Tow Cradle experiences??? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

 
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post #1 of 9 Old 06-29-2015, 08:28 AM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb Tow Cradle experiences???

So I came across a tow dolly system for bikes. The kind where the front wheel goes int a cradle that is attached to the hitch. My question is what kind of experiences has anyone had with these.

Im not asking hypothetical experience, Im asking for real world experience.

Like Ive read that its better to put the rear wheel in the cradle??? Supposedly its lighter? I could see that.

Or.. how does the klr oil the transmission? Is it through the motor running, or a splash system with the gears sitting in the oil.

I know most will say to just buy a small HF trailer for cheap and use that. But I already have one and have used it. But my little Impreza is a little underpowered to be doing that regularly down the freeway. Plus my normal destination would be a friends house half way across the state and they live in an apartment.... Not cool to use a parking spot for just a trailer. Plus I can share the spot with my car and klr.
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post #2 of 9 Old 06-29-2015, 08:40 AM
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FULL DISCLOSURE: No real-world experience.

Conjecture only; doubt transmission in neutral is at risk, although your could expect some rear tire wear.

If in doubt about transmission wear, you could remove the drive chain when towing.

Then again, hitch-mount rails carriers exist; might challenge the car's rear suspension.

Rear wheel lighter? I'd think it heavier. If you cradle the rear wheel, you'd need to snug-down the handlebars, seems to me. Otherwise, they might flap lock-to-lock in transit, resulting in some interesting dynamics. And . . . backward carry will reverse odometer mileage (not that there's anything wrong with that! ).
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post #3 of 9 Old 06-29-2015, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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I was thinking about that speedo thing. My speedo cable comes undone once a week anyways.... i know all id have to do is actually get in there with some pliers and snug it down. but its just a speedo to me, and it take like 30 seconds to fix it.

Maybe I should have a friend with smaller hands tighten it down.

As far as the whole bike rack idea. The hitch has a 200lb tounge weight capacity and my suspension is already pretty saggy as is. I plan to install heavier springs and shocks later on.
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post #4 of 9 Old 06-29-2015, 10:15 AM
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Must be o.k.; they use a KLR in their marketing image!



Also, they say drivetrain disconnection only desirable for automatic transmissions, at least those with driveshafts!

Yet, with the ground clearance shown, I'd watch the curbs, the rainwater ditches, the steep driveways, the railroad crossings . . . could be some scraping going on. The height is adjustable to some extent, according to the literature; maybe the rig can be raised higher than shown in the picture.

Last edited by Damocles; 06-29-2015 at 10:19 AM.
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post #5 of 9 Old 06-29-2015, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
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Must be o.k.; they use a KLR in their marketing image!
Ya a beautiful 2004 KLR too. The best year BTW. They likely use a KLR because they are easily replaced, LOL. I'd like to see a video versus a still picture.

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #6 of 9 Old 06-29-2015, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jollykreiger View Post
My speedo cable comes undone once a week anyways.... i know all id have to do is actually get in there with some pliers and snug it down. but its just a speedo to me, and it take like 30 seconds to fix it.

Maybe I should have a friend with smaller hands tighten it down.
Is it coming undone from the speedo or wheel? At the speedo I used 2 zip ties to prevent the nut from turning down. It happened once and not again. At the wheel a drop of Locktite and pliers to snug up. My brother had his come undone on the wheel. Didn't notice it until the nut was gone from the cable. Stuck it back in, a couple of zip ties and some tape and it lasted another 2000 miles until he replaced the cable.

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #7 of 9 Old 06-29-2015, 02:37 PM
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Since you're not looking for hypothetical experience, I'll offer some.....

Considering your circumstances, the dolly might be your best bet.

How many miles of towing are we talking here? If I were to use one, I'm the kind of person who would remove the chain for that added sense of assurance that nothing was going to go wrong between the rear wheel and the transmission.

Now what somebody really needs to market is a Motorcycle Dolly Dolly: a separate, independent wheeled platform that goes under the rear tire and latches onto the rear wheel keeping it totally off the ground.



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post #8 of 9 Old 06-29-2015, 04:51 PM
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The transmission is lubricated with engine oil pressure; it doesn't run in a bath of oil.

With the chain connected the output shaft is going to spin without the benefit of oil pressure to lube it.

For a short haul, probably not a big deal. For a long haul I'd remove the chain.

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post #9 of 9 Old 06-29-2015, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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How do you know that an '04. Just curious or just because thats what I have.

Planalp. Im looking at 1 hr down the freeway most of the time. Its a long straight shot.

I also have a scrap homemade trailer that I want to make into essentially a lowboy for a single bike. But the Washington state laws are going to make that a little difficult to get licensed. Mainly all the paperwork
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