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Old 05-13-2016, 07:45 AM   #1
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Does anyone know if it would be legal to tow a motorcycle behind an Escape ? There is a wheel chock that fits into a receiver. You place the front wheel of the bike into the chock and secure it with several straps. The weight is (500 lbs.) Would be virtually no weight though on the back of the trailer as the rear tire of the bike would support most of it.
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Old 05-13-2016, 08:04 AM   #2
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Does anyone know if it would be legal to tow a motorcycle behind an Escape ? There is a wheel chock that fits into a receiver. You place the front wheel of the bike into the chock and secure it with several straps. The weight is (500 lbs.) Would be virtually no weight though on the back of the trailer as the rear tire of the bike would support most of it.
It is legal - at least in my state. I'd check with yours. Most front wheel towing brackets I've seen are designed for 'emergency' or temporary use because they can't hold the bike in a proper upright position when turning. There are some which do a good job, like the Fatz brackets: The Motorcycle Tow Bracket - Secure Tow, No Stress

But, you'd have at least a few immediate issues: First, the rear receiver has limited weight capacity, so you'd have to calculate how much weight the front wheel plus the bracket places on it (easy with a scale). Second, maneuvering a trailer with another component pivoting on the back bumper means you'd have to remove the bike before backing up anywhere. Third, you might have to compensate for the rear bumper weight by adding weight to the tongue, while at the same time insuring that you don't exceed the trailer's GVWR, or the rig's GCWR. Of course, those numbers would only need the weight on the receiver added, because as you mention, the rear wheel of the bike is on the ground. The last number, your tow vehicle's maximum towing capacity, would have to account for the bike's total weight.
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Old 05-13-2016, 08:07 AM   #3
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It wouldn't be legal in Oregon as it's considered a double-tow due to using two different receivers.
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Old 05-13-2016, 08:16 AM   #4
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It wouldn't be legal in Oregon as it's considered a double-tow due to using two different receivers.
Yes, that's a good point. In some states the only legal way to carry it would be on a carrier at the back where the entire bike is carried on the bumper - not doable with an Escape. Too much weight.
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Old 05-13-2016, 08:20 AM   #5
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It wouldn't be legal in Oregon as it's considered a double-tow due to using two different receivers.
In Alberta a double tow is legal as long as the first trailer is a fifth wheel. Not legal in neighbouring BC though.
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Old 05-13-2016, 09:17 AM   #6
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The best option, (for me), was a pickup truck with an 8 foot box.

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Old 05-13-2016, 09:44 AM   #7
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Guess I will have to leave it. 5.5 ft box. Would have been nice though. Two bicycles would probably weigh more though.
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Old 05-13-2016, 11:51 AM   #8
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motorcycles and trailer

early 90's with a early 70's SOB. Truck made from 1948 cab and 1989 chassis with mid engine and it would haul using a 460 built up engine.
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Old 05-13-2016, 01:46 PM   #9
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The best option, (for me), was a pickup truck with an 8 foot box.

Hi: Glennrose... I wish some of the thousands of bikers going past our place had a rig like yours... It would be a lot quieter "Fri. the thirteenth" near Pt. Dover Ont.http://www.pd13.com Alf
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Old 05-13-2016, 01:47 PM   #10
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I had to read this thread, when I saw the title "Motorcycle" in the Towing and Hitching section... some motorcycles are pretty big, and lots tow trailers, but towing an Escape with one?

I think the basics and major concerns of the actual proposal have been covered well.

Quote:
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In Alberta a double tow is legal as long as the first trailer is a fifth wheel.
That's a good example; there are a couple of other conditions in Alberta as well, but the motorcycle-as-trailer scheme might not violate them.

One factor to consider: how is the motorcycle licensed? When I was involved in motorsports one of my friends ran across a problem: a trailer needs a license, and a motor vehicle can't get a trailer license. So the bike has its own license and thus its okay... or not, because it may not be legal to tow a motor vehicle as a trailer other than behind a motorhome or as part of a commercial towing service. I doubt it would cause a problem, but its just another thing which could go wrong.

I'm not sure I would want a motorcycle's rear wheel running on the ground, due to wear. This is the classic flat-tow scenario for cars behind motorhomes, and not all vehicles are suitable for it. Of course the usual problem for cars is automatic transmissions, and very few bikes are automatics, but I still wouldn't assume that transmission lubrication would be okay. I would also wonder about chain life: a long trip could put a lot of use on the chain (assuming it has one) that it wouldn't see otherwise, so you would at least need to consider that in maintenance timing.


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Old 05-13-2016, 02:11 PM   #11
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The best option, (for me), was a pickup truck with an 8 foot box.
Definitely the best option with an Escape... if owning a long-box truck works for you.

The other obvious solution is a "toy hauler" type of trailer, but Escape doesn't make that (although Reace did build one or two, perhaps as an experiment).

One motorcycle-riding friend found an interesting solution: he rode his bike while his wife drove the truck with their kid, dogs, and camping gear. Everyone enjoyed the trip.
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Old 05-13-2016, 03:48 PM   #12
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I haven't tried this, yet, with the Escape; but it's probably doable. Not 100% sure that I can release the hitch with the tailgate down or that the tailgate won't whack the propane cover; but it looks like it will work. While the Escape is heavier, it also has an Anderson hitch ... ought to be a wash.

Of course, my wife rides her own bike and 2 isn't going to work.

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Old 05-14-2016, 04:14 PM   #13
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It looks like there are several folks on this forum who take a fairly heavy motorcycle with them in the back of their truck. What kind of and what length ramp works best? Can one person push the bike up the ramp when the bike has to be loaded from a level ground position? Would a 12-volt winch be useful?
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Old 05-14-2016, 04:43 PM   #14
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I don't own a motorcycle, so perhaps that's one reason that I shudder at the thought of balancing one of these things while rolling it up any ramp into a truck, even though that's where it should be carried. I'm sure I'm not alone in this, and there are some systems to help, although they will all be expensive, complex, heavy, and bulky... at least when compared to a simple ramp.

A Google search for "motorcycle loader" will find some of the alternatives. They vary from a complete telescoping and rolling platform system (e.g. Mountain Master motorcycle loading system) to a simple winched accessory for a ramp (e.g. Cruiser Ramp powered motorcycle ramp system)
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Old 05-14-2016, 06:33 PM   #15
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Wish I could get around this conundrum but it just isn't happening. Thanks guys. Appreciate it.
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Old 05-14-2016, 06:42 PM   #16
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I sold my Harley 10 years ago after purchasing my first camper. I found that both would compete against each for my time, particularly on those nice "riding days"- take the bike or go camping. I traded the Harley on my tow vehicle and never looked back, camping is way more enjoyable. If you need to sight see disconnect or take a bicycle with you.
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Old 05-14-2016, 06:57 PM   #17
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I loved my Electra Glide. But truth be told it sat too much. I also saw too many people killed or severely injured on bikes. I don't really miss it. Maybe that means I'm becoming an old fuddy duddy?


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Old 05-14-2016, 07:29 PM   #18
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I loved my Electra Glide. But truth be told it sat too much. I also saw too many people killed or severely injured on bikes. I don't really miss it. Maybe that means I'm becoming an old fuddy duddy?


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Or maybe it means you are getting a little more conservative for good reason. A good friend of mine who retired as aviation director for our city had flown copters in Vietnam and was an extremely experienced aviator. I saw him one Friday morning and asked about his weekend plans. Riding the Harley was his answer. That afternoon while riding north of town, an unsecured mattress blew out of a pickup, cleaned him off the Harley and killed him. Lots of times it's the other guy who you can't control no matter how well you ride. I had my motorcycle fun a long time ago and got out unscathed, quit while I was ahead. Never missed it.
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Old 05-14-2016, 07:40 PM   #19
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I loved my Electra Glide. But truth be told it sat too much. I also saw too many people killed or severely injured on bikes. I don't really miss it. Maybe that means I'm becoming an old fuddy duddy?


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The key is you are still becoming old. I was hit 3 times sitting still at a stop sign or stop light, once laid it down due to an unexpected ice patch, but when I got clipped on a freeway by a hit and run driver, skidded down the road on my head (ground a 1 inch hole in the helmet and shredded the leathers I always wore) I decided my biking days were over after 26 years.
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Old 05-14-2016, 07:50 PM   #20
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True enough Dave, can't control the other guy.

I've a few horror stories too Charlie. Too many to miss riding any more.
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