Studies by the Motorcycle Industry Council in 2009 showed that there’s a growing number of motorcycle owners in America. Both casual weekend riders and skilled motorcyclists should make a point of learning how to tow a motorcycle properly. This could help to avoid damaging their vehicles and escape injuries. Techniques to tow a motorcycle properly vary depending on the model but the rules of towing and loading safely will be the same for all motorcycles and owners.
Below are the steps to tow a motorcycle properly:
Prepare the truck for the motorcycle
- Acquire a ramp for your motorcycle with a weight sufficient enough for your motorcycle rating. The ramps should have a rate of not less than 364kg (800 pounds). Ramps may begin to bend, twist or collapse if continually used. Enquire from your dealer about the weight of your motorcycle or check it on your owner’s manual.
- Measure the thickness of the front tire.
- Prepare the bed of your pickup in preparation for transporting your motorcycle. A piece of plywood should be cut 5 by 1 foot and placed at the window at the back. To prevent the tire from twisting sideways and to steadily hold the tire, nail two plywood that is 30.5cm long (1 foot). They should be far apart enough to accommodate the tire at the front. In addition, two-by-four plywood should be nailed at the front of the two boards to prevent the motorcycle from toppling forward and act as a chock for the front tire.
- Measures need to be taken to prevent truck’s bed and to ensure that the motorcycle is upright. Therefore, cut a piece of plywood to be placed beneath the kickstand. The plywood should be 10-by-10 inch.
- Ensure the truck is on the same level as the ground by backing to a curb or a hill.
- Make sure the ramp is on the same line as the front wheel chock located at the center of the truck.
Loading the motorcycle onto the truck
- Once the truck is ready, load the motorcycle inside the truck and buckle it with a tie.
- One can tie the motorcycle using ratchet straps or two pairs of cam buckle tie-downs. When towing the motorcycle, tying can assist in securing the motorcycles. Attach one pair of the tie-downs to the front edges of the truck and extend them as far apart as possible. Fasten them on the engine at the front or the triple tree or any structural part of the bike.
- Using a pair of straps, protect the back end of the motorcycle to ensure that it is stable. Run the straps to the corners at the back of the truck and fasten them on to the brackets of the tie. Locate a high place on the motorcycle where you can attach tie-downs and tighten.
- Halt the truck and inspect the motorcycle after every 30 minutes to ensure that the bike has not moved and the straps are not loose.
Be safe when loading a motorcycle. If you follow the above steps to tow a motorcycle properly in addition to taking your time, you will avoid all accidents and injuries.