Originally Posted by CaseyJones
There are needle bearings in the assembly between the driven cup and the driving clutch shoes.
Those are not supposed to be turning at any speed faster than idle and only for short periods. When the clutch is engaged, there's no motion between the two assemblies; the needle bearings don't move at all.
If you drag a scoot behind, you'll have those bearings spinning at many times their design speed for much, much longer than intended. Probably they'll burn up after an hour or so...what then? Maybe you'll be spinning the engine and never know it; more likely you'll shred the drive belt. In any event it'll be messy and expensive.
I disagree with the supposition that the needle bearings would fail because of higher than normal rotation speed. (a set of ball bearings is also included in the assembly) Heat, debris, excessive vibration, overloading and/or lack of lubrication are the usual culprits in bearing failure which are not likely in this scenario. Bearings would soon fail even after normal use if they were to be only as durable as was claimed. I've not known these bearings to ever fail but if they have, it has been a rare event.
The drive belt only moves when the engine is turning; so while towing, it is not likely that the engine would be running; therefore it could not possibly shred with the scooter being towed because the belt would not be moving.
However, even with that said, I would not recommend towing a scooter that small long distances in that way. Mostly because of scooter tire speed rating issues but shorter trips would probably be O.K. IMO. I understand that backing up the tow vehicle with a bike hooked up in that way can be tricky as was discussed in a different forum I frequent.
So, short distance tows or extended tows at scooter tire rated speeds shouldn't be a problem.