If you’re interested in learning how to strap a motorcycle to a trailer, you’re in luck. We’ve got the answer for you in this straightforward step-by-step guide.
Why is there a need to strap your motorcycle to a trailer?
There are many reasons for this, but the most common is transporting a dirt bike to a dirt track. The reason is dirt bikes are not street legal. As such, if you’re going off-roading at another location, you will need a trailer to haul your dirt bike. Obviously, a trailer is not required to transport a street-legal motorcycle.
Video showing proper way to strap down motorcycle:
So, let’s answer the question – how do you strap a motorcycle to a trailer?
What You’ll Need:
You’ll need some tools to make this job more manageable. Check out the list below to ensure you have everything you need for this job.
- Motorcycle tie-down straps (with ratchets or cam buckles) – 4 pieces
- Ramp – should be sturdy enough to support the weight of your motorcycle.
- Front-wheel chock is a slot for your motorcycle’s front tire; it helps keep it in place during the trip.
- A trailer/truck to transport the bike.
- Always use four tie-down straps to secure your bike. It may sound like overkill, but many things can go wrong when you just rely on one tie-down strap.
- Keep your bike in place and the trailer’s rear part locked in the open position.
Here is a simple-to-follow instruction on how to strap your motorcycle to a trailer:
1. Put the wheel chock into place: This will help you secure the front wheel and stop forward motion while in transit. The best place for the wheel chock is towards the back and center of the truck bed. Certain trailers provide pre-drilled holes to easily bolt your wheel chock. Optionally, you can use a ratchet strap to secure it in place.
2. Layout the straps: You will need to lay it out using a 4 point anchor, laying them down towards the middle where the bike will stand. Attach two straps towards the front of the truck bed and another two towards the back. Just make sure there’s enough slack in the straps so you can easily reach them when the bike is loaded onto the truck bed.
3. Load your bike: Using the ramp: roll your motorcycle onto the trailer slowly and carefully. You have the option of pushing it or riding it (depending on how wide your ramp is). Put the kickstand down once the front tire reaches the wheel chock.
4. Secure the front section of the bike first: Hooking the tie-down to the bicycle is the most critical connection. It’s simple to remove while still providing a solid tie-down attachment. If you don’t do this properly, you could risk having a bike fall off of your car. You have two options:
- Hook the tie-down to the handlebars, or
- Loop the nylon over the handlebars and slip the hook into the nylon loop at the end of the tie-down (highly recommended to lessen potential damage to your handlebars).
5. Pull on one of the tie-down ropes until the bike is upright: When the bike is good, pull off one of the two rear straps until the motorcycle is upright with the kickstand off the ground.
Push the kickstand in. It’s time to finish ratcheting down the front of the bike. You must compress the forks and eliminate travel in the suspension. You don’t want the suspension to bounce around with bumps in the road. This can lead to the tie-down hooks coming loose. Keep your position consistent while alternately working your way around the 4 point straps to solve this problem.
6. Make adjustments: At this point, your bike should be balanced. However, if you notice a lean on one side, loosen the tie downs on both sides and make the necessary adjustment until the bike achieves balance.
7. Connect the rear tie-downs to the rear section of the motorcycle frame. ONLY PLACE the tie-down hooks into a permanent part of the motorcycle. Doing so will damage any non-permanent fixture on the bike when the trailer is in motion. Again, make adjustments to ensure that the tie-downs are balanced. Here, you are not required to compress the shocks. That only applies to the front shock. The rear strap’s purpose is to ensure that the bike does not bounce sideways.
8. Shake the bike: Grab the handlebar and test the stability of the straps. If the trailer moves when you shake the bike, it means it is strapped securely to the trailer. If you see any play in the straps, you will have to remove and re-tie until you get it correctly.
9. Secure the loose ends: Ensure that you secure the loose ends of the straps. Not doing so would make it fly off in the wind and possibly scratch or damage parts of your motorcycle.
- Never tighten the straps to the point that it bends any part of the motorcycle.
- It’s possible that the motorcycle will shift or the straps will loosen up while the truck is in transit, so check it every now and then; make adjustments as necessary.
- The size of the bike dictates the number of straps required. Larger motorcycles like the Harley-Davidson will require a four-point attachment.
- Although it’s possible to do this alone, it’s better to have someone helping you.
- Be mindful of the speed of your trailer.
This is a straightforward process. However, you must know the right way to secure the motorcycle to the trailer.
When you’re through, you should have a safe, sturdy, and secure motorcycle attached to your trailer. You may find that the process takes a little longer than expected, but it’s worth it.