lugg'n your bike around!

so here i am load'n our bikes into the back of the truck, and this one guy i ride with has this thing for rench'n down on the die-downs like he was expecting to be driving through a tornado on the way home. and everytime i'm looking at how compressed this guy has my forks and i nearly have a heartattack. so i give him sh@t loosen the strapes off quite alot, and it still hold good. (nice and snug - not to tight) but what i would like to know is - does having the tie-downs on so tight cause damage the fork seals? alot of riders out there are talk'n about fork seals - but could this be just a coincidence? or maybe related? what do you guys say is the best way to lug a bike in the back of a truck?

Toe: My own experience with over tightening the tie downs was when I left my old bike (XR400) tied down snugly overnight. In that case, I did in fact blow out a fork seal. However, I've heard the same things as have you: That such overtightening of the tie downs can lead to seal failure even while the machine is tied down for short periods. But, like so many urban legends, I've yet to meet anyone who has actually had a seal fail in transit because thier tie downs were too tight. As I'm sure you've seen, there are several products out in the aftermarket that limit the amount of fork compression while your machine is tied down. So, perhaps there is something to the legend.

I use a fork saver shaped like a "t" that really helps keep the forks from compressing on tie down. I used to use two 2" X 4"s cut to 10 1/2" and screwed together. It fit perfectly and worked well. Bryan has a fork saver that straps around the forks for saftey. My "t" shaped one fits up against the forks which is also very safe.

My buddy Mike always compresses his front fender to his tire on tie down. I just look at him like he is insane.


Dougie, '99 WR400

Mods: YZ timing, Race Tech Suspension, FMF PC IV, FMF Hi FLo Moto, YZ seat, IMS 3.3 tank, One Industries Graphics, Renthal bars, 14/52 gearing.

I use to use two 2x4's screwed together to wedge between my fork legs while tied down. Now what I do is snug up on the front tie downs slightly. I have tie downs holding my front and rear tires in place. The trick is to use tie downs hooked onto the frame or footpegs connected straight out to the truck bed/trailer sides. The bike is essentially locked in. When I carry my neighbors KTM, I have my WR's ouboard side tied to the trailer side rails, the Katooms outboard side tied to the trailer side rails and the two bikes tied to each other. Talk about rigid!! Works great. AND, your suspension is hardly even compressed. It may be an overkill, but I have dropped two bikes in my history of trailers. The first time was my DT250 Yamaha dragging on the road at about 25mph. The second was my YZ465 while leaving the MX track. Both times having the wheels tied down prevented the bikes from falling off the trailers! If a bike fell off the trailer on the interstate, and a busload of school kids were killed trying to avoid the bike in the road, guess who would be to blame?? And then guess who might have a hard time dealing with that fact??

The big thing is to not use Walmart tie downs in the critical areas. They cannot withstand any damage. I use ANCRA's. They are pricey, but are alot cheaper than bike repairs, (the other)car repairs or a bunch of head stones and a life time of depression and guilt.

[This message has been edited by Kevin in New Hampshire (edited 05-12-2000).]

In 30 years of hauling my bikes it is still 2 tie downs angled 45 degrees down and no blocking the wheel. If the fork seal is going to leak, it will do so regardless. The pressure in the fork is an integral part of your suspension. That is why oil height is adjustable as a tuning feature. We used to have air valves on top of the fork caps.

Since a bike falling off a trailer would "Never Happen to me", the first time it falls off is always the toughest lesson. I will refrain from saying, "See, I told you so" when it does.

Although the seals are designed to take the increase in pressure (for short periods of time), hydro-ing the seals for hours on end is really unnecessary.

To replace the seals you will need the seals, $30.00(?) and a seal driver, $65.00. Or you can have a shop do it, $60.00. Of course the second time you blow your seals, you have just spent more than you would have the first time buying the seal driver.


99 WR

My friend's '00 KX250 blew both front fork seals in transit to our riding area. It was the bikes first day out and he had the fork compressed pretty hard.

I've ridden my wr once or twice a week for the past 15 months, each time cranking down on the tie downs hard. I've never had a fork seal leak on this bike. Why would the forks being compressed 2/3 of the way have any effect on the seals? Wouldn't bottoming them out hard on a big landing be a lot more pressure?


'99 WR400

'92 GSXR 7/11

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I've tried the Acerbis fork saver. It worked fine until the one day that the gap in the knobs of the front tire didn't line up just right. The fork saver ended up flexing because it wasn't right in line with the forks. I went around a corner crossing a gutter and the forks compressed with the fork saver tossing the tie down. I saw it in the rear view mirror and slowed down (but didn't get a chance to stop) before the bike hit the road. Damage done: Acerbis Rally Pro guard bent and ground down by pavement, hole in side number plate from dragging along pavement, scraped up rear fender, bent fender support on trailer. I now cinch down the tie downs as much as required to keep it from moving. Fork seals are cheaper than hand guards and plastic.


That hurts just thinking about it!

With only one set of tie downs the back end of the machine moves around a lot, especially around bouncy corners.

I now use 2 sets of tie downs - one on the handle bars moderately cinched down and a second set on the frame to secure the rear of the machine. This really does the trick, even when cornering the truck at high speed over rough terrain. A second set of tie downs is cheap and easy.

Eric in WA

My 2 bits worth (allowing for the dollar difference)...

I have a block of wood that with a half inch thick piece of rubber attached on one end, and about a ten inch section of an old rear bike tyre (that I cut up with a circular saw - sheesh that was interesting...!!) attached on the other end. The bit of old tyre goes over and grabs hold of the front tyre, the bit of rubber at the other end goes up against the inside of the front guard between the fork legs and bingo you pull it down tight - the total length is about the same as the fork travel minus an inch. She dont budge one iyota.

I also strap the front and rear wheel in place (if the ties downs let go all she'll do is lean over - not fall out).



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