Transporting a Motorcycle, 10 tips:
So you have a motorcycle all the freedom and the sheer coolness factor of owning one. Sometimes however you have to move your pride and joy from place A to place B. So how do you go about transporting a motorcycle? Well here’s 10 ideas to get you on your way and back to riding, with different scenery.
Obviously it’s good to figure out whether or not you want to haul it. It comes down to what’s actually going on but if given the choice between riding the bike to your destination or delivering it there, you’d ride it no questions asked. Why shouldn’t you? If your moving house for example just ride the bike over and then take the train back to get the rest, nothing should stop you getting in the way of the riding experience.
Unfortunately, sometimes life does gets in the way. Maybe the bike simply can’t make it to the destination for whatever reason, maybe the timing or weather is off or even that it just makes more sense to haul it. There could be any number of reasons and you may have to transport your motorcycle on a trailer then on the Tarmac, the next 10 tips are for the trailer option (you should know how to ride a bike if you own one).
Fortunately, there are a number of options to consider for transporting a motorcycle from trailers to vans. What you’ll need to do anything though is the kit required to do it.
. Something to carry the bike
. Proper strapping and heavy chocks to stop the bike moving
. A ramp if the trailer or van doesn’t have one.
. Bags or boxes to hold loose parts of the bike that were removed previously
. Someone to help with some of the trickier or more physical actions.
Take trailers, no matter what size and shape your bike from a tiny scooter to a mighty explorer there’ll be a trailer it’ll fit on. However, one thing that should be important is the quality of the goods you’re using.
Don’t skimp on your kit.
Take the strapping, you could go online or to the pound shop and find a cheap cam-buckle belt for an insanely low price, or you could spend just a little extra for something that won’t come loose as early and leave your bike either in a dozen pieces on a motor way or leaving dents in a hire van.
Same if you need a ramp, some would think that a piece of wood would be enough to roll it up to the bed. These people are now plus 1000’s of YouTube views, but are minus a few hundred quid in repairs at best or an entire bike at worst. Have a look at this one to make you cry:
Proper equipment can be found at places like http://www.halfords.com or other places that specialise in stuff like this.
So you’ve gotten everything, hopefully stuff in good shape. Now you need something to carry the bike. The two most common tools in bike transportation are trailers and vans. Both have pros and cons like everything does so here’s a quick rundown on things.
The Trailer Option
Trailers are typically low to the ground, making it easy to roll the bike up or if you’re pretty brave and strong, lifting the bike with a mate onto the bed. They usually have more obvious points to tie the straps to and as a bonus sometimes come with chocks fixed on them.
The main problem with a trailer though is actually what you stick the trailer to, a car or van. Trailers carry a lot of weight and with the extra pivot on the car your handling is pretty much trashed too. Your speed both physically and legally is hit too, can’t take them on anything but the slow lane on a motorway for example.
A Van Instead
Vans get rid of the pesky speed issue by being all one unit, allowing for driving around as you normally would. The other main bonus of vans is their closed storage, saving your bike from the elements as well stopping the bike (or trailer itself) from being left behind as you travel along the roads. It’s clumsier to get the bike in however, being taller and more boxed in then a trailer
So you have the where, when and how to transport your motorcycle, now it’s time to get it there. First things first your bike needs to be ready. There are various little things you should do to protect it and others, as well as giving you a clear conscience as it makes it’s journey.
First off, fluids in the bike. Normally this shouldn’t be an issue, drain the tank of petrol in case but the oil, coolant and brake fluid should be fine for short range trips. The reason for draining is potential leaks, a lot of the liquids are flammable and if one leaks and catches then you’ll be down a bike and possibly a van or trailer too. Long haul trips to say other countries should have all the fluid drained just in case, ultimately it comes down to how much you trust the bike to not leak.
The Detachable Stuff
Loose or detachable objects on the bike. This can be things like mirrors which can either be removed or folded in, saddle bags, exhaust pipes etc. The main reason for doing so is more of a just in case kind of thing. Taking this stuff off will stop them getting damaged as well as make it easier to load and transport the bike.
Removing the Battery
Batteries. In a similar way to the fluids removing the battery can help prevent fires or shorting out. The main thing is to stop the current from running through the wires on your bike. Do this by removing the connecting wires from one or both terminals, but make sure if you do to tape the wires somewhere so they don’t bounce around potentially causing a spark. Or you can just completely remove the battery and replace it at your destination.
Additional tip, but if your bike has an alarm turn it off, it’ll save the embarrassment of the motorcycle screaming after the first speed bump.
Giving the Bike a Wash
Give your motorcycle a good clean. No I’m not saying to do that because it’ll look good on the trailer or to your carrier. Cleaning the bike removes the dirt and as you go over it you can see all the chips, dents and scratches that might have happened to your bike over your time of owning it. Make a note of all of these, taking pictures as you go so you are closely aware of your rides condition after all the adventures you might have had on it already. After the trip you can check again to thing any new scars on the body work, whether from the journey or mishandling by the carrier or yourself so you have evidence if you need it.
Loading the Bike
This one is rather simple and changes depending on the motorcycle you wish to transport and ramp. For example, a high ground clearance on a bike, such as an off-road or dirt bike can handle a sharp angle from trailer to bed, allowing for a shorter ramp at a steeper angle. A lower chassis on a road, sports bike or low riding chopper will need a shallower, longer ramp to stop damaging the all important underneath. Though you can avoid the drama of having the wrong ramp by lifting the whole thing up, this can work fine with you, a buddy and a dirt bike. But unless you hit the gym every day trying to lift say a Harley or worse a giant explorers bike might prove impossible.
Tying Up and Strapping Down
It should come as no surprise that just placing a motorcycle on a trailer then trying to transport it probably won’t end well, strapping it down and holding it up is best. If you’ve got a van you’ve got two options: resting it’s handlebars and foot pegs against a wall or having it standing free in the middle, trailers only get the middle option. Either way make sure the tires are inflated and put the chocks on. Some trailers have chocks, other’s you’ll need to buy heavy duty ones (don’t use wood, same reason as a wooden ramp).
Next, strap it down with something like a ratchet strap, these allow you to tighten them as you like. Simply tie the strap to the bikes frame and to the floor and tighten. When the suspension compresses it’s a good idea to stop there, allowing some bounce in the suspension stops the valuable insides from being rattled around with shocking force on the bumps and potholes you’ll definitely find on the roads. Allow the bike to be too jumpy though and it could bounce free of it’s straps and destroy itself. Find the middle ground that should stop the bike from rocking around like a boat on rough seas and allow you to travel in peace.
To find specialist transporters of motorcycles, visit https://www.deliveryquotecompare.com/vehicle-delivery/ Delivery Quote Compare can put you in touc with hundreds of transporters experienced in safely and securely moving your motorcycle across the UK.
That should do it. The only thing left to do is actually drive it from point A to B which should be simple enough as long as you or the driver are safe. A dedicated transporter should have at least some of the equipment you need and probably didn’t skimp on it too. All that’s required now is unloading the bike, giving it a once over to check for any injuries and putting it back together to its former glory and heading out again to points C through to Z and probably more.