Harleys at Work: The Cycle Tow
In the 1920’s, most service stations delivered automobiles back to their customers’ homes after they were repaired. This was great for the customer, but meant that the service station had to devote two employees for deliveries, one to drive the repaired automobile and the second to drive an additional automobile to pick up the first. In 1930, a Californian company developed a system for towing a motorcycle behind an automobile which they marketed to service stations as a “one man” delivery vehicle. The system was called the Cycle Tow and could be installed on any standard motorcycle. It consisted of a tow bar for attaching the motorcycle to the rear bumper of the automobile and a set of small secondary wheels to provide stability while towing. The design also allowed for the secondary wheels to fold up, so the motorcycle could be ridden by an experienced rider on two wheels without having to remove any equipment.
Although a great concept, all the additional weight of the secondary wheels made the motorcycle difficult to operate. Even so, the Cycle Tow probably would have continued if not for Harley’s release of the three-wheeled Servi-Car in 1932.