Towing a Goldwing

Technical information and Q&A applicable to all years and models of Goldwings
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Towing a Goldwing

Postby roadhawg » Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:44 pm

I was looking for a trailer recently and noticed something quite unusual, at least to me, for towing a motorcycle. It is called a stirrup and attaches to the hitch on your auto. The front tire of the bike sits in the stirrup and the bike is strapped to it. Put the bike in neutral and tow the bike down the highway. My question is whether there is potential for damage to the bike's drive train towing it this way?

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Re: Towing a Goldwing

Postby thrasherg » Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:51 pm

I have heard of several people that were worried about that, so they removed the final drive chain from the bike when towing.. :) Unfortunately the goldwing is shaft drive, so it cannot be disconnected :( . When I looked at the lubrication diagram for the 1800, the transmission and shaft drive of the wing did not look to be pressure fed, it just relies on the parts sitting in the oil and it splashing about.. So in theory it shouldn't harm anything, but I personally would get a proper trailer and tow it on a trailer rather than this shoe arrangement.. My back tyre already wears out fast enough, without towing the bike on it.. :oops: I would also be worried about the bike falling over whilst being towed in that fashion, I know they put straps from the handlebars to the car to keep it upright, but when I tow my wing on a trailer I have straps on the handlebars and other points on the bike.. The security just isn't to my liking with that tow hitch arrangement, my bars are rubber mounted and can move quite a bit so it just seems like it would not be very secure. :o


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Re: Towing a Goldwing

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:54 pm

What he said. :) The two main reasons are that the bike is too heavy to support around corners that way (you could easily have the weight of the bike causing the car to lift up a rear tire in a turn), and more importantly, the lack of lubrication in the transmission. You might save a few dollars using this "tag along" type trailer instead of a proper bike trailer, but you'll pay for it ten times over when you have to have your bike's transmission rebuilt as a result.

Lastly, you'll also be subjecting your bike's swingarm and rear drive to lateral forces they were not designed to bear. In a turn, a bike is leaned over, so the main force applied to the rear suspension and drive is still directly up and down. If the bike is supported upright, in a turn, all the force required for the bike to turn is being exerted laterally, 90 degrees to what it was designed to handle.

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