About tying down bikes.

10 replies to this topic
  • Jim_Patterson

Posted March 03, 2003 - 12:21 PM


If you don't use good practices, and you ride often enough with a trailer, you may well drop a bike. I have harped at the guys in our group about how they tie down. Last fall we were to meet at a location then caravan to our riding area. We got a cell phone call, just dumped a bike we will be a little late. 1. I don't use any tie downs that aren't the ratchet type. 2. Hooks in a eye at the bottom of the tie down are not good enough. Hit a big bump on a turn the shocks compress and the hook falls out. Goodby bike. Use the locking style hooks and this can't happen. 3. Tie down the bike at 4 points handle bars and pegs so they pull on the bike from the front and rear. If a front lets loose the rears will help hold it. 4. Tie from the ratchet to the bars in case the top hook or ratchet lets loose. 5. Compress the suspension adequetely so the top hooks can't flip off. Actually I don't use any compression because my tie downs are a reserve. I don't want to load springs for 4 hours or more each trip direction plus all the other driving we do. My bikes are secured to the trailer with metal support bars. Over kill? If it's your $6000 bike that dumps you may change your mind about that.

  • Hick

Posted March 03, 2003 - 01:40 PM


I don't want to load springs for 4 hours or more each trip direction plus all the other driving we do.

You have a lot of good tips there, but leaving the springs compressed won't hurt them.

A decent trick to keep open-hook ends attached is to connect a bungy from the bike to the end of the hook, this keeps tension on them. I don't know that this is 100% effective but it seems like a good idea. I also think the keeper straps are cheesy, but they work fine if you throw a hooey in the slack end so they can't loosen.

If I'm hauling for any length of time I run big ratcheting strap over the swing arm (thread it under the brake line) or back of the seat depending upon the truck/trailer/bike etc. Since you can use the suspension to load the front straps I think you can get away with keepers here, but only a good ratchet strap will effectively secure the bike from the swingarm.

As a (former) professional hick, I have a lifetime of experience securing all manner of things to a truck or trailer. You should also realize that, in TX & NM anyway, failing to properly secure a load is a moving violation and will hurt your insurance premiums (provided a cop sees your poor bike bounce out of your truck).

  • r1superstar

Posted March 03, 2003 - 02:10 PM


Holy Crap! All this is not needed.

I use two tie downs (they have soft ties built in them) and a ten inch rubber bungee strap. This strap is for the rear rim (trailer use only).

If you are putting one bike in a truck, then put it in diagonally and close the tail gate. To keep the tie downs from letting loose, use a rubberband or do what I do, use a "D" ring in place of the hook.

If you are hauling two, then just pull the tie downs tight. I have only dumped a bike once (once) and it was because the tie down was 100 years old and frayed.

I have hauled bikes a million times, no problems here. Some peeps are just not cautious enough and always in a hurry to get there...............db :)

If you really need to, cut a 2x4 about 8-10 inches in length and stick it under your fender in between the tire and fender (right under the lower tripple clamp). The tie downs and bike aren't going anywhere after that.

  • Dan_from_HB

Posted March 03, 2003 - 04:14 PM


Hick is right. Springs won't be hurt by tying down. I know an Engineer who's a stress analysis specialist. He claims springs that sag will do so no matter whether you tie the bike down or not.
I use bike shoes in my toybox type trailer, mainly because the tie down loops are all along the sides and I'd need 7-8 foot tie downs. But I used to use two tie downs per bike on my MC trailer and never lost one bike in 20+ years. Some friends have used short pieces of steel chain between the bottom hook and the trailer. Hook it twice and it'll never come off due to slack in the tie down.

  • foursmoke

Posted March 03, 2003 - 05:45 PM


Has anyone tried a suspension stabilizer from PC Racing. It fits between top of front tire and the underside of front fender.It keeps the front forks from compressing and also keeps constant tension on tie downs.

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  • Hick

Posted March 03, 2003 - 06:12 PM


I've never seen the point in bracing the forks, but if you do you'd better make sure the brace cannot fall out. If it does then you've lost all tension on your strap, and if it is just hooked to an eyelet it will almost certainly come out.

  • foursmoke

Posted March 03, 2003 - 06:59 PM


Good point by you Hick.Maybe a small bungy cord around forks will keep that baby in :)

  • Jim_Patterson

Posted March 04, 2003 - 02:22 AM


If you will notice I said hauling on a trailer. In a truck the bike seldom goes overboard.

  • r1superstar

Posted March 04, 2003 - 05:41 AM


If you notice, I mentioned how to tie down a motorcycle in a trailer as well. I trailer my motorcycles too...............db :)

  • tctrailrider

Posted March 04, 2003 - 10:11 AM


I use Fork Savers. It sets on top of the tire and the underside of the fender. Tabs rest on the forks. Secure the bike with ratchet tie downs and it is locked in. The strap would have to break to loose the bike. I nearly lost a bike awhile back, hit a bump, compressed the forks and the hook fell off the handlebar. I wouldn,t leave home without it.

  • starttman

Posted March 04, 2003 - 10:42 AM


i took a hunk of 4x4 and rounded the ends to the contour of the front wheel and the fender..put it in, then tighten the tie downs real good. i use the spring loaded push down release tie downs i got the good ones not the thin cheesie kind.i built a nice saddle to hold the front tire secure. it is a deep channel that has sides that go above the rim.. i drilled a hole and put a hitch pin in to keep the tire from jumping out. i run a black bungee strap around the rear wheel to the rear rail.my rig ain't going nowhere, cuz.

i have been riding for 30 years and never had one come off yet. a lot of the reason why tie downs fail is because the idiot puts them on a high point on the bars and they slide to the lowest stopping point.I have seen guys mount the hook up near the kill switch and it slides down to the triple clamp...then you get to see your rig do the asphalt bounce down the ol' state highway... :)

its not rocket science... just common sense.



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