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Anyone ever towed a bike with a bike? Yes, you read that right

Joined
Aug 1, 2015
Messages
13
Location
Houston
Heyo, just got back from SE Asia, where they do literally everything via motorbike. Family of 6? Fits on a motorbike. Need to move a queen mattress? Motorbike.

Anyway, one of the popular forms of transportation for foreigners in Cambodia is this kind of tuk-tuk that’s actually a trailer towed behind a motorbike (yes...the bike was only 125cc). Seems like they use two bearings to deal with the two axes of motion (pitch and yaw).

https://goo.gl/images/qUj28S

Was thinking about modifying a bike to do the same task (and probably a custom trailer) but maybe like a klr650 or something as the workhorse - no highway.

Anyone ever towed on their bike? The only common thing I can find is campers behind harley’s. I guess my concern is not “can I/the bike do it?” But more “is it legal?”

Any help/links appreciated!!

Cheers and safe riding,
Josh
 
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Joined
Oct 4, 2009
Messages
6,178
Location
Harmaston, TX
Yes both legal and can be done safely. KLR would limit what you can pull though. I've personally seen a Gold Wing pulling an X-Challenge, a BMW GS pulling a DR650, DR650 pulling a KTM smoker and a few other combos. Keep your trailer as low to the ground as possible.

_
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2015
Messages
13
Location
Houston
Yes both legal and can be done safely. KLR would limit what you can pull though. I've personally seen a Gold Wing pulling an X-Challenge, a BMW GS pulling a DR650, DR650 pulling a KTM smoker and a few other combos. Keep your trailer as low to the ground as possible.

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I assume the requirements then are just the same for any trailer?

Brake lights, turn signals, flashers? In Texas, it’s not required to have brakes if gvwr is under 4,000lb, which this is definitely under. I assume the trailer doesn’t need an inspection but can’t find anything concrete saying so.

http://www.txdmv.gov/motorists/buying-or-selling-a-vehicle/trailers

The idea would be to pull a small off-road bike or a track bike.

How much weight, trailer and bike, do you think is max? 500lb? I would just plan on city streets/backroads to COTA or off-road area.

I know liter+ bike would be better, but figured if I go slow enough it’d be ok with a smaller bike that has plenty of torque. I’m familiar with the klr’s cooling system and its pitfalls thanks to wattman for the thermobob! My assumption is the extra heat generation in the tranny of the towing bike is of concern.

Any other issues I should be aware of?

Thanks again,
Josh
 
Joined
Apr 26, 2006
Messages
4,025
Location
Seabrook, TX
Engine and drivetrain load and heat are always the challenges to towing. Most modern bikes have generous brakes, but it is still something to keep a watch on.

Touring bike tow setups I have seen use a ball like a truck or car would and that handles the articulation needed; pitch, roll and yaw. No need for any overly complicated double bearing joint which still only gives two planes of freedom.

The saying goes: (Insert preferred touring bike) don't ride on trailers; they pull trailers.

Finally, I'm unsure about the legality of passengers riding in a trailer (if that's what you're wanting to do). I know passengers cannot ride in an RV trailer but am unsure if that extends to all trailers.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 1, 2015
Messages
13
Location
Houston
Engine and drivetrain load and heat are always the challenges to towing. Most modern bikes have generous brakes, but it is still something to keep a watch on.

Touring bike tow setups I have seen use a ball like a truck or car would and that handles the articulation needed; pitch, roll and yaw. No need for any overly complicated double bearing joint which still only gives two planes of freedom.

The saying goes: (Insert preferred touring bike) don't ride on trailers; they pull trailers.

Finally, I'm unsure about the legality of passengers riding in a trailer (if that's what you're wanting to do). I know passengers cannot ride in an RV trailer but am unsure if that extends to all trailers.
Thanks Dave. Brakes are an excellent point...and a major issue on the KLR.

I would not be towing people, just another bike. The ball hitch would be awkward to mount, at best, on the klr, but it seems like an obvious addition on any large touring bike.

More thought needed.
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2014
Messages
702
Location
Denton
This is better suited for the KLR
[ame="https://youtu.be/5UVd3pvSqZ4"]Bike on a Bike - Kawasaki KLR650 - MotoGeo Adventures - YouTube[/ame]

Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
 

Windmill

Forum Supporter
Joined
Mar 5, 2015
Messages
2,271
Location
Thorndale
In 1967 I drove a 57 Bellaire convertible into the ocean it was never the same. Sold it for 450. dollars.. That rider in video post #10 got his bicycle and motorcycle soaked with salt water. He looked sober.
 
Joined
Mar 1, 2012
Messages
43
Location
katy,tx.
This is hard to believe I know but it really happened . Many years ago on Super Bowl Sunday I got a call from a guy who saw my listing in the BMW owners book. He had bike trouble near my house and wanted some help. He got to my house and he was riding an older airhead with a sidecar and pulling a trailer with another airhead on the trailer. Long story cut short he left the sidecar bike along with the trailer and road the bike which had been on the trailer that night to New Orleans to get the parts he needed to fix the sidecar bike. He returned a few days later, made the repairs and rode off. Never said much about where he had come from or where he was going. Just a strange guy that passed through my garage one Super Bowl Sunday. kenray in katy tx.
 

brg

Joined
Apr 13, 2012
Messages
215
Location
East Texas
Windmill said:
In 1967 I drove a 57 Bellaire convertible into the ocean it was never the same. Sold it for 450. dollars.. That rider in video post #10 got his bicycle and motorcycle soaked with salt water. He looked sober.


I always cringe when I see a rider on tv go through saltwater at the beach, letting the water soak the whole bike. I just figure either they're not from the coast, or they just don't know any better.
 
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