Whether you're planning a road trip or moving to a new city, transporting your motorcycle can be a challenge. Motorcycle safety is paramount, and proper tying down for transport is essential to avoid damage. This step-by-step guide will provide all the information you need for a safe and secure motorcycle transport.
Step 1: Get the Right Equipment
- Acquire a suitable ramp: To strap your motorcycle down, you first need to get it into the back of your truck or trailer. Ramps are a must-have for this process. Aluminum ramps are light and easy to handle, while steel ramps can be more affordable.
- Use appropriate straps: Low-end ratchet straps work well as tie-downs. However, avoid cheap cam buckles, as they may not secure your motorcycle adequately.
- Have sufficient straps: For safety, you should have at least four straps (two on the front, two on the back). More cautious riders may prefer to use five or six.
Step 2: Prepare Your Motorcycle
- Position your motorcycle: Centre the wheel in your truck bed or trailer. Hold the bike in the upright position with straps on each side.
- Handle the kickstand properly: Put your kickstand up to prevent it from digging a hole into your vehicle or buckling under strain. If you need to put the kickstand down, make sure to protect your vehicle's surface and secure the kickstand properly.
- Choose your tie-down points carefully: Use the handlebars for the tie-downs up front, and the passenger pegs or rear subframe in the back. Be cautious of ratcheting too tightly on fragile parts.
Step 3: Secure Your Motorcycle
- Be mindful of your bike's bodywork: Ensure the straps aren't rubbing against or vibrating the motorcycle's bodywork during travel.
- Compress your suspension: Use your suspension's rebound to keep the bike in place by compressing it and then tightening the straps.
- Don’t overtighten your straps: Over-tightening can risk damaging your suspension or tie-down points. Leave a small amount of flex on the straps.
- Double-check everything: Once all corners of the bike are strapped, double-check for any loose slack or shifts in the bike's position.
Step 4: Ensure Ongoing Safety
- Consider additional safety options: If you transport your bike regularly, consider investing in products that make the process easier and safer, like the Canyon Dancer bar harness or a wheel chock that installs in your truck.
- Don't forget about Physics: When strapping down your motorcycle, ensure it's secured against all potential forces - braking, acceleration, side winds, turns, etc.
Following these steps should make the process of tying down your motorcycle for transport a breeze. Ensure you use quality equipment, prepare your motorcycle correctly, secure it properly, and take precautions for ongoing safety. Your motorcycle will then be ready for a safe and secure journey.