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Intelligent Redneck
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270 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I hauled my bike across country on a flatbed trailer last month. On the way out, I was having trouble keeping the bike secure on the center stand pulled forward compressing the front suspension (4 straps, one going to each corner of the trailer). I readjusted everything and strapped it down on the side stand in the middle of Montanna. It stayed secure the rest of the way, except by the time I reached Minnesota it had worn out the side stand mounting point.

I took it apart when I got home to find that the side stand and shoulder bolt are fine. It is the tab welded to the bike that had the mounting hole worn out. I now need to ream it out to a larger size and find a bushing to press in there. I am going to a local fastener supply like Fastenal today and will post up what I find... and some pics of the repair when I put it together this weekend.
 

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Calif Rider
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725 Posts
Sorry to hear about that. Will really like to see how it all comes out in the end. Some people went with a large bolt or pin I think.
 

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Premium Member
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4,054 Posts
Just FYI for anyone who reads this or may be planning on trailering their bike in the future. When I've strapped my bike down, I start with the bike on the side stand and mount my straps on the left side first and make them less than snug. Then strap down the right side and as you tighten the straps the bike will stand upright. Once you have the bike standing on its own, kick up the side stand to keep it out of the way and to keep it from damage when the trailer hits bumps etc and the bike suspension compresses to the max. Cinch the straps down on each side giving some compression to the suspension front and rear but leave a little for absorbing the ride. This will avoid the damage that Kenny had happen to his side stand.
 

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Intelligent Redneck
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270 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Some people went with a large bolt or pin I think.
That would work too, but it still leaves you with a hardened shoulder bolt in a soft plate so the plate is the wear point. I want to install a bushing that will be replaceable in the future if it wears out again.
 

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Super Moderator
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11,970 Posts
+1 on what Fergy wrote. You should never use the sidestand or centerstand for that matter when trailering the bike.

As for repair, many older bikes the sidestand pivot gets worn out, I noticed how much more they seem to lean when this happens.

Drilling out the holes and using a larger bolt is the most used fix I have seen. A large Nylock type nut , placed on top , so you can see if it gets loose is the way I would do it.

KM
 

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Intelligent Redneck
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270 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Next time I make a trip that far and want the bike with me I will just ride it there... I don't feel comfortable having the bike balanced on 2 wheels with only the straps keeping it upright on the trailer. I have hauled thousands of loads using ratchet straps and they do occasionally fail. If you lose one of the four straps you will damage the bike as it falls.

What I found to work good on the way home was to have the bike on the center stand, strap down the rear first, then put on the front straps low on my highway bars. The front straps keep the bike from moving back, the rear straps did all the work to keep it balanced side to side.
 

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Super Moderator
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11,970 Posts
What I found to work good on the way home was to have the bike on the center stand, strap down the rear first, then put on the front straps low on my highway bars. The front straps keep the bike from moving back, the rear straps did all the work to keep it balanced side to side.


Well everyone else I know does it like fergy said. you use the bikes own suspension to keep pressure on the straps. If you have the centerstand down you are just pushing down on the frame.

You need 4 straps of course, two to hold the front down, I usualy go from each side of the handlebar, and the rear I fit the strap to the top of the shock. I have never had a strap fail, nor know of any one else that has ....unless they were very old or not secured correctly to begin with.

If you have wheel chock for the front, you really don't even need straps in the rear. But to avoid the bike sliding they should be used of course.......


KM
 

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Intelligent Redneck
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270 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Well everyone else I know does it like fergy said. you use the bikes own suspension to keep pressure on the straps.
I ran into a guy hauling his bike this way in Montana on the way home. His bike was fairly stable while he was parked but said with every bump he could see the suspension compress, straps go slack, then the suspension slams back against the straps again. He had his suspension compressed between 1/3-1/2 of the travel.

I have come to the conclusion there is no good way to haul a bike except in a crate disassembled.
 

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1994 VN 750
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26 Posts
I hauled mine 400 miles using 3 straps. 2 in the front, 1 in the back to keep the bike from hopping. This was in the back of a pick up truck. No kickstand or center stand. The bike didn't even budge! Make sure you compress your front shocks as much as possible, nearly all the way. Your best bet is to have a helper. If your afraid of a strap failing, just double them up. There is literally nowhere for the bike to go (under normal circumstances, of course!).
 

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Registered
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1,750 Posts
I've hauled more bikes than I can count with two front straps compressing the forks and two straps keeping the rear centered and never problem.

I've noticed that pickup truck beds, while higher than trailer beds, are a better ride for the bike. I use a lowboy trailer now and it does bounce a bit if not loaded down.

DT
 

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Super Moderator
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11,970 Posts
Well if in the back of a pickup truck you have the trucks rear suspension to dampen bumps before they get to the bike.

My trailer had a basic leaf-spring suspension. Keep in mind it was built specificly for motorcycles, not hauling cement. You also have to make sure the trailers tires are inflated correctly. Having the bikes rear wheel touching the trailer bed also adds some dampening just from the tire.

If you have no suspension on the trailer and hit a big bump, I can see the how the rear end might "compress, straps go slack, then the suspension slams back against the straps again" .. but this may also be from not compressing the suspension on the bike enough to start with. You really need to ratchet the rear down using at least 1/2 of the travel. If you have a trailer that is rated for 5000 lbs and put a 490 lb bike on it, the ride will be pretty harsh back there. toss a a dozen bags of sand along with it and the extra mass will put some preload on the trailers suspension which will dampen out the smaller bumps more.

The front forks should be compressed too, but you have to consider on both of these what forces they might encounter. In the back of your pickup you can really ratchet them down as the truck will take up some of the shock.

But if you have a simple flatbed trailer meant for hauling other things (not bike specific) , its suspension will be very harsh, and you might risk blowing out a fork or shock seal if you compress them too much to start with.

I always get on the bike after it is tied down and if the rear compresses with me doing a gentle "drop" on the seat, or the forks move down a bit when I toss my weight on them (all 149 lbs of me...) I will tighten the straps up a tad.

Of course now that I sold the trailer, if I want to take my bike with me, I ride it........


KM
 

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Linkmeister Supreme
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7,960 Posts
I had a bushing made to fix this... 0.625 OD x 0.475 ID x 0.475 LG. Now all I need to do is pickup a 5/8 dia reamer on my way home tonight and I can put it back together.
Is that a brass bushing or steel.
 

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and the Adventure Cycle
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6,141 Posts
I hauled mine 400 miles using 3 straps. 2 in the front, 1 in the back to keep the bike from hopping. This was in the back of a pick up truck. No kickstand or center stand. The bike didn't even budge! Make sure you compress your front shocks as much as possible, nearly all the way. Your best bet is to have a helper. If your afraid of a strap failing, just double them up. There is literally nowhere for the bike to go (under normal circumstances, of course!).
Sorry for the hijack, but.....

Not sure how I missed this, but you never want to fully compress (or even go much more than 1/2 way) the forks or shocks while trailering. The possibilities of blowing out a seal is very great when you do this.

I've trailered many bikes, many many miles. If the lower end of the straps (where attached to a trailer or truck bed) are spread out as far as possible, very little compression is needed, front or rear, to keep the bike very secure.
In a pick up bed, have the bikes front tire in one front corner, and the rear tire in the opposite rear corner.
This make each opposite strap as long as possible (you still want straps on the shorter sides too), hence not needing much compression on the suspension of the bike.

OK, I surrender, hijack over...
 
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