Owning a motorcycle can be a dream come true for many people, but, although it is bliss, there are some things you should take into account when handling your bike, like the fact that you are gonna have to transport it somewhere at some point. While doing that, you have to be very careful about handling it and taking care of its parts so, the frame, the engine, the motorcycle battery, and its other components can be sensitive parts that should be well protected while handling any motorcycle.
Every motorcycle veteran knows that protecting his bike should be a priority.
- What You Need to Know
- What Will You Transport It On?
- What Tools Will You Need?
- Loading Your Motorcycle
- Securing Your Motorcycle
- What Happens When You Reach Your Destination?
- A Small Final Thought
- How to trailer a motorcycle
- How to strap down a motorcycle on a trailer
- How to tie down a motorcycle on a trailer without a chock
- How to tie down a Harley Davidson motorcycle on a trailer
- How to transport a motorcycle in a pickup truck
What You Need to Know
At first, you might think that the best way to transport your motorcycle is to ride it, and if you want to know our opinion, yes, that is how we feel too. But that’s the best choice for us when it comes to the feeling we get. Sometimes, we have to make the best choice for the bike, and that is to transport it on a trailer to avoid the dangers you might encounter on the way, like a flat tire or a breakdown.
Only the thought of seeing your baby on a trailer might make you get the heebie-jeebies, but think of it from another perspective: we have to handle the most precious things we have with care, and there are some cases in which the most responsible thing to do is not to ride it but to transport it carefully. There are tips on how to do that the right way and we’ve made a list.
What Will You Transport It On?
Riding a motorcycle has always symbolized freedom, and freedom has to be taken seriously. You should consider making a plan before you start ‘packing’ your motorcycle up.
So, first things first, what equipment will you need? The most important decision to make is the means of transportation. When choosing, it’s important to consider the size of your motorcycle. You can choose between a trailer or a truck bed. They have to be customized for wheel vehicle transportation and you will later learn why.
What Tools Will You Need?
First, you will need a wheel chock, a device that doesn’t allow the front wheel to move or twist. You have to mount it to the deck of your trailer or truck bed – that is why the means of transportation has to be customized for transporting motorcycles. If you decide to buy one, it will be best to choose one that won’t damage your tires and will not break the rotors.
Some soft loops will help you secure your connections when you use your tie-down straps and the ratchet straps will allow you to offer the right support for any type of cargo size. The ratchet straps will allow you to minimize shock loading.
Loading Your Motorcycle
First of all, you have to position your truck or trailer so that you will have enough space to load your motorcycle in the right position. The wheel chock should be mounted to the deck toward the front side of your truck or trailer, but, before you do it, make sure you have enough space on both sides so that you can tie down the bike.
When you load your motorcycle you have to use a ramp and push it up the truck bed or trailer. Using a motorcycle ramp is a better idea than using a plank of wood. It is important to make sure that the ramp is secured both on the ground and on the trailer or truck bed. You could have some friends help you pick your motorcycle up, but a ramp is much more secure.
Securing Your Motorcycle
After getting your bike on the trailer, you need to position your motorcycle so that the front wheel is fixed inside the wheel chock. If you are using a customized bike trailer, you will see a channel in the center of the trailer floor. You will have to maneuver your motorcycle into the channel in the right position.
Depending on the motorcycle model you own, you have to tie it down differently. But the principle is the same: you have to use a rigid part as an attachment point. That can be the frame or a firmly mounted part on the frame.
Soft loops are important mainly because they are soft. Sounds like a stupid thing, right? But it’s not. It’s not, because the hooks of the ratchet straps can damage your motorcycle, they can scratch it, so the soft loops prevent them to do so. Wrap them around the base of the handlebar. One on the left and one on the right.
You should avoid attaching the loops on the handlebar, instead of the base of it, because the force you need to secure the bike could bend them.
After you do that on the front, you can move to the back of the bike and find some solid parts to wrap soft loops around them as well. Some people use two ties at the front and two at the rear of the motorcycle and others use four at the front and two at the rear. Either way you choose to do it, they both keep your bike on the safe side.
Now you can move on to attaching the ratchet straps to the loose end of the soft loops. After you have done that you have to pay attention to something important. The ratchet straps have to be on a 45-degree angle between the truck bed and the motorcycle.
After you have checked that, you can connect the loose end of the ratchet straps to your trailer or truck and tighten the straps. You have to pull it tight enough so that your motorcycle won’t fall or move.
For the next step, after you have finished tying it down, you should double-check all your straps. It’s important to do so to make sure that your bike is safely grounded.
What Happens When You Reach Your Destination?
You’ve reached your destination and now you are eager to take it down and ride it. Sounds magnificent, but don’t forget to be careful how you untie it. Once you’ve done the loading, you pretty much know how to do the unloading, it’s the reverse operation. You should probably consider that once you unstrap the bike on one side, it will lunge to the other, so call a friend to help you.
Some motorcyclists find it hard to release the ratchet straps because sometimes they loosen hard. If you are facing this situation, try not to panic or yank on the straps. It will only make things worse causing damage to your motorcycle.
A Small Final Thought
If you don’t own a truck or trailer, a good choice is to search for a motorcycle transport company. But don’t think you will be completely carefree. Before you hand them your bike, they will require you to empty the tank and take out the battery.
To most riders, their motorcycle is ‘their baby’. That being the case, it’s a good idea to photograph the motorcycle from all angles and, after they have finished loading it on the trailer, to get your keys back and turn the alarms off.
A bit of a downfall is that they might not deliver the bike to an exact location because of the lack of maneuver space, so you if you have to go and pick it up – remember that it’s a good idea to have some gas with you.
Remember to always check if your bike hasn’t been damaged during transportation. If you see anything wrong, take pictures while their driver is still present, and photograph the damages and file the claims as soon as possible. Maybe that won’t be the case, but you always have to check so that you won’t get any surprises later on.
Riding a motorcycle gives you a wonderful feeling of freedom, but taking care of your bike is a responsibility you have to take seriously. If you want to make sure your bike is safe, you can tie it down and transport it yourself or you can find a motorcycle transportation company. Either way, you have to make sure everything is alright before the trailer takes off.
At the end of the day, the choice you make doesn’t matter, all that matters is that your bike arrives safely to its destination.
How to trailer a motorcycle
When transporting your bike over long distances, knowing how to do it correctly is essential. Without properly tying down a motorcycle on a trailer, your bike will just end up moving around, and it can even fall off the trailer, which could lead to severe damage.
First things first, ensure that you have a proper trailer. One with a fold-down ramp is indicated, and a 5-inch by 9-inch model is usually large enough for transporting a bike. When loading a motorcycle on a trailer, move it slowly up the ramp until you get it into position.
Trailering motorcycle options may not be many, but they are straightforward. You must keep in mind that the bike should be secured in place so that it doesn’t end up shifting around. Before securing motorcycle to trailer, let the side stand down. Use soft straps if you don’t want to damage your bike. Start with the front left side, and continue with the right front one.
Ratchet straps are ideal when learning how to tie down a motorcycle on a trailer. They can be tightened to apply the right amount of pressure to avoid any mishaps during transportation.
How to strap down a motorcycle on a trailer
Notice the secure points on the trailer, and hook the straps used on the bike to them. Ensure that there is no slack in the straps, and ratchet them a couple of times. Do the same on each side. When you’re finished, you should see your motorcycle sitting upright completely on its own. As the front suspension compresses due to the vertical position, you should help it compress completely by tightening the side straps more.
One thing you shouldn’t do when strapping down your motorcycle is to use the handlebars. Ratchet straps are not enough to secure them, and the handlebars might end up getting damaged. It is better to use rigid parts of your bike when securing it to a trailer. Use two other straps to secure the rear, too, and your motorcycle will be safe.
How to tie down a motorcycle on a trailer without a chock
Since chocks often appear in any recommendations for tying down motorcycles to trailers, you may wonder if you cannot do without one. The truth is that you can. The primary role of a chock is to ensure that the front wheel doesn’t turn during transport.
However, that doesn’t mean that you cannot improvise one. Basically, a piece of wood or even plastic can save the same purpose. While they won’t be as effective as professional chocks, they can do in a pinch. To make your improvisation work, use some towels to make them as secure as possible. What matters is to ensure that the front wheel is secured correctly to avoid turning, and that comes before you start tying down your motorcycle.
How to tie down a Harley Davidson motorcycle on a trailer
If you ride a Harley, you surely want to do everything in your power to ensure that it’s secure during transportation. With the help of proper procedures and knowing the tie-down points for Harley Davidson bikes, you will be able to provide safe passing for your motorcycle without any trouble.
Here are the necessary steps you must follow. You will see right away that the process is not that complicated, and you will be able to do it on your own, without enlisting professional help.
Trailers come with tie-down locations, and there are usually two in the front and two in the back. In case there are none, you should consider renting another trailer or have some tie-downs installed for the duration of the trip.
With the help of the attached hooks, place adjustable ratchet straps on the two front mounts. They should be long enough to connect your bike to the tie-downs. To give you an idea, they should reach the handlebars. Also, remember to adjust them in such a manner that you can still work with them.
Load the Harley onto the trailer and place its front tire against the chock if one is available. Lower the kickstand, then grab the straps and put the hooks over the handlebars. Tighten the ratchet straps until you see your bike standing in a vertical position without any help.
Use a chock for the rear wheel, as well. With the help of tie-down strap hooks, secure this part of your bike, too. Adjust all the straps until you’re sure that the bike cannot move by itself. Any loose ends should be tucked away so that they don’t flap around during transportation.
How to transport a motorcycle in a pickup truck
Several steps are required when hauling a motorcycle in a pickup. It is doable, but some things can make or break the entire solution if you’re not careful. The truck bed should be long enough to accommodate the length of your bike. Then you require a ramp on which to load the motorcycle onto the truck bed. Of course, you should also identify the motorcycle tie-down points before proceeding any further.
Learning how to strap down a motorcycle is not particularly challenging, but you must be aware of details. Having proper motorcycle straps for truck at your disposal is ideal since it will help you adjust the position of your bike and secure it in place to avoid any issues.
The motorcycle tiedowns serve a specific purpose, as they are rigid points that will make sure the bike won’t shift around during transport. Remember to study how to properly tie down a motorcycle when you want to transport it in this manner.
When loading your bike onto the truck bed, make sure that you monitor the angle at which the motorcycle comes in. It is very important that you don’t have a transition angle that is too steep or that can cause serious issues with the stability of the bike. You surely don’t want that beast of metal to fall on one side while you struggle to keep it in place. It’s not only dangerous for your bike but for you, as well.
A wheel chock can also make a difference, although it’s optional. The front wheel shouldn’t turn during the trip you’re taking, as it can get damaged.
Make sure you understand how to tie down a motorcycle in a truck, and you will be able to transport your bike even across the country without experiencing any problems. As with the trailer option described earlier, the main requirement is to have four points on which to secure the straps that will go over your bike.
A canyon dancer can also be a solution. This item is a single strap that goes around the truck bed and through the handlebars of your bike, connecting in just one place. It might not be the ideal solution, but it’s good to have when you don’t have another option at your disposal.
If you have the four contact points available, proceed to secure your bike the same way you would when working with a trailer. The procedures are the same, and the most critical aspect is that your bike sits upright by itself and that the straps are tensioned so that they don’t allow it to move around.
As you secure the front wheel, make sure that the compression is almost complete, as that will provide extra security for the road. However, don’t let it go all the way, as that may be too taxing for your vehicle.