Tow snowmobile with 2" receiver hitch

   / Tow snowmobile with 2" receiver hitch #1  

Sodo

Elite Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2012
Messages
3,198
Location
Cascade Mtns of WA state
Tractor
Kubota B-series & Mini Excavator
Well if any of you fellers are bored this winter, count me in. Here's a crazy little project that I did due to misguided priorities. I spent an hour to save 20 minutes.

==============================

Started with this device that I use to bring a motorcycle with me to wherever I was tractoring (like a mile or so). So I could zoom back (from where the tractor was) for tools or lunch or to make a phonecall. Here is testing it with the pickup.

IMG_8854.JPG

This didn't work out well for towing a motorcycle except on a flat road. On a rough road with the motorcycle rear wheel following road contour, over waterbars, the strap tension varies considerably. It works OK on the tractor because it goes pretty slow, but a change is necessary where the tiedown straps (red straps) attach at a point that aligns with the motorcycle front axle.


IMG_9735.jpg

2inchMCTow5_8357.jpg

Winter came, and with shelved enthusiasm for tractoring or towing a motorcycle, the need arose to tow a snowmobile. Looking at this device, it was an easy modification to make pockets for the front skis.

IMG_9736.jpg

It had snowed a lot and the forecast was for another big dump, so I decided I need to move my truck out to where the road is plowed. But walk back? Heck no - get the MIG out!

IMG_9737.jpg

IMG_9738.jpg

It worked great! Whether I'll ever use it again is anybody's guess. May have been a waste of an hour but it saved walking two miles (40 minutes). I tow with the snowmobile engine running at idle, to save the belt.
 
   / Tow snowmobile with 2" receiver hitch #2  
Looks good!

Don't see too many Gas Gas bikes in North America

Sent from my iPhone 5s 64Gb using TractorByNet
 
   / Tow snowmobile with 2" receiver hitch #3  
Could you have something sewn up, to hold the wheel down? (1) A half circle of webbing going over the tire.
(2) Attach 2 rachet strap tie-downs on each side of the webbing, that go down to the extended bar. The bar that you strap to now could be relocated to the bottom point of the frame, just ahead of the axle.
This would put steady pressure down on the tire, instead of the other way. Going over bumps and the strap getting loose, then the shock of getting tight. Might rip the strap or risk the hook coming out of the eyelet.
Hope this give you some ideas.
T. J.
p.s. happy and healthy new year!
 
   / Tow snowmobile with 2" receiver hitch #4  
----------------------------------------
Started with this device that I use to bring a motorcycle with me to wherever I was tractoring (like a mile or so). So I could zoom back (from where the tractor was) for tools or lunch or to make a phonecall. Here is testing it with the pickup.

View attachment 406427

This didn't work out well for towing a motorcycle except on a flat road. On a rough road with the motorcycle rear wheel following road contour, over waterbars, the strap tension varies considerably. It works OK on the tractor because it goes pretty slow, but a change is necessary where the tiedown straps (red straps) attach at a point that aligns with the motorcycle front axle.

Could you have something sewn up, to hold the wheel down? (1) A half circle of webbing going over the tire.
(2) Attach 2 rachet strap tie-downs on each side of the webbing, that go down to the extended bar. The bar that you strap to now could be relocated to the bottom point of the frame, just ahead of the axle.
This would put steady pressure down on the tire, instead of the other way. Going over bumps and the strap getting loose, then the shock of getting tight. Might rip the strap or risk the hook coming out of the eyelet.
Hope this give you some ideas.
T. J.
p.s. happy and healthy new year!
How about just run the ratchet strap over the wheel where I added the arrow?

IMG_8854.JPG
 
   / Tow snowmobile with 2" receiver hitch #5  
Do a Google image search for

motorcycle hitch tow

To see lots of photos of variations on this idea.

Bruce
 
   / Tow snowmobile with 2" receiver hitch
  • Thread Starter
#6  
Yup there's not many in north america because I have too many of them myself :D (have 4 GasGas)

How about just run the ratchet strap over the wheel where I added the arrow?

View attachment 406459


Yep that's a thought but a spoked wheel withstands forces directly on axis, when you hold that hoop in a slot then use it to keep the motorcycle upright ( if motorcycle flopping left or right ) the rim doesn't have much strength to resist bending. This can be violent if road is uneven, and especially if the motorcycle is allowed to 'whip'.

Maybe what you guys mentioned (such as a sewn quarter-circle for hold-down) and keeping the straps for side to side (as shown) to prevent violent side-to-side movement?

This whole premise is to eliminate the "trailer" step, but still want it to be quick and easy attach, and be a compact "device".

And a project for "fun" too that doesn't waste too much materials or create lots of scrap.:D As a motorcycle tow device I started it on a thread HERE (deja vu Bruce?) a few months ago in the summertime. Then I flipped it over and it works a little better, and much easier to attach.
 
   / Tow snowmobile with 2" receiver hitch #8  
Nice contraption for your sled!!
As for your question on strapping your bike, why not mounting your straps on the the handle bar (on both sides, just past the rubber, where the tubing is bare), and your start point, will be at the further most possible on the wheel rack. You put good tension on the straps, and you are good to go.:rolleyes:
 
   / Tow snowmobile with 2" receiver hitch #9  
That's a really clever idea, and I can definitely see the utility of bringing some rapid transit to the work site.

Not to be a naysayer, but I think I'm seeing a potentially critical flaw in the plan. When towing a motorcycle, the forks pivot freely at the neck as the tow vehicle steers around a turn. The sled, on the other hand, has skis which turn via 2 pivots, separated a couple feet apart. By attaching both skis to a bar that is fixed to the tow vehicle, the sled is constrained to stay inline with the tow vehicle as it turns. Make a sharp turn, and the track on the sled will skid sideways, subjecting the A-arms to a hellacious amount of force. Similar to turning a tractor with a plow down in the soil. Something's gotta give.

The solution would be to add a pivoting tow bar, allowing the sled to track as needed around turns.
 
   / Tow snowmobile with 2" receiver hitch
  • Thread Starter
#10  
You are so right Millnturn, made this too quick, and had no observer towatch its behavior.

I think being on snow helps some, when moving the a** end can swing out in a gentle turn. I could make a little pivot adapter that goes between it and the 2" receiver.

You got me thinkin its simpler to make a new towbar that engages just ONE ski.
 
 
Top