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Old 05-15-2014, 12:22 PM   #1
Wasteblade OP
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Motorcycle tow dolly

I didn't see a thread for this. Has anyone anyone ever had an experience with these dollies? I've heard mostly good, the only bad I've heard is it wears your rear tire on your motorcycle. I also have a Toyota Matrix with a 1-1/4" receiver. I'd have to get the adapter for the 2" receiver, so I'm not sure if that's even safe/stable.
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Old 05-26-2014, 11:04 PM   #2
houlster
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I made something like that back in the early 90's for towing my bike back/forth from college. Kept it in the trunk when I got there. It was only about 200 miles, but I made the trip probably a dozen times over the years. Mine was on a pivot to make a ramp so I could run the bike up it alone pretty easily.

I just kept the bike in neutral for towing. My brother had something similar & towed cross-country with it, but he broke the chain for those trips.

No problems with towing at all. Make sure the straps stay tight, mind your reversing & all went well. I've often thought of making another as an local / emergency tow. Something I could get my wife to throw in the trunk to come get me if needed. Anything short of a flat rear tire anyways...

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Old 05-28-2014, 06:50 AM   #3
plutoz
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I've been looking into these as well. FYI you can get one with a 1 1/4" receiver. Adapters are not recommended as they reduce your tongue weight rating by 1/2

Your Toyota Matrix probably has a Class I hitch same as my car, which means 200lbs tongue weight. Conservatively you can count on the rear wheel supporting ~ 40% of the weight (from what I've read). You also need to take the weight of the tow dolly (30-50lbs) into account. So you probably wouldn't want to tow anything more than ~ 400lbs.

If you google tow motorcycle by front wheel you'll find lots of opinions, some saying its safe and they have done it, others saying its a terrible idea and don't do it. The biggest concern seems to be damage to the drivetrain/transmission by having the engine turning without any lubrication because the oil pump isn't running. This should be rectified by removing the chain/belt, but that's a PITA.

In my case the bike I want to tow is my 220lbs Zero XU (2012) electric bike, so there is no oil to worry about.

I'm thinking for short trips or emergency purposes it shouldn't be a big deal. But for longer journeys I'd definitely invest in a trailer.
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Old 05-28-2014, 07:34 AM   #4
Lucky62
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Question Neutral?

I would think if the transmission is in neutral, you wouldn't be turning the transmission or engine, I don't see how it could do any damage.
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Old 05-28-2014, 11:30 AM   #5
Wasteblade OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plutoz View Post
The biggest concern seems to be damage to the drivetrain/transmission by having the engine turning without any lubrication because the oil pump isn't running. This should be rectified by removing the chain/belt, but that's a PITA.
I wonder if the workaround would be one of those devices repo men use on cars with their handbrakes on or in gear. The lift the tires and set them on it. Basically the car's tires remain stationary and this acts as the tires. At this point thing, I think that it would be more cost effective to get a folding trailer since it's multi use vs. this having a single purpose. Having it as an emergency device isn't a bad idea though.
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Old 05-28-2014, 02:21 PM   #6
MeanMoe
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Had one and sold it because the stupid thing weighed 80 pounds all by itself. My back can take up to 50 lbs without complaining too much but the tow dolly was unmanageable. Yes, you could take it apart but then you'd spend time putting it together and taking it apart. Better to get a TIAB.
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:33 PM   #7
Tukata
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The small harbor freight trailer would probably be a better option. It's like 130lbs and a 20-30lbs tongue weight for your matrix.

Bike it happy, actually tows well, and you don't look like a weirdo
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