Riding your bike is way more exciting than towing or hauling it, but sometimes it has to be done. The good news is that there are some essential pieces of gear that will make your towing chores easier, safer and more enjoyable. You may never look forward to loading or unloading your bike - but if you're properly equipped and prepared, at least you won't have to dread it.
Here are the ten essential accessories to add to your towing kit:
BOLT Locks - $27.49 - $40.95
If you have a late model Chrysler, Ford, Nissan, Toyota, GM SUV or truck your towing life can be a little bit safer and easier with a BOLT lock. "BOLT" stands for "Breakthrough One-Key Lock Technology." They make a set of padlocks, hitch locks, cable locks and toolbox latches that can be instantly coded to work with your vehicle's ignition key. By following some very simple instructions, consumers can set up their own locks to work with no locksmith or dealership visit required.
Unless you're a high school janitor, you'll appreciate the fact that you can now unlock your toolbox, secure your tow hitch, lock and unlock your spare tire without having to add a key to your key ring.
Hindsight Hitching System - $299.99
Have you ever wished that you had eyes in the back of your head? The Hindsight Hitching System is one way to fulfill that dream, sort of. Its a wireless, rechargeable system that consists of a clever magnetic mount camera and a portable 2.4" LCD monitor. You just stick the camera on the back of your vehicle, point it at the trailer hitch, and then you'll be able to see what's going on from the comfort and convenience of your driver's seat. The camera has a microphone too, so you can hear as well as see what's going on. Much easier than the traditional "C'mon back, c'mon back" system that we've all used for years. Additional cameras are available for $99 each, and you can connect up to four at a time to the system, allowing you to switch back and forth for multiple views.
Trailer Wheel Ring Dock Chock - $5.37
Your trailer needs attention, even when it is not hitched to your tow vehicle. This simple, inexpensive accessory can be a lifesaver. Place the Ring Dock Chock where you want your trailer's tongue to stay, and lower the trailer wheel so that it is nestled in the center of the ring. Your trailer will stay put, avoiding the creep and roll that sometimes happens to an unattended trailer. If you've got a permanent parking space for your trailer, you can even permanently secure the Ring Dock Chock to the ground, and it will act as a locator so that you will always be able to park in exactly the right spot.
Trailer Wheel Chocks - $7.00
This is another inexpensive accessory that should be in every towing kit. Don't search for a rock or a log to chock your trailer wheels. Carry a set (or two) of actual wheel chocks to keep your trailer securely stationary while you load and unload your bike. I tend to lose these all the time, so I go with an inexpensive, solid rubber set like you can find at Harbor Freight or a similar discount tool place. I take the additional precaution of spray-painting my chocks in a high-viz color so I can find them, and hopefully remember to pick them up before I drive away.
Pingel Cycle Jaws Wheel Chock - $289.00
If you trailer your bike on a regular basis, or even if you don't, a motorcycle wheel chock will change your life. Pingel's Cycle Jaws Wheel Chock is my personal favorite, because it is so easy to use. Just roll the bike right in to the chock, turn the crank on the side of the chock, and it locks your wheel into the perfect position, holding your motorcycle securely upright. You still have to tie your bike down in a trailer, but you don't have to compress your forks and risk damaged springs and seals. The Cycle Jaws can also be used on any level surface off of the trailer, making it handy for storage, maintenance and cleaning.
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