Burt and Troy of Highline Recreation have come out with another great product to complement their popular Tugger lift strap – a tow line.
For many years I have carried a Moose two strap, and I have used it on several occasions. Luckily, I have only had to use it once to get towed out myself when my fuel line ruptured ten miles from the car. I usually use it to tow someone else out.
I was given the opportunity to test the new tow line that Burt and Troy developed. I thought I would start by comparing it with the Moose strap I have been using.
I was somewhat surprised when I received the tow line and found it stored in a small camera case just like the one I use for my point-and-shoot camera. I think Highline Recreation has other bags as well, but this one works fine and has more than enough room.
The Moose strap is shown on the left, above, and comes with a hook-and-loop strap so you can secure it to your bike or backpack. For a while I had it strapped to my right front fork, but I had to move it when I plated my bike because it would snag on my horn.
The new tow line is a little bit smaller than the strap. In fact, the tow line easily fits in the Moose bag with plenty of room to spare.
When I had to be towed back to the car, my biggest complaint with the Moose strap was that it was too short. I was riding so close to my friend that was towing me that I couldn’t see the rocks and pot holes until it was too late. Even though we were on a fairly easy dirt road, it was a very nerve racking experience.
So, I wanted to see how the two straps compare in length. The Moose strap is approximately 11′ long. I wished it were at least 3′ longer.
I was happy to see that the new tow line is significantly longer, measuring 16.5′.
One advantage of the Moose strap is that the loop on the end can be used as a handle if you need to pull your buddies bike out of the gully.
You can do the same with the thinner tow line, but it may dig into your hands a bit more.
Great care must be taken when towing a motorcycle. It is dangerous for the person being towed, as well as the person towing. Each driver needs to pay attention, pick a clean and smooth line, and be careful not to get the line snagged on the tire, chain, or exhaust.
There are several ways to attach the tow line to the front bike. One easy method is to secure the line to the right foot peg (if your chain is on the left). This works well as long as the person being towed stays out to the right side of the tower so that you don’t snag the line on the tire. I did find it difficult to get the tow line off the peg because it got wedged into the slot between the peg and the frame.
Other options may be available, depending on the type of bike being used, such as; the exhaust mount or a rear rack (as long as you don’t melt the line). See the Highline Recreation website for instructions on how to attach the line. Better yet, if available, use an ATV or side-by-side to do the towing.
You should never firmly attach the tow line to the bike being towed. It is critical that the rear driver be able to quickly detach from the line in the event of an emergency. Furthermore, it is advisable to not get towed downhill.
Perhaps the best way to use the line is to wrap it around the center of the handlebar a few times, then run it over to the left hand grip. To get towed, simply hold the line tight to the grip. To eject, just let go of the line and it will unwind from the handlebar and set you free.
Another method is to wrap the line once or twice around the left footpeg (opposite from the tower) and apply weight with your foot to keep the line secure. Just lift your foot when you need to let go.
I didn’t like being towed with the line on the foot peg. It was difficult to apply enough pressure to keep the line secure unless I wrapped the line around the peg three times, and then it wouldn’t quickly release when I lifted my foot. It was also difficult to not run over the line. The handlebar mount was much easier and safer.
It is advisable to practice emergency releases to make sure your line isn’t going to snag on something. You should also agree with a means of communicating with the tower so you can control your speed and ride in a safe manner.
My daughter and I tested the tow line on the dry lake beds out at Knolls. We didn’t really stress the line at all, but we compared different methods of attaching the line and we each practiced being towed and doing the towing. It is worth practicing this on occasion. We found that the line worked very well and the longer length made it much easier to look for obstacles along the trail. I think this is a very good product.