Motorcycles in Pickup Truck Beds

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Lobby, Jan 17, 2009.

  1. Lobby

    Lobby Viel Spass, Vato!

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    Folks,

    Say you want to transport a GS sized bike in the back of your pickup truck. How would you do that?

    My pickup has a 79 inch (6.56 feet, 200 cm) bed length. The total length of my bike is about 8 feet (244 cm).

    How do you tie it down? Do you use a front wheel chock?

    Any advice / pictures is appreciated.
    #1
  2. datchew

    datchew Don't buy from Brad

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    like this:

    [​IMG]




    Operation Rescue Jamie: straps to the front triple tree, tighten down so there's a little compression on the forks. I just strapped down the rear ones to prevent swaying.
    #2
  3. Lobby

    Lobby Viel Spass, Vato!

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    What prevents the front wheel from turning?
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  4. VonHelm

    VonHelm soggy doggy

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    Just load it in pointed straight ahead. The front wheel will be pressed against the forward wall of the bed. The rubber in the tire will ever so slightly compress, as the tie downs are tightened.

    I like to use about a 2 square foot piece of 3/4" plywood under the side stand, to help spread the load in the bed and keep the bike a little more upright. A couple more straps to the rear peg mounts or rear sub-frame to keep the ass-end solidly planted.

    Most importantly, I recheck my straps within the first block or two of leaving, before getting on the highway. That's when you'll find out if the bike has shifted, and anything has loosened up. From there on out, I recheck all the straps every time I stop for gas, lunch, etc. If I travel overnight, I always check the straps first thing on the morning, and especially if they get wet.
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  5. VonHelm

    VonHelm soggy doggy

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    Another thing: Most good bike shops sell something called "soft loops". They are made of the same nylon webbing as tie down straps. Each one is about a foot long, and is sewn together in the middle, so they look like the number 8.

    You can loop them around the front frame, in places you can't get a tie down hook in, and they won't scratch the paint. Loop a loop through the loop, sort of like a slip-knot, and then hook the tie strap hook to the loose end of the loop. It is not as complicated as it sounds. Any of the shop guys can show you how to do it.
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  6. homeontherange

    homeontherange Ochlophobiac

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    :rofl :lol3 :rofl :rofl
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  7. Lobby

    Lobby Viel Spass, Vato!

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    Screwing with a pui moderator isn't wise. :deal
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  8. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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  9. Jonnylotto

    Jonnylotto All out of care

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    In theory, if you're balancing your ties, you have one on each side of the handlebar or tripletree or fork. This will theoretically prevent the front wheel from turning.

    I've never seen this in real life but I read it somewhere on the internet.







    :lol3
    #9
  10. VonHelm

    VonHelm soggy doggy

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  11. cagiva549

    cagiva549 whats a cagiva

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    If you can turn your bike where the front tire fits into a front cornor of the truck bed it will stay in place . Pick up a handfull of U bolts at the hardware store and place them in your truck bed where tie downs would do the most good . I tie mine as high up on the bed as possible , the bike is secured from side to side . Let the bikes suspension do what it is supposed to do , be sure the tires cant slide side to side . I secure the bike tires in my trailer then attach a strap to each side so it cant rock to and fro , when you shake the bike the whole trailer shacks and the suspension has no load . If you have to cinch the bikes suspension down to haul it then go from sea level to 10,000 ft plus it is very possible to have a leaking fork seal when you get there . My bikes get plenty of trailer time because one is never enough when I find a good play area . The Ducati doesn't get much use , it's impossible to play leagal on it . SEYA
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  12. mustang

    mustang Lurker Extraordinaire

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  13. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod Red Clay Halo

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    When you run the straps to the handlebars or the triple trees, the straps keep the wheel from turning. I always double strap the front of the bike, and if I'm going on longer trips I'll tie down the rear of the bike as well.

    I never leave the kickstand down while hauling the bike. I don't use a wheel chock either, though I will put a piece of wood along the front of the truck bed to spread the load of the front wheel pushing against the front rail.

    How strapping down and leveling the bike is a one man job. Get the bike centered in the bed on the side stand with the front wheel against the front of the bed. Run the left strap up to the handlebar or tripletree, and leave it just a little loose. Move over to the right side of the bike, and hook that strap up. Then tighten the right strap. As you tighten the right strap the bike will stand up, and compress the suspension against the left strap that you left a little loose and the front of the bed.

    I use a combination of ratchet straps and regular friction straps(cam buckle).
    [​IMG]
    I start the process off with the friction straps because as you're snugging down the right side of the bike, you'll be taking up tons of slack as the bike stands up. Ratchet straps don't deal well with tons of slack as the spool will fill up and bind if there is too much slack. Another trick I found with the cam straps is to put the cam end towards the bike instead of at the truck anchor. I do this because as you pull the loose end of the strap to tighten everything down, you're also pulling down on the front of the bike to help compress the suspension even better.

    Once the bike is upright, you can continue to tighten both the right and left side equally, though you probably won't be able to do much more tightening. This is when i kick up the side stand. I like to double up the front so now I go back, and put on the ratched straps somewhere else on the front of the bike. If it's a long trip I'll strap down the back as well, but really with all the compression going on up front, the back isn't going to move around much at all.


    Some people don't believe in compressing the suspension as they are afraid that It'll sag. I don't think this is the case. The springs are designed to compress, and often compress totally while riding. Just because you're holding them in a spot for a length of time doesn't mean they're going to take a set. IMHO the forks are no more likely to take a set when compressed for hauling than they are when riding and using the full travel of your forks.
    #13
  14. Jack90210

    Jack90210 mindful

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    Tie-downs attached to handlebars will help keep the tire from turning but, as you suspect, won't completely prevent it. It does help to have the bike straight up and down when you are done tying it down. I'd recommend a minimum of four ratchet-style tie-downs.

    If you have the inclination, it would probably help to wedge the tire in at the front of the bed with a couple of 4x4 wood pieces, cut to just the right size. Never tried that, though.

    EDIT: Nice write-up, Gramps, I do it almost exactly the way you do, side-stand and all (after much solo trial-and-error over the years). I use ratchet straps everywhere, but if you've done it a bunch of times you know how to start the ratchet spool with just a little bit of strap so that you don't wind up with too much spooled strap at the end. I also am a big believer in compressing the suspension -- when I am done, I try HARD to bounce the suspension. If there's too much travel left in the suspension after tie-down, you can lose a tie-down on a hard bump when the suspension travels to the bottom of its stroke.
    #14
  15. datchew

    datchew Don't buy from Brad

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    what about messing with a hungover moderator? he he.

    No worries. When you tighten those straps and slightly compress the front end, it presses the tire against the fwd wall of the bed. You'd have a tough time turning the handlebars at this point.

    It's the only pic i have above, but the straps go to the front corner of the bed so they're pulling down and fwd and also providing lateral stabilization. No wheel chocks, etc, are needed.

    The rear end will lean a bit if you don't put the rear straps on, but it's not that big of a deal.


    To avoid special straps and such, i just put the hooks of each end at the attachment point and only have the web of the nylon strap contacting the bike.
    #15
  16. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul Super Moderator

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    Leo,

    A couple things I can add...number one, big bikes can kink the front of the truck bed. I use one of these:

    [​IMG]

    That device also serves to keep the front wheel from kicking out.
    #16
  17. C Squared

    C Squared Now with TURBO!

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    Just another thumbs up for placing the front tire into the corner of the bed.

    I place the tire in the corner and then with the side stand down I tighten the strap on that side down til the rear tire is light. Then the off stand side to compress the forks. A couple or straps on the rear to keep the rear end from sliding and your'er off. Ratchet style work better than friction for the front. However, QUALITY" friction style are fine. I have gone thousants of miles this way over the years and never had a bike so much as move a little on me. Do check all straps after the first few miles.
    #17
  18. Lobby

    Lobby Viel Spass, Vato!

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    I sense a sarcastic tone here. :bluduh

    :lol3

    I once tried to carry a small scooter in the bet of my truck. It took several tie down attempts before the front wheel wouldn't turn once underway.

    And in case you hadn't thought about it, having your bike's front wheels turn isn't a good deal. DAMHIK.

    :rofl
    #18
  19. Lobby

    Lobby Viel Spass, Vato!

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  20. Lobby

    Lobby Viel Spass, Vato!

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    Looks like these have to be screwed into the bed?
    #20