All motorcyclists know that they cannot ride a motorcycle to every place they want to take it to, be it a maintenance workshop or a garage after a sudden breakdown of the motorcycle. In all fortuitous situations like these, you need to transport the motorcycle in a truck or a trailer to take it to another place. However, to secure your motorbike during this journey, you need to know how to tie down a motorcycle.
What Will You Need?
When you want to move your motorcycle to another place, you must ensure that you use sturdy material to secure your motorcycle during the trip. You will require two soft loops and two straps. Tie them to the corners of the vehicle that you are using to transport the motorcycle. The idea behind tying loops and straps to the corners of the trailer carrying the motorcycle is that it prevents the motorcycle from joggling around when the vehicle is moving on uneven terrain.
Most motorcyclists prefer using ratchet straps for this purpose. These straps are heavy-duty straps that tie down the motorcycle and maintain strength and tension so that the motorcycle is secure even while it is hanging.
While these are the basic equipment that you require for the job, you can consult other motorcyclists around you to know what equipment they use to tie down their motorcycles effectively.
You may come across people who suggest the use of a motorcycle wheel chock that holds the motorcycle steady when you tie the straps to the corners of the vehicle. A motorcycle wheel chock makes the job easier, but it doesn’t matter if you do not have it.
How to Tie Down a Motorcycle
1. Preparing a Tie-Down Strap
Preparation of the ratchet tie-down straps is important before you load the motorcycle onto the vehicle. Knowing how to use the ratchet straps and preparing them is crucial to learn how to strap a motorcycle to a trailer.
First, connect the ratchet tie-down straps to the anchor points on the trailer. Connect them in such a way that they become stretched out from the middle.
Many people load the motorcycle on the vehicle first and then tie the straps to the corners. While it is possible to do so, it’s not an efficient method. It is because once you load the motorcycle on the trailer, very little space is left for you to move and tie the straps with the anchor points on the vehicle.
Whichever method you choose to prepare the ratchet tie-down straps, you will need assistance. Working alone to prepare these straps can be cumbersome and dangerous. The second person can hold the motorcycle steady while you tie the ratchet straps through the anchor points on the corners of the vehicle.
There are several anchor points available to tie straps like the handlebar anchor point, upper and lower triple clamp anchor points, etc. Every tie-down strap has a hook. A common technique is to first loop the strap around the anchor point, then load the motorcycle and finally attach the hook. The opposite end of this hook will get attached to the corners of the truck or the trailer.
2. Load The Motorcycle
Once you fix the straps to the anchor points on the trailer, it is time to load the motorcycle on it. Once you load the motorcycle, tie the front end of the motorcycle firmly. Then, put the kickstand back up. Put the kickstand up so that it does not collide with the truck or the trailer’s interiors when the truck moves.
3. Fasten The Straps
Now it is time to fasten the straps. Attach the straps to the lower triple trees. The lower triple trees bring the front forks closer and connect them to the frame of the motorcycle. After this, move the front wheel against the front panel.
Tying the straps to the lower triple trees is better when you do not have soft loops to connect the strap to the handlebars.
Some motorcyclists prefer using a nylon loop also called the soft loop for the tie-down process. The soft loop keeps the hook of the ratchet strap away from the motorcycle so that it does not put scratches on the motorcycle’s body. While using a soft loop, attach one end of the hook to the loop, which, in turn, is joined with the handlebar. The other remains fixed to the corners of the trailer.
The ratchet tie-down straps only help in securing the motorcycle while you move it. The use of other accessories is as per the preference of the owner.
You will need additional straps if you want to secure the back and tires of the motorcycle as well. Although tying the front end is enough, to secure the back, you need to attach additional straps and tie them to the swing-arm of the motorcycle. The back of the motorcycle contains the brake lines and other sensitive parts. So, tighten the straps carefully without damaging these parts.
4. Final Check
Once you tie down the motorcycle on the vehicle, it is time for a final check. For the final check, see whether all straps have adequate tension and strength or not. Check that the ratchets of these tie-down straps are closed. Ensure that the kickstand is up and any extra strap in use is not left out.
5. Releasing the Strap
Learning how to tie down a motorcycle on a trailer is incomplete without learning how to release the straps later. After the difficult job of tying down the motorcycle is done and you bring the motorcycle to the desired location, sometimes the ratchet of the straps may give some trouble in releasing. Although there is no hack to solve this issue, you need to know that releasing the ratchets gently is very crucial so that you do not damage the motorcycle. Don’t think of tugging the ratchet hard so that it opens up, as it can be dangerous for you and the motorcycle.
So, this was a simple guide to teach you how to tie down a motorcycle when you want to move it to another place.
As you can see, the ratchet straps are the most essential equipment to tie down a motorcycle. Therefore, once you buy these ratchet straps, make sure that you keep them carefully so that you can use them whenever the need arises.