As we all know touring bikes are made to be ridden, and ridden hard. But what happens if service is needed or you are packing up your RV or camper to stay in and also want to take your bike? Well, that iron steed of yours needs to be hauled someway or another. Whether in the back of a pickup truck or on a trailer, you need to get that bagger of yours up, in, and securely stowed in a proper fashion.
Since we are always playing musical bikes and traveling a ton, we are pretty damn well versed in the art of what it takes to haul a bike and here is a bit of knowledge for you to chew on. B
First off you need a way to get the bike into the truck or onto a trailer. Remember this isn’t some featherweight Yamaha dirt bike that you and your buddy can just pick up and toss around. These bikes weigh 700 to 1,000 pounds and you need to take special care in choosing the right ramp when loading up your bike. Our favorite is the Black Widow HD line of ramps from Discount Ramps. The Black Widow line starts at $299 and is specially constructed out of lightweight aluminum just for big bikes with a hefty 1,500-pound limit.
We also love the fact that they fold up for easy storage and exclusively use the extra wide version of the ramp, so one person can just ride up into the bed by himself with his feet down; no need for buddies, spotters, or pushers. The Black Widow also has extra-long versions too, if you have the unfortunate combination of a big truck and a low bike. With its good looks and tough construction, the Black Widow is our choice as the right ramping tool for the hauling job.
Get in with the Black Widow gang at discountramps.com.
Once you have your bagger bedded, how is it not going slide around in the bed or on the trailer? Most smart folks use some sort of wheel chock to secure the front wheel from moving around when on the road. There are many companies making wheel chocks of all different prices, but we like Condor Products Pit Stop/Trailer Stop about the best.
This made-in-America, $259 aluminum-constructed wheel chock is lightweight, tough as nails, and won’t rust if exposed to the elements. The thing that makes the Condor superior to many other wheel chocks is that it has an easily adjustable cradle so it works for many diameter wheels with no other parts needed.
Also, like the Black Widow ramp, the Condor is designed for single-person usage. Yes, one person can just ride up the ramp, aim the front wheel into the chock, ride into it, and step off the bike without the need of any friends to hold it up. Take that all you flaky pals we are constantly waiting around for. We don’t need you anymore.
Rock out with your chock out at condor-lift.com.
Once the bike is up and in the chock, the lower part of the bike is secured, but what about all that weight up top? Well, a nice set of tie-downs is needed to keep that big machine from flopping around and wreaking havoc. We have been using the Mac’s brand of custom tie-downs with much luck. We also like the fact that they are available as a $54.99 utility pack comprised of four tie-downs, softloop extensions, strap pads, and a carrying bag. These are not some chain-store-type tie-downs, my friends. These straps are each rated at 2,800 pounds and have CAD-plated cam plates so they will both haunch down your bike and brave the elements as well. We can’t stress enough the importance of using good straps over some junky import jobs.
Get yourself tied up at macscustomtiedowns.com
Once your bike is in and properly strapped down so no damage can be had to your two-wheeled pride and joy, you may want to think about some security devices so either your bike or the products you just bought to haul your bike with don’t get stolen. We have been really digging what the folks at Master Lock have been doing to keep your personal effects in the beds of trucks and in trailers as of late, starting with the ingenious 8287 Truck Bed U-lock. This lock is a paltry $37 and it can be directly mounted to the floor of a truck bed or trailer as a replacement for a tie-down ring, or slid into a stake hole pocket on just about any truck made in the past 50 years.
Sure the Truck Bed U-lock is great, but we also suggest getting a cable such as Master’s 6-foot Cuff Lock. This $45 bit of insurance features a push-button heat-treated lock and braided steel cable. Just loop one end to the lock and clamp the cuff around something you hold dear and consider it safe.
Master your locking skills at masterlocktruck.com