Can you tow an LT with another LT? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 19 Old Jul 24th, 2006, 3:02 pm Thread Starter
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Can you tow an LT with another LT?

Hi

just wondering if one or the other of our bikes quits on our Big Trip has anyone experience in towing an LT?

We have equipment ready to fasten the cable in the front of the dead bike but where to fasten it on the one that is pulling? (Now my bike has the Dauntless hitch assembly, but I don't plan to take the hitch itself along.)
Take out the licence plate and fasten the cable on the frame tube above the opening?

I know, I know the clutch is in danger, the rear subframe is in danger, but if one of us gets stuck in the middle of nowhere...

Just asking...

Regards

Ari "the Farkle-Freak-Finn" Ignatius

Hyvinkää, Finland
2004 ('05) LT, Dark Graphite, "Sunset Cruiser II"

Bike trip from Finland to USA:

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post #2 of 19 Old Jul 24th, 2006, 3:47 pm
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I don't think I would ever do it but I have seen it done. A few years ago my travels happen to take me through Sturgis during the anual madness. I Came across a Goldwing pulling a trailer with the guys Harley strapped in place. That was one scary looking combination. The trailer was swaying and appeared to be hard to control. No thank you! And if you're thinking of towing with a cable forget it. I can tell you from my dirt bike days pulling or being pulled is no fun and dangerous. The control is very limited and you are forced to take the line that just happens. You have almost no ability to swerve or adjust your path. Your speed would be limited to a crawl.

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post #3 of 19 Old Jul 24th, 2006, 3:53 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pozo_izquierdo
on our Big Trip has anyone experience in towing an LT? gets stuck in the middle of nowhere...
Where is the middle of nowhere?

I would not tow LT with another or even a car using a strap - not safe.

I have seen one bike pulling another on a trailer, it was the kind that only the front wheel was on - looked scary. I ran into the guy later and turns out he was doing about 1,500 miles like that.

A few hours waiting for a tow (or a day like I just did with my GS on the Dempster) is far more safe.

Dave

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website has been hacked - down for now
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Current Stable:
'06 R12GS Adv, '98 Buell, '95 Ultra, '95 Fatboy, '71 Rickman, '53 Panhead
2009-2010 KxxxxLT or whenever BMW updates the platform


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post #4 of 19 Old Jul 24th, 2006, 6:22 pm
 
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I towed a friends H/D about 50 miles with a tow-strap. Kept it under 80 KPH and it wasn't a big deal but------you really have to trust the other guy. As posted earlier "he may have very little control" but the control that he does have is on the towing bike. In my case I felt every move he made.
As long as you bring a cell phone (that will work over here), or just pick one up here on a pay as you go plan, you should be OK. You are well enough established on this site/community that there will always be some-one "nearby" with a trailer.
And quit believing that stuff you read about "the vast open space" --- there is very little "middle of nowhere" on this side of the pond.
You will have fun and a trouble-free trip-------we promise
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post #5 of 19 Old Jul 24th, 2006, 6:27 pm
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Recovery only

Ari, the bike can do it, you know your limits.
Only where it would be very impracticle to go get help (you put in the number of klicks) say 25 miles. In that spot you do whatever it takes, I have recovered my Aspen trailer with ratchet tie down straps, very slow about 3 inches at a time.
Not sure what your doing for hooking up to the pulled bike I always want the pulled bike to be able to instantly unhitch when ever that rider feels the need. Better to have them let go for whatever reason, than to disable the only ride we got left by dragging it down.
For me it would be easier to push a board lashed across the rear of the bags with a stiff leg (we used to do foot pegs on HD's, but you would have a hard time reaching on an LT) that way your not hooked together.

Rock
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post #6 of 19 Old Jul 24th, 2006, 6:57 pm
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Quote:
For me it would be easier to push a board lashed across the rear of the bags with a stiff leg (we used to do foot pegs on HD's, but you would have a hard time reaching on an LT) that way your not hooked together.

Rock
Yeah Rock, I pushed a buddies bike with a foot on a rear peg once myself.
Definitely takes a bit of coordination between the riders.

Follow your front wheel...
Steve S.

1998 Harley Davidson FLHR-P
1998 BMW R1100RT-P (Black Mariah)
2002 BMW K1200LTE (Bayou Buffalo)

If it rolls, floats, flies or shoots, runs on gasoline or gunpowder, is loud, goes fast, or shoots a big bullet, thus producing Torque or Recoil....It's Cool.

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post #7 of 19 Old Jul 24th, 2006, 7:31 pm
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Don't do it.....it is a prescription for disaster. The LT (or any other bike) does not have the frame/brakes/stability to be towing an 800 lb object (plus the weight of the rider). The slightest bobble by the towing bike or the towed bike will put both of you on the slab.
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post #8 of 19 Old Jul 24th, 2006, 7:48 pm
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Ari - first thang I would do would be to stash all the goodies that won't fit in the bags; hide 'em somewhere in the vicinity. Then ride two up to find assistance and return to retrieve the dead bike and the stashed goodies. I would not even consider towing a two-wheel with another two-wheel and taking a chance of ruining both rides; a person; the vacation; or any other tangibles. Plus - get out the Anonymous book in any event, just to let folks know what is going on. You'll have a good samaritan to the rescue in no time. Serious!!

Ride safe, Ari and Jouko.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pozo_izquierdo
Hi

just wondering if one or the other of our bikes quits on our Big Trip has anyone experience in towing an LT?

We have equipment ready to fasten the cable in the front of the dead bike but where to fasten it on the one that is pulling? (Now my bike has the Dauntless hitch assembly, but I don't plan to take the hitch itself along.)
Take out the licence plate and fasten the cable on the frame tube above the opening?

I know, I know the clutch is in danger, the rear subframe is in danger, but if one of us gets stuck in the middle of nowhere...

Just asking...

Regards
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post #9 of 19 Old Jul 24th, 2006, 8:14 pm
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Don't do it, listen to someone that WILL NEVER DO IT AGAIN FOR ANYBODY!!!!!!

Airborne "Never Forget"
Vonore, TN

2003 LT-E "HLZ BNZ"
2004 Rune "PNS EXTN"
1970 ZA-50 "JR"

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post #10 of 19 Old Jul 24th, 2006, 9:27 pm
 
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If anyone

Ari,
If anyone can do it, you can do it. You have enough experience with the motorcycle to understand all of the associated problems.

My biggest concern is you finding the western US more populated than you are planning. Also 1 in about 100 motorcyclist will pull over to give you a hand.

The best thing about those desolate areas, everyone has a pick up truck and some boards to make a ramp.

See you in a few weeks.
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post #11 of 19 Old Jul 24th, 2006, 10:35 pm
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I know someone that just got out of the hospital... he was trying to tow his bike from a few blocks to his house. It is absolutely not safe.

He was trying to negotiate an intersection... slack got in the tow strap while he was making the turn... when the slack was abruptly taken up, the inertia literally yanked the bike out from under him.
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post #12 of 19 Old Jul 24th, 2006, 11:08 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean_BMW
I know someone that just got out of the hospital... he was trying to tow his bike from a few blocks to his house. It is absolutely not safe.

He was trying to negotiate an intersection... slack got in the tow strap while he was making the turn... when the slack was abruptly taken up, the inertia literally yanked the bike out from under him.
Thus my point about Know your limitations and being able to instantly disconnect from the bike.
That type of problem comes from using your (front bikes) brake, all braking has to be done from the rear bike. Tow bike has to hand signal brakes on and off, while tow monkey also has to watch and do his best to antisapate braking.
It is not easy or recommended, but there are times when you have little choice.
Rock
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post #13 of 19 Old Jul 25th, 2006, 7:46 am
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Do the newer LT's have brakes if they are not running? I realize this is a silly question but may be something to consider.

Roy Gregersen

Ride Slow, Ride Fast, Always Ride Safe
85 K100RT sold
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post #14 of 19 Old Jul 25th, 2006, 8:42 am
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I just found out you were going accross the US.

My suggestion is to join the BMWOA and get a copy of:

The famous BMW MOA Anonymous book. Published annually with updated material, this book lists BMW MOA members who are willing to aid and assist (as indicated) in cases of emergency or just sociability. Listings are coded by phone numbers only and indicate degrees of services, abilities, parts, etc. available to BMW MOA riders requiring emergency help, simple directions or just a hot cup of coffee with a smiling friendly face attached. Over 12,000+ members are currently listed and as a BMW MOA member you will discover the Anonymous Book as an invaluable security blanket and an absolutely safety tool when touring anywhere, anytime.

Link to their site

Dave

BMWMOA #120588
website has been hacked - down for now
Riding since '65 - 30+ bikes (lost count)
Current Stable:
'06 R12GS Adv, '98 Buell, '95 Ultra, '95 Fatboy, '71 Rickman, '53 Panhead
2009-2010 KxxxxLT or whenever BMW updates the platform


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post #15 of 19 Old Jul 25th, 2006, 10:27 am Thread Starter
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OK, OK, the result of this poll is quite obvious! :

Let's not try to tow the LT. Point well taken and understood!

And BTW: I do have the priviledge of the BMW Anonymous book. Just received a copy from Dick the Moderator yesterday. I hope nobody gets offended for me not being the official member of the American Owners club. But I am the member of the Finnish BMW riders club and through them a member of the European BMW club. And I promise not to misuse the advantage I have been granted.


Best regards to everyone and thanks for the advise!

Ari "the Farkle-Freak-Finn" Ignatius

Hyvinkää, Finland
2004 ('05) LT, Dark Graphite, "Sunset Cruiser II"

Bike trip from Finland to USA:

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post #16 of 19 Old Jul 25th, 2006, 11:01 am
 
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Ari,
Glad to hear your decision. Ali and I will sleep a lot better now.
Thanks Dick for covering the bases.
Have a wonderful fun-filled trip and we will all see you at CCR.
Looking forward to it,

Last edited by black1200lt; Jul 25th, 2006 at 11:10 am.
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post #17 of 19 Old Jul 25th, 2006, 11:12 am
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Way back in my younger and dumber days, my buddy and I tried towing a dirt bike to bump start it. Him in his truck, me on the dirt bike. We were OK until he got to end of the parking lot and turned, the sideways pull on the bike yanked it over with me going straight over the bars. Road rash on knees, elbows and hands. Of course we laughed later over beers. I've done it on road bikes as well (towing, not crashing), but only a short distance, maybe to the gas station down the road, and very carefully.
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post #18 of 19 Old Jul 25th, 2006, 12:38 pm
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I carry an inexpensive towing rig I designed in my emergency kit. Saves a lot of hassle.

My rig consists of a 50 foot length of 1/8" nylon rope and two 12" loops that you wrap around each fork - they form a short "V" under tension from the tow line. At the end of the "V" I have a small stainless steel Wichard brand SWIVEL snap shackle/quick release that you can buy at any sailing shop. A 6 foot piece of the same 1/8" rope is attached to the quick release as a lanyard and reaches back to my handlebars. The quick release is about $40, but it is a quality piece and won't bind and lock up under tension. You can find cheaper quick releases for $10.00 used for horse leads at any hardware or tack store - I would not trust them - they are fairly large, heavy and poorly machined - dangerous for this application. The swivel function of the $40.00 piece is critical to it functioning properly when you want it to!

When I initially made this rig I used virtually unbreakable 3mm Kevlar rope, 5 times as strong as steel rope - bad idea. The reason I chose 1/8" nylon rope instead is that it is more than strong enough to pull the bike and is very stretchy to allow lots of "give". In the event it gets caught in something it will snap in a heartbeat. The quick release gives the towed bike's driver the ability to separate from the tow line and vehicle with a quick tug on the lanyard in case something goes wrong. In that event the two loops and quick release harmlessly flop down on top of the fender - they're not long enough to go anywhere else. If you tow with a car make sure the driver has his window rolled down so he can hear you screaming.

Is it dangerous? Not really, you just need to keep the speed really slow and pay attention. A nice steady 10 to 15 mph pull by the tow vehicle is just the ticket.

I've never needed it myself execept for a trial run. I have used it a couple of times for guys stranded on "other brands".
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Last edited by RonKMiller; Jul 25th, 2006 at 1:05 pm.
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post #19 of 19 Old Jul 25th, 2006, 6:13 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjordans2000
I can tell you from my dirt bike days pulling or being pulled is no fun and dangerous.
I broke down racing in the Baja to Vegas one year and my brother towed me over 30 miles across the desert to the nearest check point. Of course back then we always caried tow rope wrapped around our cross bar.
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