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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yes I did a search, but didn't find exactly what I am worried about.

So at the end of this month I am going to take the Advance Riding Clinic. This will be my last bit of rider training before I upgrade to a supersport. I am going to tow my bike on a Uhaul trailer. My question is strapping down the bike by myself. I am especially concerned about unstrapping the bike by myself.

I'm sure I could get some help undoing the straps when I get to the class, but just to have a plan for unloading my bike from the trailer by myself would be nice. Any recommendations (tips) about loading and unloading my bike (04 GS500, FYI)

Also, the last time I tied down a bike on a trailer with my friend, the back wheel shifted a little bit to the side, we only strapped down the front. How might I avoid having any movement of the rear? Strapping down the rear as well as the front? <- Kinda obvious, but alot of people tell me that the front is the only thing that needs to be strapped down.
 

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2 straps up front and 1 or 2 on the rear. Try to get as close to 45 degree angles as possible to the front corners.

Tie to the upper triple, lower triple, or frame. Not the bars. Ratchet down to about half the suspension travel. One strap over the rear wheel corner to corner is what I do, and ratchet it down good.


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When I unstrap it by myself, I put the kickstand down and start with the right side back, then do the right side front, where I can loosen gently and help guide the bike onto the stand.
 

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See my thread on loading a bike into a truck without appearing on YouTube. :) Much good info relevant to trailering as well.

Specific points you raised:

- get the U-Haul motorcycle trailer if available. It has a built-in chock, and a ride-up ramp. They aren't on the website, you have to call around to find them.

- Recommend Cycle Cynch, Canyon Dancer II, or similar bar harness to facilitate getting tie-down points outside the fairings

- Recommend a set of the new self-retracting ratcheting tiedowns as they make dealing with ten feet of strap soooo much easier

- if I understand, you are concerned about the bike falling over when you release the strap tension. Put the bike on the sidestand, attach the left strap loosely, then use the right strap to pull the bike upright off the stand. Then tighten the left and put the sidestand up. For unloading, the opposite: put the sidestand down, then release the right hand tiedown and the bike will fall onto the stand. Then release the left tiedown.

It's much better to be sitting on the bike during these steps. If you are using a rail trailer with no floor there isn't a good way to do it singlehanded.

- Yes, the rear wheel needs to be secured as well. There are three approaches - single tiedown side-side looped through the rear wheel, two tiedowns pulling backward, or two tiedowns pulling forward. The last is recommended by moving pros. I usually use the second.

KeS
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
^^ Perfect, thanks for the tips and play by play. I will definitely do a practice run for strapping in the night before. Lol, plus I'll get used to backing the trailer up, I remember that being a pain, not sure how easy it will be with my new car. Sweet thanks guys!
 

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Over the years I have found that using soft ties above the lower triple clamp works better than a Canyon dancer. Less trouble with grips getting all squashed up. You need enough clearance to keep the straps from pushing the fairing from the inside. Ratcheting tie downs definitely make the work easier. I also found that good quality ties downs were much cheaper at a local trailer place.

Here are some pics. The trailer in the picture had built in places to anchor front and rear. I discovered later that I could put two bikes in the bed with the tailgate closed so I bought a Bed Buddy and almost never tow the trailer anymore.



 

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make sure you check the straps as you make your trip. even with 4 straps ( i actually use 5 straps)i check the straps every time i stop. Why? cause i had hit a pretty good sized bump on the interstate and evidently, the bike compressed enough to unhook 1 side of straps from the trailer. yeah Murphy loves me! lucky for me, i needed gas shortly there after. well, lucky for me ( since i don't trust Murphy), i had put an extra strap around the front tire and the chock. when i pulled into the gas station, my VFR was laying at probably 45 degree angle and the only thing holding it was that strap. scratched up my rim, and after that, i checked straps AND put duct tape on all strap to trailer connections.

oh, also check your straps if you have to leave the bike on the trailer over night and then get an unexpected rain shower. just saying, don't ask why i feel that's important...
just CHECK YOUR F'N STRAPS!!

OK, i'll step down now.
 

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Over the years I have found that using soft ties above the lower triple clamp works better than a Canyon dancer. Less trouble with grips getting all squashed up.
That's why I specified Cycle Cynch or Canyon Dancer II. If you can get soft ties around the triples and out at an angle that avoids fairing contact, that's great; but it's not reliably possible for all combinations of bikes/trailers. BTW that approach really works great on Telelever BMWS!

KeS
 

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If you are using a flatbed trailer/ute (I refuse to call them trucks :p ) an over centre front wheel chock is well worth it, simply roll the bike into it and the wheel chock will hold it upright while you tie it down.
 

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^This.

Now, the ultimate way is to get a strapless transport system. I have the Pit-bull one.

I think Uhaul might frown on drilling holes in their floor. :)

But yes, the Pit Bull set up is the best.

If not using a Pit Bull restraint system, I prefer to use pull tie downs over ratchet straps. Ratchet straps make it super-easy to over tighten and blow out seals. I've also been unfortunate enough to get them bound.

One other thing, and again, it's preference, but if using a Canyon Dance style strap, I would get the ones with the cups for the end of the bars. I've had nothing but bad luck with canyon dancers. Between destroyed grips, clipons spinning around forks, the controls sliding, etc., I've only had a bike fall with a with Caynon Dancer on the bike and never with soft ties (except when I had a really bad concussion on my sumo and didn't tie the bike at all).
 

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I like some of their points, particularly about securing the excess tail. The powering the bike up while clambering up onto the trailer is a lot more sketchy than they make it look, and they use the old style Canyon Dancer that can damage the throttle and switchgear.

The rear of the bike still needs to be secured. They can bounce right out of that trailer rail, and in an accident that whole bike is going to flip forward.

KeS
 

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If not using a Pit Bull restraint system, I prefer to use pull tie downs over ratchet straps. Ratchet straps make it super-easy to over tighten and blow out seals. I've also been unfortunate enough to get them bound.

One other thing, and again, it's preference, but if using a Canyon Dance style strap, I would get the ones with the cups for the end of the bars. I've had nothing but bad luck with canyon dancers. Between destroyed grips, clipons spinning around forks, the controls sliding, etc., I've only had a bike fall with a with Caynon Dancer on the bike and never with soft ties (except when I had a reall bad concussion on my sumo and didn't tie the bike at all).
I don't like camlocks specifically because I'm afraid of them loosening - and have had that happen in a non-bike application. Looking at that canyonchasers video and their suggestion of how to lock a knot into the camlock MIGHT change my mind, I'll have to try it.

I don't get the over-tightening with ratchets - that really IS up to the operator , not like a beginner with the throttle of a liter bike! :) You go by the fork tube compression, not by how "hard" it is. Self-retracting ratchets are da bomb!

The Canyon Dancer with the cups on the end is the Canyon Dancer II. I agree that the original sucks - I had one, and gave it away after damaging switchgear on a Sprint ST. Unfortunately, Cycle Gear has a house brand kit that is really well made, but uses the same design - I'd really like to recommend it but can't. After I went to the Cycle Cynch, I've had no more problems for over five years. I assume the Canyon Dancer II works fine, too, since they came out with it to solve that exact problem - but I don't have direct experience with it. I don't like the soft tie larkshead around the grip method because I can't convince myself it won't find a way to slip off.

KeS
 

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...I don't get the over-tightening with ratchets - that really IS up to the operator , not like a beginner with the throttle of a liter bike! :) You go by the fork tube compression, not by how "hard" it is...
No argument there. You know what they say about making something idiot proof. That's why usually suggest cam-style (forgot the name above), because while not as secure, they're harder to get wrong.

...I don't like the soft tie larkshead around the grip method because I can't convince myself it won't find a way to slip off.c

KeS
Trailer mounts forward of the front wheel are highly recommended for this. Before the PitBull TRS, this was my preferred method. It doesn't work with all bikes, but if you have forward mounting points, it's effective.

That said, it's not grip-friendly either.
 

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I had to take the Advanced riding course one time to Rid a TICKET. There's really no class work, its all slow speed directional testing. I was kind pissed cause all the damn starting and stopping was hard on my brake pads and under 35mph. But I got my certificate, then rode 100 miles back to the Offending judge to rid the ticket. For the most part though begining street riders, really need that kind of work.

Why haul the bike, cant you just ride it there?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I am going to buy some retractable ratcheting tie downs. Does anyone have any suggestions as to a good brand? I am looking for a set with two hooks, since I am currently renting a trailer. I am definitely down for something more "installed" when I am able to buy my own trailer.
 

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If you are using a flatbed trailer/ute (I refuse to call them trucks :p ) an over centre front wheel chock is well worth it, simply roll the bike into it and the wheel chock will hold it upright while you tie it down.
This is what I do. Just roll it/ride it into the chock and everything else after that is hands-free. If you're able to bolt the chock down then you can also cut out an extra pair of straps (though I like to have them on anyway).

I have a Baxley Sport Chock, but they are expensive. Cheaper ones are easily found, even Harbor Freight, but I don't know how well they work.
 

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This is what I do. Just roll it/ride it into the chock and everything else after that is hands-free. If you're able to bolt the chock down then you can also cut out an extra pair of straps (though I like to have them on anyway).

I have a Baxley Sport Chock, but they are expensive. Cheaper ones are easily found, even Harbor Freight, but I don't know how well they work.
Not as well. They are heavier, take up more room, and skid around more on concrete surfaces. I hate it when the expensive stuff is actually better. ;)

KeS
 

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I am going to buy some retractable ratcheting tie downs. Does anyone have any suggestions as to a good brand? I am looking for a set with two hooks, since I am currently renting a trailer. I am definitely down for something more "installed" when I am able to buy my own trailer.
I use these presently. Retractable Tie Downs and Ratchet Straps || SmartStraps® (the pack of four green 6' 500lbs). They work ok and you can buy them cheap at Wal*Mart. I can imagine better ones out there, but these work fine to check out and see how you like them.

When you build a trailer, I really recommend the e-track rails. You can get them a number of places, including Harbor Freight, and there are companies that make nice tie-down reels that use that system.



KeS
 
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