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how tight to strap down bike on trailer?

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I'm using ratchet straps to pull down on the handlebars, compressing the front suspension against the front stop of the trailer

I always figured I'd just crank it down as tight as it could go, but read somewhere on the forum that it's not good to have the forks compressed completely like that?

Can anyone provide some advice?

I'm considering installing a turnbuckle system on my trailer to clip the bikes down by the foot pegs, but these types of "unnecessary" projects always seem to fall to the back burner

thanks!

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I have a plastic fork support (I bought mine, but they can be made pretty easily) that goes in between the tire and fender. I just tighten the straps down until it is tight, but the support keeps the suspension from taking all of the load.

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well if you don't tighten it all the way, the suspension will bounce and th bike won't be tight against the truck, potentially falling over. so i make it as tight as i can. but i've been getting worried about my forks too. they have this new product that does what supafreak says. but i never get around to getting one. i think next time i will just throw a good size log in there between the tire and front fender and then strap it down.

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Made my own fork support out of ABS tube I had left over from doing some plumbing around the house. You can also use a piece of 2x4 cut to the right length and contour of the fender and tire.

Your forks will thank you - springs should not stay compressed for extended periods, as well, the seals don't usually like it either.

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Cut a piece of ABS or PVC pipe to fill the gap between the tire and the front fender then tighten down the straps enough to press into the tire without going so far as to cause a pinch flat.

The ABS or PVC pipe is much more secure than the manufactured supports in that the knobbies grip the pipe from inside and outside to keep it from slipping.

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I just have to drive 3 miles to wear i go riding. But i try to strap it down like Half way. Not as tight as it gets but not very loose either. Right about in the middle

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I've carted around dozens of bikes hundreds of miles over the years ranging from XL80's up to 1100cc cruisers, and even a Gold Wing.

I've always done what kingquad mentions - not fully clamped down, but about 1/2 to 3/4 of whatever travel the bike in question has. They don't move or go anywhere.

You'd have to hit some serious bumps to get gravity / momentum to compress the bike alone further than an already-half-compressed front end. I think it'd be dern near impossible... Or, if you did, that'd probably be the least of your worries at that point.

Just my 2 cents.

Kirk

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Tightening it halfway like they have mentioned does work. I used to get it just tight enough that the bike didn't want to rock easily (before I got the fork support). I did modify my straps so that when the suspension sank a bit they didn't become slack and come unhooked.

DSC01270.jpg

DSC01271.jpg

300lb rated biner clips were $2.50 each at Home Depot.

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thanks for the tips guys. I have a bunch of ABS left over from some plumbing I did recently, so I'll cut a section to let me strap it down tight without compressing the forks all the way

I also have my straps attached with locking caribiners, since my neck was getting sore constantly looking back at the trailer to make sure the hooks hadn't bounced off heh

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We cut a 2x4 piece of wood to about 8 or so inches and put it between the tire and the fender. Cheapest way that I know of. Been doing it that way for 15+ years.

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The fork savers do work well and may be easier to work with, but you will NOT harm the bike by compressing the suspension.

1. It will not harm the seals.

2. It will not harm the springs. (The springs generally fatigue because of the number of cycles they are put through, not because they are left compressed.)

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The fork savers do work well and may be easier to work with, but you will NOT harm the bike by compressing the suspension.

1. It will not harm the seals.

2. It will not harm the springs. (The springs generally fatigue because of the number of cycles they are put through, not because they are left compressed.)

THANK YOU! It's refreshing to read something correct on a forum.

The bike bouncing out thing can happen, especially if you drive like a jackass over pot-holed gravel roads. A guy I know did it. But He's a jackass.

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Tighten as hard as you can.

The punishment form you riding the bike is far worse for the seals that while in transit.

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i made this so now i dont have to use tiedowns just bolt it through the left hand foot rest

I'm intrigued, can you post a pic of the bike on the trailer?

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I'm intrigued, can you post a pic of the bike on the trailer?

bike and trailer have been well and truely crash tested

took bike on trailer over speed humps at a totaly stupid speed had the car bottom out and the trailer leap about 18'' in the air ..im glad to say the bike didnt move an inch:thumbsup: 👍 it would have made a great video

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I've carted around dozens of bikes hundreds of miles over the years ranging from XL80's up to 1100cc cruisers, and even a Gold Wing.

I've always done what kingquad mentions - not fully clamped down, but about 1/2 to 3/4 of whatever travel the bike in question has. They don't move or go anywhere.

You'd have to hit some serious bumps to get gravity / momentum to compress the bike alone further than an already-half-compressed front end. I think it'd be dern near impossible... Or, if you did, that'd probably be the least of your worries at that point.

Just my 2 cents.

Kirk

Guess it's simply amazing what us older fella's use to do and still get where we needed to be without damaging our bikes...Pull down (Ankra) tie downs are my weapons of choice...if it's an open trailer I use to tie the bikes together "just in case" one of the tie downs breaks and they do and one did!!!

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The fork savers do work well and may be easier to work with, but you will NOT harm the bike by compressing the suspension.

1. It will not harm the seals.

2. It will not harm the springs. (The springs generally fatigue because of the number of cycles they are put through, not because they are left compressed.)

Exactly...I addressed this in another thread however, didn't get any positive responses. Guess most of the guys want to go out and buy "added extras"!

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