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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks. I have a 2004 Road King Classic and finally bought a 6x10 cargo trailer for it..(Daytona Bike Week here we come!!). Anyway, I'm looking for advice on how to properly strap the bike down for transport. We're in Ontario Canada by the way so it will be a looong run in the trailer. I have purchased a Condor SC2000 wheel chock, so that should at least avoid some of the problems I've heard about when trailering a motorcycle. I'm mostly concerned about how much to compress the front suspension so I can have the bike secure but without damaging any seals. The second question I have is where to attach the straps to the bike and then to the floor of the trailer. Any info you could provide would be very much appreciated.

Thanks.

Rob
 

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COB
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I chock it in the front, block it in the back. Tie down the front at the bottom triple clamp, tie down the swing arm straight down then two supporting tie downs to the rear. Use carabiners at the end of your tiedows so the tie downs don't pop off on a big bump and nylon straps where they contact the bike. Won't go anywhere.

As far as the front compression goes, the carabiners will solve the problem of lashing it down all the way. You can also put a block between the front tire and the bottom of the fender. We used to do that with dirt bikes all the time. They make a device that fits the curvature of the front tire and the curvature of the rim so nothing gets damaged.

Hi folks. I have a 2004 Road King Classic and finally bought a 6x10 cargo trailer for it..(Daytona Bike Week here we come!!). Anyway, I'm looking for advice on how to properly strap the bike down for transport. We're in Ontario Canada by the way so it will be a looong run in the trailer. I have purchased a Condor SC2000 wheel chock, so that should at least avoid some of the problems I've heard about when trailering a motorcycle. I'm mostly concerned about how much to compress the front suspension so I can have the bike secure but without damaging any seals. The second question I have is where to attach the straps to the bike and then to the floor of the trailer. Any info you could provide would be very much appreciated.

Thanks.

Rob
 

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COB
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Ride your bike, don't trailer it.
4 posts and yer makin snarky remarks. Well maybe he is going somewhere and has to take his family and dog. Might be tough getting them there on the ol Hogaroo.
 

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Googling "tie down motorcycle" or some such produces a surprising number of papers and articles on the subject.

I trailer to Finland and back every other year or so. As Mike says, because I can't get the wife and two dogs on the bike, and it's not fair to expect the wife to drive 1,000 miles each way on her own while I ride. Besides which, the 500 mile run across Germany on a shovelhead would prolly kill me anyway :D

Just a couple points. Mike is right to suggest carabiners which can not let go of the strap. The main reason why some people recommend tightening the suspension down is to avoid the bike bouncing, and letting go of a strap hook. If the straps can not let go, then there is no good reason to compress the suspension.

The bike will ride better if it can use it's full suspension range.

For all of these reasons, I don't use straps at all. Just climbers' rope and eyebolts through the trailer floor.

With the front wheel chock, run the front straps forwards to the two front corners of the trailer. This way the straps keep the bike in the chock as well as upright. Rear straps can just go sideways, they are only keeping the bike upright.

Consider whether you can put blocks each side of the rear wheel to stop it skipping sideways over any bumps. I just screw a couple pieces of 2x4 into the floor. Another way I have used is to put an eyebolt either side of the wheel and rope the rim down. This is more secure, but either way will work fine.

If it's convenient, and you want to go really belt and braces, then rope the front rim to the chock as well. If the wheels can't go anywhere, then your tie downs only need to keep the bike upright.

If your trailer, like mine, does not have closed attachment loops, but open hooks, then I would (and do :D ) get eyebolts and install them through the floor.

Last but not least, if it's an open trailer, do not be tempted to cover your bike with anything, regardless of the weather. Sand and road crap get in under the cover and it will sand the paint off your bike. Let it get wet and dirty and clean it when you get there.
 

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Really there is no acceptable place to place the straps on the things, it would be nice if they had a couple of hook points like a military vehicle. Handle bars and crash bars are out for me I saw two overzealous bikers actually bend a crash bar they was yanking strap so hard . I get the front wheel strapped into the chock and then I go to the inside of the cast triple tree on the lower frog avoiding any rub on the chrome down tubes or binding in any brake lines etc. Using the soft nylon loops of course. best thing for the rear I think is a couple straps over the tire to a tie down close to the tire on either side.
Not much in back to really strap down that cant be damaged either. I got the eye bolts in the front corner of my trailer so they pull the bike into the chock and down. Dont like it but I collapse the fork about halfway.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys. The "google" advice was pretty good, but of course, there are as many opinions as there are articles. Some state it's good to compress the front suspension up to 75%...others say that ANY compression is a bad thing. I think that I'll secure the front wheel to the chock itself and then come off the triple trees with soft straps attached to ratcheting straps. I'll use those straps to come forward 45 degrees pulling the bike forward and fully into the chock. In the rear, I'll probably simply come off the swing arm (again with soft straps) attached to ratcheting straps and again at 45 degrees pulling the bike slightly forward. Anyone see any obvious problems with this solution? Hehehe..and as far as simply "riding" instead of trailering, riding from just north of Toronto to Daytona beach in February is simply not an option. Snow, ice and minus 20 celcius just don't equate to a "fun" ride. A "fair weather rider"? Perhaps, but I like my gonads the size they are...*lol*

Ride safe!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm using recessed D-rings in the floor of the trailer. They have a tensile strenght of 1,500 lbs so I should be fine with those. Snap backs could be a problem, but I don't plan on using much tension on the ratchets. Just enough to hold the bike stable, but not enough to compress the suspension much. I figure that the shocks will do the job they're designed to do so long as I don't get carried away with really cranking down on the straps. Comments?
 

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I'm using recessed D-rings in the floor of the trailer. They have a tensile strenght of 1,500 lbs so I should be fine with those. Snap backs could be a problem, but I don't plan on using much tension on the ratchets. Just enough to hold the bike stable, but not enough to compress the suspension much. I figure that the shocks will do the job they're designed to do so long as I don't get carried away with really cranking down on the straps. Comments?
No floor D rings if you can help it. 1500 pounds seems like a lot but a good jolt and really amplify the weight applied. Think of a 16 oz hammer. Now hit yourself in the head as hard as you can.....feels like a lot more than 1 lb, eh. Try to get to a frame member if you can.
 

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I recently used the Cat ferry across open ocean between Maine and Nova Scotia and the way the bikes were secured was on the kickstand as normal with a strap across the seat to recessed D-rings in the deck of the boat. It seemed very secure. I guess there's different dynamics in a car trailer.

As far as cranking down on the straps, it would seem to me that if you simulate how much you compress (preload) your suspension when you sit on the bike (which should be about an inch) than your bike should soak up the bumps the same way it does when your riding it. I never tried it though.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Pardon the ignorance Mike...but, a frame member?? I'm not sure what that is. Care to educate me?
 

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I have D-rings that are good up to 4,000lbs , their actually for cargo acft, as well as 10k lb cargo straps. I've seen them hold serious weight without a budge. Don't know how well they would work on your trailer. If you think they would work you can take them off my hands.
 

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No floor D rings if you can help it. 1500 pounds seems like a lot but a good jolt and really amplify the weight applied. Think of a 16 oz hammer. Now hit yourself in the head as hard as you can.....feels like a lot more than 1 lb, eh. Try to get to a frame member if you can.
Not sure if I understand what a D ring is, but I think it would depend on the floor structure, Mike.

On my trailer, using eyebolts through the floor is the only option without some serious metal surgery. Effectively, I'm strapping the bike on to a single solid piece of 1/2 inch ply, which in turn is screwed to the frame. Nothing can go anywhere unless the whole floor is pulled clean out of the trailer with the bike on it.

If you're thinking the D rings are screwed to the floor and might pull out, I would agree. I wouldn't trust screws to hold the bike. Get proper eyebolts and spread the load with washers. Go right through the floor with a washer and locking nut underneath and it won't pull out.

eze rider said:
I recently used the Cat ferry across open ocean between Maine and Nova Scotia and the way the bikes were secured was on the kickstand as normal with a strap across the seat to recessed D-rings in the deck of the boat. It seemed very secure. I guess there's different dynamics in a car trailer.
I've done that also. The only risk is if road bumps get sufficiently vicious to break the kickstand.

CBM said:
Pardon the ignorance Mike...but, a frame member?? I'm not sure what that is. Care to educate me?
I think Mike is concerned about relying on D rings screwed to the floor and is suggesting you bolt right through the steel frame of the trailer. Personally, I think it's sufficient if you can bolt through a single piece floor, though if you have individual boards that wouldn't do.

Hopefully, Mike will clarify.
 

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I'll toss my .02 in for what it's worth.

First and foremost, don't compress the shocks using straps, you'll blow a shock seal for sure if you hit a good bump.
Second Chock the front tire so it stays straight and firm.
Take a four by four or something similar and solid that just fits under the bottom frame rails and and swing arm just in front of the rear wheel and cinch it down againts that.

Krusr
 

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I'll toos my .02 in for what it's worth.

First and foremost, don't compress the shocks using straps, you'll blow a shock seal for sure if you hit a good bump.
If that was true you would blow a shock seal any time you hit a goodly bump on the road.

Urban myth, but you are right - there is no reason to compress the shocks :D

Second Chock the front tire so it stays straight and firm.
Take a four by four or something similar and solid that just fits under the bottom frame rails and and swing arm just in front of the rear wheel and cinch it down againts that.

Krusr
Which totally negates the suspension and transfers all the load on to the frame.

Not saying it can't take it, but the suspension is better at that sort of thing.

What you are saying works, but a little more effort to let the suspension do the job it was designed for works better IMHO.
 

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One thing that's remarkably absent is any particular instruction from HD on "How to" trailer their scoots. Other than what to do with the alarm system. If I'm missing a paragraph in the ownwers manuals let me know.
 

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One thing that's remarkably absent is any particular instruction from HD on "How to" trailer their scoots. Other than what to do with the alarm system. If I'm missing a paragraph in the ownwers manuals let me know.
Liability Issue.

If they tell you how to do it, they get sued when it goes wrong :D
 

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If that was true you would blow a shock seal any time you hit a goodly bump on the road.

Urban myth, but you are right - there is no reason to compress the shocks :D

Which totally negates the suspension and transfers all the load on to the frame.

Not saying it can't take it, but the suspension is better at that sort of thing.
What you are saying works, but a little more effort to let the suspension do the job it was designed for works better IMHO.

On a bike with springs, I would agree but with airshocks, it's not good to compress them over a long period of time. In respect to "blowing a seal anytime you hit a goodly bump". A lot of difference between compressing a shock an inch with 200lbs versues having a bike weighing 800+ compressing an already semi compressed shock under load, hence the blocks.

The bottom frame rail carries the full load of the bike on a bike lift and if you read my suggestion again, I said a 4x4 or something similar towards the front of the frame rail and again towards the back, in front of the rear tire. Your not raising the bike onto the blocks but The principal is to "shim" the bike slightly so when compressing the shocks so you only compress them slightly using the 4x4's or similar item as a shock stop.
Only way I would trailer an air suspension equiped bike and would never let the suspension travel freely such as been suggested.

Just my opinion,

Krusr
 

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Liability Issue.

If they tell you how to do it, they get sued when it goes wrong :D
I'm sure,, and if they took all the disclaimers and cautions out of the owners manual it would probably fit in you wallet.
 
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