Local Authority: Tim Miller Lowside Motorcycle T&A
Category: seattlepi.com teaser headlines
Just in time for summer, Tim Miller hits the road with the only motorcycle- and scooter-specific towing biz in Seattle
Tower Of Power
Name: Tim Miller
Occupation: Owner and operator, Lowside Motorcycle T&A
Favorite Summer Ride: High Bridge Road in Snohomish
Preferred Bikes: European, especially Austrian or Italian
Best Part of His Job: “Getting to know the people I help out.”
Motorcycle enthusiast and Seattleite Tim Miller, 34, loves nothing more than hitting the open road on a warm, sunny day. But one thing this 13-year moto-riding veteran doesn’t like? His bike breaking down in the middle of nowhere—as it did last summer after he struck a boulder while adventure touring in Oregon’s Christmas Valley. Stranded in the desert and waiting to be rescued (eventually by a retired rodeo cowboy with a pickup), Miller sketched the logo for Lowside Motorcycle T&A (lowsidetna.com), the transport and assistance service he’d been thinking about starting for years, and which he launched last November. Serving the greater Seattle area, the former barista turned motorcycle and scooter rescuer uses a specially rigged pickup truck to help two-wheelers in distress.
SM: What does “lowside” mean?
TM: A lowside is a type of motorcycle accident where you are going around a corner, the motorcycle is leaned over, and your tires lose traction. You fall off the low side of the motorcycle as opposed to the high side. [The term] is motorcycle specific and I liked the sound of it.
SM: What’s the risk if motorcyclists and scooter riders call a regular tow truck?
TM: I shouldn’t say that a tow truck can’t tow a motorcycle, because they’ve been doing so for years. But a [boom-style] wrecker tow truck usually puts a sling around the center of the bike and just hoists it up. It’s not necessarily structurally sound [for the bike] to be dangled like that. It makes me want to pull my hair out, like, “Nooooo!” I provide an alternative that is specific to motorcycles.
SM: How do you do it differently?
TM: In the bed of the pickup truck I have a motorcycle lift. It’s operated by a winch so it pulls the motorcycle up and into the bed of the truck and you don’t have to push. I like to say it’s “no sweating, no swearing, no stress,” because when I used to try to load a motorcycle with just a ramp, there were all three of those things in droves.
SM: What kinds of roadside assistance do you offer?
TM: There are some instances where I can help somebody at the side of the road and not have to tow them. I can do fuel delivery if somebody is out of gas; I have a jump kit, so I can jump-start the bike; and I have an air tank if somebody doesn’t have enough air in the tires.
SM: Any plans for expansion?
TM: Originally I wanted to start a motorcycle coffee shop and have it be a place where people could come and find out about rides [and routes]. Maybe there would be a trip-planning table. I could sell some consigned motorcycle equipment, and it would just be a place for bikers to come hang out. So that’s the huge Walt Disney fantasy