Securing bikes in enclosed motorcycle trailers is tricky. Here’s a few common practices from Mirage Trailers that may help you do it right.
Things You Will Need
- (4) Ratcheting Straps
- (4) Surface Mount D-Rings: Heavy duty for street bikes, standard for dirt bikes
- (1) Wheel Chock (Not required, but highly recommended)
- (4) Soft Loops (Again, not required, but these loops will prevent the ratchets from damaging the paint/chrome on your bike)
Level The Trailer and Load
Your trailer should be as level as possible and hitched to the tow vehicle. This will assist you with keeping your bike vertical when securing it to the tie-downs. When driving your bike onto the trailer, make sure the bike goes into the front wheel chock as straight as possible. Otherwise, it’s still a good idea to get the bike straight to ensure even distribution of the resistance on the straps. Drop the kickstand, but make sure you put the stand back up before you’re on the move.
Arrange Your Materials
Make sure the bike is into the chock as far as possible. The front tie-downs should be mounted such that the bike is pulled forward into the chock and should be in front of your handlebars, mounted to accommodate the rake of your bike. The rear d-rings should be behind the rear wheel to pull opposite the front straps. Then, make sure the ratchets will be in a position where you can reach them while sitting on the bike.
Tie it Down
Start with the front strap opposite the kickstand. Ratchet it until there is no slack in it. With the rear straps high on the chassis for maximum leverage, ratchet the rear strap on the diagonal from the first strap. Then ratchet the other front strap and, finally, the remaining rear strap. Continue this process until the straps are ratcheted down as much as possible.
Important Things To Remember
- Do not be concerned with using as much as 80% of your suspension travel when tightening it down. It’s not going to adversely affect your bike. Just make sure you don’t keep your bike strapped for and extended period of time.
- Make sure the bike is vertical as possible. The sides of your front tire and the brake rotor should not be touching the chock.
- For street bikes, make sure you’re using heavy duty d-rings. Standard d-rings are fine for dirt bikes.
- Check and tighten straps periodically along your trip often. It doesn’t matter how tight your straps are, they will loosen as you travel.