How to Strap a Motorcycle? A Beginners Guide

If you want to transport your motorcycle without riding it, then the best way to do so involves hauling it with your trailer or truck.

But instead of dumping in the trunk ordinarily, you’ll need to tie it down correctly to ensure it stays in place. This will help prevent it from shifting or tipping over or even falling out of the trailer during transit.

In this post, you’ll discover how to correctly strap down your motorcycle in your truck or trailer for easy and safe transportation to your designation.

What You’ll Need:

For this operation to be successful, you’ll need a couple of equipment by your side. These include:

  • Motorcycle tie-down straps: get about 4 straps with either ratchets or cam buckles to help you tie down your bike. The best motorcycle tie down straps should be made from durable material like nylon and have high break strength and load capacity.
  • Ramp: the perfect ramp should be sturdy and able to support the weight of your motorbike
  • Front wheel chock: a slot for your bike’s front tire, the ​wheel chock helps keep the tire straight during transportation
  • A trailer/truck for transporting the motorcycle: this is a no-brainer

How To Tie Down A Motorcycle:

Assuming you have already gathered all the necessary equipment we have listed above, let’s get down to business on how to strap down a motorcycle in your truck or trailer.

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1. Put the wheel chock into place

We have just mentioned above that you’ll need a motorcycle front wheel chock to help secure the front wheel of your bike and prevent forward motion during transit.

The first thing you ought to do is set up the wheel chock in place in your truck or trailer—you simply position it at the back of the truck bed, at the center.

Some trailers come with pre-drilled holes to let you easily bolt down your wheel chock.

If you don’t wish to permanently screw the chock to your truck, consider securing it with the helpful ratchet straps.

2. Layout the straps in your truck

Next, you’ll need to layout the straps in your truck. This involves attaching them to your trailer or truck anchor points and then laying them stretched to the middle, where your bike will stand.

Attach two straps to the front of your truck and two straps to the rear. And ensure that the slack you leave on the truck floor can easily reach the bike when you load it for easy strapping.

What if my trailer or truck doesn’t have pre-made tie-down hooks? In this case, you can tie your straps to the truck sidebars

Keep in mind, though, that there has been an ongoing debate on whether to perform this step before or after loading the bike.

In our opinion, doing it before loading your bike will make your work easier, plus it helps minimize the possibility of accidentally knocking down your bike.

3. Load your bike into truck/trailer

At this point, you ought to load your motorcycle into the trailer/truck with the help of the motorcycle ramp.

Two pairs of hands will make the process of loading the motorcycle into the trailer easier here, with one person holding each side—especially for beginners.

4. Secure the bike front wheel

Once the bike is inside the trailer, secure the front wheel into the wheel chock. Most chocks come designed in such a way that their mechanism clicks when the front wheel is ideally into position.

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If you had put down the kickstand when you loaded the motorcycle into your truck, be sure to raise it before you start tying down your bike in the next step…

5. Strap down your motorbike

With your bike standing in an upright position, it’s time to start strapping down the front and rear parts of your bike, as outlined below…

(i). Tying the front part:

You should start by tying down the front part of your bike (and keep in mind that this is the most critical part of strapping down the motorcycle). To do it correctly, attach the front straps to the lower triple trees of your bike—i.e., the part connecting the front forks together, linking them to the bike frame.

Experts bikers CAUTION you against tying the front straps on your bike handlebars as this can potentially damage your bike.

(ii). Tying down the rear:

Most people are only interested in strapping down the front part, which is perfectly ok.

If you’re skeptical that the front tie-downs aren’t sufficient, however, you can go ahead and tie the rear part of your bike to the trailer.

In this case, we recommend you to tie the straps to your bike frame or swing-arm for maximum security. And while doing so, take care not to damage sensitive parts of your motorcycle such as the brake lines.

Some experts also suggest that you can loop the straps through the tires and wheels to make your motorcycle even more secure.

6. Confirm you have done an excellent job

Before you get behind the wheel and start transporting your bike, do one final check to ensure it is properly tied down.

Start by checking that all the straps used have EVEN tension; this is crucial in ensuring the bike remains secure until you reach your destination.

Also, check that all the ratchets are correctly closed, and the ties are well secured.

Confirm that the kickstand is raised, and all the excess straps are safely tied up.

PRO TIP: Grab the bike handlebars and trying shaking your bike. The bike should act as part of your bike as if it’s welded to your bike floor. If you notice any play in the straps when doing this test, then you’ll need to redo the tension.

Final Verdict

After reading this guide, strapping down your motorcycle to a trailer or truck for transport should feel easier, even if you’re doing it for the first time. Just ensure you have the right equipment and follow the above steps to secure your bike for safe transportation to your destination.

Making any mistakes might inflict costly damages on your beloved bike. So, make sure you perform a final check on whether you have correctly tied down your bike before you hit the road.

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