Step 1: It was a dark and stormy night, I was all alone, and then it went quiet, very quiet...
Actually I got a call from my son in the day, "my bike just died and it won't start again", yes lad it's called "seized" and it does go kinda quiet, it's what happens when the Yamaha autolube feature packs up, and so was born the need for the "one man bike towing cradle".
Step 2: The story continues..
So after some chitchat with young Karl (a colleague) who described the contraption he used, I came up with the following
Step 3: Requirements
2. a welder
3. angle grinder or cutoff saw,
4. 9 Metres of 1cm thick dropper bar (used in the building trade)
3m for the ramp
6m for the cradle
5. 1 Metre of steel tube, I used a 900mm rectangular 25mm X 40mm cos I had it.
Step 4: Making the ramp
Step 5: The cradle
Prior to welding, it's important to keep the angles as per DXF file, they affect the height of the final product when bolted on to the towbar.
The 2 sides of the cradle are joined with 12cm cross pieces due to the bolt spacing of 10cm on my towbar, pretty much the standard I think, which means the ramp width of 10cm will fit just fine inside the cradle.
Step 6: Tube end detail for tiedowns
Step 7: How strong is it?
I've stood on the end of the cradle while attached to the towbar and it didn't exhibit any flex although the car did squat down another 10cm or so, but then again I spin the dial on a scale to 95, which aint exactly a high score, but not too shabby either.
Step 8: Tips
Another thing to do is take off the chain if you're planning a longish ride, it cant be good leaving the gearbox in neutral, let alone the unnecessary wear, while towing.
It took about 10min to take off the tow hitch and put on the cradle, and that includes remembering to put the ramp in the boot, and about 10min fiddling with tiedown straps while holding the bike level...an easy one man operation.
Admittedly this was with my son's 84kg 50cc it might be a bit harder with a bigger bike.
Step 9: The Disclaimer
Step 10: Reinforcing Update
So I have decided to reinforce the structure at the tie down arms, I did this using 1 piece of steel bar suitably bent so as to fit and weld in place.
The result is a lot more resistant to flex and I drive easier not having to worry about things coming undone.