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Putting motorcycle on a trailer

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Teak, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. I'm moving from Victoria to ACT next week and need to decide how I'm getting the bike up there (Honda CBR250R). My dad will be driving his car to transport most of my stuff. We need to work out whether I should just follow him and ride the motorbike, or if it's feasible to secure the bike on his trailer and have me ride in the car with him. I haven't done any long distance rides before, so riding the bike would add considerably to our travel time due to frequent rest stops, whereas both in the car we can just swap drivers and head straight from A to B with minimal disruptions.

    My dad and his partner reckon they can fit the bike on their trailer and tie it down. I'm not terribly confident that's a good idea though (my dad and his partner don't know anything about bikes- nor do I, really lol). It's a fairly small trailer, so may require turning the front wheel and/or placing the bike diagonally. What are people's thoughts on transporting a bike interstate with a trailer that's not designed for transporting a bike? We don't have any special equipment besides a bunch of ropes and carabiners. Can it be done? Is it a bad idea? Should I just ride the bike?
  2. TeakTeak it would come down to the trailer, how the bike is anchored and how confident you are in your ability to secure the bike (don't want it falling off @ 100kph if you hit a bump etc).

    Is it just a standard trailer or is it caged etc?
    I'd only tow it if i had a motorcycle trailer, but thats just me being paranoid.

    Personally, i would ride mine.. Although VIC to ACT is quite a haul, id rather do that than have my bike strapped to a normal trailer.
  3. A 6x4 trailer will mean that you'll to put the bike diagonally across, sharking space from whatever else you might like to carry. A 7x4 will allow you to put the bike on straight.
    Go to Bunnings and buy a pack of four ratchet straps and practice using them before the trip. You'll need to compress the front forks to about half compression, don't be tempted to go further because the bike will still need shock absorption to soak up the bumps the trailer passes through. For the rear wheel tie through it and tie off to each side of the trailer to stop the bike from bouncing front side to site as well as cinching it downwards as well.
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  4. #4 Zim, Jan 27, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2015
    You will struggle if its a 6ft x 4ft typical box trailer,doable but the tailgate wont close etc.A bit bigger is a lot better .
    It must have tiedown points.3 of you could lift it in,1 each side of the forks,a ramp is easier
    You can use ropes but you must know how to tie a truckys hitch.Proper bike tiedowns are less than $100 and are safer and easier.
    I put the bike snug into the drivers side front corner of the trailer and attach the tiedowns to the upper triple trees on each side just under the handlebars.Snug it down on the suspension firmly,you don't need to bottom the crap out of it,blowing forks seals can happen if you go nuts,just enough so it WILL NOT WIGGLE ABOUT.Try and get it nice and vertical.Then tie off the rear wheel,don't bother pulling the rear down,just stop it sliding about.Be careful you don't chafe anything with the tiedowns or have it rub to hard on easy to damage bike bits.
    Fairing make this stuff harder to do with damage.Check its still snug after a few ks,it becomes a lot easier after a couple of hundred goes at doing this.Dont use ratchet straps,they can be pulled way to hard and damage stuff.Just saw Hornets reply,not keen on ratchet straps,my first experience we with a set used on Hercules transport planes and after that I shied away.Overkill to me
  5. Why would you bother with tie downs and risk the blown fork seals?

    Can't you just use locking front wheel chock (like this one) and tyre down (the link)?

    All you need with this setup is to secure the front wheel with a small strap to ensure it can't jump out of the wheel chock.

    That should allow "natural" suspension movement and the bike should suffer much stress, especially over the longer distances.

    But I haven't used it so curious to hear if there are any disadvantages to this approach.
  6. TeakTeak - Seeing as you are moving will there be other stuff in the trailer, or is it going to be used solely for bike?

    Do you know size the trailer is , as you mention it being fairly small.
  7. Just checked the trailer and it's 6x3 feet. I think the bike will fit diagonally, but not straight.
  8. It will be just the bike in the trailer. Moving to a furnished place, so rest of the stuff I'm taking should fit inside the car.
  9. Blue sky idea - why not start your ride up the day before, take it nice and easy, lots of stops wherever you want. Sleep over at a motel somewhere halfway, and finish the trip next day at your leisure. Can't be more than 300km approx per day which is a breeze. You'll arrive in time to help unload!
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  10. Melbourne to Canberra is a 650km ride, not sure on your exact destination.

    You could easily do that in a day with rests however, as chillibuttonchillibutton mentioned you could ride to say Wodonga / Albury and stay over night..
  11. Never seen a blown fork seal in over thirty years of tying bikes down in trailers or vans....
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  12. I have,happened to me on an XT500,after that we used an empty 4l plastic oil container between the guard and the tyre.I then bought a purpose made aluminium prop with rubber faces made and sold just to stop that happening.Caught once so I avoid it a second time.That was a dirtbike with 300mm of soft travel,it needed a good pull before I started using Carabeenus to stop the hooks jumping off.Never happened to any road bikes but I wasn't trailering them down 50ks of firetrail with assorted big bumps.I expect there is a big difference when the road isn't actually a road if you get my drift.
  13. Teak you should ride up, be good experience for you.
    If your concerned about the distance, split it like like chillbutton suggested.
    Couple of easy days with an overnight stop over, be a good run.
  14. Yeah, leaning towards riding up at this stage. Making it a two day trip's not a bad idea.
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  15. Ride. How could you not want to?

    Kobo :cool:
  16. Little CBF250 was ridden from Melbourne to Sydney & back, Cant see why you cant ride to ACT!
  17. Kaneg 'trailermate' (or similar) is very useful if you did decide to use the trailer. You just need one for the front wheel and two tiedown straps. A ramp is also useful.
  18. Blown fork seals is a straight up fairy tale. The only way you will blow a fork seal is if you have a nick in the fork let that has already cut the seal. Putting a wheelie down a little too hard exerts more stress on the seals than anything else. When you compress the forks oil moves through the valves until the oil reaches an equilibrium above and below the valve. No force from fluid is exerted after that fact and the suspension can continue below that point But just cannot rebound past it
  19. Interesting,so when I bleed pressurised air out the shrader valve at the top of my forks after a big day off road thats not putting pressure on the seals.The forks that leaked were non cartridge and yes the bike was old and in poor nic but there was one hell of a lot of oil on the floor of my trailer.And we had been driving 50k of very rough fire trail,I actually broke the A frame front section off that same trailer on a recently bulldozed trail on one trip from it bouncing up and down and work hardening.Thats my experience,yours might differ.Anyway its just not necessary to pull them down to bottom them.
  20. TeakTeak you might want to check this THREAD

    They might be able to transport the bike for you if riding or towing isn't an option.