Whether you use a truck, trailer or van to transport your motorcycle, there are several pieces of equipment that are essential to ensure safe loading and transportation. Without them, you will likely cause damage to your vehicle or yourself while trying to load and secure your equipment.
Loading Ramp – In order to get your motorcycle into the truck, trailer or van you are using, you will need to use the proper ramp. This will ensure safe loading for both your vehicle and yourself. Wood planks, etc. can bend, crack or collapse, causing your motorcycle to tilt or fall while loading.
Ratchet straps – are used to secure your motorcycle during transport. Cords or ropes are too flexible, allowing the bike to move around in the van and can also cause paint damage.
Wedges – you will need to place wedges in front of and behind the tires to prevent the motorcycle from shifting and to reduce tension on the straps.
Harness – this is used to secure the motorcycle’s handlebars during transport and protect them from damage.
Someone to help – loading a motorcycle onto a van, trailer or truck should be done by at least two people to ensure the safety of the motorcycle and also to prevent injury. A transportation exchange can also be helpful.
Although pushing your motorcycle into the back of a van may seem simple, the loading process poses a risk of damaging your motorcycle. If you’re careless or if you intend to do it yourself, you’re also putting yourself at risk for injuries that can often be dangerous. Limb snags, etc. can be extremely painful.
Secure the ramp – the ramp should have a rubber end that will rest on the van, and the metal end should rest evenly on the ground. Most ramps have a hook to which you can attach a strap. Attach the other end to the back of the van and tighten. This will prevent the ramp from slipping under the weight of the motorcycle.
Shift your motorcycleinto gear – if you normally leave your motorcycle in gear to stop it, you will need to shift it into gear to get it up the ramp.
Teamwork – when loading the motorcycle, one person should hold the handlebars while the other pushes the motorcycle from behind. When it’s near the top of the ramp (which is when it’s heaviest and most vulnerable), you’ll need to have someone pushing and pulling the equipment in the van to keep it stable, and importantly, so you’re not alone with all the weight of the vehicle.
Once the motorcycle is in the van, truck, or trailer, it needs to be secured. If it can shift or move during transport, you risk major damage, not only to the motorcycle itself, but also to everything it is transported with.
Raised stand – You cannot travel with the stand lowered as you risk damaging the motorcycle. It should be transported upright and should be supported by straps.
Place ch ocks – to prevent the motorcycle wheels from shifting or rocking, place chocks in front of the front wheel and behind the rear.
Attach the har ness – while you can attach the straps directly to the handlebars, doing so could risk damage during transport as the handlebars could break or be pulled by the tension of the straps. The harness should be attached to the motorcycle and the straps attached to the harness.
Tie-downstraps – attach one to each side of the harness, and also attach to the floor or wall of the van. Tighten to keep the motorcycle from moving.