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Being Safe for the Long Haul

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August 12, 2013 by Rider Newsletter Staff

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Getting your bike from here to there is easily

With Sturgis coming to a close and the fall rally season officially underway, we’ve been receiving lots of questions about safely hauling a motorcycle for a long distance. Many riders don’t have the time or inclination to ride to every rally, so hauling your pride and joy is a good option. By taking a few simple precautions, you can get your bike to the rally in great shape.

There are many ways to take a motorcycle with you. There are several companies that offer haulers designed to meet specific needs, from the clever simplicity of the Dandy Hauler to the high-end Trinity three-rail, pull-behind trailer. Simpler haulers are designed to firmly attach the front wheel of the bike to the tow vehicle leaving the back wheel to roll freely. Trailers (or even a truck bed), on the other hand keep the bike off the pavement all together.

Strap it down

No matter which type of hauler you use, it is impossible to be overly careful when it comes to strapping the bike to the carrier. It is important to use high-quality straps and secure them firmly. Don’t try to save money when purchasing the straps. The additional cost is nothing compared to the pain and expense of having your bike come loose on the road. If the hauler is securely attached to your vehicle and the bike is securely attached to the hauler, you’re in good shape.

Rolling smoothly

If you are using a hauler that leaves the rear wheel on the pavement, there are additional precautions you must take to ensure a safe trip. First, be absolutely certain that your wheel bearings are in good shape. The main thing to look for is any level of shimmy. The wheel should roll smoothly and should never wobble side-to-side. Another sign of bad bearings is a slight grinding or a clunk as you push the motorcycle along. Often you can feel that something is wrong. When in doubt, have your favorite shop check it out. This is especially true if you’re planning to haul your bike for a long distance.

Watch the pressure

Finally, it is absolutely critical that you check tire pressure before you tow. We talk about tire pressure a lot around here; so if you’re being a safe rider, you always keep your tires inflated properly. One thing you don’t want to do when towing is to overinflate the rear tire. Like when you’re riding, an overinflated tire rides roughly, which is just as bad when you’re towing.

If you prefer to have an additional mode of transportation at rallies, towing your bike is a safe and reasonable alternative as long as you take the necessary precautions.

Get ‘er done for you

There is another way to get your bike to a far off rally. There are many companies who specialize in transporting motorcycles. Often, they use covered trucks or trailers and offer insurance. One advantage of this choice is that you can fly to the event and pick up your ride when you get there. Although this is a more costly choice, it may be the only way to go if you’re on a tight schedule or don’t want to handle your own motorcycle transportation. Keep an eye out at the next event, or jump on the Internet to find a transportation provider.

Whether you ride, tow or ship your bike, enjoy the fall rally season!

 

This motorcycle.com article shows how to replace wheel bearings and how to know they need it.

 

Here is an article on how to properly tie down your motorcycle: VIEW HERE

 


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