The Complete Motorcycle Tie Down Securement Guide

Published on 09/05/19

Dirtbike being loaded into the back of a pickup truck

In today’s guide, we will be going over some of the securement experts tips on securing your motorcycle in the back of a Pickup Truck or Trailer. These are tips that have been used widely throughout the shipping industry and have been proven to be the best ways to keep your bike secured throughout your next trip.

One of the many challenges that occur when shipping motorcycles is the need to balance your vehicle on top of securing. If the weight is not balanced the bike poses a risk to tip over which could cause damage to paint, fenders, or other various parts such as the handlebars. Depending on the amount of damage these damages can be very slight and not noticeable or could require a complete replacement part that could be quite costly.

No matter if you plan on securing a Dirtbike, Sports Bike, Harley, Scooter, or a Tricycle the same rules apply when securing your motorcycle. You will want to make sure firstly that you always find the straps that are safely rated for your applications weight limitations.

Motorcycle Being Tied Down On A Motorcycle Trailer

Steps to Secure your Motorcycle on a Trailer or Pickup Truck Bed

The best way to secure your motorcycle may vary on the trailer size, pickup truck bed, or the hardware that you are using to secure your motorcycle. However, the majority of the steps will apply to most motorcycle securement guides for any motorcycle, dirtbike, sports glide, Harley, or similar make.

Supplies you will need include
• (4) 2-inch Ratchet Straps with snap hooks or preferred hardware with proper working load limit tags on each strap
• Motorcycle Wheel Chock to prevent the motorcycle from moving forward
• A Ramp if you are planning on putting your motorcycle in the back of a pickup truck or trailer
• (2) Handlebar Straps or Soft Loop Straps to provide balance – You can also check out our Handlebar strap if you prefer to have all of these straps into a bundle for an affordable price here

• First, start off with finding at least four different tie-down straps that fit the load limitations of your motorcycle. You will want to pick straps that can be hooked into place and tightened with a ratchet strap in most cases. If your tie-down straps of choice do not have a working load limit they are unsafe to use and should not be used to secure your motorcycle. You will want to look for options such as at least two soft loops or handlebar straps and four ratchet straps.

• Next, you will want to use a Motorcycle Wheel Chock to keep the Motorcycle balanced during securement, as well as providing a securement stopping point. The motorcycle chock can help prevent the motorcycle from moving forward during transportation that could ultimately cause damage. To use the Motorcycle Chock you will want to push the front tire of the motorcycle into the motorcycle wheel chock. If you decide to tie down a motorcycle without a chock you will want to provide balance to each one one of the handlebars with the kickstand down if possible. Once the straps are beginning to be tightened you want to make sure that the kickstand is put back up into its upward position.

• Next, it is time to load your motorcycle into the bed of the pickup truck by using a motorcycle ramp, or by using a ramp to load the motorcycle into the back of a pickup trailer. Some of the best industry tips would include using a buddy to make things much easier, but if someone is not available to help using a motorcycle wheel chock to hold the motorcycle into place to give you time to secure your handlebars tied down first.

• Attach one handlebar strap to each side of the handlebar and continue to hook the straps into the ratchet straps into place until the bike is balanced and secured using your four tie-down straps, two handlebar straps, and wheel chock are applied. Once the motorcycle is tied down you will want to use the ratchets handle to tighten the ratchet straps into place. You want a firm strap with very little slack when tying down a motorcycle. However, you do not want to tighten the ratchet strap too tightly that it could damage the motorcycle, so you will want to use your best judgment when tightening.

Motorcycle Securement

Things to Avoid When Securing Your Motorcycle

1). Avoid cheap tie-down straps, wheel chocks, or ramps that could cause extreme damage to your motorcycle or the safety of other motorists who are sharing the roadways with.

2). Avoid placing your ratchet strap on paint, chrome, rim, exhaust, or fender that could become damaged when tightening your straps. The Ratchet’s Metal Hardware can easily cause damage if you are not careful, some customers will use Cordura or Wool Sleeves to help prevent the tie down from creating any minor scratches. You can also use a Moving Blanket or a piece of fabric to prevent the surface from becoming damaged.

3). Motorcycles can be extremely heavy when you are loading them in the back of a pickup truck bed as it is extremely steep. You will want to use someone else if you are able in order to keep the motorcycle from tipping over on the motorcycle ramp. You should never ride your motorcycle into the back of a pickup truck bed as it can be incredibly dangerous. You can avoid this by finding a hill that you can use a ramp on or the tailgate of the pickup truck in order to avoid some of the weight of the motorcycle getting into the truck bed.

If you have any questions regarding any of our Motorcycle Straps or if you need product recommendations for what works best for your application you can contact our experts by using our contact us form located at the top of our website or by giving us a call at 800-483-2189 today. Our Motorcycle Experts are standing by and are willing to help in any way that we can to make your next move easier.

Above is a helpful guide from our friends over at Bikes Boats Bivouacs for those who prefer to see a video on the right ways to secure a motorcycle and the things to avoid. Some of the key tips pointed out in the video is the importance of buying a wheel chock, as well as the appealing 20 dollar price point that makes it affordable to avoid any potential damage. Not only does Bike Boats Bivouacs show in the video how to secure your motorcycle, but he also shows you how to find securement points along the rails of the trailer and the does and don’ts of the motorcycle transporting industry.

Some of the things you will want to make sure to follow as a reference is checking that your motorcycle tie downs are tight after a few miles of transporting. Tie Down Webbing if wet can stretch causing your motorcycle to slowly become loose. As the air drys the straps out the motorcycle will become locked into place. So a good rule of thumb is after several miles to check your tie-down straps and usually, every 45 minutes to 60 minutes afterward is a good reference for safety.

Another useful tip is to store your Motorcycle Straps inside of a dry location without being out in direct sunlight. Sunlight, mold & mildew, and moisture can damage your motorcycle tie down straps strength from the elements. You can prevent this from happening by putting them in a duffle bag, sock, or by storing them inside of a box neatly inside of a truck.

If you notice any type of burns on your tie down straps you will want to replace the straps as they are unsafe to use. Most burns on polyester tie down webbing come from sharp edges that cause friction which could cause burns in webbing that create weak spots. Chances are if you catch the sharp edge on the webbing in time you might be able to save the strap or at least part of the tie down strap by using replacement straps.