reported this as part of another post, but I'll out it here too since it is about the trailer hitch balls.

    I dropped by Z's shop a few days ago, and saw at least 20 balls just about ready to go. Beautiful workmanship. I started to buy a couple then, but decided to wait until Tims will autograph one for me. It'll be worth a fortune on e-Bay when Tims is rich and famous.

    Glen
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    Contributing Member N8's Avatar
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    Got mine on Friday and have already installed it.........Jennifer was super prompt and easy to deal with......but..........
    I too, would have really liked the autographed version........and am looking forward to the spreader bar!


    A Thousand Thank You's to our Fearless Leader and Inspirational Guru and Grand Master du Fabrique "Zackbilly" !

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    Seasoned Member EarnhardtSPortsman's Avatar
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    So far I THINK Rocky and Myself have the ONLY autographed ones out there?
    02 GL1800 Hot Rod Yellow (Just to mess with Z)
    Champion Colorado Trailer
    07 ST1300 ABS with goodies (SOLD)
    02 GL1800 Hot Rod Yellow (SOLD)
    DARKSIDE #1058 Kumho RF
    IBA #57201






  28. #27
    Banned
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    Jul 2011
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EarnhardtSPortsman View Post
    So far I THINK Rocky and Myself have the ONLY autographed ones out there?
    Very Cool! Did you get the laser etching as well that was on some of the early prototypes?

    I am very conflicted as to “ordering” one via the mail. I am almost thinking that, that might be near sacrilege and seeing as there are in fact autographed models out there I might have to figure out a way to trade off a bottle of scotch to the gentleman who has taken over the craftsmanship on the endeavor and not only pay him for his efforts and skill but with any luck get me a “reverse threaded” Z- ball. Just to one up the autographed models.

    I don’t know though as that might be a lot to ask but you never know what a good bottle of scotch will trade for?

    I must say I think I am going to have to get me one of these ball regardless.

    Good for you Z! I hope this becomes a nice little sideline for your crew and definitely a hat tip for making this improvement available.

    Cheers!

    Earnhardt when the “mission” gets near, which is still up in the air and will never really be a "planned" and most likely will just happen, I will send you a p.m. and we will have to make arrangements (where there is a will there is a way) and if you are not "in" I might have to stop by anyway and borrow your ball. I promise not to use it for bail money.

    I got to get me one of them Z-balls!
    Last edited by Section168; 03-26-2012 at 05:49 PM.

  29. #28
    Contributing Member popsgw's Avatar
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    May 2009
    Location
    Trussville Al
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    94
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    Default trailer ball

    Just got my trailer ball today, what a nice piece of work, I wish every ordering experience was as good as this one.
    Thanks to Jennifer for helping me with the order and speed of delivery.

    Later
    Ben

  30. #29
    Contributing Member TE Wing Rider - NC's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    Lillington, NC
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    Quote Originally Posted by popsgw View Post
    Just got my trailer ball today, what a nice piece of work, I wish every ordering experience was as good as this one.
    Thanks to Jennifer for helping me with the order and speed of delivery.

    Later
    Ben


    My order was waiting for when I returned home Saturday night. Now to get it installed.

    John
    John
    2003 GL1800A Black (Faster Color)
    "Traxxion Edition"
    2010 Tailwind #263
    DSI #525
    Front - Bridgestone G709, 38psi
    Rear - Michelin Primacy Alpin 195/55/16, 33 psi
    Spare - Dunlop 175/60/16 3D ROF Winter Sport, 36psi 11000+ miles
    Centramatics Front & Rear

  31. #30
    Seasoned Member TNART's Avatar
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    Dec 2008
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    Knoxville, TN /Melbourne, FL
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    Z-ball ordered. In line for the Z-spreader when it becomes available. The ball is sooo good looking I may have to buy a Tailwind to do it justice.


    Tennessee Traveler #13/Prowler #1001/DS #860/IBA #49705
    '12 Concours 14 (w ABS)
    '09 Metallic Blue ABS/TE/RDL/Alpin PA3 ZP/Cntrmtx
    '00 Bushtec Trailer (for her)
    '09 Deep Metallic Blue ABS (parts donor 9-5-09 RIP)
    '08 Concours 14 (parts donor 10-12-13 RIP)
    '80 CB650C (WIP)
    '75 CB550F (gone but not forgotten)
    '74 CB500T (first love)

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