Goldwing Retriever

The Retriever
What happens when a car stalls in traffic on a busy highway? Instant traffic jam, naturally, but how does the tow truck get to the car if the highway is filled with cars? Suppose you had a small agile vehicle like a motorcycle that could also tow the car from where it was stuck? Enter The Retriever. It's a Honda Goldwing with a foldable towing rig that rides through traffic like a normal motorcycle, splitting lanes and weaving through the jam until it arrives at the scene. Then it unfolds the towing rig, loads up the car and rolls away.

The RetrieverThe 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.

The Retriever is the product of a Swedish company, Coming Through, that took something like 5 years to perfect the product. The designer got the idea when he was stuck in a traffic jam and saw a motorcycle ride by and he wondered if a motorcycle could tow a car to relieve the congestion. That is great thinking combined with no small amount of follow through. I like this a lot.

You need to watch the video to see how well this really works. There are several on the site as well as one from the Discovery Channel.

Thanks, Eric, for the pointer.


  1. Steve says

    That is absolutely genius. I would have never thought of that. And the towing mechanism is pure genius as well. Very nice. That would sure be nice to have here in Dallas.

  2. says

    It looks rather interesting and it seems like a good idea but … since I have been an avid towing person over the years, I know one major concern: how does it STOP? Lots of companies tout their towing ability by stating how much the vehicle can pull but the important thing is how much it can stop. The brakes on light duty trucks have become better over the years but I don’t think the brakes on the Goldwing were increased in their size and stopping ability for this purpose.

  3. todd says

    whether or not it has them it is easy enough to add trailer brakes to the hauler. They would be activated by the momentum of the towed car.

  4. says

    Pretty slick idea…I wish I had thought of that!!! I bet the clutch life in the bike is not good…but you probably make up for that cost in fuel saved.

  5. says

    Absolute genius invention, I agree with most of the comments made so far especially with the stopping ability.

    The brakes certainly need to be addressed, as performing an emergency stop whilst towing a car or even worse a car plus a caravan, then the brakes would almost certainly not be up to the job and could cause a serious accident.

    I feel that this idea has huge potential, and by added momentum activated brakes to the trailer, the braking issue would be resolved.

    I am a keen motorcyclist and the benefits of that when in traffic jams is amazing, having the ability to filter through the traffic is certainly a blessing and the Goldwing Retriever takes full advantage of that and I for one would certainly love to see these in use within the UK.

  6. Drew says

    I agree that itsa good idea but it has to be upgraded with trailer brakes and the clutch should be up graded or maby even an automatic transmission? but still sweet

  7. Wayne says

    Brakes? Clutch life? Saves on gas?

    Don’t you people realize the whole point of this machine?

    It’s to get where other wreckers can’t, quickly. If it can get the car to where a full size wrecker can take over, quickly, then it’s accomplished it’s purpose. Quickly is relative of course. If it pulls at 20 mph, then it does not need massive brakes to stop, but 20 MPH is a lot faster than the disabled vehicle was moving before, and will get it to where a full sized wrecker can take over in minutes.

    Think of this like a helicopter. A helicopter costs more to buy and operate, but it can go places where other vehicles cannot go easily or at all.

  8. I'm with Wayne says

    thank you Wayne! you must be an Aussie! don’t any of you think before typing?

  9. Steve says

    Several cities in China where new affluence is bringing major traffic congestion have already aquired these tow-bikes, and from all reports they are proving themselves many times over!!

  10. Luke says

    Na. This bike is a great idea. I’m sure the goldwings brakes are up to it, plus theres also engine braking that can be used, which you couldn’t really do with an automatic. These would be dead handy in the uk where cars always seem to breakdown in the worst place they could.

  11. Cm8000 says

    They should make a diesel goldwing sometime. Can you imagine what a powerhouse that would be then?

  12. Wayne says

    LOL, no I’m not an Aussie, but I have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express…(US TV Ad)

    Just got a GL1800. Such a sweet bike. It could easily pull a car…

    I live in Houston, though I’m usually elsewhere and probably about to move to the San Francisco Bay area, two places that could certainly use this transporter.

  13. Chris says

    This product would be great in the U.S. like all the big cities with traffic problems. Waiting on a tow truck can be a pain.

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  15. says

    The Honda Goldwing tow vehicle. WOW What a machine..and idea!!! It really could be used in heavy traffic. Maybe even a type of Goldwing ambulance trailer????Police, ambulance and tow trucks cant get thru the traffic when its bumper to bumper.. GO FOR IT!!!!! Ideas never end.

  16. onsitewelding says

    That would be just the thing for retarded drivers up here in Massachusetts. If yall have ever driven up here with these D A M N E D yankees youd know.
    Rt 128 traffic? Just what the CVS samaritan van people need to rescue tow idiots that lock up traffic. Leave it to the Europeans to come up with common sense stuff.

  17. says

    I am starting the sales of these units for California and Nevada. Currently I have the exclusive sales rights to these states, and am permitted to do the sales in other states, so long as there is not a sales license in those states yet.

    The MSRP in the US for these units are a little over 127,000.00 each, but there are ways of getting these units for around 100,000.00 even through my company X-treme Towing Corp.

    The Honda Goldwing Aspencade platform is made in Canton, Ohio.. then shipped to Sweden to be retrofitted with the towing portion, and a larger rear wheel. (the rear wheel upgrade is the ONLY thing that gets changed on the motorcycle itself).

    The towing portion of the unit is collapsable while not in use, giving it slightly less than 3′ in width… basically… a standard touring motorcycle.. thus you can split lanes, utilize car pool lanes, etc etc #California Laws, other states restriction may apply#.

    The Retriever can safely tow just over 5,400 lbs … which makes it capable of towing vehicles up to the size of Expeditions, F-150/1500 size trucks, and even cargo vans #not fully loaded of course#.

    Here in California they will get an impressive 35 MPG while in tow… when not in tow between 44-48mpg.. and keep in mind… unleaded. Your standard tow truck gets about 6-8mpg… whether or not in tow. #I’m not talking for the first 6 months brand new.. I’m talking about the 85-90% of the tow trucks being used#.

    Some other neat features is the ability to pump a gallon of gas right from the Retriever to a stranded motorist. Utility storage compartments for storing unlock tools and small jack and tire iron.

    It also has a decent size winch on it, though not for performing “winch outs”.. just for loading the vehicle onto it’s dolly trailer.. and assisting with collapsing the towing portion back into the rear of the unit.

    I’ve calculated that this unit will save towing companies over $200,000.00 the first year #that is after paying off the Retriever# in fuel costs, cosmetic savings, as well as mechanical savings. #No AC pumps, door locks/handles, power seats, wiperblades, etc etc#

    Currently I have sales reps mostly in Southern California in San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside Counties.

    If you want more information, feel free to call XTC up @ it’s Headquarters in Orange County @ 714-813-0700.

  18. says

    *** Note on the braking and clutch system.

    The GL1800 already has a pretty gnarley clutch.. seeing as it is designed to pull trailers full of gear and such anyway, and the drive shaft that is stock, is strong enough to pull well over the 5,500 lbs in any direction you want.

    Now.. for the brakes… The “Trailer” (though it is a permanent attachment, rather than a temp. so technically not truly a trailer) has a mechanical brake mashing unit.. thus if the bike slowls down, equal amount of brake pressure is applied to the towing portion of the unit (or as some call it.. the trailer). Being mechanical has at least two advantages… easier to maintain (simple lube and grease on occasion), and the second advantage is that it is not affected by weather conditions such as rain, where as an electronic mashing unit could more easily have issues with wet or damp weather.

    The U.S. DOT has given it’s approval for sale and use of these units both in the stowed configuration, and the towing configuration, and safety tests on all aspects of the unit have been reviewed and tested by outside independant groups.

    *** On the police use note above, it is my understanding that the Tokyo Police Dept. and other Law Enforcement Agencies around the world, have put these units into their fleets. They make great units for law enforcement officers posted in desolate areas, giving them the ability to run the vehicle to their own lot, or a towing companies lot, for evidence storage and the likes.

    Sandor Slijderink
    X-treme Towing Corporation
    C.E.O. / Founder

  19. Sandor Slijderink says

    Ok, I’ve just spoken with the manufacturing company, and designer, of the Retriever. I know that there are questions on the stopping ability of the unit.

    I can say that the unit has a unique stopping system in case it stalls out on extreme uphills, or starting on uphills…

    1) Anytime the Retriever comes to a complete stop and in neutral (either physically in neutral, or with clutch held down) the brakes automattically are set on the towing apparatus.. and released as soon as in gear and feeling any forward motion.. simply like riding the motorcycle itself.

    2) There is what is called a 70 Bar Emergency Braking system… which can be set (much like a parking brake) to the desired strength from 5 bars to the max of 70 bars. It’s a VERY simple system, and from I’ve been told, when DOT saw it… it was kinda of like… well that’s just stupid simple… which is what Coming Through in Sweden was going for…. a no brainer use of the unit.

    I hope this clears up some of the issues on the braking… and safety braking as well.

    Sandor Slijderink

  20. garry quick says

    When I first came across your web site I thought I was looking at 3d mock-up proto types when I discovered i was looking at real working machines I could hardly beleive it please keep more of these fabulous ideas coming i hope that some day 1 of my own ? projects just might make it yet with this type of insentive I know i for one am stoked to say the least of the endless possabilities keep on wrenching who knows some day we might just land on the moon better yet a completely paved planet?
    Thanks you just put me back in the garage!