Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB

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-   -   fastening to flatdeck (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/trip-transport/fastening-to-flatdeck-3010)

SteveACE 28 Dec 2005 22:49

fastening to flatdeck
I just bought a flatdeck trailer and was hoping some one could give some tips on fastening the bike for a very long trip (CAnada to Mexico).
Thanks Steve

Riq 29 Dec 2005 02:22


Go down to one of the local shops and buy one of the many front tire traps on the market. After that it's going to depend on the type of bike you are trying to fasten down.

I hear that BMW's are somewhat picky about the tie down points however most of the Jap bikes you can use the front bars and a decent ratchet strap.

Either buy the ratchet strap made for the purpose or use a good piece of material to prevent the metal hooks from damaging the bike.

My largest concern for a trip like yours would be in covering the bike to prevent damage from flying debris or attracting the wrong type of attention while you sleep.

Have a good trip.

Dave Milligan 30 Dec 2005 02:40

Your biggest concern should you tie the bike down from the handlebars will be blown fork seals when you arrive after such a long journey.

Try to tie the bike down below the fork seals so you don't compress the forks.

On most bikes I tie down around the fork leg and over the caliper bolts using ratchet tie downs.

If you must compress forks consider using a wooden block between the bottom of the triple clamps and the top of the guard/fork brace, but this is not always possible on some bikes.

Good luck.

Kind regards
Dave Milligan

beddhist 30 Dec 2005 15:24

Sorry Dave, but forks are meant to be compressed.

Basically, you need to immobilise the front wheel. It should sit in a groove or rail, so it can't turn or slide. If you have a wooden floor you can just nail bits of wood to it. It should also rest forward against a wall or something.

Then use tie-downs from a convenient location, like bars, and tie forward and out, so the suspension gets compressed, but not necessarily all the way down.

Then attach one tie-down to the rear, better two.

If your bike has telelever front suspension then you must tie down the front wheel separately and tie the fron of the bike down, but not forward, because the suspension will otherwise not go down and the whole setup becomes unstable.

Sjoerd Bakker 30 Dec 2005 17:56

To avoid scratching buy the sturdy narrow style cambuckle ( steel,not die cast buckles)tie down straps which have a sewn loop at one end of the movable strap. Cut off the hook end, sear it with a match and re- insert it so that the loop end wil now be the retainer. You can then loop that around the handlebar or any frame tube, pass the other end with cambuckle through it and you have a secure and paint/chrome friendly support.
Always carry at least two in your luggage so you can tie your bike down on ferries, emergency transport, support broken luggage. Makes good clothesline too

SteveACE 12 Jan 2006 00:59

Thanks for the tips, however ive heard that it's not so wise to tie down from bars but have not heard of any other location in order to compress forks, which apparently is a must. Ive bought a good front wheel trap but am still unsure where to tie down from? Also ive built a short plywood box around trailer to stop debris however any other ideas in order to protect bike (I know tarps are useless)?
Thanks Steve

beddhist 12 Jan 2006 01:07

Use the h/bars.

Why is a tarp useless? If it's tied up properly...

Ekke 12 Jan 2006 01:18

Hey Steve,

Head down to the motorcycle show this weekend. At the Calgary show there were a couple of trailer manufacturers showing their wares. I'm sure there will be lots of advice available.

Riq 12 Jan 2006 03:14


I have hauled bikes thousands of kilometers in pick ups and on trailers always using the handle bars.

The only time this has not worked was when the fairing design would not allow a proper grab without rubbing. If you have no fairing problems then I would use the bars.

Also keep in mind if you get good tie downs they can double as tow straps if needed later on.


Narelz 12 Jan 2006 04:56

In addition to the good advice you are receiving here, you might want to checkout these articles concerning securing a bike


scroll down to the paragraph with heading "Motorcycle Tie Down - Securing Motorcycles to Trailers:" there you will find the links to several methods.

SteveACE 12 Jan 2006 05:09

Thanks for the advice, I have seen many people tie down by bars, however many articles say the bars are not designed for the stress, also ive heard from many people that no matter how well you tarp a bike flapping will rub off paint as well as damage chrome. If I decide to tie down by bars (which is most likely) how much travel in forks shall i leave, also with back should i rig high on frame as to allow compression of rear shocks, again how much and wear should I fasten?
Thanx Steve

Riq 12 Jan 2006 08:22


First off I think EkkE is right in advising that you check out the tie down products and advice at the Edmonton Motorcycle Show this weekend.

Secondly the advise you get here may be more relevant if you tell us what type of bike and what type of accessories we are talking about. The advise for a road glide will be different than for a Duke.

DougieB 12 Jan 2006 21:12

my experience is you don't need to tie the back-end at all if the front end is properly (by the bars) tied down. Off-road shops sell a device to prevent the forks fully compressing and blowing the seals. It's just a plastic guard ( http://www.dirtbikebook.com/acatalog/GeneralTools.html ), never used one myself. But as said above, depends on the bike. An off-road/trail bike is a lot lighter than your average Harley. I'm guessing if you're worried about damaging chrome you're bike is at the heavier end of the scale?

I would go to a bike shop that sells your style of bike and ask them. They have a financial interest in transporting bikes without marking them, so tend to get it right.

If it's a long trip you could always think about building a basic wooden crate round it, if you're worried about damage. It's not that difficult, and you could probably build it on the trailer itself. A local chippy would probably build it cheap.

[This message has been edited by DougieB (edited 12 January 2006).]

SteveACE 14 Jan 2006 23:49

It's a 2003 Honda VT 750 shadow ACE deluxe

Riq 15 Jan 2006 05:50

I would trap the front wheel so that it can't slide sideways either with a commercial trap or as mentioned by nailing some 2X4 to the deck. Compress the forks about half way by tying down from the bars and I have never worried about the back end.


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