Broken motorcycle: how to tow a two-wheeler?
If there is a mechanical or electronic problem with a car, towing the vehicle is relatively easy. This operation, while requiring obvious precautions, does not require heavy equipment. A motorcycle may be much more compact and light, but its transport is more complicated. How to tow a motorcycle? Here is the procedure for bringing home a broken-down two-wheeler.
Specificities of motorcycle towing and methods
Since the motorcycle has only two wheels, you cannot tow it just to bring it home like you can with a car. There are several methods of safely returning an HS motorcycle. To do this, you will need specific equipment or vehicle.
As its name suggests, flat towing consists of laying the motorcycle on one of its sides on a sufficiently large surface. Flat towing is one of the most widely used methods as it offers a high degree of safety. Indeed, what is on the ground cannot fall lower. If the two-wheeler is well secured, the operation is safe (both for the motorcycle and for other road users). You will need a van or trailer to do this.
Towing on a specific trolley
Specialized companies sell specific towing carts for motorcycles. Concretely, it looks like a trailer whose rear can fall to the ground to act as a ramp. The bottom of the trailer is equipped with a locking device for the front wheel.
Rear-wheel (or cradle) towing is done using special equipment that is attached to the towing ball of any vehicle. This is a frame that is intended to accommodate the front wheel of the motorcycle. The rear wheel rolls on the road. All well secured, you can then board the vehicle and tow the motorcycle. The advantage of this method is its cost since it requires affordable equipment.
Secure the motorcycle
Regardless of the method used, you must ensure that the motorcycle is securely immobilized using straps. This is all the more important if you opt for flat towing. A speed bump or a turn could indeed damage the two-wheeler during transport.
The most common solution is to get a rail trailer. Only dedicated to motorcycle transport, you can place between one and three rails. These rails allow the motorcycle to be loaded and hold it in place on the trailer. Loading the motorcycle can be tricky and requires a lot of balance, which is why we recommend this solution to owners of light motorcycles. In any case, it is better to be two for this maneuver.
For heavier motorcycles, there are low-bed dump trailers, box trailers, and flatbed trailers. The advantage of these trailers is that you can use them to transport things other than a motorcycle. Loading is easier there, especially for heavy motorcycles.
Motorcycle trailers are generally not very bulky but can be apprehensive to drive. Another disadvantage is that the transported motorcycle is not protected in the event of rain on the road.
In the case of a motorcycle trailer, the rail is often supplemented with wheel support. Putting the two together helps keep the bike from sliding and rolling. In a flatbed trailer or a van, the best would be to be able to attach a wheel lock to do the same. Then all you have to do is strap the motorcycle to avoid tilting.
Things to know before towing a motorcycle
Before embarking on a motorcycle towing operation, there are other things to consider. You must first make sure you respect the rules in terms of PTAC. In other words, is the weight of the motorcycle less than the mass that the vehicle can legally carry? If you are using a friend’s equipment, keep in mind that there are also driving license constraints when hitching over 750 kg.
In the event of borrowing the team of an acquaintance who does not require a trailer registration card (less than 500 kg), the license plate number of the trailer must correspond to the plate of the car. Also, check that your insurance covers hitches. And to conclude, check that the lights of the trailer are working before setting off.