A motorcycle tie down strap helps the owner hold down the motorcycle safely when storing or transporting it in a truck or trailer. It ensures that the bike remains firm in the vehicle and does not shift, fall off the vehicle, or sustain damages while in transit. A motorcycle tie down system increases the bike’s stability and safety.
You should know how to use different motorcycle tie downs correctly to secure your bike. The following is a guide that every bike owner should consider following to ensure that the bike remains in place.
Assemble all the equipment that you need
Firstly, you should ensure that you have all the items required to tie down the motorcycle to the truck or trailer. Lacking one item will interfere with the bike’s stability once the truck starts moving.
• Front-wheel chock
• Sturdy ramp
• High-quality soft loops
• Canyon Dancer bar straps (if you have a sports bike)
• Strong and high-quality tie-down straps
• Tyre down wheel strapping system (for securing the rear wheel)
Layout the tie-down straps on the truck or trailer
Having the motorcycle straps in the vehicle will make it easier for you to tie down the motorcycle after you have loaded it in the car. Attach the strap’s lower portion to the hooks on the trailer and leave the slack at a place you can reach easily.
Install the wheel chock
The first step in tying down the bike is to get it into the right position. The chock is a metal wedge that prevents the front wheel from moving forward when the ruck is moving. Start by attaching it to the back side of the truck or trailer bed. Center it and bolt it down with ratchet straps.
Use a ramp to place the bike into the trailer
The ramp will help you move the motorcycle into the vehicle. Consider attaching it to the trailer’s bed and gently rolling the bike into the bed. However, you should ensure that you use a ramp that is firm enough to support the motorcycle’s weight. Ensure that you hold it firmly to prevent it from tipping over. Loading the bike into the pickup is easier with two people because of the heavy weight.
Attach the front wheel to the chock
After you have rolled the bike into the trailer, rest its front wheel in the chock. Most chocks have a mechanism that clicks automatically when the wheel enters fully and is in the right position.
Hold the motorcycle upright and hook it to the tie-down straps
Holding the bike upright is easier if another person assists you. However, you can still use the kickstand if you do not have any assistance. Start by raising it and them putting everything else in position. Align the tie-down strap with the front wheel and then tie one of its ends to the body of the truck. Pull to ensure that he knot is locked.
Wrap the loops around the sidebars
The motorcycle handlebar straps protect the handlebars from accidental scratching. Tie the soft loops around the left and right handlebars and then hook the straps to the end of these loops.
Loop the straps around the front suspension tubes
Tie the strap around the tube and ensure that you do it slightly above the parts of the shock absorber that are made of rubber. You should check whether your motorcycle has an attached cross brace. Turn the ratchet to ensure that the strap is tight enough. Loop the straps on the other side of the wheel.
Wrap the tie-downs around the motorcycle’s rear tire
Line up another set of strap with the back wheel and then tie it to the trailer on the right and left sides. Take advantage of hooks if the trailer has any. Pull the strap towards the wheel, then coil, and then wrap it with one rotation. Tie the strap to the trailer. Always ensure that the strap is holding the tire and not the spokes.
Tie the loose strap ends
Flailing straps are dangerous because they can damage the motorcycle or the truck, especially if you are driving very fast. The other step involves securing all the loose ends. You can consider looping them around the already-tied straps, tying a knot, or attaching them to the vehicle. Ensure that you monitor these straps through the rearview in case they come loose.
Double-check the tie downs and tighten them
The final step of this procedure is to ensure that all the motorcycle ratchet straps are secure and in the right position. Ensure that motorcycle tie down system is holding the motorcycle tightly even before the truck starts moving.
Helpful tips for strapping down the bike
Leave some space in the suspension to enable your motorcycle handle bumps correctly. Therefore, avoid overtightening the straps.
Use the sturdy parts of the motorcycle as the anchor points. Some parts, such as the exhaust or pegs, are delicate and cannot handle a lot of force. However, others like the bottom yoke or swing arm can handle the pulling.
Use the right straps. Ensure that you select the best motorcycle tie down straps for this task. Additionally, ensure that you have at least four straps for more safety. Using cheap and poor-quality buckles will make your motorcycle and bike vulnerable to accidents and damage.
Types of Motorcycle Tie Down Straps
Tying down your motorcycle is vital when transporting it. For this reason, you should research the market to ensure that you find the suitable motorcycle tie-down straps. These tools are available in different types, prices, and sizes. Basically, they fall into two major categories depending functionality and buckle type.
• Cam Buckle
These are the most standard types of tie-down straps. They secure and hold the motorcycle on the vehicle by generating friction as the strap moves around the buckle.
The cam buckle tie-downs have several advantages over the ratchet ones. For instance, they are the easy to use due to the design. Secondly, you only require to accomplish one action when securing the motorbike. You can easily tighten the motorcycle tie downs even when you are sitting on the motorcycle.
The disadvantage of the cam-type tie-down motorcycle straps is that they do not create much tension compared to the ratchet type. Secondly, the buckle “teeth” that prevent the belt from sliding can sometimes slip, especially if they have oil or dirt on the surfaces. These teeth can also wear through the tie-down strap and make it vulnerable to breaking at inconvenient moments.
• Ratchet Style Tie-down Straps
These types of tie downs usually tighten the strap progressively using a lever and a small ratcheting gear. The advantage of these dirt bike tie downs is that the lever’s swift cranks enable you to select the right tension when tightening the strap. They are also easy to tie and tighten and have a better holding capacity than the cam buckle tie-downs.
The disadvantage of the ratchet-type- tie down straps is that they require a lot of effort to tighten the motorcycle. Secondly, you can easily use too much pressure if you are not careful enough.
It is easy to identify low-quality design motorcycle tie downs by checking the ratchet. Ratchet straps with larger ratchets tend to have stronger and high-performing tie-downs. They can hold the bike more safely than the tie-downs with smaller ratchets.
Factors to Consider when selecting the Tie-down Straps for your Motorcycle
Every strap manufacturer or company has different recommendations for the type of tool that fits each application. As the bike owner, you should choose a product that ensures your baby’s safety. Putting the following aspects into consideration will help you make this decision.
You should determine the level of tightening that you need when moving your bike. It is easy to tighten the ratchet-style straps with one hand. You can also tie them to the right tension when standing or even sitting on the bike.
On the other hand, you will require a lot of force to tighten the cam buckles. Consequently, getting the correct tension requires a lot of leverage. Most riders consider the required force as a drawback. Additionally, you have to tighten the bike off the truck to ensure that you create adequate downward force. Therefore, you should select the straps that you can tie satisfactorily.
The strength of the tie-down strap is important because it determines its ability to hold the bike in place during transportation. The tensile strength indicated on most tie-downs often refers to the power of the nylon strap rather than the entire tie-down. Most of them range around 4,500 lbs, which is enough for an average motorist.
Every rider should know that tie-downs might be strong, but they still have a breaking point. For example, some hooks can fail if they hold more than 1,500 lbs, while others can break at 600 lbs regardless of the type of buckle. Therefore, you should read the strap’s description thoroughly to ensure that you understand the load capacity and absolute strength.
• Quality of the Tie-down Strap Material
Most motorcycle tie down straps is made of nylon. Manufacturers prefer this material because it can retract considerable stretch, which is a vital feature for these products. However, they create the straps differently.
For instance, a cheap tie-down might have a poorly woven nylon material and a rough surface that creates a course texture and scratches the bike’s surfaces. The challenge is that finely woven straps are hard to find.
• Hooks and Loops
The standard motorcycle tie downs have steel “S” hooks on their ends. These hooks usually have a rubber coating to prevent them from leaving indentations or damaging the motorcycle’s paint.
You should consider selecting motorcycle handlebar straps that have a “soft loop” to protect your asset. Another benefit of this strap design is that it can assist you in reaching the fragile parts at the proper angles. Soft straps form a safe and strong clinch that secures the bike.
In conclusion, tie-down straps are essential tools when transporting a bike on a truck or trailer. They enable the owner to safely secure the bike on the vehicle. This technique also prevents the motorcycle from acquiring damages on transit. You can find different types of tie-down straps on the market today. You should compare their features and select one that can serve you best. Moreover, ensure that you follow the proper steps when using these tools.