What You Need to Know About Motorcycle Towing

If you’re a motorcycle enthusiast, you know there’s nothing quite like the feeling of wind whipping through your hair as you ride along the open road. But unfortunately, no amount of exhilaration or endorphins can save a motorcycle owner from encountering motor vehicle problems every now and then. Motorcycle mishaps can and will happen, and motorcycle owners need to be aware that towing a two-wheeled vehicle is not like transporting a sedan, van, or truck.

Types of Motorcycle Towing

Just like automobiles, motorcycles are prone to problems. If your bike becomes inoperable, what towing options are available? When you find yourself in a bind and need help getting your motorcycle from one place to another, you can tow your motorcycle using one of three motorcycle towing methods:

#1 – Tow Dolly

This style of towing method straps the front wheel of the bike to a dolly and leaves the rear wheel on the ground. The bike remains in neutral to allow the back tire to rotate while being towed.

Incorrectly connecting a motorcycle to a tow dolly will cause significant damage to the bike. A motorcycle should not be towed with the back tire attached to the tow dolly.

Furthermore, tow dollies can only carry so much weight. Depending on the size and weight of your motorcycle, a tow dolly may not be a suitable option.

#2 – Motorcycle Carrier

While a motorcycle carrier keeps both wheels off the ground, this method also comes with limitations. Not all motorcycle carriers are equipped to carry large or heavy bikes. You must know the weight of your bike and the maximum tow capacity of the motorcycle carrier.

Plus, not all motorcycle carriers are built the same. Some carriers come with features such as anti-tilting mechanisms and adjustable wheel chocks. If you do not know how to correctly attach a motorcycle to the carrier, the bike may not be secure or stable during the transportation process.

#3 – Tow Trailer

Tow trailers come in several variations, but the best tow trailer for a motorcycle is a flatbed tow trailer. Flatbed towing a motorcycle can go seriously wrong when not carried out correctly, though.

You must know how to safely get the bike off the ground and onto the tow deck. You need to know how to tie down and strap the motorcycle into place. You should also know how to compress the bike’s shocks and suspension to limit damage to the bike. Securing a motorcycle to a flatbed tow trailer is a precise process that requires a specific type of knowledge and level of expertise.

The Complexities of Motorcycle Towing

Can you pick up on an underlying theme that comes with each type of towing method? Towing a motorcycle can go terribly wrong when not performed properly or carried out with the right equipment. If you do not know what you are doing, then you are better off leaving the job in the hands of a professional motorcycle tow company.

Furthermore, you need to be aware of the rules and regulations in your particular state that involve motorcycle towing. Each state has its own set of rules outlining how a bike can be transported. Not knowing those regulations can land you in trouble with the law.

So before you attempt to tow your motorcycle on your own, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I have the right type of dolly, carrier, or trailer to transport my motorcycle safely and securely?
  • Do I know how to properly load my bike onto that dolly, carrier, or trailer? What safety precautions will I use to make sure my motorcycle stays upright and does not tip over during the loading process?
  • Do I have the correct equipment, such as towing straps or safety chains, that are designed to fit the size and weight of my motorcycle?
  • Do I know how to use that equipment to ensure my bike is correctly tied down and will not create a dangerous situation during transit?
  • Do I understand the local and national laws associated with towing a motorcycle?

Motorcycle Towing vs. Roadside Assistance

Sometimes your motorcycle malfunctions will not require a full tow service. Perhaps you run out of gas, your battery dies, or you end up with a flat tire. When this happens, you might only need roadside assistance versus towing.

That’s where Roadside Rescue comes into the picture. Whether you need towing services or roadside assistance, our highly-trained team can help either way. Our technicians are WreckMaster certified and know how to properly care for your motorcycle. As a far-reaching Utah towing company, our extensive service area expands from Weber and Davis counties down to Salt Lake and Utah counties and across to Tooele county. Contact us today for all your motor vehicle towing needs.


Motorcycle enthusiasts enjoy the thrill of riding on the open road, but they also face occasional motor vehicle problems. Towing a two-wheeled vehicle is different from transporting a sedan, van, or truck. There are three types of motorcycle towing methods available to help get your motorcycle from one place to another. It’s crucial for motorcycle owners to be aware of these potential issues and find suitable towing options.

5 Facts on Motorcycle Towing Infographic


What You Need to Know About Motorcycle Towing