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How To Tie Down A Motorcycle

Chaparral Motorsports
October 4, 2015
Last Updated: June 12, 2020

Many motorcycles can be damaged by bad tie-down jobs. It's a tragedy that never needs to happen. It can also be a safety hazard to other drivers on the road if your bike in not secured properly. Here's what you need to know to tie down your motorcycle:

1) Hook the Motorcycle Tie-Down Straps to the Handlebar

Hook the tie-downs to the handlebar or to the upper or lower triple clamp. The triple clamp anchor point is easier if you use a pair of nylon loops (soft ties). Loop the soft tie around the clamp first, load the bike, then attach the tie-down hook. Attach the other end of the tie-down hook to the anchor point in the truck bed. Also check out the Canyon Dancer Bar Harness to make this step easier. Watch the video below for a guide on this helpful tie down tool. You can also wrap soft loops around the base of the left and right side handle bars. Soft loops are straps that keep the hooks of your ratchet straps off of your motorcycle to prevent scratching. If you choose to use soft hooks, hook your ratchet straps to the other end of your soft loops on the handle bars. Ratchet straps are made for standard tie down applications and help keep your motorcycle firmly secured.

2) Put the Motorcycle on its Side Stand and Slightly Tighten the Left Tie-Down

Put the motorcycle on its side stand and tighten the left tie-down. It doesn't need to be drum-tight yet-just remove the slack. You can also use a motorcycle wheel chock to help stand the motorcycle in position.

3) Push the Motorcycle to the Right and Slightly Tighten the Right Tie-Down

Push the bike over to the right side. With the left tie-down already snug, the front suspension will be compressed. This spring force is what's going to keep everything snug and in place. When the bike is upright, snug down the right tie-down. Here again, we would suggest using a pop chock stand to help keep the motorcycle in an upright position, but be able to secure it properly.

4) Keep the Motorcycle Straight Up and Down

Keep the bike straight up and down, not leaned over to either side, and don't pull the tie-downs too tautly; compress only about half the travel in the front suspension. Tighten the straps too much can cause damage.

5) Secure a Second Set of Motorcycle Tie Down Straps to the Anchor Point on the Truck/Trailer Bed

To keep the rear end of the bike from bouncing around, take a second set of tie-downs and run them from an anchor point in the bed, around the rear wheel, and over to an anchor on the right side. All you're trying to control is lateral (side to side) movement here.

6) Wrap a the Second Set of Tie Downs around the Rear Motorcycle Wheel

Double check all four straps. Make sure that each one is tight and hasn't become loose during the process of tying down your motorcycle.

7) Double Check All Tie Downs and Secure Them Tightly

Be sure to use durable tie-downs with thick webbing, strong hooks, and aggressive spring buckles. Two pair will give you four anchor points. For added security, Chaparral also offers Locking Tiedowns called Lockstraps that secure your vehicle from theft. Periodically check the straps. If you're going for a long drive, get out of your car or truck occasionally and assess your motorcycle's position. Adjust the straps if the motorcycle has shifted.

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