Motorcycles, whether old or modern, are rugged machines. However, being machines and subject to wear and tear, they would break down every now and then. When it happens, riders might find themselves stuck in a situation, and the only solution is to get it towed.
Towing. Sounds simple enough, right? If it’s a car, you just hook it up with another one and go. For a motorcycle, it’s supposed to be easy as pie as well. Just put it on top of a trailer truck and drive off. Not quite.
If you’re thinking about avoiding possible damage to your motorcycle and end up with an expensive repair later on (on top of why your motorcycle conked out in the first place), you need to follow the correct procedure for towing your bike. And if that’s what you’re looking for, don’t worry; Bikepics.com has got you covered.
Towing – a coordinated activity
You must first understand that towing is a coordinated activity between the rider pulling and the rider whose motorcycle is towed. As such, it is best to do this with someone you trust. A fellow rider, a friend, a relative, or a colleague doesn’t matter who, so long as there is open and accessible communication between you and the rider.
Secondly, it’s important to set ground rules between the two riders to control the situation. Mostly this is related to communication. An example would be the speed, when to stop, which lane to stay in, et cetera.
These two become the core of a safe, damage and accident-free towing situation that will allow you to reach the nearest mechanic.
What you need to make this happen
This activity has two simple goals: (1) to reach the nearest mechanic and (2) to make sure both motorcycles are not damaged in the process. Therefore, preparation is needed despite this being an “emergency” situation.
The first thing you need is a tow strap; they are usually flat, wide, and roughly 5 meters in length. Besides the tow strap, you need to ensure that your motorcycle rolls on the ground. If the bike is damaged, then towing might not be an option.
Another thing that you need is a clear route to your destination
Planning the route
Finding the best route is vital for several reasons. Both riders have to be comfortable with the chosen course. A few of the considerations are familiarity of the way, less traffic, and options for safe stops along the way. Going through a highway is not advisable because most vehicles travel at high speed. Another consideration is the avoidance of steep hills, slopes, slippery roads, stop and go traffic. Therefore, taking a few minutes to discuss the route is essential for the sake of a problem-free tow.
Towing the motorcycle
The most critical part of this process is to correctly strap both motorcycles. The first option is to attach it to the footpegs on both motorcycles when mounting. For safety purposes, if the rider on the front attaches the strap to the left peg, the towed vehicle much attach it to the right peg. The riders will be side by side here, but the towed motorcycle is a few meters behind.
The other option is to have Rider 1 tie the strap at the back of their motorcycle. At the same time, Rider 2 attaches the tow strap connected to the front of the bike through the T-post. Whatever the method is, what’s important here is for Rider 2 to easily let go of the strap in case of any problems. As such, never hard-mount the strap. You can wrap it around several times around the footpeg, or you can strap it through the T-post to the handlebar grip, then wrap it around several times.
En route to the destination
Remember that there has to be constant tension on the strap. The motorcycle at the back may run over the slack if there is slack and cause an accident. Also, the rider at the front has to avoid sudden acceleration or side-to-side movements as this could dislodge the strap. It’s also a good idea for the rider to feather the brake at the rear, especially at an incline.
When facing a stop-and-go traffic situation, the rider at the front must maintain space from the vehicles in front. This will give room for them to move forward. Meanwhile, the rider at the back will monitor the forward movement to ensure that he can keep his distance while maintaining the tautness of the strap.
Finally, maintaining a safe speed is critical for both riders to ensure that the tow is free from accidents.
Recommended Motorcycle Strap
Dynatow Dynamic Motorcycle Tow Strap – $29,99
A traditional tow strap is a flat, inflexible piece of material that comes in the form of a belt or, in some cases, a strap that connects to the seat or handlebars.
The 26-foot total length gives you enough room to maneuver around obstacles and allows you the freedom to choose better lines if you are towing in the gnar.
You can use the Dynabelt as an emergency recovery device. The strap will allow you to girth-hitch the loop end to the bike and then throw the free end to a friend.
This strap fits in a flat pouch and only weighs 12.8 oz. So, it’s very convenient to use and very easy to store.
In conclusion, it’s important to note that other factors can affect the process. These factors include the size of the motorcycle, the size of the vehicle being pulled, and the weight.
And then, there are other considerations like the weather, the type of roads, the type of terrain, and the landscape itself. These factors will have to be considered before a tow can be undertaken.
Therefore, it’s best to do some research before you start towing. This will allow you to understand the process and what to expect.
In the end, if you follow the tips mentioned above, you will have a safer, more efficient, and fun experience.