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  #16  
Old 10 Jan 2009
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i always use the sidestand, but then ive never owned a bike with a center stand
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  #17  
Old 10 Jan 2009
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When I did this crossing I flipped the bike upside down and let it rest on the handlebars.... oh wait that was on a pushbike.

But, I did get to park with the bikers and we were on what looked like a little balcony, level with the upper car deck. There didn't seem to be many tie downs at all, just a rail to stop you, and I suppose your bike falling over onto the lorry below. So the bikers all put their bikes on their side stands, as close as possible to this rail, even leaning on it, and then strapped it to that as best they could.

Mind you it was a winter crossing and the ferry was mostly empty, so perhaps the loaders thought this was easier than having bikes scattered about the place.

In theory once underway the doors onto the car decks are locked so if you're last up the stairs and first down, you could leave anything and everything on the bike and it'd be safe. In practise it might be different, and I've been let on the car deck before to see to cats travelling across in my car and then left alone to roam while the pouty girl sat on the stairs smoking. So I'd take everything valuable and non-lockable off.
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  #18  
Old 11 Jan 2009
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My worst experience was a lake in Norway. They put me right in the front of the open top deck. The deck was totally flush, no ropes, eyes, pipes or anything you could tie down to. As soon as the ferry set off water started coming over the rail at every wave and I was forced to stand there, hold the bike and take a soaking. The crew couldn't care less. When we got in I kicked off big time with a sulky moron in the ferry office. He didn't care less until the local plod came along to see what the fuss was. The Copper took about two minutes to get my money back and an apology, so hopefully the next biker at least got a spot indoors

The Channel tunnel is pretty poor, you can't tie down and the points are rough enough to topple a loaded bike.

Andy
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  #19  
Old 11 Jan 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Threewheelbonnie View Post
The Channel tunnel is pretty poor, you can't tie down and the points are rough enough to topple a loaded bike.
I know what you mean - I guess that's why they make you stay with your bike?!



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  #20  
Old 15 Jan 2009
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I travelled from Plymouth to Santander with my old CBR 1000F and the crew lined the bikes up on the bottom lorry deck with the deck cables running parallel. They then placed a large PVC covered foam block over the seat and, with the bike on the side stand, strapped the bike fore and aft to the cables. The crossing was fairly rough but all bikes (about 50), were OK on arrival. We were also first off the boat.
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  #21  
Old 16 Jan 2009
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i found a pic of how bikes get tied down in calm weather on caleidonian mcbride ferries in scotland. its the same as mine got tied down doing plymouth to santander - except it wasnt outside

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  #22  
Old 29 Jan 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rup328 View Post
I travelled from Plymouth to Santander with my old CBR 1000F and the crew lined the bikes up on the bottom lorry deck with the deck cables running parallel. They then placed a large PVC covered foam block over the seat and, with the bike on the side stand, strapped the bike fore and aft to the cables. The crossing was fairly rough but all bikes (about 50), were OK on arrival. We were also first off the boat.
yes same experience as me - the foam block is also according to staff heat resistant, so can be used over hot exhausts, some larger bikes were tied down using two ties.

with regard to slippery surfaces on boat i found it to be good surface, but obviously use common sense
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  #23  
Old 2 Feb 2009
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I've taken my bike on cross channel ferries dozens and dozens of times and ALWAYS put it on the sidestand and in gear. I always let the crew do the tying down although when I last crossed Dover/Calais with P&O, he pointed to a message stuck on the bulkhead which stated that it was no longer the crew's responsibility.

The worst experience was a couple of years ago with Irish Ferries from Pembroke Dock to Ireland and found that not only did the deck not have cut outs, there was no tie down strops. A crew member pointed to some greasy rope and a wobbly handrail, and that was it.

The only time I used the centre stand was on my R100/7 when crossing the Wester Scheldt to Vlissingen. The estuary was like a mill pond so i didn't tie the bike down, but the deck had a very slight downward slope and.....you've guessed it..... it rolled forward.
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  #24  
Old 2 Feb 2009
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Originally Posted by Paul Narramore View Post
The only time I used the centre stand was on my R100/7... when crossing the Wester Scheldt to Vlissingen. The estuary was like a mill pond so i didn't tie the bike down, but the deck had a very slight downward slope and.....you've guessed it..... it rolled forward.
Ouch! Sounds expensive.
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  #25  
Old 7 Feb 2009
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No surprisingly, not at all. Other than a mirror twisting around, nothing. Now if my Pan had done the same thing...........
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  #26  
Old 15 Mar 2009
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I second Paul's comments, the ferries from France to Ireland and vv are like famine ships, no ropes, no tie-down straps, no nothing.

On the other hand, there are some ferry companies that are very good, they provide clean tie-down straps and even chocks.

Stena Line is one of the best - see photo below.

Remember that you don't have to crank the straps down too tight - just put the bike on the sidestand (never the centerstand, three points are far more stable than two), put it in gear, lock the front brake on with a strip of Velcro, and put a strap over the top of the seat. It is helpful to salvage a piece of scrap cardboard before boarding the ferry - put this on top of the seat, then put the strap over the cardboard, this helps avoid the strap from scuffing the seat.

Michael

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  #27  
Old 22 Mar 2009
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Always on the sidestand, in gear, steering full lock toward the sidestand with a rubber band around the front brake lever does it for me.

I tie down with whatever is available (straps or rope) using my gloves to protect the seat. As well as the rope / strap over the bike, I tend to add another tie from the footpeg hanger on the opposite side to the sidestand to pull the bike down into the stand.

As for leaving gear on the bike, I leave my main panniers (soft) and helmet with the bike packing valuables and overnight kit in the tankbag. Once practised at it you can even be ahead of the sidecar riders in the sprint to the bar!
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  #28  
Old 24 Mar 2009
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What I have found works very well for security (leaving gear on the bike on ferries, at restaurants, attended parking areas, etc.) is to buy a steel wire net that is marketed to the backpacker crowd, then put that steel wire net over my stuff on the bike and lock it up.

You can see the net over the baggage on the back of my moto in the picture right above. It won't stop a determined thief (although it will certainly slow them down), but it is sufficient to keep honest people honest.

The wire net is called a "Pac-safe" (Pacsafe Anti-theft Travel Bags and Accessories). The net comes in various sizes, and the whole thing folds up into a bundle about the size of a couple of pair of wooly socks when you are not using it.
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  #29  
Old 24 Mar 2009
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You may be faster up the stairs....

....but I bet you don't get cocktails on the docks

Cocktails on hull docks! on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

The Cocktail cabinet on Flickr - Photo Sharing!



Andy
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  #30  
Old 24 Mar 2009
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The last couple of times I've used Sea France I've been very impressed. The crew directed me to an area where you drive straight into a kind of front wheel clamp thing and while I was still sitting on the bike two crew members fixed a ratchet strap to each side of the bike to lock it in position.

I told them where to attach the straps to the bike and I just stepped off as soon as they had finished ratcheting. The whole thing took about 30 secs and apart from a red carpet to walk on afterwards I couldn't really improve on it.

Mind you that was on the overlanding bike where I don't really care if it gets scratched. Later this summer I'll be taking a couple of my pristine paintwork classic bikes over to France and we'll see if it's still as impressive then
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