Retriever, the motorcycle that tows like a truck

retriever1.jpg

With the flash of a manga fever dream, the “Retriever” motorcycle adds the utility of a tow truck to the relative agility of a bike. Built atop a modified Honda Goldwing, the Retriever uses a 118HP 6-cylinder engine that allows it to tow up to 5,000 pounds — plenty for most cars and light trucks.

The Retriever is already in use in 10 countries, says Retriever NA, its North American supplier. Goldwings aren’t exactly cheap in the first place, so I would imagine that buying a Retriever would set you back a bit, but certainly not more than a standard truck-based towing rig.

I’m putting up two pictures instead of the usual one, simply because I think it looks awesome.

Retriever tow motorcycle product page [Retriever-NA.com]

retriever2.jpg
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16 Responses to Retriever, the motorcycle that tows like a truck

  1. jazzbo says:

    This has got to be Judge Dredd’s career start. Traffic court judge and repo man rolled into one.

  2. monstrinho_do_biscoito says:

    i want one, but only because it resembles the Schpeltiger from No More Heroes

    http://wiimedia.ign.com/wii/image/article/819/819410/no-more-heroes-20070911025543326.jpg

  3. mdh says:

    When you have a car on the back it is probably too slow to escape from the zombies with.

  4. thenextstopwillbe says:

    the retriever kicks the deus ex machina’s ass. it’s the perfect ride for the the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

  5. Enochrewt says:

    It obviously works, but doesn’t two less tires touching the road mean less towing ability?

  6. TWX says:

    Heh. 5000lb my ass… I’d like to see it tow my ’78 Chrysler Cordoba safely. I think that the Cordoba’s front overhang is enough to actually make contact with the bike itself while loaded…

    I see a problem, even if it does work as advertised, though. The “getting to wrecks” part is negated by the fact that most accidents severe enough block traffic (where this thing goes between the lanes) involve vehicles wrecked badly enough that this motorcycle isn’t adequate to handle, like rollovers, BADLY smashed cars, cars with frame damage, and cars with multiple bad wheels. And, situations where the problem is mild won’t necessarily work because the car’s driver won’t be able to go along unless they remain in their car, which isn’t necessarily considered safe.

    This thing might be good for Repo, but it looks like it deploys too slowly, and 116hp might have a lot of strain against a parking brake or a vehicle left in gear. It might also be good for small in-town tows, but I certainly wouldn’t want to drive it in stop-and-go traffic, nor would I want to do something like tow a stranded vehicle from one city to another like I ended up having to do when my Stratus’ water pump failed in Vegas and I had to get home for work the next day, so I pulled it behind a rental truck.

    I could see a Trike being built that could tow, but that would defeat the ease of accessing an accident site, and then one might as well have a real wrecker.

  7. johnesmart says:

    What about the owner of the vehicle being towed? Do they have to call a taxi to pick them up on the side of the street?

  8. Pixel says:

    I love the concept that spawned this too. They realized that an accident/disabled vehicle blocks traffic on the highway making it very difficult for a tow vehicle to get to the scene and clear it up. A motorcycle can split lanes and otherwise get through stopped/slowed traffic much faster and easier. Thus they get to the stopped vehicle and get it out of the way faster. Win for everyone.

  9. TedJohnson says:

    The Goldwing is the bike of choice for retirees with fat asses and a sense of adventure. It won’t be long before you see these on the interstates towing the family car.

    “Honey, when we get to Tulsa I’ll take the car to Wal-Mart while you go to the Wing Ding.”

    (As a former member of the Goldwing Road Riders Association, I know what I’m talking about.)

  10. Anonymous says:

    Does this remind anyone of the viper/motorcycles from the original BSG show, introduced when they reached 1980′s Earth?

  11. little_turtle says:

    Perfeck bike.. :)
    how much cost of each bike?
    http://cooltechgadget.com/

  12. Thinkerer says:

    The great limitation on towing *anything* is seldom the motive power of the towing vehicle but their ability to stop the load once it’s moving. I can’t imagine any GoldWing having enough braking power for this application if only because the bike’s tires will eventually break loose and skid.

  13. Clif Marsiglio says:

    I towed my Triumph Spitfire by way of my Goldwing a few years back. I mean, it had a MUCH larger engine than the car did…tied a tow rope to the frame and my buddy John drove it while I sat safely in the car.

    It wasn’t a problem until we hit a gravel patch…

  14. Maussist says:

    I think I had a toy motorbike that looked something like this when I was a kid, but it had unfolding helicopter blades.

  15. OM says:

    …So, which button pops out the little wings on the back so you can fly and cause a pack of biker trash to run off the highway? :-)

  16. morcheeba says:

    @12 – true, but an extra set of linked brakes on the towed wheels (under the weight of the car’s front end) should be sufficient.

    update: just checked their FAQ, and they use a mechanically activated linked braking system (I assume any force compressing the towing bar activates the brakes). I hope they didn’t get a patent for that, because it seemed pretty obvious for me (and I’m not a mech. engr).

    Q – This is the biggest question we get: HOW DO YOU STOP IT?

    A – It’s a great question. The solution was pure genius. The answer is in 1 of the 2 worldwide patents held by Retriever. Essentially there is a mechanical mechanism that activates a braking system on the trailer depending on how much deceleration is occurring. There can be no deceleration forces placed on the motorcycle or the motorcycle will flip over. The trailer is equipped with vented/drilled disc brakes with 2×2 calliper pistons PER SIDE.

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