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How to tow

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Ok so Ive seen several posts about people towing others out... my question is what method do you use?

Where do you connect to the bike that is towing and where to the bike that is being pulled? how much distance between bikes seems to work best? And any tips for keeping the tow strap out of the tires?

thanks

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I'm not an expert at towing or being towed but I should be:lol::applause:

I like to loop the rope to pull at the center of steering like around the top of both forks. Might have to drop the front plate or light to avoid damaging it. It makes it easier to steer and less stressful when being pulled. It's easy to ride the brakes a little to keep from bumping into your tow. When I'm the pull guy I like to hook the rope around my right footpeg. Makes for a solid mount and good control over the rope.👍🤣 I keep a Moose tow strap in my pack. Compact and durable.🙂

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Something you and your regular ride buddy's should try before actually having to do it. For the person being towed...best I found is to make sure you are pulling from the center of the bike. I like using a flat strap. I always want to be able to disconnect at a moments notice so I'll twist the strap around the bar a few times then bring the end to my left hand. Twist keeps the pull stress at the center part but keeps holding onto the strap very easy. As for length....you want at least 2 bike lengths between you.

Key is the two riders coordinating throttle and brakes. Brakes are particularly important on unflat terrain. You want to keep tension on the strap. Tow bike must maintain smooth throttle. Most who try for the first time end up in a heap a few times till they figure it out.

Good thing is now a days bikes are pretty reliable. Couple 3-4 decades ago mechanical issues were the norm.

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I towed a bike 65 miles through some of the nastiest, rockiest terrain you will ever want to tow a bike (let alone ride!) - hillclimbs, sandy whoops, off-camber hill climbs... all at night, with a broken headlight and a broken arm. It was one of the single worst experiences I've ever had on a motorcycle, certainly worse than this one.

JohnnyAirtime knows the section - '07 Baja 1000 - nearly all the way from El Rosario to Guayaquil. Me without a headlight and a broken arm and Max Eddy with a fried clutch. We were a match made in heaven. I learned to tow a bike using the footpegs that fateful evening. I'll never tow a bike any differently. Use the inside footpegs and keep the bikes slightly offset (you don't want to line up perfectly parallel for obvious reasons).

The lower tug point makes it a hell of a lot easier to control the bikes. You don't get any jerking and the guy being towed can steer and brake better. Use a little communication between each rider and you'll never have a problem ("STOP! GO! SH*T THIS SUCKS!").

Here I am towing a Honda 250x (broken starter gear) with my KTM 525 using this technique. I towed this guy about 15 miles. I love this picture. You don't often see orange towing red 👍

n682816994_2113199_3455.jpg

Best little tow-strap money can buy:

http://www.mooseracing.com/catalog.jsp?level1=1758&product_group_id=7509

That thing survived all 65 miles - tire burns, being dragged through rocks, getting wrapped up in my rear wheel once. It's compact light-weight and pretty tough.

Edited by Justin Hambleton

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Justin's method looks pretty good- the only thing I'd be nervous of is bailing should things start to get hairy. The pros to that method is that the chances of the tow rope getting caught up in the wheel are minimized by off-setting & that's a good thing! The method I've used makes it easier for the person being towed to let go but also increases the chances of the rope getting wrapped into the rear wheel of the tow bike. I'm thinking I'll try Justin's method next time.

The method I've used which has worked good for me: Tie one end around the muffler mount, the other end gets wrapped one time around the towee's bike (as close to the center or bar clamp as possible) with the excess under his/her hand. Should things get sketchy that person can let go and the rope will unravel freely.

One tip which may not occur to some and seems like common sense (yet I've seen people doing this), don't tow down a hill that you can coast down! I was towing a buddy in Dove Springs and he was ready to be towed down a slight grade. I stopped at the top of the hill, confused he asked "what are you doing?"- I said, "we're going to have a coaster race!". So. we both raced down the nearly mile long, curvy, whooped hill (engines off), trying to cut each other off and find the fastest line. This was definitely the highlight of the trip back. This is actually fun to do even when a bike isn't broken- you should try it!

Slightly off-topic: The rope I keep handy is a product commonly called "mule-tape". It's a low-stretch polyester weave, 3/4" across and pretty thin (maybe a little thinner than a tie-down), is rated at 2,500 lbs, and really lightweight. I keep about 12' of it in my pack to be used as a tow strap. If any of you know someone in the communications, electric, or underground construction industry, ask them about it. Once used to pull in cable it is usually discarded so getting a few hundred or even a thousand feet of it should be easy.

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How ironic. I ended up towing my ride buddy out today. His YZ lost compression about 5 miles into a fast sand wash. The electrode on the plug was fried so I think he melted a hole in the piston. Looped the rope around both forks legs on top of the triple clamp on the YZ and then around my right foot peg. Worked like a charm. Orange towing blue with my trusty Moose tow strap.

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Orange doing the towing.. again?? Man, that has to be the..(let me think)... second time I've ever heard of that! I think you and Justin are just trying to stir the sh!+ on this 450x forum! LOL j/k.. Glad everything went well with the tow and hope your buddy's motor isn't toast. Not sounding good, though.

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I was thinking about the tow Reed gave me on his WR pulling my 450X in Baja. I was wondering when I would get to tow a blue bike after that. I think my bud's bike will be OK with a new piston. I've towed a couple KTM's on the 450X though....both times with snapped chains wound up in the CS.

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this really should be a sticky:thumbsup:

Not a bad idea since 450X riders seem to get a fair share of towing duties:lol:🤣👍

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I had to tow my friend's KTM 525 back to camp, which was about 18 miles thru the sand washes and hills of Dove Springs. He had some sort of electrical gremlins or his stator went out-- something like that.. anyway.. it was my first "real" ride with my then new 450x (not exactly how you want to break in your new ride- towing another heavy bike through the sand), and my friend felt bad about this. During our journey we were joking back and forth about having a fleet of 450X's that just roamed the desert towing broken Kawi's, KTM's, etc.. A few weeks later he had these stickers made up. Note the red camel towing the orange bike.

CamelTow001.jpg

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I agree about the sticky. This isn't something you have to do too often, but when you have to do it, it's good to have some ideas of how to go about it. When the sun is setting and you're 20 miles from camp (or something worse), it's not a good time to learn. Hearing about JAT's long-haul tow makes my 18 mile journey seem quite tame!

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We were thinking something different, too! We came up with all kinds of slogans for our newly dreamt-up company: "I love Camel Tow", "You ain't been tow'd until you've had Camel Tow", "No better tow than Camel Tow", etc.

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Wow Great info!! 👍

Thanks for the great stories & real life situations of how to do this. Anyone who reads this will benifit from it & save frustrations, equipment, & possible injury.

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