Towing a motorbike Dolly

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Towing a motorbike Dolly

Post by samleeds on Sun Jul 23, 2017 9:47 am

I currently have a towbar mounted scooter rack and it works fine but the weight is prohibitive and sometimes awkward to get the bike off. Im considering a DOLLY that is also mounted on the tow ball with the front secured leaving the rear wheel rolling on the ground. The bike isnt manual, its an automatic twist and go so my questions are as such.....

1. Can these Dollies ruin the running gear of the scooter.

2. Are they stable on the road or can they cause problems

3. Are they legal abroad

4. Do the improve the vans handling or make it worse.

Obviously they are not that common, so maybe for a reason, i would like to hear from anyone that has personal experience with these Dollies. By the way, a trailer isnt an option for us for reasons i wont go into.

_________________
You only have one wife and one life, treat them both as equally precious
avatar
samleeds
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 240
Auto-Sleeper : vw clubman

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Towing a motorbike Dolly

Post by bikeralw on Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:21 am

I wouldn't know about 2. 3. or 4, but I do have experience with CVT scooters. Technically if the engine isn't running the scooter is always in neutral, so towing with a dolly should be ok.
I say should, but I wouldn't do it myself, mainly because the speed you might tow at could be in excess of the maximum speed the scooter is designed for.
Al.
avatar
bikeralw
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 1087
Auto-Sleeper : Nuevo

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Towing a motorbike Dolly

Post by Bmwdumptruck on Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:22 am

My mate bought one, the whole thing fell off his car within yards.  Theyre rubbish, buy a motolug foldaway trailer
avatar
Bmwdumptruck
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 56
Auto-Sleeper : VWClubman GL

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Towing a motorbike Dolly

Post by Gromit on Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:39 am

Hi Sam

You have a PM.

Personal experience coming up, though not entirely applicable as I towed a bl***y great trike.

"1. Can these Dollies ruin the running gear of the scooter?"  It didn't harm the trike, and I don't see why it should hurt a scooter. It's only like freewheeling down an Alp after all, and that could be 10 miles or more. Maybe get confirmation from someone who knows about scooters?

"2. Are they stable on the road or can they cause problems?" You won't even know it's there, but don't try reversing unless you are a lot better at it than me!!

"3. Are they legal abroad?" Yes and no . . . probably!!!  shrugg Are they legal in this country?? Short answer is that nobody knows for certain until/unless there's ever a test case in Law. They are not illegal which is a crucial difference, and I quizzed several policemen (in the UK) and they hadn't a clue, but weren't the least bit bothered having had a look to ensure that the dolly was sturdy and obviously a secure mounting for the trike.
We towed it all the way to Southern France and back, and apart from a few curious stares nobody took the slightest notice.

"4. Do the improve the vans handling or make it worse?" Previous answer covers this. If you have a rear view camera you will need to look at the screen to check it's still there. You will feel absolutely no difference in the handling of the van.

A couple of caveats.
Be very careful who you buy a dolly from. There are some on eBay that I wouldn't touch with a barge pole!!!  Be sure you can strap the front wheel on very securely with a ratchet strap, and have a metal rod through the wheel as a double safeguard. If you get a well designed dolly you will be OK. They are very popular in the States, where they have had far more experience than here, so a look at their models might be useful.

Don't go too fast - which would be sound advice when towing anything. A vicious pothole could send the scooter bouncing around and strain the front wheel or steering. Like many other things, with a bit of forethought and common sense it should be a good solution to your problem.

Hope this helps. I know some people are very wary of them, but as said before, get a really good one. smile!

_________________
Dave smile!
avatar
Gromit
Moderator
Moderator

Male

Posts : 3000
Auto-Sleeper : Nuevo EK LP

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Towing a motorbike Dolly

Post by Bmwdumptruck on Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:54 am


From what I saw of my mates one, you can't fix the front wheel too tight, you have to allow it to lean from side to side as you turn corners and out of junctions.  The whole bikes falls on its side as you do sharp turns, out of a carpark or side turning etc.  My mate loaded his bike on my drive and as he turned out onto the road the bike literally flopped on its side, very nearly scraping on the road.  The whole idea is flawed, the geometry is all wrong, and if you do fix the front wheel tight I would imagine you'll put some serious loads through the headstock, that no bike is designed to deal with.  
The guy that sold my mates one had to buy his bike off him to keep it out of court.  He then listened to me and bought a Motolug.  
As he's now emigrated I've just bought it off him, we've just been using it to tow our GS to Scotland. Tows great, easy to load and now I've fitted a Backsee lens I can keep an eye on it while driving.  I've even managed to reverse it a few times, although it's not easy.
avatar
Bmwdumptruck
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 56
Auto-Sleeper : VWClubman GL

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Towing a motorbike Dolly

Post by Gromit on Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:07 am

Bmwdumptruck wrote:From what I saw of my mates one, you can't fix the front wheel too tight, you have to allow it to lean from side to side as you turn corners and out of junctions.  The whole bikes falls on its side as you do sharp turns, out of a carpark or side turning etc.  My mate loaded his bike on my drive and as he turned out onto the road the bike literally flopped on its side, very nearly scraping on the road.  The whole idea is flawed, the geometry is all wrong, and if you do fix the front wheel tight I would imagine you'll put some serious loads through the headstock, that no bike is designed to deal with. 
Spot on Dumptruck. I was about to add more warnings.  smile!

The same happens to some extent with a trike, but not if the dolly is correctly designed with an incorporated pivot. (See below.)

The steering of the bike should be fixed straight ahead, either with the steering lock or (preferably) with a pair of ratchet straps from the hand grips back to the carrier (or somewhere secure at the rear.)

The dolly should hold the front wheel vertical, ideally with extra support rods each side to brace the headstock against falling sideways, again with ratchet straps or rods. (It all sounds very fiddly, but takes only a minute or two after a couple of trial fits.)

Crucially!!!!!!! the dolly itself should be fixed rigidly to the towbar, NOT via the towball, and it should have a pivot point for cornering. This way it is the dolly which pivots when cornering, not the steering of the bike.

I don't know why Sam is set against a trailer, but I have to say the MotoLug ticks more boxes for him. Apart from anything else, it's definitely fully legal here and abroad, and it takes up far less storage space than a more conventional trailer - which is the reason a lot of people don't want one. Not difficult to load the bike on either, although I guess it would take two people to be safe.

Hope this helps.

_________________
Dave smile!
avatar
Gromit
Moderator
Moderator

Male

Posts : 3000
Auto-Sleeper : Nuevo EK LP

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Towing a motorbike Dolly

Post by samleeds on Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:05 pm

Gromit wrote:
Bmwdumptruck wrote:From what I saw of my mates one, you can't fix the front wheel too tight, you have to allow it to lean from side to side as you turn corners and out of junctions.  The whole bikes falls on its side as you do sharp turns, out of a carpark or side turning etc.  My mate loaded his bike on my drive and as he turned out onto the road the bike literally flopped on its side, very nearly scraping on the road.  The whole idea is flawed, the geometry is all wrong, and if you do fix the front wheel tight I would imagine you'll put some serious loads through the headstock, that no bike is designed to deal with. 
Spot on Dumptruck. I was about to add more warnings.  smile!

The same happens to some extent with a trike, but not if the dolly is correctly designed with an incorporated pivot. (See below.)

The steering of the bike should be fixed straight ahead, either with the steering lock or (preferably) with a pair of ratchet straps from the hand grips back to the carrier (or somewhere secure at the rear.)

The dolly should hold the front wheel vertical, ideally with extra support rods each side to brace the headstock against falling sideways, again with ratchet straps or rods. (It all sounds very fiddly, but takes only a minute or two after a couple of trial fits.)

Crucially!!!!!!! the dolly itself should be fixed rigidly to the towbar, NOT via the towball, and it should have a pivot point for cornering. This way it is the dolly which pivots when cornering, not the steering of the bike.

I don't know why Sam is set against a trailer, but I have to say the MotoLug ticks more boxes for him. Apart from anything else, it's definitely fully legal here and abroad, and it takes up far less storage space than a more conventional trailer - which is the reason a lot of people don't want one. Not difficult to load the bike on either, although I guess it would take two people to be safe.

Hope this helps.
Im not against a trailer. My drive is long and steep sloping. I cant drive up it with front wheel drive as its slick, I need to reverse so i would need to unhitch the trailer then push the trailer and bike up myself and there is no room to get past the van as the drive is narrow. With a dolly I can drop the bike then ride it up after reversing the van up. Plus dollies are supposed to be safer to tow than bike trailers, or maybe not, i dont know. I would be frightened of it snaking but maybe thats not an issue. 

Ive spoken to Mario that sell the expensive dollies and he has agreed with all your points, in fact he told me the pitfalls of cheaper models and he sells his in france and spain and they come with a certificate in 10 languages with compliance laws for the police if we are stopped.

_________________
You only have one wife and one life, treat them both as equally precious
avatar
samleeds
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 240
Auto-Sleeper : vw clubman

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Towing a motorbike Dolly

Post by Gromit on Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:08 pm

samleeds wrote:Ive spoken to Mario that sell the expensive dollies and he has agreed with all your points, in fact he told me the pitfalls of cheaper models and he sells his in france and spain and they come with a certificate in 10 languages with compliance laws for the police if we are stopped.
Hi again Sam

Can you post details of Mario's dolly please. A website URL would be handy.

I'll have a look and pass my opinion (for what it's worth  shrugg ) but having done a lot of research I may be able to help.

_________________
Dave smile!
avatar
Gromit
Moderator
Moderator

Male

Posts : 3000
Auto-Sleeper : Nuevo EK LP

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Towing a motorbike Dolly

Post by Bmwdumptruck on Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:08 pm

Sam, by the time you've unloaded your bike off the dolly you'd have it off the motolug.  You'd then just need to break the motolug into its various pieces and carry them up the drive, although I'd suggest trying to wheel it up intact to break it down nearer where you'll store it.  
Loading the motolug is pretty easy, I manage fine by myself.  Its a lot easier than loadng my Brenderup.
avatar
Bmwdumptruck
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 56
Auto-Sleeper : VWClubman GL

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Towing a motorbike Dolly

Post by PLOUGHLIN on Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:17 pm


_________________
Peter L
avatar
PLOUGHLIN
Donator
Donator

Male

Posts : 1805
Auto-Sleeper : MB Gloucester

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Towing a motorbike Dolly

Post by Gromit on Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:30 pm

PLOUGHLIN wrote:According to the DoT, dollies are not legal for the use proposed.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/408927/a-frames-and-dollies.pdf
Hi Peter

I think you'll find that applies to dollies with wheels, the sort recovery firms use to collect broken down vehicle. (Picture below.) They are legal for that purpose, but only for the process of recovery.

It's a very grey area as said before, but the ones which lift the front wheel off the ground and use only the rear wheel(s) on the road are not illegal as far as I could discover. (They make the towed vehicle become a trailer, in law. The ones with wheels constitute two trailers - the dolly plus what is being towed on/behind it. Simple, it is not!!!)

That's not to say they are legal, but I think in Law you cannot be prosecuted until there has been a test case to establish the exact details and parameters to decide what is legal and what is not. Since this is extremely unlikely as the DPP would probably lose the case, I don't think there's anything to worry about.

(Please note the frequent use of the word "Think". Sam must make up his own mind, as always when there's even the remote possibility of encountering a problem.)


P.S. There are further complications when you scrutinise the texts, but I think Sam will be confused enough already. As said before, I towed in the UK and all over France, and several UK policemen thought it was perfectly safe and legal . . . or at least, not illegal!!  shrugg



_________________
Dave smile!
avatar
Gromit
Moderator
Moderator

Male

Posts : 3000
Auto-Sleeper : Nuevo EK LP

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Towing a motorbike Dolly

Post by Greyhound on Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:15 am

Get yourself a monkey bike - you can simply chuck it in the back of the van then :)
avatar
Greyhound
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 477
Auto-Sleeper : Symbol

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Towing a motorbike Dolly

Post by samleeds on Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:39 am

Greyhound wrote:Get yourself a monkey bike - you can simply chuck it in the back of the van then :)


got one that fits and drives well but on fields the steering is light. The front axle weighs 1240 and the rear is now 1640. Im still 90kg inside my max but id rather use a dolly for ease if they are ok.

_________________
You only have one wife and one life, treat them both as equally precious
avatar
samleeds
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 240
Auto-Sleeper : vw clubman

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Towing a motorbike Dolly

Post by Going_touring on Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:03 pm

Hi, I've been lurking for a while but have just joined as this is an interesting topic to me.
 
Looks like we have the same m/h, and I've often thought of a scooter on the back. 
 
I am confused though. On the thread I found about axle weights where you were asking what the weights should be (strangely I have no info on my plate either) you stated:
 
Re: Weight displacement, front and rear axels 
by samleeds on Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:56 pm
 
Job done.....Gareth from SV Tech solved the issue. My front axle should have a max of 1510kg and the rear of 1490kg. Max GVW of 2810kg. I moved some stuff forward and  am now well inside the max on both front and rear and total. Thanks all.
 
But now you are saying your rear is 1640kg and you still have 90kg left? How did you up the rear axle weight, as (and I could be wrong) you have overloaded your rear axle by 150kg?
avatar
Going_touring
New Member
New Member

Male

Posts : 3
Auto-Sleeper : Clubman

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Towing a motorbike Dolly

Post by samleeds on Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:38 pm

Going_touring wrote:Hi, I've been lurking for a while but have just joined as this is an interesting topic to me.
 
Looks like we have the same m/h, and I've often thought of a scooter on the back. 
 
I am confused though. On the thread I found about axle weights where you were asking what the weights should be (strangely I have no info on my plate either) you stated:
 
Re: Weight displacement, front and rear axels 
by samleeds on Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:56 pm
 
Job done.....Gareth from SV Tech solved the issue. My front axle should have a max of 1510kg and the rear of 1490kg. Max GVW of 2810kg. I moved some stuff forward and  am now well inside the max on both front and rear and total. Thanks all.
 
But now you are saying your rear is 1640kg and you still have 90kg left? How did you up the rear axle weight, as (and I could be wrong) you have overloaded your rear axle by 150kg?
Upgraded the springs and the bigger more load bearing tyres help as well.

_________________
You only have one wife and one life, treat them both as equally precious
avatar
samleeds
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 240
Auto-Sleeper : vw clubman

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Towing a motorbike Dolly

Post by Going_touring on Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:52 am

I'd be interested in what springs you used and how much it cost, if you don't mind me asking.

Did you get your plate uprated as well? If so, was it easy to do?

Thanks
avatar
Going_touring
New Member
New Member

Male

Posts : 3
Auto-Sleeper : Clubman

View user profile

Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum