Safely tie down motorcycles for transportation
Many motorcyclists find themselves with new dilemmas that they have probably never experienced in the past. One of these dilemmas is trying to tie down their bike securely to keep their expensive motorcycle safe during transport. However, there are only a few tried and true methods to make sure a motorcycle can be transported as safe/secure as possible.
Here is a list of the basic equipment needed for securing a motorcycle for transportation/hauling: (4) high strength/good quality ratchet straps ((2) ratchets and (2) cam buckle straps will do, however, the preferred method is via (4) ratchet straps) and (4) soft loops. (Soft loops are special straps that keep the hooks of your cam/ratchet straps away from your bike to prevent scratching during the trip.)
Please note, when purchasing your straps pay close attention to the buckle section as it should be a nice strong metal with the preferred tooth style gripping plate. Now that you have the required items you will be able to begin the tie-down process as outlined below.
Step 1: Once the bike is in the truck or trailer, wrap a soft loop around the base of the LEFT side handle bar and place the hook end of one strap through the soft loop. Once that is done, secure the other hook end of the strap to a secure spot in your truck or trailer(Preferably on an angle). Then pull the slack out of the strap and ratchet it a few times. Repeat this procedure for the RIGHT side handle bar.
Step 2: Once both Ratchet straps are in place, tighten each snugly so that the bike will sit in the upright position on its own. BE SURE NOT TO COMPRESS THE FRONT FORKS, SERIOUS DAMAGE MAY OCCUR TO THE SUSPENSION OF THE BIKE (See owners manual).
Step 3: Now for the rear of the bike. Find a stable member(part) of the bike and wrap a soft loop around it. Then proceed to secure the straps to the bike in same fashion as done in the front. (Note: Each bike is a little different so there isn't one single spot to wrap the soft loop that is the same for every bike).
Step 4: To ensure stability, periodically check the strap tightness and the condition the of the straps along with the load itself before and during the trip.
Step 5 (Optional): The use of a wheel chock is a great security feature for your bike. If you choose to use one, position the straps so that they are pulling the bike inward towards the wheel chock.
Jeff G. is a specialist when it comes to tie-down straps and wheel chocks along with the many techniques of hauling and transporting.