Tips To Safely Secure a Motorcycle on a Trailer

Tips To Safely Secure a Motorcycle on a TrailerSummer is coming in hot, so it's time to whip out the motorcycle. Ideally, you'll be riding your motorcycle everywhere you go. However, in the event that you need to transport your bike, a trailer will be your best friend. Always follow these tips to safely and adequately secure your motorcycle on a trailer.

Start by Choosing Your Trailer

The trailer you choose to use is a tool in itself. There are many options to consider when looking into a new trailer. For example, open trailers use fewer materials, so they'll be more affordable, but enclosed trailers add an extra level of security. If you don't already have a trailer, we recommend checking out McFarlane's selection of aluminum trailers for sale.

Use a Ramp 

With any luck, you have purchased a trailer with a ramp; most trailers include one that folds down. If your trailer does not have a ramp, try to acquire one that does. If you aren't ready to buy a whole new trailer, we offer a variety of add-on ramps that would make a great addition to your setup. Wrangling a motorcycle can be intimidating enough as is, and a ramp will most definitely help make the process smoother. 

Don't Rely on Brute Strength

Once your trailer is hooked up and the ramp is down, it's time to wheel her up there. Motorcycles typically weigh between 400 and 700 pounds, so you won't be able to push them up the ramp safely without help. Ideally, you'd put your bike into a lower gear and ride it up slowly. If you're genuinely worried about driving off the ramp or, even worse, into the vehicle you're using to tow, it's a wise idea to recruit a friend and have them help you push your bike into place. If they're more comfortable riding it up, have them do that for you. Once the bike is on the trailer, leave it in gear to keep it from rolling around if the ties get dislodged. 

Use Tie-Down Straps

Once your bike is on the trailer, you need to strap it down using tie-downs. Tie-downs are a must-have for securing your motorcycle and should not be replaced with rope or bungee cords. Use ties with thick straps and durable hardware, such as cam buckle straps. While using ratchet straps may be a bit excessive for smaller motorcycles, if that's all you have, they'll work just fine.

Use 4 Tie-Down Points

For the best security, you should use at least four tie-down points: two in the front and two in the back. Attach them higher on the bike rather than lower for added safety. When you begin tying down your straps, use the motorcycle's kickstand to keep it from toppling, and once you've tightened one side, stand your bike up so it's entirely upright before cinching up the other side. Avoid strapping down your handlebars, as doing so has the potential to bend or break them. If your motorcycle's handlebars are rubber-mounted, they may compress during transit and cause your tie-downs to slip. 

Compress the Suspension

Don't forget to compress the suspension to give the bike some resistance against the straps, which reduces wobbling and keeps the motorcycle secure. Do not overdo it because too much additional pressure can ruin your shocks over time. Use roughly half the suspension capacity to avoid injuring your bike. Regardless of the type of motorcycle trailer you use, you can safely transport your vehicle by following these tips. Check out McFarlane Trailer Sales today to get more information on our trailer selection or talk to a professional about other ways to keep your goods safe in transit.