How to tie down a R1200GS on ferry crossings?

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by MaineRunner, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. MaineRunner

    MaineRunner Adventurer

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    Any tips on tieing securing a R1200GS during a ferry ride? I'm planning a trip across the St. Lawrence in Quebec in a couple of weeks. Should I assume the ferry will have tie down straps for me to use?

    Thanks!
    #1
  2. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    It depends on the ferry. Some you just park on the sidestand because the water is smooth, others will have dedicated bike spots with tie down loops, and usially tie downs. These are designed purely for stability, and not like tieing down a bike on a trailer.

    Jim :brow
    #2
  3. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    I have sailed up,down and across the Saint Laurent more time than I cared to count. Only bumpy in the winter banging into the ice.:wink:

    Sidestand and they should have wheel chocks that you can use on the right side to stabilize the bike. I also always carry a velcro strap, around the brake lever/handle as a parking brake.

    After 30+ years at sea I don't trust ship's officers not to bang into the dock upon arrival:evil so I always stand by my bike and keep the brake applied. Wait for the buzzer or signal then mount and go. I have seen more than one rider sitting on their bike before "the bump" fall over.:eek1
    #3
  4. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes

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    I let the ferry crew tie the bike down however they have done it 1000's of times before. On the English Channel ferries, they make you put your bike on the side-stand, then throw a wide strap over the seat with a heavy cushion under it and crank it down tight. I've not always liked what I saw but nothing got broken and nothing fell over.

    If you're talking about crossing a river or something like that, then I put it on the side stand or, for a really short crossing, I sit on it.

    The "bump" has never bothered me, although I make sure I have a good footing and stand up a bit to get some weight on my feet as it comes. Maybe you have shorter legs than me.

    The most hazardous part about a ferry crossing is geting up/down a wet, polished steel ramp. I've seen at least a couple of bikes go down like that and had a "pucker" moment or two myself.
    #4
  5. LaurelPerryOnLand

    LaurelPerryOnLand Long timer

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    <a href="http://s635.photobucket.com/user/RMWBMW/media/2011%20Trip%20to%20Canada/DSC00735.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i635.photobucket.com/albums/uu73/RMWBMW/2011%20Trip%20to%20Canada/DSC00735.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo DSC00735.jpg"/></a>

    1. Bike on Side Stand
    2. Steering locked...I think?
    3. Strapped over seat to ORANGE tie downs in steel plate. (one seen at lower right in picture) strap provided by BC Ferry.
    Note glove inserted to protect seat.
    4. Orange 'stepped' wedgee on the opposite side of side stand. (provided by ferry)
    Can be seen immediately above seat...next to the wall and the electrical box.

    Checked the bike several times...never moved a millimeter.
    #5
  6. dmcd

    dmcd Been here awhile

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    As above, but leaving it in gear will help too, if they don't have the wedges. I just walk away and leave them to it, it's their job. If you want off quickly, figure out how to undo a ratchet strap, but watch out for the suspension unloading if they have really tightened it down.
    #6
  7. MaineRunner

    MaineRunner Adventurer

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    Thanks for everyone's good replies...much appreciated!
    #7
  8. Falco888

    Falco888 Adventurer

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    On the R1200GS, I like to use the rear pegs instead
    #8
  9. aGremlin

    aGremlin Been here awhile

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    Depends on the ferry (and I have no experience in your area).

    Crossing from USA to Canada via Vancouver Island, They didn't really use straps, just said park up. I used one of the those stepped block things under the right side of the centre stand, and it was still slightly too low, then remembered I had ESA and lowered the bike onto the block. Left in gear, and never had issues.

    In NZ, we have what can be a rough sailing between our two main islands. These are full tie down affairs, and you take your own (and I wouldn't trust theirs anyway). Sometimes I tie through the crash bars, but best is to go around the lower fork area, above the triple clamp. This allows the bike's suspension to continue operating, and is recommended by BMW for tying down the bike. It is for rougher stuff, like trailers etc though.
    #9
  10. windypoint

    windypoint Been here awhile

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    On the Alaska Marine Highway ferries, plan on bring your own. I have done the trip many times and the best thing is to go to Wally World and buy a pack of ratchet straps (at least 10 feet long) They have a tendency to put bikes where they have a few extra feet of space and tie down "Mushrooms" can vary in availability. I asked the first time and the deckhand said too much liability if they supply them.
    #10
  11. BMWRich

    BMWRich Sout'side Scooter Jock

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  12. Fredrik

    Fredrik Adventurer

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    Hi
    One upon a time i got a certificate for riding high speed boats.
    One thing in the course was that it is always the Captains responsibility to keep the cargo secured.
    Those rules must be international and not just Swedish.
    I wonder why they ask the passengers to tie down there own bikes.
    I think it is the captains problem to keep the cargo properly fixed.
    Fredrik
    #12
  13. hammick

    hammick Long timer

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    Take two small tie downs and soft ties in a zip lock bag. That way you have options. You may not need them or you may need both.
    #13
  14. Effervescent

    Effervescent Sexiest ADVrider '14

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    I too always carry a velcro strap, around the brake lever/handle as a parking brake.

    -Eff
    #14