Tie downs for air frieght.
When air frieghting a bike do I need to provide my own tie downs for the crating or are ropes/tie downs provided? Are ropes good enough or tie down straps best?
It all depends on whether you crate it yourself or have everything done by the transporting company. Naturally, when you're crating yourself, you're responsible for the correct "packing".
Regarding tie-downs I prefer straps, because they're easier to adjust. Make sure the bike is so tightly strapped down, that the suspension is nearly on block. Check the hubb as well. There should be threads regarding this question.
BMW Tie straps
Bring your own - they're useful for other things too.
Go to your BMW dealer and ask for half a dozen of the straps BMW uses to tie the bikes down when shipping them new.
They are bullet proof, simple, light, cheap or free, and pack small.
I've seen or used them myself for everything from tying saddlebags when they fall off, a clothesline, hauling a bike out of the mud, to hauling food up into a tree in bear country. And oh yeah- tying the bike down when shipping.
If the air carrier is providing you with a container (called a ULD, or Uniform Load Device, in airline lingo), then they will most likely be able to provide you with straps and tie-downs as well. This is because the containers use an industry standard cargo rail called 'Douglas Track' on the inside of them, and you need either rings or straps with the appropriate fittings on the end of them to fit into the Douglas Track.
I've shipped my moto quite a few times by air - every time, the airline gave me a container, and provided me with tie-down straps.
In the photo below, you can see the kind of straps that the airline provided. What I needed to bring was the strong cardboard tube that went across the seat, to prevent the strap from cutting into the seat surface.
Moto inside ULD, tied down and ready to load on aircraft
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