“New” Japanese Tow Trucks — Motorcycles!

There’s an e-mail going around that shows some (purportedly) Japanese motorcycles with fold-down tow-racks. The technology is at least two years old, judging by the video further down, which was posted on May 10, 2007.

This site asserts the vehicles are actually heavily modified Honda Goldwing 1800cc bikes, designed by a Swedish company, Coming Through (as the video below notes at the beginning) and is appropriately named the Retriever.

Motorcycle blog Kneeslider notes, “The Retriever’s towing rig carries the weight of the car on three wheels so the motorcycle can still be ridden normally. Since the motorcycle is only providing the torque necessary for towing and doesn’t have to carry extra weight, the vehicle is easily moved and a six cylinder Goldwing has all of the power you need. The Retriver can tow cars up to 5500 pounds.

Turns out there’s also video footage of a red one in action —


22 thoughts on ““New” Japanese Tow Trucks — Motorcycles!

  1. Just wanted to tell you that while these photos have been getting a lot of attention, they are from China, not Japan. Typical “all Asian coutries are the same” thinking at work.

  2. Jgirl: They may be shown as being used in China, but Honda is not a Chinese brand, nor is the Swedish company who modifies the Honda cycles, as the article says (if you even read it).

  3. Reading jgirl’s comments about it being in China. Did anyone pay attention to the video and what side of the road cars were driving? Hmmmmm. In Japan they drive on the left side. Hmmmmm

    • In China they drive on the right, which would be consistent with that assertion. Also, the address given in the pictures (kds.pchome.net) redirects to a Chinese-language site.

      However, my original title (“New” Japanese Tow Trucks — Motorcycles!) and the video’s title (Japanese Tow Trucks) is still correct because the Honda Goldwing (the original vehicle, modified by a Swedish company) is a Japanese motorcycle. The only indication of China is involved that probably someone from China wrote-about/photographed/bought them. If I, as an American, were to import a Norweigan toaster, just because I take pictures of it doesn’t make it American ^_^

      • You are right the company who makes this bike is a Jpanese but from 1979 till 2009 all Gold Wings were built at the Marysville Ohio Plant.They prebuilt the 2010 and 2011 bikes there in 2009 the they started building them in Kumamoto Japan in 2012,and every one cares as much about that as they do about what country the pics were taken..the point here is not the country or the bike or the Japanese,it’s about the people who turned this great bike into a tow truck that can get through stalled traffic to reach a break down that is holding things up as well as other things a truck can’t do.

  4. Pingback: Honda Goldwing Retriever – Amazing Tow Vehicle « DUMMR.com

  5. This is nothing more than a death trap. Do you like doing brake jobs once a week? Even if the tow rig has brakes it won’t be enough to keep the weight off the brakes of the bike.

    Then there’s the width of that contraption: Like most tow dollies it is too wide to be safely pulled on anything smaller than an Interstate. And anyone who would drive that thing at Interstate speeds is a fool.

    Then there’s the load the weight of the car puts on the motorcycle drive train– death to clutches and gear boxes in no time flat. Want to completely wear out a new Goldwing in 6 months? This is how it’s done. The only motorcycle in production with an engine and driveline that could stand up to that might be a Boss Hoss and even then, braking would remain a nightmare.

    And when it comes to towing, even a Goldwing would be a dog with a car hooked behind it. Tractor-trailers can out accelerate a rig like that.

    Having spent over 30 years on motorcycles and over 30 years pulling trailers, towing cars, hauling cars, doubles, triples, tankers, flat beds, dry vans, dumps and even operating tow trucks, I can honestly say that thing is a traffic hazard that I hope will never be allowed on US roads.

    • @Billy – If you are your own machinist, brake jobs could run rather inexpensively. I think you’re failing to give enough credit to the engineers who built it, who more than likely took into account those kinds of red flags and modified the bike’s structure appropriately, such as to enhance the engine and train for precisely such kinds of loads — enhancements that aren’t specified in the video. It sounds like you’re interpreting the video as just tacking on this trailer contraption to a standard Goldwing straight off the showroom floor.

      I think you’ve got too much experience/bias with the larger rigs and fail to account the actual towing ability of this device. Who cares if a 18-wheeler cab can out-accelerate it? Can one such cab get between cars in a traffic jam on a flyover, to ferry the traffic-blocking vehicle out of the way?

  6. Pingback: Goldwing...Cafe Racer!!?!?!!??

  7. Jgirl and some of the others seem to FOS (think about it), The video is not from Japan or China. If you look at the plates on the cars have Swedish plates on them.

    • The issue is whether the bikes are Japanese, not whether the Swedish company that invented the modification (as already stated) made the video in Sweden. The Swedish company modified a Japanese bike, making them “Japanese” tow bikes. If I were to buy a Swedish car and put a spoiler on it made in Uzbekistan…

  8. wow, some of these comments are the reason lots of people prefer not to mingle either in person or on the internet, kind of like giving some idiot a big box of money and he bitches about howl much tax he has to pay and how heavy it is to carry home. this is great technology and most likely used in heavy traffic areas for moving stalled cars, why can’t some people just see something new or different and appreciate it for what it is, pathetic. maybe they should be on a teenage chat room site or in a circle jerk where they belong.

  9. well I happen to think its a cool idea, no wonder the company went broke with all you nay sayer’s out there they didn’t stand a chance in hell. by the time you guys figured who what when and where its all over so it doesn’t really matter who made the bike or the tow gear or where it was filmed. no wonder progress is slow

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