Essential Guide to Towing Motorcycle Safely

Have you ever found yourself needing to tow a motorcycle but not sure where to start? Whether you’re heading out on an adventure or facing an unexpected breakdown, understanding the basics of safely towing your motorcycle can save you both time and stress. Ensuring your towing motorcycle setup is correct not only secures your bike but also ensures a safer journey.

Towing a motorcycle requires more than just hooking it up and hitting the road; it demands careful planning, the right equipment, and attention to detail.

Key Takeaways:

  • Towing Options: Use flatbed towing for safety, or trailers and tow dollies if available.
  • Avoid DIY: Towing without proper equipment is risky and potentially illegal.
  • Understand Costs: Check towing costs and insurance coverage beforehand.
  • Roadside Assistance: Know the benefits and limitations of your roadside assistance plan.
  • Prepare Information: Have precise location and motorcycle details ready for efficient towing service.

Understanding Motorcycle Towing: Can You Do It?

Towing a motorcycle is a whole different ballgame compared to towing a car. The design, balance, engine, weight – it’s all different. So can you even tow a motorcycle?

The short answer is yes, but it’s not as simple as hooking it up to a truck and hitting the road. There are a few different methods to consider, each with its pros and cons.

Different Methods of Towing a Motorcycle

When it comes to motorcycle towing, you’ve got three options:

  • Flatbed towing
  • Two-wheel towing (using a tow dolly)
  • Towing with a trailer

Flatbed towing is generally considered the safest method, as the entire bike is lifted off the ground. Towing your bike on two wheels might be okay for a quick trip, but beware—it’s tough on the bike’s suspension. And of course, using a trailer is a solid choice if you’ve got one handy.

Motorcycle Towing Without a Trailer

But what if you don’t have a trailer? Can you still tow your motorcycle? Well, it’s not ideal, but it can be done in a pinch.

One method is to use a tow strap or rope to pull the bike behind another vehicle. But fair warning – this can be risky. The bike can easily sway or tip over, causing damage or even a serious accident. Also, let’s not forget that in a bunch of states, doing this can land you on the wrong side of the law.

Bottom line? If you need to tow your motorcycle, it’s best to leave it to the professionals with the right equipment. Trying to DIY it without a trailer is just asking for trouble.

The Legalities and Costs of Motorcycle Towing

Before you call up a towing company to haul away your bike, there are a few legal and financial factors to consider. You want to know things like:

  • How much can they charge you?
  • Will your insurance cover it?
  • How far will they tow it?

How Much Can A Towing Company Legally Charge?

The cost of towing a motorcycle can vary depending on a few factors, like distance, location, and the type of equipment needed. But in general, most companies charge a base rate plus a per-mile fee.

The average cost for a 10-mile tow is around $75. But legally, towing companies can charge whatever they want – there’s no federal regulation on pricing.

But here’s a bit of good news – there are some states out there that have put rules in place to look out for you and me when it comes to stopping price hikes from getting out of hand.

Reimbursement Consideration from Insurance Companies

Now, what about insurance? Will they cover the cost of towing your motorcycle? It depends on your policy.

Some comprehensive motorcycle insurance policies include roadside assistance and towing coverage. But if you only have liability coverage, you’ll likely be on the hook for the towing fees yourself.

It’s always a good idea to check with your insurance provider to see what’s covered before you find yourself in a situation where you need a tow. That way, you’ll know what to expect in terms of reimbursement.

How Far Does Roadside Assistance Tow?

One of the first questions you might have is, “How far will they tow my bike?” The answer varies depending on your specific roadside assistance plan.

Some plans offer unlimited towing distance, while others have a set limit, usually between 50-100 miles. If you need a tow beyond your plan’s limit, you’ll likely have to pay out of pocket for the additional mileage.

So, don’t skip over the small details in your roadside assistance agreement – knowing exactly what’s included can save you a headache later on. Don’t assume that all plans are created equal.

Roadside Assistance for Motorcycles: What to Expect

Picture this: you’re cruising down the highway on your motorcycle, feeling the wind in your face, when suddenly your bike sputters and dies. You’re stranded on the side of the road, miles from the nearest town. What do you do?

If you have roadside assistance coverage, you make a call and wait for help to arrive. But what exactly can you expect from a roadside assistance service for motorcycles?

+ Gallons of Gas Delivered

Another common service offered by motorcycle roadside assistance is fuel delivery. If you run out of gas, they’ll bring you enough to get to the nearest gas station.

But how much gas can you expect them to bring? Most plans will deliver around 2-3 gallons, which is usually more than enough to get you back on the road.

Keep in mind that some plans may charge an additional fee for gas delivery, while others include it as part of your standard coverage. So, diving into the nitty-gritty of your specific plan does pay off.

Motorcycle Trailers

When it comes to towing a motorcycle, using a trailer is often the safest and most convenient option. But with so many different types of trailers out there, it can be tough to know where to start. Let’s break down the basics.

What Are Motorcycle Towing Trailers?

A motorcycle towing trailer is exactly what it sounds like – a trailer specifically designed to transport motorcycles. These trailers come in a few different styles:

  • Open trailers
  • Enclosed trailers
  • Folding or collapsible trailers

Open trailers are the most basic and affordable option. They typically have a single or double rail system to hold the bike in place during transport.

Opting for an enclosed trailer means your motorcycle stays safe and sound, away from harsh weather and any unexpected road debris. They’re pricier than open trailers, but can be worth the investment if you frequently tow your bike long distances.

Can My Vehicle Tow a Trailer With a Motorcycle?

Before you rush out and buy a motorcycle trailer, you need to make sure your vehicle is up to the task of towing it. So, can your vehicle tow a trailer with a motorcycle?

First, check your vehicle’s owner’s manual for its maximum towing capacity. This will give you a baseline idea of what your car or truck can handle.

Next, consider the weight of the motorcycle trailer itself, plus the weight of your bike. As a general rule of thumb, your vehicle should be rated to tow at least 1,000 lbs more than the combined weight of the trailer and motorcycle.

You’ll also need to make sure your vehicle has the proper towing equipment, like a hitch receiver and wiring harness. When in doubt, consult with a professional to ensure your vehicle is properly equipped for safe towing.

Flatbed Towing

But what exactly is flatbed towing, and why is it safer for bikes? Flatbed motorcycle towing involves using a truck with a flat, open bed to transport the bike. The motorcycle is loaded onto the bed and secured in place, usually with tie-down straps or wheel chocks.

The key advantage of flatbed towing is that the motorcycle is completely off the ground during transport. This way, you don’t have to worry about messing up your bike’s tires, suspension, or drivetrain – problems that often come with other towing options.

To load a motorcycle onto a flatbed truck, the bed is typically lowered to the ground using a hydraulic lift system. A ramp is then used to roll the bike onto the bed, where it is secured for transport.

Get even safer towing with flatbeds

Flatbed towing is not only safer for your motorcycle, but it’s also safer for other motorists on the road. With the bike fully secured on the truck bed, there’s no risk of it coming loose or swaying during transport.

Also, when you’re looking for speed and efficiency in towing, going the flatbed route often beats other options hands down. The motorcycle can be quickly loaded and unloaded without the need for additional equipment like dollies or trailers.

Of course, flatbed towing is typically more expensive than other methods due to the specialized equipment required. But for many motorcycle owners, the added peace of mind and security is well worth the extra cost.

What to Know When Calling a Towing Service

When your motorcycle breaks down and you need to call a towing service, it can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. But being prepared with the right information can help make the process go more smoothly. Here’s what you need to know.

Have This Information When You Call

Before you call a motorcycle towing service, gather the following information:

  • Your exact location (street address, highway mile marker, or GPS coordinates)
  • The make, model, and year of your motorcycle
  • The nature of the problem (won’t start, accident damage, flat tire, etc.)
  • Your contact information and any relevant details about your location

Having this information ready when you call will help the towing service dispatch the appropriate equipment and personnel to assist you as quickly as possible.

24 Hour Service

Motorcycle breakdowns don’t always happen during convenient business hours. This is why picking a towing service that’s got your back around the clock, every day of the week, really matters.

Many towing companies have dispatchers available around the clock to take your call and send help to your location. Some even offer online or mobile app booking for added convenience.

Keep in mind that while 24-hour service is essential, it may come at a premium price. Be sure to ask about any additional fees for after-hours or weekend service when you call.

All Your Towing Motorcycle Needs Should Be With Experienced Pros

The truth about towing motorcycles is far from daunting when armed with proper knowledge. Gone are days filled with worry over potential mishaps during transport. Today, we’ve uncovered that by following simple yet effective guidelines—like ensuring your vehicle has adequate towing capacity and using suitable trailers or flatbeds—you stand in good stead for smooth sailing ahead.

Towing your two-wheeled companion doesn’t have to be something out of a complex manual. It’s quite straightforward once you grasp the essentials—from selecting the correct trailer wiring socket down to mastering how wheel chocks secure your ride. With this guide as part of your toolkit, taking care of business becomes second nature rather than an uphill battle.

For more information or to schedule a motorcycle tow, contact Geyers Towing today!

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