Whether you’re taking your dirt bike to the mountains or to a garage, it needs to be secure. No point arriving at a Motocross park to discover your Yamaha YZ250 has been damaged by the journey – or worse, fell off along the way. Knowing how to tie down your dirt bike is as important as knowing how to ride it, if you intend to transport your dirt bike long distance. Your dirt bike will thank you for finding out.
To secure a dirt bike on a trailer or truck bed, you will need:
- A trailer or truck bed
- A loading ramp
- Two ratchet straps
- A friend or neighbor
The first step to securing your dirt bike for a long haul is loading into position. For this you will need a ramp. If you don’t own a ramp and don’t plan to buy one, here’s a guide on how to build your own. All you need are some DIY equipment, some lumber and confidence in your woodworking abilities.
Let’s say you do have a ramp and are ready to load.
Getting you dirt bike into position
First off, make sure the ramp is on a level surface before you begin – tarmac or concrete preferably. That way, there is a minimal risk of the dirt bike tipping on its way up.
It can help to position the trailer and ramp on a sloping surface, so that gravity will help to push the dirt bike up the incline. If your dirt bike is heavier than average, this is especially helpful! Another tip is to use a loading dock (or other raised surface / platform) to help reduce the steepness of the ramp.
Here’s where that friend or neighbor comes in – and the more the merrier. Don’t be a hero: the more hands you have helping you (up to a point) the easier and safer this stage is. Two is the ideal number: One to hold the dirtbike on the other side of the ramp, to stop it tipping one way or the other, and a second to greet the dirt bike as it enters the trailer, truck bed or van interior.
Now the dirt bike is in position, it’s time to tie it down.
Tying down your dirt bike
If possible, retain one person to help you with this process too. It’s much easier with two, at least the initial step. The friend or neighbor can hold the dirt bike upright while you do the tying down. Using a kickstand is fine also, but remember the bike should be exactly vertical when the tying down is complete. And if you use a kickstand, remember to flick it up before you drive off, otherwise it can gouge a hole in the trailer or truck bed, or van floor.
You will need two tie-down straps, which you can find at any hardware store. Tie one end of the strap to the side of the truck bed or van interior in line with the front tire. Next tie the end of one strap to the trailer body. Then tighten the knot to keep it secure. Most trucks will have special tie-down points for this purpose. Look for hooks or loops on the trailer/bed/floor before you begin.
Loop one strap around either of the front suspension tubes. Start with the one on the same side that you tied the first strap. Loop around the tube, taking care not to loop around the shock absorber. The shock absorber is not strong enough to restrain your dirt bike.
Then tighten the ratchet! Make sure it is as tight as it will go without damaging your dirt bike. Repeat the same procedure on the other side of your dirt bike. They should be taut enough that the dirt bike cannot fall over. Don’t be afraid to give it an experimental push to make sure of this.
If you’re concerned the straps may damage the bodywork, slip a cloth or garment between the strap and the part in question. This will protect the bodywork without sacrificing the tightness of the straps.
When tying down the rear of the dirt bike, you can loop around the rear tyre to make absolutely sure the dirt bike will not roll in transit.
And that’s it! Your dirt bike is now secure, and you’re ready to get moving.
That’s the DIY method of dirt bike transportation. If you’re looking for an easier way, there are plenty of dirt bike transportation pros ready to use their expertise, experience and equipment to get your dirt bike from A to B safely and on time. And it won’t hurt your wallet to let them!
Using CitizenShipper to ship your dirt bike
The safest way to transport a dirt bike is to hire a motorcycle transporter. 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 contact them directly to ask about their equipment and experience.
Post your shipment for free on CitizenShipper and receive quotes today. Mention your motorcycle make and model, destination, origin and time frame, and let the marketplace take it from there!
Featured Image Credit: itstillruns.com
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