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How can I strap down my bike in the truck without damaging the forks

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I often load my bike in the truck and drive to the other end of town. The way I strap the bike down is by running 2 ratchet straps (1 around each side of the handlebar) to the box of the truck which ends up compressing the front suspension quite a bit. I know I can make / buy a fork saver to put between the tire and the plastic but is there  a better method to strap down? 

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The forks on my bike are made to be compressed and so no damage has ever occured from strapping my bike down.

 

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12 minutes ago, Steven Nadeau said:

I often load my bike in the truck and drive to the other end of town. The way I strap the bike down is by running 2 ratchet straps (1 around each side of the handlebar) to the box of the truck which ends up compressing the front suspension quite a bit. I know I can make / buy a fork saver to put between the tire and the plastic but is there  a better method to strap down? 

Hmmm, I'm curious about this as well ... bought a used bike and forks were not leaking, after a few rides and a few truck transports for bringing home and VIN inspection, left fork was leaking after a ride. Never leaked statically in garage? 

Thought I may have tied her down too tight?

I wonder if loosening the atmospheric bleed ports would help during transport?

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I used a 4x4 between the fender and the tire, one end has a piece of foam attached (the fender side) and the other end I cut a notch in to cradle the tire a bit... Nothing too precise. I have it cut to a length so the forks compress maybe an inch or so. I like knowing my forks aren't under much compression for long periods of time in the truck or trailer (sometimes 3-4 hours). I also like how stable the bike is when strapped down this way. My other straps go from the foot pegs down to the bed. 

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2 minutes ago, AndrewK said:

I used a 4x4 between the fender and the tire, one end has a piece of foam attached (the fender side) and the other end I cut a notch in to cradle the tire a bit... Nothing too precise. I have it cut to a length so the forks compress maybe an inch or so. I like knowing my forks aren't under much compression for long periods of time in the truck or trailer (sometimes 3-4 hours). I also like how stable the bike is when strapped down this way. My other straps go from the foot pegs down to the bed. 

Good call on the 4x4. I'll end up doing the same

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38 minutes ago, Steven Nadeau said:

but is there  a better method to strap down? 

yes, use regular tie down straps instead of the ratcheting variety.

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16 minutes ago, crypto666 said:

The forks on my bike are made to be compressed and so no damage has ever occured from strapping my bike down.

 

What kind of bike do you have?

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This works with a 6 1/2 foot bed. Nose the bike into the left front corner. Station the rear wheel flush with the tail gate when closed. Run a strap from the right front corner of the bed to the handlebar. On the left side run a strap from the left rear corner to the handlebar. Close the tailgate and it should be close to or touching the rear tire. Now tighten the straps and the rear shock will compress, not the forks, a small amount but the bike will be locked in tight without having to pull much on the straps. My go to when I have to load only one bike. 

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Posted (edited)
47 minutes ago, Steven Nadeau said:

What kind of bike do you have?

Have or have had a;

Kx80

Kx250

Wr450f

Crf250x

Xr650r

350xcw

350xc

 

Also strapped down many 85sx, 105sx, 250xc.

 

All those that leaked, leaked unloaded and stopped after new seals.

Edited by crypto666
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Ah, yes, the fork support, the useless invention for a non-existent problem. I have run ratchet straps for over a decade now. I've had Kawasaki, Yamaha, GasGas, Honda, and KTM's all strapped down in my truck without issue. One Kawasaki lived in the bed of my truck, literally, for weeks on end, over a years time, and only unstrapped when I was riding it, and yet no problems. Go figure.

As typical, if you're having a problem with fork seals when strapping your bike down then quit over tightening the damned things! If your forks seals are leaking then they were going to anyway or you cranked them down so hard it's ridiculous. You need no more than maybe a 1/4 to a 1/3 of your suspension to be compressed for your bike to be 100% secure. If you're still worried about it, bleed the pressure out of your forks during transport and then equalize it again after unloading. It is like people not using a torque wrench and wondering why they strip/break bolts and somehow it's the manufacturer's weak product. :lame:

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Diagonally in the bed.  3 straps all loose AF.   Mountain roads, interstate, 1500mi trips, no matter it just stays put. 

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, SS109 said:

If you're still worried about it, bleed the pressure out of your forks during transport and then equalize it again after unloading. 

^^^^ This ^^^^

Oh, and definitely, positively, let the air back in before riding. 😉 

Edited by DaveCR

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Compress them too much and the back tire will lift up if you hit the brakes hard.

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I've been hauling dirt bikes from before the new fancy straps and never had a fork leakage caused by compressing the fork for transport because they are only compressed maybe half of their travel and seals seal better with more pressure. These same type of seals are also used on construction equipment and they don't leak.  

Anyway my experience from hauling with trailers and PUs is use 4 tie downs so if one fails the bike won't tip over. I use the 2" Ancra latch style on the front and 1 inch Ancra latch style on the rear and have never lost a bike.  The Ancra latch was developed to secure cargo on airplanes and got copied for our use.

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Is there anything wrong with putting the bike in the bed diagonal and just strapping the foot pegs down. Hadn't seen this before but my friend brought his bike home to LA from Utah that way. Said it moved around a bit but obviously no compression of the fork. New here too, excited to learn and pick up an new bike soon. Sold my first one, a crf250r last year and miss riding.

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20 minutes ago, LASurf said:

Is there anything wrong with putting the bike in the bed diagonal and just strapping the foot pegs down. Hadn't seen this before but my friend brought his bike home to LA from Utah that way. Said it moved around a bit but obviously no compression of the fork. New here too, excited to learn and pick up an new bike soon. Sold my first one, a crf250r last year and miss riding.

If you use good anchor points it does not need to be compressed much.  Anchor points higher up on the bed sides provide more lateral support and less downward pull.  I use two straps on the bars and nothing else.  If I am going to be jumping cattle guards or railroad crossings I will tighten them up a bit.

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47 minutes ago, LASurf said:

Is there anything wrong with putting the bike in the bed diagonal and just strapping the foot pegs down. 

That is close to what the Risk Racing "lock and load" system does, it holds the footpegs, the forks and rear suspension are not under much load at all.

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3 hours ago, Steven Nadeau said:

I often load my bike in the truck and drive to the other end of town. The way I strap the bike down is by running 2 ratchet straps (1 around each side of the handlebar) to the box of the truck which ends up compressing the front suspension quite a bit. I know I can make / buy a fork saver to put between the tire and the plastic but is there  a better method to strap down? 

Buy the thing,

Make sure you follow the axle alignment procedure, and clean your fork stancions with a rag after washing or riding with mud, put a fresh rag folded into a strip over a bottle of 3w fork oil turn it upside down for 1 second so it wets a spot, use it to shammy the stancions and then use another rag to buff it off, your seals will last much longer this way. Water spots, and axle misalignment destroy for seals and bushings 

3 hours ago, crypto666 said:

The forks on my bike are made to be compressed and so no damage has ever occured from strapping my bike down.

 

Pretty much the seal system is capable of sealing a ton of pressure,

but high performance springs don't actually love being compressed...  but the change in rate from long term compession should be pretty low

But many race vehicles are stored off the springs from this concern.

3 hours ago, Rod21 said:

Hmmm, I'm curious about this as well ... bought a used bike and forks were not leaking, after a few rides and a few truck transports for bringing home and VIN inspection, left fork was leaking after a ride. Never leaked statically in garage? 

Thought I may have tied her down too tight?

I wonder if loosening the atmospheric bleed ports would help during transport?

See above

3 hours ago, AndrewK said:

I used a 4x4 between the fender and the tire, one end has a piece of foam attached (the fender side) and the other end I cut a notch in to cradle the tire a bit... Nothing too precise. I have it cut to a length so the forks compress maybe an inch or so. I like knowing my forks aren't under much compression for long periods of time in the truck or trailer (sometimes 3-4 hours). I also like how stable the bike is when strapped down this way. My other straps go from the foot pegs down to the bed. 

They make plastic ones pretty cheap

3 hours ago, burntvalves said:

yes, use regular tie down straps instead of the ratcheting variety.

Would make no difference?

2 hours ago, SS109 said:

Ah, yes, the fork support, the useless invention for a non-existent problem. I have run ratchet straps for over a decade now. I've had Kawasaki, Yamaha, GasGas, Honda, and KTM's all strapped down in my truck without issue. One Kawasaki lived in the bed of my truck, literally, for weeks on end, over a years time, and only unstrapped when I was riding it, and yet no problems. Go figure.

As typical, if you're having a problem with fork seals when strapping your bike down then quit over tightening the damned things! If your forks seals are leaking then they were going to anyway or you cranked them down so hard it's ridiculous. You need no more than maybe a 1/4 to a 1/3 of your suspension to be compressed for your bike to be 100% secure. If you're still worried about it, bleed the pressure out of your forks during transport and then equalize it again after unloading. It is like people not using a torque wrench and wondering why they strip/break bolts and somehow it's the manufacturer's weak product. :lame:

Its not useless, it let's you strap the bike down solid.  Without the strut if the bike suspension compresses as you go through a dip or whoops with the truck the straps go slack and the bike can move, tilt, turn, fall over.....

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I’m still new to this but tbh seems you don’t have to crank it down much at all. Couple pulls and feel it... if the bikes not moving then I don’t see the worry, and chances are you didn’t compress the forks more then 1/4 of there travel. Even half down seems so over kill. I mean the bikes like 230-250lbs a bit of tension is more then enough. But I’m still a noob 🤷‍♂️ 

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4 hours ago, Rod21 said:

Hmmm, I'm curious about this as well ... bought a used bike and forks were not leaking, after a few rides and a few truck transports for bringing home and VIN inspection, left fork was leaking after a ride. Never leaked statically in garage? 

Thought I may have tied her down too tight?

I wonder if loosening the atmospheric bleed ports would help during transport?

Nope... 

🤦

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