How to protect motorcycle in an open trailer? | Citizenshipper

Ulhas Sukhare Ulhas Sukhare · Updated March 8, 2023

Many motorcyclists are concerned about carting their pride and joy in an open-air trailer. There’s not only weather to contend with, but loose straps, bumpy roads and sharp turns as well. It’s one thing to ride a motorcycle through these conditions, but another to transport it helplessly on a trailer. The worst thing would be to arrive at your destination and find the motorcycle overturned, damaged or, worst case scenario, missing. 

Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to ensure that never happens to your hog. Following a few ground rules you can be sure your motorcycle will arrive in the same condition as it left. Millions of motorcycles are transported in open-air trailers on US roads yearly, and a little bit of caution will stop you from being one of the small minority who rue ever setting off.

So if you’re reading this, good for you. It shows you care about your motorcycle, and that caution goes a long way. Fear not, however, since we’ve got you covered. If you want to shift your motorcycle safely, make sure you abide by the simple rules below.

Here’s How to protect your motorcycle on an open trailer ?

1. Protection from bumpy roads, sharp turns and sudden acceleration

The key to protecting your motorcycle from these hardships is to keep it absolutely secure. There should be no leeway at all in how the motorcycle is tied down. Knowing this is the easy bit, knowing how to achieve it requires a little knowhow.

To get your motorcycle on board the trailer to begin with, visit this article for more information.

A friend to hold the motorcycle upright as you tie it down will be a great help to you. If you’re on your own, don’t worry. You can use the kickstand. But you must remember to flick it back up before you set off. Otherwise you run the risk of the kickstand driving a dent in the trailer floor.

Now you’ll need to have two straps handy. Tie down straps are easy to find at most hardware stores and some garages. If you haven’t used them before, here’s what you do.

Tie one end of the strap to the side of the trailer in line with the front tire. You can begin with either side, there’s no difference.

Next tie the end of one strap to the trailer hook or loop. Tighten the knot as hard as you can – the less give the better. Almost every trailer will have special tie-down points for this purpose. Look for hooks or loops on the trailer before you begin.

Now, loop one strap around one of the front suspension tubes. Only loop around the tube, not the shock absorber, since the shock absorber is not strong enough for the task and may become damaged.

Once you have straps in place on both sides of the motorcycle, make sure the ratchets are as tight as they will go without causing damage. They should be taut enough that the motorcycle cannot fall over. If you’re worried that the straps may damage the bodywork, slide a cloth or garment between the strap and the motorcycle. This will not affect the tightness of the straps nor crack the paint work

Finally, secure the rear tyre to stop it from rolling. You can wrap a spare length of strap though it for this purpose, as long as it is secured from both sides of the trailer. Any other spare lengths of strap should be tied together or otherwise kept secure, to stop them flailing in the wind and hitting other vehicles as well as your own.

It’s also sensible to stop every 50-75 miles to inspect the motorcycle and ensure the straps are still as taut.

2. Protection from weather

If you’ve checked the forecast before setting off and are expecting rough conditions, you may be extra protective about your cargo.

If it looks like heavy rain or snow, a precaution you can take is to plug any open holes on your motorcycles (exhaust, intake, etc) with old socks or any type of rag. (Remember to remove them before starting your motorcycle!) Most of the time this won’t be necessary, but it’s a wise idea if you have pod filters instead of an air box.

A cover over your motorbike can seem like a good idea, especially if you’re concerned about grit or mud flying up at the bodywork. But in high winds this may not be wise. The wind may rub the cover over the bodywork, which can cause more cosmetic damage than mud, which you can wash off. And if grit gets under the cover on a windy trip, you might remove the cover to find more scratches than if you had never put one on.

A great solution to protect your bike from all weathers, without increasing drag or causing any damage, is to saran wrap the bodywork before loading and tying down. It’s a great lightweight solution.

And if you’re concerned about your motorcycle tank being scratched or dented by hail or anything else, you can detach it and store it in the backseat while you drive.

3. Professional protection

The safest way to transport a motorcycle in an open-air trailer is to hire a motorcycle transporter. The reason many motorcycle owners won’t is because they fear the cost. CitizenShipper has the solution. 

Because CitizenShipper is an online marketplace, prices are driven down by competition and you need not expect a hefty quote. You are also free to pick and choose which transporter you want, and you can contact them directly to ask about their trailer and their experience, if you wish.

So why wait? Post your shipment for free on CitizenShipper and find out very quickly what options you have. Remember to mention your motorcycle make and model, destination, origin and time frame, and let the marketplace do the rest.

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