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Let me give you a scenario. You break down on the freeway (Exavid, don't read this because your bike NEVER breaks down) it's 7pm and you are in between off-ramps. Lets just say your insurance covers towning or getting you started (gas/jump) nothing works.



What do you do????? Jebs towing (who your insurance company may have sent out) at the nearestramp doesn't have a trailer or flatbed. How would you get your bike moved....oh yeah, it's Sunday night and no dealerships or mocycle repair shops are near.



So what would you do? Lay out some differnet scenarios we can archive in our minds incase this happens just for a leg up for a start.



Getting the bike from A to Z....AKA off the freeway to a safeplace is primary concern so maybe concentrate on that as the main issue and what to do to transport your bike without damage. All the in between "I met a guy who got me runnin" ain't worth much info and is not what I want to focus on.

If you met two hilbillys that dragged you in the woods.....just PM me with that one....:shock:...



I'll start out and say if your CB works and you have one, truckers can help (back to the hillbillys story....:?)



This is a big on road issue that can put you in a pickle, maybe we can get some insight on 'safe towing' 'safe communication' and alot of other issues i'm sure you can think of.
 

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Age old fear. Been there several times. A thousand miles from home with a mechanical or electrical failure. Towing and recovery insurance can't replace simply knowing something about how the machine works. Get a wiring diagram and pull all the covers off the bike and get familiar with the harnass. I've been broke down six times. One cost me two days in a small town a thousand miles from home to aquire a wheel bearing and install it. One was local and required a new electric fuel pump to replace the Chinese crap that I had installed six months earlier. The other four were electrical and none were a big problem because I had studied and knew the wiring. Pocket knife and tape.
Only one out of the six required outside help, but even that one was only an assist in obtaining the correct part.

Get to know the wiring.
 

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Honestly, if I couldn't limp it off the freeway somehow, and the tow company sent by the insurance company didn't have a flatbed or trailer, I'd send the truck down the road, bite the bullet, let a few moths out of my wallet, and call around until I found suitable towing.

Alot of times the driver of the wrecker will tell you "We don't have a flatbed" because s/he doesn't want to lose the tow, or doesn't want to run back to the shop to get the sled...at least until you tell the driver that you won't be using his/her services at all, then magically the proper equipment comes out.
 

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A standard wrecker can tow a bike. Have done it myself. The tow driver unhooks the cradle from the cable and lays it down on the ground. The cable will be played out to do this. The boom will have to be extended and lowered. You roll the bike facing the drivers’ side of the wrecker and hold the bike there right behind the wrecker as close as possible. The driver will have to hook the cable back to the cradle and then S L O W L Y retrieves the payout. The cradle will begin to take the slack and begin the raise the bike THIS is the mostimportant time to watch EVERYTHING!!!!!!! Make sure it is not hanging up on anything. Once it’s in the air tie the front and rear to the wrecker and away you go. You know your bike and the driver should listen to you. If he has a different idea he should tell you BEFORE he starts. When we had our little run in the embankment last year in N. Carolina the driver ASKED me what I thought about doing it one way or the other. He listened to me and did it JUST like I suggested and it worked like a charm. I'm still riding it.
 

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Be specific when calling for the wrecker. If they can't accomodate your needs don't waste time with them. Their competitor will be happy to work with you.
 

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I have a road service plan specifically for motorcycles. It includes 150 miles of free towing, or hauling as it actually would be. Most Harley riders have it, and use it for something as simple as flat tires, because their bikes have tube type tires and no centerstand, so fixing a flat beside the road is not a possibility.

I strongly suggest you get a motorcycle specific roadside assistance plan, and if towing is included in your insurance, drop it.
 

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You simply have to be VERY emphatic with the idiot who answers the phone. Tell them they MUST find a vendor with a flat bed truck.

Very very few sling back trucks ont he road anymore as you can't tow modern cars with one without doing LOTS of very expensive damage.

Do not allow your bike to be hauled with a wheel lift or a sling back truck. It WILL be damaged severely if you do.

Also do NOT allow anyone to transport you bike that doesn't know how to tow your specific model. I worked int he towing/road side assistance industry for a few years and have seen some pretty awful things happen to motorcycles when transported by folks who "knew what they were doing". Everything from frames and front ends mangled by being pulled to far with the winch, to bike literally falling off trucks at freeway speeds.

I have a friend who has been towing for damn near as long as I have been alive. I'd trust him to tow my car anytime anyplace, but I wouldn't let him near my bike.
 

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I just towed a buddy back to my place behind my wing by using two soft ties from his lower forks to in front of the front fender (but above the center of the tire), then a third soft tie through these two connected to a strap leading to my tow hitch.

Brought it home and then took him back to his house on the back seat. I repaired his bike the next day.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
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Cell phones are great, but it doesn't mean you're gonna get someone to help you. I broke down on I-77 south of Wytheville VA at dusk. I was on a Suzuki that had an anti-theft diode in the ignition switch that went bad, shut the engine down and it would not run no matter how much you knew or what you tried. That diode controlled the computer and that was it. Took 3 months to get a new switch.

I have roadside assistance with progressive and thank god for the gps I had an idea of where I was at cause I was day dreaming for a couple hours. I don't know about the other roadside assitance but Progressive calls their closest person on their registrar, you don't call yourself, so you can't ask questions. I get a kid with jumper cables in a pick-up truck. Now, there was no where to tow the bike too for service once I got a flat bed there, so I opted for a hotel. But before that, I spent the night and better part of the next day sitting on the side of the road. It took 2 days at the hotel ($$$$) til I finally rented a U-haul truck and drove home ($$$$$$) You ever try to get someone help you push a bike up a ramp into a U-haul (somedays you may get lucky, that wasn't my day) I was across the street from a truck stop, went over there and 10 truckers came over and helped me.

So now I dropped the insurance and carry a can of lighter fluid and a zippo lighter. If you see a wing burning on the side of the road somewhere and a guy with a smile standing next to it, that would be me. That sweet smell of plastic burning in the morning.

It's interesting to see how others handle the situation though, I wondered about the new tow trucks without the old strap type hitches.
 

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U-Haul:?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
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Just to get the post back on the original track. Let's assume fixing on the road isn't an issue or possibility. I know my bikes wiring and can fix a flat and can do the do to get running. I'm talking about getting the bike to somewhere (and yourself) where you can be at a point to make logical decisions.



I truly am not up to date with towing and what is what and the few posts that touched on that were good.



Sitting on the side of a busy superslab in the heat with a multimeter check for shorts in not an option in many peoples world,.....



So, threw experience, when you call for roadside assistance is there a key to better service from them? I was truly 'a lot of miles' from anybody that could help mechanically.



But from my experience, if the tow truck driver or flatbed or whatever transport you have will take you anywhere, I would say this. Take me to the biggest truckstop closest to where you're at. Your best and most comfortable experience is gonna happen there....I think. Any input on other places.
 

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I've had this experience only one time.

Out on a rural two lane road here in Arkansas after my bad experience with a kid on an ATV. My bike was not in any condition to ride.

The tow truck showed up, but it was not a flatbed. I told the driver that I appreciated it, but no thanks. I wanted a flatbed. He assured me he could handle the bike. Again, I told him no thank you.

So I waited another hour for the a flatbedto show up.

My insurance covered the tow to my honda dealer which was approximatley 140 miles away.
 

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So would getting Triple-A's or GWRRA association’s coverage add a get deal comfort and piece of mind when riding long distances. I plan on riding to Cleveland from Florida next week and would be willing to take extra precautions. I do have progressive insurance coverage.. ?
 

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Predator wrote:
Cell phones are great, but it doesn't mean you're gonna get someone to help you. I broke down on I-77 south of Wytheville VA at dusk.
Should of called me, I live about 30 minutes from there........

I have a truck and my neighbor has a trailer I could borrow.
 

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ChaosandConfusion wrote:
So would getting Triple-A's or GWRRA association’s coverage add a get deal comfort and piece of mind when riding long distances. I plan on riding to Cleveland from Florida next week and would be willing to take extra precautions. I do have progressive insurance coverage.. ?
We use CAA Plus which is the same as your AAA in the States..The Plus is a little more $ but covers motorcycles. We have used them in the past and specified " Flat Bed only " and they have complied with that request..Our bike is not ever going on the back of a sling truck.
 

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I experienced a mechanical failure on the road. I called AAA and specified a flatbed tower I had dealt with peviously. My bike was picked up and taken the seventy five miles home safely. my insurance also is supposed to cover towing, but I've always used my AAA membership.
 

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I think the smartest thing a body could do is print themselves out a copy of the SSGF HELP book and carry it with em.
 

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I went with Paragon Motor Club for my motorcycles. The guarantee motorcycle specific equipment, and provide 150 miles of free towing.

The best way to safely pick up a motorcycle is a LOW flatbed trailer behind a pickup, with a low ramp to load the bike, and plenty of tiedown points. You should never use chains to load a motorcycle onto a really high truck, even if it is a flatbed.

If I had a breakdown 150 miles from home, I would probably call my ex father-in-law (yes he still likes me) he has a truck, and such a trailer he uses to haul quads. I would have to pay gas (and his truck is a Dodge Ram crew cab with a Hemi) but I would rather do that than risk the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
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Ok let me look at these in order.

First I thought of AAA to, now I was told (by them) they'll only tow you 20 miles for free then you pay for the extra mile by mile. Now I am not complaining about Progressive as far as assistance goes. It was more my situation. Man when you're sittin on a freeway for hours a freakin donkey pullin a tow rope looks inviting and turning it away is HARD.If you were planning to get AAA or any other insurance I would highly recomend going into one of their offices or on the phone andread your present coverage and see if it just overlapsand where it would exceed what you have that would make it beneficial.Comparison shopping.



The SSGF book is excellent and wish I could've had something like that back then.



I now carry a car charger for my cell phone. They go dead at the most in-opportune times.



Hey Chaos, a little extra insurance in Cleveland would be a .357...



But the biggest problem I had was the question"where do you want me to take it?" I know we have the SSGF but that aside it needs to be thought out ahead. I say a truck stop is the best place. There's alot of stuff there, a garage, if you need a tool you don't have. (they're helpful) alot of smart truckers 24 hours a day, food and hookers if your lucky.



Gotta check into this Paragon Motor Club. Al
 
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