March 27, 2014 by Rider Newsletter Staff
Towing your motorcycle is the best solution when you wish to ride when you reach your destination, but you can’t – or don’t want to – ride there and back. If you only need to transport a single bike, The USA Trailer Store has a solution that saves money, energy and hassle. The Ace Single Motorcycle Trailer is specifically designed to transport a single bike, then cleverly fold and roll away for easy storage.
Transporting your bike on the Ace or any other trailer can be easy and safe, but only if you are careful and take a few simple precautions. There are several items you need to check when you put the trailer on the hitch and the bike on the trailer. Among these critical items is ensuring the motorcycle is securely tied down. Although this is not a particularly difficult task, it requires the proper equipment and some attention to detail. Failure to properly secure the bike is inviting damage and potential injuries.
Here is an overview of the tie-down procedure. We begin our review with the tie-downs. Trying to save money when purchasing these can be pennywise and pound foolish to say the least. Tie-down straps are made of polyester webbing and include s-hooks to provide a secure connection to the anchor point. Most tie-downs include ratchets to make it easier to securely tighten the straps. Although there are other solutions, ratchets are the preferred choice, particularly if you are working alone.
Make it snug
For the most part, the tie-down procedure is the same no matter what type of motorcycle and trailer you have. The bike frame should be secured to the center of the trailer and the fork must be tied down to the front. The best places to attach the straps to the bike vary by model (check your owner’s manual), but in general the center should be secured to a structural member of the frame and the front around the lower triple tree.
Special note for the Ace
When securing your bike to an Ace Single Motorcycle trailer from the USA Trailer Store, it is critical that you tie the center of the bike down to the axles first, before securing to the front outriggers. The reason has to do with the fact that the trailer folds for easy storage. Wherever the trailer folds, pins are used to secure the sections when they are joined. Due to the nature of a pinned connection, there will be a slight amount of play. Strongly securing the bike first to the axle will ensure the connections do not move, making the bike more secure.
Whatever type of trailer you use, it is important to make the straps tight enough to put tension on the bike’s suspension to avoid shock loading. Shock loading occurs when the trailer hits a bump, causing the motorcycle’s suspension to compress, which in turn causes the straps to become slack. When the suspension recoils, the straps snap suddenly which can weaken or even break them. One way to ensure proper tensioning is to tighten the center straps while seated on the bike. Ratcheting tie-downs will make it easier to accomplish this effort by yourself.
Like so many things, trailering your bike can be easy, if you have the right equipment, understand the process and take your time.
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