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** Tie Down Procedures **
Most Motorcycles

There are as many different ways to tiedown motorcycles as there are models of bikes and
people to own them. The following method might work for you

1. A proper tiedown system has four major components:
2. A means of securing the front wheel from moving forward or turning sideways.
3. The means to attach the strap to the bike in a secure location without damaging the bike
4. The strap itself and a means of tightening it
5. A means of attaching the strap to the trailer

The wheel chock. For any tiedown system to be safe and secure there must be a means of insuring that the motorcycle once tied down, will not move. The best means of accomplishing this is by preventing forward motion and preventing the front wheel from turning then using the straps to pull the bike down on the suspension and forward against the chock. Many methods can be used to accomplish this; ranging from strapping the front tire to a rail to 2"X4" blocks, to steel C channel bent up, to the wheel chock. A tubular steel wheel chock has a number of advantages inherent in the design. First the mounting hardware can be mounted almost anywhere, allowing multiple loading combinations while maintaining optimum weight distribution, and a quick disconnect so as not to interfere with other potential uses of the trailer. Secondly, the chock blocks sideways movement along the full length of the chock , which insures that the wheel should not jump the chock in a violent movement. Third, the chock provides a crush resistant front to prevent forward movement in the event of a collision or panic stop. A final feature of the tubular design is that the round tube offers no sharp edges reducing the threat of tire damage.

When using soft loop webbing in tying down your motorcycle there are three determinates of strength. The sewing, the width, and the thread count. Sewing has to pretty much be determined by the manufacturer; select a reputable manufacturer and the sewing should be acceptable. Look for loose threads and broken stitches on older straps. Width should be the same as the ratchet straps you are using. Look for any fraying or cuts in the strap material, any cuts and you should replace the strap immediately. The most important determinate of strap strength is the tread count, which can be determined by examining the thickness of the strap. The thinner the strap, the weaker the strap.

A ratchet tiedown strap should be used for securing your motorcycle(s). There are a couple of reasons for this. First, with ratchets it is possible to secure your motorcycle by yourself. Second, the use of ratchet tiedowns also let you increase the tension on the motorcycles suspension which will reduce shock loading the straps during towing. Shock loading occurs when the trailer hits a bump on the highway, the secured motorcycles suspension compresses to absorb the shock, while the suspension is compressed all tiedown straps go slack and then are snapped tight as the suspension expands. Shock loading can cause loosening of the strap due to slippage (pull type straps due to their design are especially prone) or strap breakage since the shock load may be several times the normal load on the strap. The more the bike's suspension is loaded when tied down the less the suspension can or will compress during towing and the lower the shock loads are. Ratchet straps by design will compress the motorcycle's suspension farther than the pull types can. If you value your motorcyle don't use cheap straps!!

How you tie down your bike depends in great measure on the brand and model bike you have. First of all DO NOT tiedown your bike by the handlebars. Regardless of the type of motorcycle you ride the handlebars are not designed to accept the stresses that are generated in towing down rough roads or hitting a pothole or 2X4 at speed. Finally, tiedown straps should form a 45° ( angle between the bike and floor ), consequently the lower on the bike that the tie downs are the closer to the bike the floor tiedowns can be and still be secure. NEVER, NEVER put a cover on your motorcycle when towing it on an open trailer. No matter how well the cover is tied down road grit and tiny movements of the cover will "sand" the paint right off of your motorcycle!!!

It's recommended to tiedown any bike by either the frame or a part solidly mounted to the frame of the bike, using six ratchet tiedowns per bike, four at the front and two at the back. On many sport bikes it's recommend to put a soft loop to surround the triple tree and tying off of the loop with two ratchet straps one pulling directly forward into the chock and the second pulling forward and out to the side. Cruisers and other bikes with reversed forks require a different strategy. On any cruiser, move to the front of the engine where the frame meets the crash bars (if so equipped, or where it would meet the crash bars if not) and repeat the four strap tiedown mentioned above. At the back of the bike tie a soft loop around the passenger hand grips, the passenger footpegs, or the rear frame of the bike itself. Experiment as your bike may have pipes, or other parts that interfere with the strap's run. Watch out for sharp corners, (or even dull ones), chafe is a major cause of strap failure. Hot pipes, or anything that might be damaged if a metal portion of the ratchet contacts a chromed part of the bike. Sometimes interference or contact can be avoided by reversing the strap which would move where the ratchet sits in relation to the bike.

Step By Step
1. Locate and attach soft loops on the motorcycle(s).

2. Locate and attach Ratchet Straps to the Eyebolts in the trailer. Place back straps in a position where they can be reached from the seat of the motorcycle.

3. Verify that wheel chocks are properly seated in their mounts and that the chocks are mounted all the way forward.

4. Verify that the trailer is firmly attached to the tow vehicle and that the coupler is latched and that the trailer is secure from movement.

5. If you are loading a multiple motorcycles on your trailer, load the forward (usually the drivers side ) bike first. If you are loading two large bikes where handlebars or fairings can contact each other, try reversing the bikes positions in the trailer. It is usually a good idea to load the biggest bike in the forward position in order to properly distribute the load.

Start and warm up the first motorcycle then ride it into the trailer. Insure that the bike is straight in the wheel chock and then while still on the bike attach the rear tiedown straps and tighten until the bike is firmly in place. Get off the bike and attach front tiedown straps and tie bike firmly in place. when you are finished the bike should be completely upright, straight, and shaking the bike should only cause trailer motion and very little bike movement.

7. WARNING overloading the suspension over long periods of time can cause damage to the seals in the bikes suspension.

8. Close and lock the rear door, side door, raise ramps if equipped & Happy trailering

A Final Word
Always experiment with your bike load sequence well in advance of your trip.


Type @ Ya'll Later

** Note if this method doesn't WORK for you **
& YOU Damage Your Motorcycle **
Don't blame ME **
This is only a guide & is posted **
for basic information only **


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These Tips come from many people, on the various
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Get Help From Someone Who Is
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