Trailering the bike - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 46 Old 03-20-2017, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Trailering the bike

It looks like I'll be picking up a 2012 Wee on Saturday, located about 3 hours away. The weather's looking iffy enough here in the upper Midwest that I don't think I'll be riding it home. So I expect to trailer it back.

I've only trailered a bike once before, and it was for a drive of less than an hour. That was my first bike, a Honda Nighthawk. I nosed it into the front corner of my trailer, put it up on the center stand and strapped the bejesus out of it. Still, I spent a lot of time looking in the rearview mirror to make sure it hadn't fallen over. Since then, I've heard horror stories about center stands giving way and bikes toppling over during trailering.

My trailer is a pretty standard 4x8 with a wood deck and an open rail around the edges, about 12" high.

Tonight, I bought a wheel chock from a guy via craigslist that I plan to install before the weekend. So that will hopefully help secure the front wheel. I also have some D-rings that I'll be adding to the deck as well.

I also plan to make a run to the hardware store to pick up some extra tie-downs.

The bike I'm getting has a center stand. Plus, it has the tipover bars and Givi rack. So I figure there are ample places to attach my straps.

Any suggestions on the best approach to strapping it down?

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post #2 of 46 Old 03-20-2017, 09:04 PM
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Canyon dancers are your friends. Just make sure to loosen them up once you are complete. I know a couple of riders have blown out fork seals by compressing it pretty good and then driving 10 or 12 hours.

Definitely DO NOT put the bike up on the center stand! You are taking away the bikes own suspension capabilities. Ain't no shock on that center stand!

Bring some old towels or t-shirts and utilize them if you must have your tie downs touching any part of your bike (especially bodywork). If tied down right, that won't be an issue.

Drive for about 10 miles or 20 miles, pull over and recheck everything. I too, glance incessantly in the rearview expecting to see my bike flying off the bed of my truck when I tow it that way (I have an enclosed bike trailer as well).

Good luck!
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post #3 of 46 Old 03-20-2017, 09:25 PM
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Ditto on NOT using the centerstand. And make sure your D-rings are far enough apart to give you a good angle for the tie down straps. On the rear wheel you only need a line to each side to keep the bike in pretty much a straight line when you jump that curb ... doesn't have to be lashed down vertically. Let the suspension work, front and rear.
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post #4 of 46 Old 03-20-2017, 09:47 PM
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this from my. experience

no stands in use
tie downs to lower fork triple and to rear luggage rack
compress your suspension a bit
do not use open hook cheap tie downs unless you separately tie each hook to its attachment point, else at least one will come loose ( from experience)

a set of captive hook tie downs is GREAT peace of mind

Current Bike: 2007 ABS Wee, rebuilt forks with Cogent DDC, Elka rear shock, tapered roller steering stem bearings, fork brace, Admore top box lights, LED side-only turn indicator lights, Powerlet outlet, frame sliders, Givi windscreen, Givi top box.

Prior Bikes: 2003 EX250, 2007 DL650 (non-ABS)
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post #5 of 46 Old 03-20-2017, 09:55 PM
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If you are fitting and using the front wheel chock ensure that you secure the rear wheel as well. I used to run a dog collar around the angle iron runners and bottom of the wheel to strap the wheel to the trailer but as you have a wooden deck maybe a tiedown from rear corner to rear corner looping through and around the wheel where it touches the trailer.

Does your wheel chock actually grab the front wheel or do you need to strap in in as well? It's best if you can secure both wheels to the trailer and then allow it to move on its suspension.

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post #6 of 46 Old 03-20-2017, 10:09 PM
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One strap around the middle fork crossover on each side will keep bike from falling over, then you add a couple of straps at the back around the swingarm and secure it. Wheel chock is a good idea. Bike remains on wheels as mentioned, no stands.

Most important, do not put a tarp on it, the tarp will tear your paint off no matter how tight you think you have it. Let it get dirty and wash it after.
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post #7 of 46 Old 03-20-2017, 10:58 PM
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As others have said use the lower triple clamp to secure the front and you should also secure the rear very well in case you are unfortunate enough to rear-end another vehicle on the way home, it stops your new bike landing on the roof of your tow vehicle.

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post #8 of 46 Old 03-20-2017, 11:02 PM
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Trailering the bike

I use these "soft" tie downs. The red part loops around the attachment point on the bike so it won't scratch your baby. The higher you you place the tie downs on the bike, the more leverage they have to keep the bike from tipping over. I like to put them on the handle bars (on the bottom bend by the risers) when possible. You may be able to secure the straps from the handle bars to the top rail on your trailer. Just don't mess up any wires or cables. You could also put a second pair on the rear grab handles. The suspension should be partially compressed but not bottomed out. It's actually much easier and more secure than you are anticipating. The wheel chock is a good idea As previously stated do not use the center stand

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post #9 of 46 Old 03-20-2017, 11:02 PM
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All good advise. If you think you need protection from the elements:

1. Put a soft bedsheet (or several) over the area to be protected and secure with bungees
2. Put thin and flimsy drop cloth PVC foil over all.
3. Followed by another set of bedsheets and more bungees.

This setup will prevent any damage to the finish but will also keep the salt of the bike. If it's just wet I wouldn't worry since you will ride in the rain as well. Salt spray is a different matter.

I had the dealer help me securer mine. Just 4 decent strength tie downs, 2 going forward, 2 going back, moderately tight, no stands. I used separate Nylon tie down loops around the subframe and the fork tubes, they are no scratch. Drove over 200 miles. Check the tie-downs in case they get wet, they tend to stretch a little when wet!n
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Last edited by blaustrom; 03-20-2017 at 11:09 PM.
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post #10 of 46 Old 03-20-2017, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Brockie View Post
Does your wheel chock actually grab the front wheel or do you need to strap in in as well? It's best if you can secure both wheels to the trailer and then allow it to move on its suspension.
The chock I got doesn't grab the wheel. It's pretty much just U-shaped chrome tubing I can bolt into the deck. So I'll want to secure that too.

Very similar to this.

When I got home tonight, I test-fitted the chock on my Concours. The tubing rubbed against the front brake disks a bit. Is that likely to be a problem with the V-Strom as well? If so, I may try to bend the tubing down or splay it apart a bit, as I don't want to damage the disks.

If it's a good day to wash the bike, it's a better day to ride the bike.
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