There are many ways you can tow a motorcycle and I’ve tried just about every way possible. There are several reasons why you’d need to tow a motorcycle and you’ve probably found yourself in that situation one way or the other. If you own a motorcycle, it’s a good idea to have some back up in the case you’ll need to tow, even if you don’t think you’re going to need it.
There have been several occasions I’ve been stranded with my motorcycle due to mechanical issues, flat tires, I ran out of gas, or I’ve simply just needed to tow long distances. A few times I’ve had to get creative because I didn’t have the resources I needed to properly tow my motorcycle where it needed to go. Through trial and error, I’ve become familiar with the best and most reliable ways to tow a motorcycle.
These are the best ways I’ve found to tow a motorcycle:
- Using a towing trailer. Whether you have your own towing trailer or borrow one from a friend, this has proven to be the most secure way to tow a motorcycle
- Using a motorcycle carrier from Discountramps.com. These are much less abrasive compared to towing trailers and still provides a safe and secure way of towing your motorcycle.
- Using a tow dolly from Amazon.com. This is the easiest and simplest way of towing a motorcycle. This also takes up way less space than a towing trailer or a motorcycle carrier.
Towing a motorcycle using a trailer is the most popular and obvious option when you’re needing to transport such a large machine. Most people like this way of towing because it looks and feels more secure and is also large enough to be noticed by other drivers who will normally drive a safe distance away.
This option does, however, require the most effort. If you own a towing trailer, you know the endeavor it takes to care for one. You have to make sure it is road ready, meaning it has working blinkers and brake lights, that it has a spare tire, and that it’s functioning properly. You also need to register it in most states.
Towing trailers also take up a lot of space. If you have other large toys, this is especially difficult because space is limited. If you don’t store these right, it can often look junky and undesirable, making your neighbors question if they should move.
Using a motorcycle carrier (link to Discountramps.com) is a lot more simple and convenient compared to using a motorcycle trailer. This is an excellent alternative if you’re towing with a truck, SUV, or a motor home. A lot of people prefer this way because it’s not as much of an extra tag-a-long behind their vehicle like it is with a towing trailer.
This carrier also includes an anti-tilt mechanism that helps prevent too much movement and wobbling while towing. It also supplies an adjustable wheel chock to ensure your bike stays secure.
The average motorcycle weighs about 400 pounds. The maximum load for the motorcycle carrier is about 600 pounds, so it’s able to tow most motorcycles. If you’re worried about weight and have any extra add-ons to your motorcycle, perhaps you can remove them temporarily and store them in the back seat to make the motorcycle weigh less.
It’s important to remember that you should never exceed the 600 pound weight limit and make sure you have a class III or IV trailer hitch. Not heeding to these recommendations could cause damage to the motorcycle, your vehicle, and possibly other drivers around you.
This is one of the most underestimated and underused ways to tow a motorcycle; you don’t see very many people using this method. Using a tow dolly (link to Amazon.com) is about the easiest way you can tow your machine. You simply hook the front tire (and always the front tire, never the back) to the dolly with the back tire on the road. You’ll need to put your motorcycle in neutral so the back tire will easily turn with no damage to your motorcycle.
The tow dolly offers a way to safely and securely tow your motorcycle while also saving space. The dimensions are about 3 feet by 2 feet-ish and it weighs no more than 35 pounds, giving you the freedom to store it away yourself with no help.
The maximum load the tow dolly can carry is 800 pounds (meaning the weight of the entire bike, even though it is just the front of it weighing on the dolly). There’s no need for blinkers or break lights to set up as the motorcycle is skinny enough for drivers behind to see the lights of your car.
Items You’ll Need Regardless of How You Tow
Whichever way you decide to tow your motorcycle, be sure to always make certain your motorcycle is secure. Though towing a motorcycle doesn’t have to be hard (this is done hundreds of times a day), it can still be dangerous if you don’t do it right. Here are some items you’ll need to ensure your safety:
Towing Straps: You should never haul any type of vehicle without using towing straps like these (click here to view on Amazon.com). Towing straps are what keeps your motorcycle and vehicle safe during a transport. These straps in particular are high quality and have proven to be reliable with such vehicles. Never buy cheap straps. You’ll end up paying more down the road when your strap breaks and doesn’t secure whatever you’re hauling.
Chocks: Chocks are especially helpful if you’re using a trailer to tow your motorcycle. The best kind of chock to use is the Black Widow Removable Motorcycle Wheel Chock (link to Discountramps.com). For this chock, you’ll need to fasten it down using the hardware provided. It’s dangerous to use mobile chocks that don’t fasten down as these will be lost at high speeds while towing.
Hitch: Obviously, you’ll need a hitch attached to your car in order to tow anything. Hitches are very car specific, so you’ll need to look in your owner’s manual or call your dealership to determine the right size if you don’t already have one on your vehicle. You should be able to get one for about $150 plus labor if you don’t plan to install it yourself.