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  1. #1
    Senior Member COOLMACHINE's Avatar
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    Default How to strap down a motorcycle?

    Hello Everyone,
    I am leaving in the morning to hopefully pick up a "new to me" used motorcycle. Traveling 215 miles. My question to all is I am using a 6' x 10' open trailer with rails that come up about 1 foot on both sides and the front. A drop down gate on the back end. Any suggestions, helpful hints, warnings/ etc. on how to strap the motorcycle down securely? I have 4 very nice rachet straps. Thanks in advance for the help. Jerry

    Previous owner of a 2008 Spyder SM5.
    Current owner of a 2002 Kaw Drifter 1500.

  2. #2
    TroubleMaker HDXBONES's Avatar
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    Default

    Pull the front tire right against the front rail with a strap on each side of the handlebar clamp, down to the rail, without using the kickstand. Compress the front forks about halfway, but don't bottom them out. These will hold the bike upright. If you can, fasten a block on each side of the tire, so that it can't shift sideways. Put the other straps on each side of the rear swingarm near the axle and pull them out to the sides, lower and slightly aft of the bike attachment points. tighten them equally so that the bike can't move side to side. Don't worry about holding the seat down, the rear suspension won't flex much without any weight on the bike. Good luck!


    2011 RoadGlide Ultra / 2009 Buell Ulysses


    a former Spyder owner

  3. #3
    Motorbike Professor NancysToy's Avatar
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    A chock for the front wheel is the safest, but you can run the front tire to the front rail, and secure it there with a strap. Use strong motorcycle tie-downs from the handlebars, running at angles forward and outward, on each side. The corners of the trailer are a good tie spot, if your tie-downs can reach. I pull the front ties down until the front forks are totally compressed (or as close as you can get). I also double the front tie-downs, two on each side. Another pair of tiedowns in the back will stabilize the machine and keep it from moving side to side on bumps. I usually use heavy-duty camlock tie-downs, but ratchet tie-downs work well, too. You may have to place the metal parts toward the trailer to perevent damage. You may also have to use some sleeves or micro-fiber towels for padding, to prevent scuffing, if the straps rub the paint. Be sure to tie the loose ends of the tie-downs, so they don't beat up the paint, either. This also help serve as a safety, to keep them from coming loose. With the motorcycle at the very front of the trailer, you may have a lot of tongue weight. Moving the spare (if any) to the rear (and tying it down) can help balance things. You still need about 10%-15% tongue weight. Best of luck.
    -Scotty
    2011 Spyder RTS-SM5 (mine) & 2008 Spyder GS-SM5-PE (Nancy's)
    2000 BMW R1100RTP, motorized tricycle & 22 vintage bikes
    2011 RT-622 trailer, Aspen Sentry popup camper, custom motorcycle trailer to pull behind the Spyder



    Mutant Trikes Forever!

  4. #4
    Senior Member COOLMACHINE's Avatar
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    Default Earlier, a thought I had, "all on my own."

    Thank you guys. Knowledge is power. One thing I was thinking about before I posted this question was to have the bike with the kickstand down. If the bike was secured against the front rail, the way you guys stated with straps basically going to the 4 corners/sides, wouldn't 3 points of contact with the ground be better than two? I know you guys have bunches of knowledge and I"ll eat up every bit of it you want to dish out but this was a thought I had, "all on my own." What are your thoughts on that idea?

    Previous owner of a 2008 Spyder SM5.
    Current owner of a 2002 Kaw Drifter 1500.

  5. #5
    Mod Maniac ataDude's Avatar
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    No, if you do as Bones said, the suspension will absorb sharp movements. Having the kickstand down will eliminate that.

    .

    Quote Originally Posted by COOLMACHINE View Post
    Thank you guys. Knowledge is power. One thing I was thinking about before I posted this question was to have the bike with the kickstand down. If the bike was secured against the front rail, the way you guys stated with straps basically going to the 4 corners/sides, wouldn't 3 points of contact with the ground be better than two? I know you guys have bunches of knowledge and I"ll eat up every bit of it you want to dish out but this was a thought I had, "all on my own." What are your thoughts on that idea?
    ata = allergic to asphalt

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    There are two kinds of people: (1) those who can read, reason and apply the experiences of others; and (2) those who just have to pee on the electric fence. ataDude, 2009

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  6. #6
    Motorbike Professor NancysToy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ataDude View Post
    No, if you do as Bones said, the suspension will absorb sharp movements. Having the kickstand down will eliminate that.

    .
    Don't use a kickstand or centerstand. In addition to the above, you can damage the stand or the frame that way, and the bike will want to "walk" more.
    -Scotty
    2011 Spyder RTS-SM5 (mine) & 2008 Spyder GS-SM5-PE (Nancy's)
    2000 BMW R1100RTP, motorized tricycle & 22 vintage bikes
    2011 RT-622 trailer, Aspen Sentry popup camper, custom motorcycle trailer to pull behind the Spyder



    Mutant Trikes Forever!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Peoriafirefighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by COOLMACHINE View Post
    Thank you guys. Knowledge is power. One thing I was thinking about before I posted this question was to have the bike with the kickstand down. If the bike was secured against the front rail, the way you guys stated with straps basically going to the 4 corners/sides, wouldn't 3 points of contact with the ground be better than two? I know you guys have bunches of knowledge and I"ll eat up every bit of it you want to dish out but this was a thought I had, "all on my own." What are your thoughts on that idea?

    I agree with Bones on everything except I would wrap the tie thru the rear tire making a loop around the tire and then tie it off to the rear corners. You can damage the swing arms by tieing off to them. And as Bones said pull the front forks only about half way or you can break the seal.

  8. #8
    Senior Member COOLMACHINE's Avatar
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    Default Most Excellent!

    Most excellent guys! Thanks everyone, for being so helpful.

    Previous owner of a 2008 Spyder SM5.
    Current owner of a 2002 Kaw Drifter 1500.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Big Arm's Avatar
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    COOLMACHINE, stay safe..... I hear you got some nasty weather there tonight.......

    ....and we're gonna ride, we're gonna ride.....
    ride like the one-eyed Jack of Diamonds, with
    the devil close behind,.....we're gonna ride....

  10. #10
    Senior Member COOLMACHINE's Avatar
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    Default I'm finally home. :)

    Thanks again everybody. I appreciate all your help and insight. Hauling the bike back from Kentucky went smooth as silk. The bike didn't budge on the trailer. Once I get it cleaned up I will post some pics.
    Last edited by COOLMACHINE; 04-23-2011 at 11:02 PM.

    Previous owner of a 2008 Spyder SM5.
    Current owner of a 2002 Kaw Drifter 1500.

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