How to position a bike in trailer? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-26-2007, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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Question How to position a bike in trailer?

Just picked up a Big Tex 6.5 x 10' trailer with two D rings on each lower side
welded on (plan on putting floor mounted D rings). The trailer has solid metal sides, front and both sides.

I'm putting in a removable Chock. . . how far back from the front wall should it be placed?

When towing should the center stand be down on the Vn750?





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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-26-2007, 10:43 PM
 
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My approach with securing a motorcycle is to first roll the bike up front so the front wheel is touching the front wall of the trailer. I pound the word front because there shall be nothing between the motorcycle's front tire and the trailer front wall/rail. What I do then is tie down the bike by racheting the motorcycle forward. This means the front forks will compress. Two straps in the rear and two more at the front that when racheted will compress the front forks/shocks. Now the most important part is to make sure the front wheel does not shift left or right this is done by slotting the front tire in a manner so it does not move. If the front tire moves while your traveling you'll most likely end up with an unsecure bike. In addition to slotting the front tire, compressing the front forks (this causes the forks to maintain tension to the tie straps when the trailer is negotiating the road's bumpy surface.), and completely strapping it down, for safety purposes I chain the front tire and I then chain (heavy chain that is) the bike to the trailer so if all hell brakes loose, like avoiding an accident, I know the bike will stay with the trailer and not flip off and into traffic, yes fellow drivers I do think of you.

Now there are many ways of securing a motorcycle to a trailer and this is only one of them. These instructions are not intended to be absolute so if you are to follow them you, like any other vehicle in tow, shall be responcible for its cargo. I merely have offered a suggestion on how to secure a motorcycle while in tow.

Good luck and drive slow (safe).

Ron
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-26-2007, 10:57 PM
 
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BTW I do leave the side kickstand down so when I unsecure the bike I haven't forget to put the kickstand down. I do not however use the center stand and I wouldn't either, in my opinion I would rather see the bike on its wheels. Also, the primary reason for placing the bike up to the extreme front is so the bike cannot shift forward when you may need to hit the brakes. If a heavy load on a trailer slides foward when the brakes are suddenly used, the load may become unsecure and riffle itself towards the rear of your vehicle. Ouch!

If you have more ?s ask.

Ron
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-26-2007, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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A Big thanks Ron. I will be using a removable chock for the front tire, and have been advised at another mc web site to compress the front forks down about 20 - 30 % of their travel. Do the rear straps have to compress the rear shock any?

The chain idea is excellent, would hate to lose Lena over the side.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2007, 03:50 AM
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For my dirtbikes, I've only strapped the front down. With the Vulcan being a good bit heavier, I wouldn't think you'd need to strap the rear down, but it wouldn't hurt.

As I said previously, if you can have the strap hooks which are attached to the trailer as wide apart as possible, you'll need very little compression on the forks, yet it will still be very secure. IMO, the less fork compression there is, the better it is on the seals.
And like sidgrea said, have the wheel chock as close to the front wall of the trailer as possible, yet be sure the bike is pretty much centered over the axle. It'd be best to see where the bike needs to be in order to have proper tongue weight before attaching the chock.


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2007, 06:30 AM
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Stop by your dealer and get a set of Soft Straps. They make if much easier to hook up wherever you need without fear of scratching anything.

Wheel chock, compress forks, front of trailer, tie down front and back, everything else seems to have been well covered.

Jeff

PS. The other alternative is to ride and let someone else take the cage.
post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2007, 09:36 AM
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From the files of the VN750 Yahoo group
Question: Discussions on tying a bike for hauling on a trailor or in a truck.

HAULING A MOTORCYCLE ON A TRUCK OR TRAILER: While there are many tie-down techniques (some good, some better), I figure what works out for you is best. But remember, there's no such thing as too many straps! Here's a list of the "top 10" suggestions I pulled out of the two articles.

Compressing the forks to where they bottom out can blow a fork seal or sag-out fork springs.

Make use of the triple tree tie as a tie down point. Itís stronger than using your handle bars An additional secure point on the bike is the lower fork below the dust boot and it reduces fork compression.

Use a chock for the front tire when you can to keep the wheel from turning and/or hitting the front wall. Also, tying down the front break lever will reduce movement.

Given a pick-up with multiple tie down spots, do a "V" at each tie down point.

Use soft nylon straps on bike parts instead of "S" hooks including hooks with plastic covers.

With multiple tie down points, all the compression needed is someone sitting on the scoot.

After the first 5-10 minutes on the road and after the ties get wet, stop and check all ties.

Place soft cloth or tie covers between ties and scoot's chrome and paint where the tie may rub.

Pull up kick and center stands that can scrub a hole through a bed liner and paint.

Layout your ties before loading bike for quicker/easier/safer tie down.
Secure the loose ends of your tie downs so they do flap in the wind and beat paint or chrome off the bike

TECH TIP: I've trailered bikes through all kinds of snow storms, blizzards, and generally nasty, and the only time I've had any damage was when I covered the bikes. I strongly recommend that you leave the bike uncovered. Even the softest of covers can scuff the paint on your bike when it starts flapping in the wind. The only time I cover trailered bikes now is when they are sitting in the motel parking lots for the night. It keeps away prying eyes and hands.

TECH TIP: If a person is trailering a bike or hauling one in a pickup, the handlebars may be OK for a tie down, but I for damn sure would not do that with a big bike, no matter what make. My buddy and I have trailered bikes a number of times. Tying to the triple tree, using ratchet tie downs, lets us get it down really snug. I mean to almost full compression of the shocks. Neither of our bikes has ever moved I have seen bikes tied at the handle bars leaning all over the place. This is not good and not for me. We can only hope these guys donít have to learn the hard way.

TECH TIP: Not to dispute MCN, however, I have an awful lot of miles behind me using the handlebars to tie down large bikes. I use soft straps on the handlebars and pick up the bars at the closest point to the fork that I can...such that I miss the windshield.

TechTips are quotes from VROC members

I have always used a 4 point tie-down as a minimum. You want to secure the bike from side to side, front to back so it does not shift or sway during transport. With a trailer DO use the kickstand. We've used one in a pickup too and just placed a block of wood under it. If you have it secured it's not going to scuff anything anyway. After we have tied the bike down we give a trial "push" front, back, left, right. the bike shouldn't move. Since you are using a wheel chock you can also secure the front wheel in the chock.
One last note.. whenever possible, have someone assist you in loading and unloading. Most trailering accidents with loading and unloading seem to happen solo

Dianna
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2007, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the tips and help. I've heard that it is OK and won't cause any problems to have a tie down set up for two bikes in a trailer and to tow only one bike at a time. I was concerned because in my way of thinking it looks as though the trailer would be off balance having the only bike in the trailer way over to one side?

Have also heard of putting a rubberized chain around both wheels to secure the bike in case of an accident where the trailer was hit hard by another vehicle that would knock the bike loose out of the trailer on to the street.





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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-02-2007, 03:12 PM
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I put a rail down the center of my trailer for my bike with strap down eyes at three places...

front to compress forks, even with handlebars for stability and at rear of bike to prevent bounce. I also strap front tire into rail.

The two individuals in the pic are my students that did the work on the trailer.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-05-2007, 12:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dianna View Post
From the files of the VN750 Yahoo group
Question: Discussions on tying a bike for hauling on a trailor or in a truck.


One last note.. whenever possible, have someone assist you in loading and unloading. Most trailering accidents with loading and unloading seem to happen solo
Amen to that last statement..... THAT is the very thing that put my baby on the ground..... in a very dramatic fashion! Would not like to hear anyone else having a heart attack like that! Was not a pretty picture.

If you do unload SOLO... leave all straps "in place" until "all" are loose and bike is on it's side stand... then remove them.

Short version... 4x8 trailer with "d" rings at corners, straps on all four corners. Loosen and removed back straps, went to loosen front and forks decompressed all at once with one strap still hooked tight.... she launched off the side of the trailer.... still gives me the creeps thinking about it!


PS.... Nice trailer!!!

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Can't have too many Kaws!

Last edited by 95VN750; 05-05-2007 at 12:12 AM. Reason: added note..
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