Transporting a bike - Honda Rebel 300 & 500 Forum
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-13-2017, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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Transporting a bike

Give me your knowledge, oh great people of the Rebel3 forum!
With the Rebel being my first bike ever, my general know-how around bike related things can be questionable at best.
I've recently gotten myself a trailer to make things a little easy, so that I can get around on vacation this summer with both my car and bike in one swell swoop.

But! I've got some experiance with having cars on a trailer, and how to secure those to make transporting safe.
But never done the same with a bike before.
So what are the does and don't when it comes to hauling a bike?

From what I've gotten my head around I've seen some securing bikes by the wheels, and by the handlebar, wich seems reasonable.
I assume the same goes both for cars as with bikes, with not wanting to "tie them down" by compressing the springs/suspenssion, as that gives unwanted tension, you want the suspenssion to be free and moving about in bumps. Or am I wrong on this assumption?

And is it ok/normal to secure the bike while it's on its sidestand?

Every piece of advice/knowledge is appreciated!
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-13-2017, 05:05 PM
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Lyoko,

I have had the best results using a "Chock" that the front wheel slips into and stack some lumber in front of the rear wheel and then tying the bike down with ratcheting straps. After everything is in place I have a wooden wedge that I drive under the rear wheel. I was always afraid that if I left the straps a little on the loose side if the forks did compress the straps might fall off.

The main thing to do is keep an eye on the attachments after a few miles to see if they are still tight.

You will find what works best for you and your trailer and bike.

Kenny G
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-13-2017, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Lyoko-Code View Post
Give me your knowledge, oh great people of the Rebel3 forum!
With the Rebel being my first bike ever, my general know-how around bike related things can be questionable at best.
I've recently gotten myself a trailer to make things a little easy, so that I can get around on vacation this summer with both my car and bike in one swell swoop.

But! I've got some experiance with having cars on a trailer, and how to secure those to make transporting safe.
But never done the same with a bike before.
So what are the does and don't when it comes to hauling a bike?

From what I've gotten my head around I've seen some securing bikes by the wheels, and by the handlebar, wich seems reasonable.
I assume the same goes both for cars as with bikes, with not wanting to "tie them down" by compressing the springs/suspenssion, as that gives unwanted tension, you want the suspenssion to be free and moving about in bumps. Or am I wrong on this assumption?

And is it ok/normal to secure the bike while it's on its sidestand?

Every piece of advice/knowledge is appreciated!

I have a truck that I loaded the bike onto when I first brought it home, and just recently. Its a short box, but was able to get it on via ramp, and strap it down diagonally. LOOP STRAPS is a must for the front. You want to use the loop straps around the forks, and if you can, hook on both sides of the front wheel to the floor. Do not ratchet it completely and bottom out the suspension. Just make it tight. Suspension will need to move with the suspension of trailer and truck.


For the rear of the bike, you can get the hooks on the frame below the gas tank, ratchet them to the floor, each side of rear tire. DONE! She wont be going no where. Wheel chalk is a bonus, it will stall upright regardless, unlike me with the truck, had to do allot of monkey'ing around to keep it upright as possible and be able to tight it down. but despite that, I was able to close the tail got.


Unfortunately, I hit a frost heave on the highway over the weekend with the bike on the back that the rear tire moved enough and wrecked my plate, and one strap came loose, but, thankfully that was all. plates are bendable. lol.
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-13-2017, 09:32 PM
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I think it is a mistake to leave much play in the suspension when you strap it down unless you have locking wheel chocks. If it bounces you will likely lose a strap when it goes loose and the hook pops loose. Also if the wheels bounce up, the whole bike can slide sideways and go down. This sounds like what happened to macjosh1.

There are drive in chocks for the front tire you can bolt to your trailer or truck that lock in place when you drive onto them. These are the best, easiest, and safest to use.

I still go old school. I drive the front tire up against the front of the truck bed or front of the trailer. Then I use 4 ratchet straps. The front 2 are connected to loops that wrap around the front struts above the bottom triple tree. These are then connected to the truck or trailer pulling diagonally forward, to each side, and down with enough pressure to compress the suspension pretty good.

The 2 rear straps I usually connect to the top of the rear shocks if possible. On some bikes you have to find another spot on the frame. These are connected to pull diagonally rearward, to each side and down, also with enough pressure to compress the suspension pretty good.

Some people bolt a length of channel iron or aluminum slightly wider than the tires to the bed of the truck or trailer, and then roll the bike into it to prevent any sideways slipping, and then strap it down.

If your trailer has a wooden floor, you can nail or screw 2X4s down each side of the tires after you strap it down to keep them from slipping. You can also cross those with blocks in front of and behind each tire for even more security.

You can start strapping with the kickstand down for convenience, but then you want to pull the bike upright as you tighten the straps so that it is no longer leaning on the kickstand, but ends up vertical. As you compress the suspension, be sure that the side stand is not getting too much pressure if it retouches the floor. I have had some bikes that I had to put the kickstand up to keep from bending them when the suspension was compressed, and others that can stay down and never reach the floor. It just depends on the geometry of the bike. Just be sure that you strap the bike upright and vertical, and that you don't break the kickstand in the process.

One last note, be sure that the ratchets have several wraps of strap around the tightener so that they won't slip. This is particularly important on the side with the kickstand since you usually start with them mostly loose and do most of the tightening on the other side as you pull the bike vertical. Just be sure that you start with enough wraps on the kickstand side, and if you have to loosen those as you tighten the others, be sure that they have several wraps on the tightener when you are through. Finally, tie all the loose strap ends off into bows or knots, securely so that they won't come loose and flap in the wind. They will ruin a paint job.
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-14-2017, 03:25 AM Thread Starter
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Alot of good information here, thank's guys ^^,

On a side note! When securing backwards, do you tend to leave the bike in gear, or in neutral?
Leaving it in gear *might* keep it from moving somewhat, but it would poensially do more damage than good?
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-14-2017, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Lyoko-Code View Post
Alot of good information here, thank's guys ^^,

On a side note! When securing backwards, do you tend to leave the bike in gear, or in neutral?
Leaving it in gear *might* keep it from moving somewhat, but it would poensially do more damage than good?
This is how the shop tied my bike down.
About 1 1/2 hour journey home around 60 mph, it didn't budge an inch.
Was a bit nervous as our truck is a 4 door & so has a shorter truck bed, hence the tail gate down.
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-14-2017, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Twizzian View Post
This is how the shop tied my bike down.
About 1 1/2 hour journey home around 60 mph, it didn't budge an inch.
Was a bit nervous as our truck is a 4 door & so has a shorter truck bed, hence the tail gate down.
That's one way to do it, for sure :P
Then again, I assume alot of things are considered "good enough" by thai standard? lol
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-14-2017, 09:39 PM
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I didn't see it mentioned but one more tip is a low truck/trailer and long ramp, or whatever it takes to achieve that (such as backing up to a curb and using the extra few inches of sidewalk vs street height to make the ramp less steep).

Re: minimal suspension play: one trick --- if you're inclined enough for a bit of disassembly/reassembly --- is to remove the front fender and wedge a 2x4 between the tire and lower triple tree, then compress it with the tie-downs until it "bottoms out". You'll still have suspension "travel" but it won't actuate. Probably a bit extreme for in-town transport but a great trick for crossing a few state lines.

Finally, if anyone thinks their bike won't fit in the back of a standard bed truck, it will...mine does.



That's 72" worth of wheelbase. The excuse falls flat for a late 80's/early 90's mini-truck too. If it has a six foot bed, it'll fit. YMMV for the bigger trucks with micro-beds.


"Ride Safe, Chop Safer" Motorcycles are not unsafe. However; they are extremely unforgiving of inattention, incompetence, ignorance, and stupidity.
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-15-2017, 09:52 AM
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Yeah my stretched out Dyna Wide Glide fits in my Avalanche with the tailgate down, no problem, and it has a very short bed. I also don't angle it in diagonally. I put it in straight in the center of the truck and use symmetrical straps to each corner.

Twizzian, I'm glad that worked for you, but I wouldn't have driven it out of the driveway like that, and definitely not any distance at speed.

My philosophy is that I want to secure the bike so well that if I roll the truck, the bike will still be where I strapped it. Now whether that actually happens in practice, or not, is debatable, but if you start out with that intent, then it will probably survive anything else. If you have to start out thinking that you have to be very careful at every pothole or railroad track, then you probably need to rethink your procedure. What happens if you hit a pothole that you didn't see, or have to take evasive action, or slam on brakes? You want to be sure that your bike will still be OK, not expecting to have to pick it up after it falls over, or worse.

Attention to detail, check everything not twice, but 3 times, recheck after a few miles, and regularly after that. This approach has kept me and my bikes safe over a long lifetime of hauling them all over the country whenever needed.
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 07-15-2017, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by 76Paw View Post
Yeah my stretched out Dyna Wide Glide fits in my Avalanche with the tailgate down, no problem, and it has a very short bed. I also don't angle it in diagonally. I put it in straight in the center of the truck and use symmetrical straps to each corner.

Twizzian, I'm glad that worked for you, but I wouldn't have driven it out of the driveway like that, and definitely not any distance at speed.

My philosophy is that I want to secure the bike so well that if I roll the truck, the bike will still be where I strapped it. Now whether that actually happens in practice, or not, is debatable, but if you start out with that intent, then it will probably survive anything else. If you have to start out thinking that you have to be very careful at every pothole or railroad track, then you probably need to rethink your procedure. What happens if you hit a pothole that you didn't see, or have to take evasive action, or slam on brakes? You want to be sure that your bike will still be OK, not expecting to have to pick it up after it falls over, or worse.

Attention to detail, check everything not twice, but 3 times, recheck after a few miles, and regularly after that. This approach has kept me and my bikes safe over a long lifetime of hauling them all over the country whenever needed.

In my case, I don't have any experience in tieing down a bike to a truck bed other than the wife's scooter a couple of times. Most dealers where I'm living always deliver new or second hand bikes this way, so I think they know how to strap them in I guess, but being a new bike, trusting others to tie down in our own truck with tail gate open was a bit nerve wracking for the first time to bring it home. Stiff neck for a few days.
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