Every motorcycle rider must have experienced their motorcycle giving up the ghost at some point in time. You might need to tow your motorcycle probably because you ran out of gas and the next gas station is miles away from you, or for other reasons like mechanical issues or flat tires.
If you own a motorcycle, you need to have a backup in case there is a need to tow it. Many times, you might not have the required resources to tow your motorcycle to where it needs to go. In this article, you will learn the best ways to tow your motorcycle. But before you learn the methods of towing your motorcycle, let’s go through the basics of towing your motorcycle.
If you are not sure on how to tow, towing can be pretty dangerous. Although towing may seem easy, you need to understand the basics. These will not make you a master at towing overnight but will give you a great start.
The following are important before you make a start at towing. Knowing it will prevent you from making dangerous and expensive mistakes.
Tongue weight is the force the trailer tongue is putting on your vehicle. This is the first and most important thing you should consider before towing. The steering of the tow vehicle will be affected if the tongue weight is too heavy. Likewise, if the tongue weight is too light, you need to move some of the weight forward of the trailer axle.
Having the right tongue weight makes the difference between a safe and dangerous towing experience. The tongue load should be about 10 to 15% of the trailer’s total weight. Tongue weight applies to trailers that are hitched to a vehicle and all forms of towing except for using a box truck or the bed of a pickup.
The payload capacity is the maximum amount of weight your truck can hold. It includes the weight of the occupants of a vehicle, their gear, and any loaded cargo. The motorcycle loaded into the back of a pickup, trailer or box truck is an example of a payload. Make sure you do not exceed the maximum weight of your vehicle.
Methods of Towing
There are several methods by which you can tow your motorcycle depending on the resources available to you.
Using Towing Strap and another motorcycle
One method is to make use of a tow strap attached down low. On the lead bike, wrap the line once around the right footpeg, if the drive chain is on the left. The rider holds the line in place firmly with his foot. The rider being towed should do the same thing using the opposite footpeg.
Another method is to have the line tied to the frame of the lead bike as high as possible. Make a “Y” at the end of the line and tie each end to a footpeg. The end of the line to be attached to the trailing bike should go under the headlight, on the centreline of the bike. The loose ends are wrapped around the handlebar once or twice. It should be held by the left (clutch) hand.
When towing a bike using these methods, the lead rider controls the speed while the towed rider controls the braking. Other ways by which you can tow your motorcycle include:
Using Towing Trailer
Using a towing trailer is one of the most popular options when there is a need to move your vehicle. Whether you have a trailer or you have to borrow, this method has been found to be the most secure to use. It is easily noticed by other road users who will drive a safe distance away.
If you own a towing trailer, you need to take care of it. Make sure it is road-ready and has its brake light and blinkers working. You need to make sure it is working properly before you take it out for use.
Using A Tow Dolly
A tow dolly offers you a safe and secure way to tow your motorcycle while saving space. It is a simple and easy method to use compared to the trailer. All you have to do is to hook the front tire to the dolly with the back tire on the road. You need to put your motorcycle in neutral so the back tire will turn easily without causing damage to your motorcycle. A tow dolly has a maximum weight load of 800 pounds and it weighs just 35 pounds.
Using Motorcycle Carrier
Using a motorcycle carrier is simpler and convenient to use compared to a trailer. It is a great tool if you are towing with your SUV or truck. The carrier is built with an anti-tilt mechanism that prevents movement and wobbling when towing. The mechanism ensures your bike stays secure.
The maximum weight capacity of a motorcycle carrier is 600 pounds. Although the average motorcycle weight is about 400 pounds, if you are worried about the weight of your motorcycle due to extra add-ons, you can remove them. Never exceed the load limit to avoid damage to the motorcycle, vehicle or other road users.
The Right Equipment
Before you attempt to tow your motorcycle, ensure you have the right tools needed for the job. Amongst several things you will need is the vehicle that will pull the bike. You must make sure that the vehicle can handle the weight of your bike and trailer. Also, the vehicle should be set up to tow.
When picking a trailer to tow your motorcycle with, make sure you have the correct trailer. Not every trailer is capable of transporting a motorcycle. Make sure the trailer is rated to securely transport the motorcycle. If you will be towing a motorcycle regularly, consider purchasing a trailer that is specifically designed for this task.
Regardless of the towing method, you decide to use, here are some pieces of equipment that would ease the task and ensure your safety.
– Towing Straps: Towing straps keep your motorcycle and vehicle safe during transport. You should go for quality and reliable straps when about to haul. You will end up paying more if you opt for a cheap strap.
– Hitch: You need a hitch attached to your car before you can tow. Hitches are car-specific and you need to look at your owner’s manual or call your dealership to determine the right one perfect for your vehicle.
– Chocks: Chocks are ideal if you are using a trailer to move your motorcycle. Don’t use mobile chocks that don’t fasten down. They will be lost at high speed while towing.
Towing a motorcycle looks easy but can get extremely dangerous if you fail to follow the procedures. You need to follow the points mentioned above to be able to tow a motorcycle. You should also ensure you have the right tools before you get started. You should also check with towing rules and regulations in your state before setting off. We offer motorcycle towing in Jacksonville and surrounding areas.