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Tying down your motorcycle

While there are some basic instructions for securing a motorcycle in a truck bed or on a trailer, be aware that the make, model and size of your bike may require the use of different techniques or tie-down points. If you are in doubt, check with the manufacturer for specific instructions for your bike.

Use a chock

You can tie down a motorcycle without a chock, but it is highly recommended that you not do so. If you are using a trailer designed to haul motorcycles, the chock will be provided or most likely built in. The purpose of the chock is to hold the front wheel securely once the bike is tied down.

Use quality straps

To tie down the bike you will need four to six high quality ratchet ties. Do not skimp on these. Get the best quality tie-downs you can afford. The basic goal is to secure the front of the bike downward to the front and the rear of the bike downward to the rear. You also want to compress the suspension. Otherwise, when the trailer hits a bump, the bike’s suspension will compress and loosen the straps. If this happens multiple times, the straps may loosen permanently causing the bike to move or even fall.

Strapping front and rear

When strapping down the front, many riders use the handlebars while others insist it’s best to attach straps to the triple tree. In either case, be sure the strap is attached to a solid point on the trailer or truck bed, then tighten the straps until the fork is approximately 1/3 – 1/2 fully compressed.

Tie down the rear by attaching straps to secure areas of the frame, or strong parts mounted on the frame. Again, be sure the attachments on the trailer or truck bed are solid. It is a good idea to have someone sit on the bike as you tighten the straps. This ensures the suspension is compressed somewhat to keep the bike as steady as possible.

With very large bikes, you may want to add two more tie downs on the front, just to be on the safe side. It’s important to inspect the straps often during your trip to be sure they are still tight and secure.

Once your motorcycle is strapped in, you’re good to go. Enjoy the trip!