Friday, May 20, 2011

How to safely tie down a Boulevard C50T on a foot trailer?

The Points to tie it down are hard to find on the Boulevard.

Buy a Bike Pro wheel chock. That mounts to the floor of the trailer and a strap goes over the front wheel and allows one person to tie it down very easily. You attach to the handle bars running forward and also you have engine guards so you attach straps to them also running forward. Last you attach one around the back wheel to keep any side to side movement from happening. Tie them down drive around a bit and see if they are tight. You should be able to shake the bike as it is tied down and the bike/trailer will move together.

Just make sure you use good straps and they are attached to hard points on the bike, like where the frame is bolted to the engine....

Don't use the saddle bag or luggage rack points, they will get ripped off.

The best tools for that job are a series of tie-downs attached to the bike to pull it down and forward in the tow vehicle (preferably against a chock).

Tie-down straps come in two flavors-ratchet or cam buckle-style. Cam buckles use friction created by the strap as it passes through a spring-loaded, cam-shaped buckle to hold the strap in place. Ratchet straps operate in much the same manner, but with a ratchet buckle to progressively tighten the strap. Both allow you to secure the bike yourself and bump up tension on the suspension to reduce shock loading. Shock loading occurs when the vehicle hauling your bike hits a bump in the road, causing the bike's suspension to compress. When the suspension compresses, the straps go slack, but as it rebounds, the tie-downs snap taut again-which can eventually loosen or break them. The more you load the suspension during tie-down, the less it will compress during towing. How you tie down your bike depends greatly on the model you own, but everyone agrees on using either the frame or a solidly mounted part on the frame as an attachment point. Two ties up front and two on either side are adequate for most street bikes, but if you're paranoid, six ratchet tie-downs-four in front and two out back-will offer max security.

The Main Event

The first order of operations is to get your trailer/truck as level as possible. Hook the tie-downs to your floor or frame loops and extend them out as far as you need to attach to your motorcycle (and where you can reach them).

If you're using extension loop straps around the lower triple tree, have those ready too (the lower triple tree is the most secure location for this setup).

Set up your ramp so it's in line with the wheel chock in your truck bed and push or ride your bike onto the truck bed or trailer, straight into the chock.

While still on the bike (and in gear), attach the rear straps' S-hooks (if you're using them) to a structural member on the bike, gripping the loose end and pulling tight (or ratcheting down).

If you're not using rear straps, conventional wisdom says to snug the left front tie-down (attached high on the bike) first, just enough to get the slack out.

Repeat with the right front tie-down; at this point the sidestand should be off the floor, with the bike upright.

When tie-downs are snug, check the side of the front tire and brake rotors to be sure they're clear of the chock. Give the tie-downs a final yank to guarantee they're even and securely tightened and the bike is vertical.

If you're loading two dressers and their handlebars or fairings interfere, try reversing one of the bike's positions in the trailer. It's usually best to load the biggest bike in the forward position to properly distribute the load.

After you've locked down the front, it's time to strap the rear for extra stability. Pick a high area on the chassis to attach tie-downs to for leverage. The tie-downs should pull down an inch or two forward of your attachment point-make sure the bike doesn't rock forward, back or sideways. With cam buckle ties, it's best to have someone compress the rear suspension while you tighten the tie-downs.

Check tie-down points for tightness.

It is very hard to blow the seals on that bike. just make sure you use ratcheting straps,put the bike on the kick stand and ratchet the other side down till its even then put the strap on the other side (put kickstand up) and ratchet it down till its leaning back on the kickstand side a bit, then even it out and you should be good. If you shake the bike and the trailer suspension moves instead of the bike then it will not go anywhere.