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Motoring in Thailand and Asia Cars and motorbikes in Thailand and Asia, Where to buy and sell your truck? Where to get fixed and what garage to use. Should I buy a suzuki carry? Will it have a car DVD? Will my travel insurance cover me for driving in Thailand? Or should I just buy a Mercedes or a Honda CRV? Everything to do with motoring and vehicles goes in this section. Do I really need a driving licence in Thailand to drive to Bangkok car hire?


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Old 20-11-2012, 07:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Motorcycle Tie-Downs

I have had recurring nightmares of my bike coming loose from the trailer and bouncing down the road- that would be an unfortunate event that could bring a grown man to tears. I haven't been thrilled with the quality of what I've seen in LOS, so I ordered some stuff from the States.

I think two sets of straps (in conjunction with some sort of front wheel chock/lock) are necessary at a minimum, and as I might be occasionally trailering two bikes, I got four sets.

I couldn't decide between the current 'best', which probably are the popular 69" cam straps from Ancra (ratchet straps aren't used much for bikes anymore as it's too easy to over-tighten them and damage the bars or fork seals- cams are also smoother and easier to use one-handed or when you're by yourself) along with a set of soft extensions, or a set of newer-on-the-market Lockstraps, which have the advantage of locking carabiners an an attached soft end (both have been shown to have very little 'creep', which is loosening over time under stress- the Lockstraps also have a cable running through them and are a bitch to cut without proper tools).

Ancra tie-downs:

+

Lockstraps:



I also ordered a second-generation Canyon Dancer (which puts way less stress on the bars than the previous model due to the addition of plastic cups on the ends):



I also grabbed a Lockstraps helmet lock, which can secure a helmet and/or jacket:



As always, I would be interested to hear which other products/methods anyone else uses.
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Old 20-11-2012, 08:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If I could figure out how to reasonably get one into LOS (shipping would be ridiculously expensive and it's probably too big to check it in as luggage on a flight) I would love to have a Pitbull Trailer Restraint System (which can be attached to a pick-up bed as well)- this this is the ultimate in bike security (along with a front wheel chock) if you're hauling it somewhere:

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Old 20-11-2012, 09:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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^ That thing could be quite easy to copy and fabricate here. If i thought there was a market here for it I'd do it myself
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Old 20-11-2012, 09:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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true, but not that many people want those

Just use a nice piece of green string, like any Thai
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Old 20-11-2012, 09:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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^

It wouldn't be as good- I've never seen a better stand than what Pitbull makes, and I would imagine this is the same (it's also $279, or 8500 baht- even if they could knock them off, they'd still be more than most people would spend in LOS).

Either way, I wouldn't put a 500K+ bike on something I wasn't confident in.

The only thing I don't like about it is that it's not easy to do by yourself- this guy manages it no problem, but he's obviously had practice- even dropping a big bike off a Pittbull rear stand can be tricky if you're not used to it:

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Old 20-11-2012, 09:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I use ratchet straps from the hardware store, they work just fine.
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Old 20-11-2012, 10:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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You don't need expensive tie straps, you just need to know how to tie a load down..... any nylon rope easily available in LOS will do. You have to make a loop in the rope close to the tie down point, then take the tail round/through the tie down point, back up to the loop and through, then tighten and tie off..... the rope will use leverage against itself to give a very strong binding. If the above confuses, ask any farmer or trucker....... outside Thailand!
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Old 20-11-2012, 10:48 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Buy this type of straps are soft material & will do the job, it is very cheap.






I use this when moving my bike around.
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Old 20-11-2012, 11:05 AM   #9 (permalink)
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He yu go Failsafe I hope this will help you



Tie Down Procedures**
Most Motorcycles

There are as many different ways to tiedown motorcycles as there are models of bikes and people to own them. The following method should work for you
1. A proper tiedown system has four major components:
2. A means of securing the front wheel from moving forward or turning sideways.
3. The means to attach the strap to the bike in a secure location without damaging the bike
4. The strap itself and a means of tightening it
5. A means of attaching the strap to the trailer

The wheel chock. For any tiedown system to be safe and secure there must be a means of insuring that the motorcycle once tied down, will not move. The best means of accomplishing this is by preventing forward motion and preventing the front wheel from turning then using the straps to pull the bike down on the suspension and forward against the chock. Many methods can be used to accomplish this; ranging from strapping the front tire to a rail to 2"X4" blocks, to steel C channel bent up, to the wheel chock. A tubular steel wheel chock has a number of advantages inherent in the design. First the mounting hardware can be mounted almost anywhere, allowing multiple loading combinations while maintaining optimum weight distribution, and a quick disconnect so as not to interfere with other potential uses of the trailer. Secondly, the chock blocks sideways movement along the full length of the chock , which insures that the wheel should not jump the chock in a violent movement. Third, the chock provides a crush resistant front to prevent forward movement in the event of a collision or panic stop. A final feature of the tubular design is that the round tube offers no sharp edges reducing the threat of tire damage.
When using soft loop webbing in tying down your motorcycle there are three determinates of strength. The sewing, the width, and the thread count. Sewing has to pretty much be determined by the manufacturer; select a reputable manufacturer and the sewing should be acceptable. Look for loose threads and broken stitches on older straps. Width should be the same as the ratchet straps you are using. Look for any fraying or cuts in the strap material, any cuts and you should replace the strap immediately. The most important determinate of strap strength is the tread count, which can be determined by examining the thickness of the strap. The thinner the strap, the weaker the strap.
A ratchet tiedown strap should be used for securing your motorcycle(s). There are a couple of reasons for this. First, with ratchets it is possible to secure your motorcycle by yourself. Second, the use of ratchet tiedowns also let you increase the tension on the motorcycles suspension which will reduce shock loading the straps during towing. Shock loading occurs when the trailer hits a bump on the highway, the secured motorcycles suspension compresses to absorb the shock, while the suspension is compressed all tiedown straps go slack and then are snapped tight as the suspension expands. Shock loading can cause loosening of the strap due to slippage (pull type straps due to their design are especially prone) or strap breakage since the shock load may be several times the normal load on the strap. The more the bike's suspension is loaded when tied down the less the suspension can or will compress during towing and the lower the shock loads are. Ratchet straps by design will compress the motorcycle's suspension farther than the pull types can. If you value your motorcyle don't use cheap straps!!
How you tie down your bike depends in great measure on the brand and model bike you have. First of all DO NOT tiedown your bike by the handlebars. Regardless of the type of motorcycle you ride the handlebars are not designed to accept the stresses that are generated in towing down rough roads or hitting a pothole or 2X4 at speed. Finally, tiedown straps should form a 45į ( angle between the bike and floor ), consequently the lower on the bike that the tie downs are the closer to the bike the floor tiedowns can be and still be secure. NEVER, NEVER put a cover on your motorcycle when towing it on an open trailer. No matter how well the cover is tied down road grit and tiny movements of the cover will "sand" the paint right off of your motorcycle!!!
It's recommended to tiedown any bike by either the frame or a part solidly mounted to the frame of the bike, using six ratchet tiedowns per bike, four at the front and two at the back. On many sport bikes it's recommend to put a soft loop to surround the triple tree and tying off of the loop with two ratchet straps one pulling directly forward into the chock and the second pulling forward and out to the side. Cruisers and other bikes with reversed forks require a different strategy. On any cruiser, move to the front of the engine where the frame meets the crash bars (if so equipped, or where it would meet the crash bars if not) and repeat the four strap tiedown mentioned above. At the back of the bike tie a soft loop around the passenger hand grips, the passenger footpegs, or the rear frame of the bike itself. Experiment as your bike may have pipes, or other parts that interfere with the strap's run. Watch out for sharp corners, (or even dull ones), chafe is a major cause of strap failure. Hot pipes, or anything that might be damaged if a metal portion of the ratchet contacts a chromed part of the bike. Sometimes interference or contact can be avoided by reversing the strap which would move where the ratchet sits in relation to the bike.

Step By Step
1. Locate and attach soft loops on the motorcycle(s).

2. Locate and attach Ratchet Straps to the Eyebolts in the trailer. Place back straps in a position where they can be reached from the seat of the motorcycle.

3. Verify that wheel chocks are properly seated in their mounts and that the chocks are mounted all the way forward.

4. Verify that the trailer is firmly attached to the tow vehicle and that the coupler is latched and that the trailer is secure from movement.

5. If you are loading a multiple motorcycles on your trailer, load the forward (usually the drivers side ) bike first. If you are loading two large bikes where handlebars or fairings can contact each other, try reversing the bikes positions in the trailer. It is usually a good idea to load the biggest bike in the forward position in order to properly distribute the load.

6. Start and warm up the first motorcycle then ride it into the trailer. Insure that the bike is straight in the wheel chock and then while still on the bike attach the rear tiedown straps and tighten until the bike is firmly in place. Get off the bike and attach front tiedown straps and tie bike firmly in place. when you are finished the bike should be completely upright, straight, and shaking the bike should only cause trailer motion and very little bike movement.

7. WARNING overloading the suspension over long periods of time can cause damage to the seals in the bikes suspension.

8. Close and lock the rear door, side door, raise ramps if equipped & Happy trailering

A Final Word
Always experiment with your bike load sequence well in advance of your trip.
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Old 20-11-2012, 12:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fondles View Post
I use ratchet straps from the hardware store, they work just fine.
Until they creep out of your desired tension level, and then the bike loosens and wobbles, and then it loosens some more... (though good quality ratchet straps shouldn't creep, I wouldn't have much faith in the Thai stuff). If you're not going far on a smooth road, the cheap straps will do the job, but I wouldn't trust a nice bike on a long trip to them (and neither do most people who haul a bike over any sort of distance). A good pair of straps is about (the equivalent of) 800 baht- that's not much for security, and you'll wish you spent a couple hundred more if you ever have a problem.

I wouldn't use ratchet straps on a bike- on furniture or something, sure- the video below shows the ease of operation with cam-lock straps.

I know how to tie down a bike, Ratchaburi- I'd like to know how the person who wrote that article would transport a fully-faired sportbike if he didn't secure the bars as he wouldn't have access to the triple tree or frame upfront- there's no way to do it without ruining the fairing- that's why I got a Canyon Dancer- with the forks compressed to about half their travel, the bars will be fine if properly strapped (though I would probably remove the bar-ends). He also recommends ratchet straps, which aren't a good choice these days when compared to modern cam-lock straps (note that that article is over ten years old).

Last edited by FailSafe : 20-11-2012 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 20-11-2012, 12:10 PM   #11 (permalink)
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This is how you properly secure a motorcycle with tie-downs:

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Old 20-11-2012, 12:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpicyMartin View Post
You don't need expensive tie straps, you just need to know how to tie a load down..... any nylon rope easily available in LOS will do. You have to make a loop in the rope close to the tie down point, then take the tail round/through the tie down point, back up to the loop and through, then tighten and tie off..... the rope will use leverage against itself to give a very strong binding. If the above confuses, ask any farmer or trucker....... outside Thailand!
You can't transport a bike that way- nylon rope stretches 10-15% under a load equal to 30% of its breaking strength (I got that from the McGraw-Hill Boating Encyclopedia), and it's almost a guarantee that your motorcycle will be damaged via that method.
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Old 20-11-2012, 12:55 PM   #13 (permalink)
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In all the years that my bike been transported in the back of Somchai's truck, back & forth from Bkk to Bira. A bit of ole rope did the trick.

No fancy straps needed.
Did I tell you strapping a bike to a trailer is a PITA?
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Old 20-11-2012, 01:03 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I would strap my bike properly in a trailer or pick-up, using quality tie-downs (in fact I would use exactly the same method for either- a wheel chock, and a set of straps front and back)- I always take good care of my toys- using rope is not an option I would consider, but I'm happy it works for you- your method works great, right up until the day it doesn't.
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Old 20-11-2012, 01:11 PM   #15 (permalink)
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What is the helmet lock made of that stops it being cut? How could one possibly stop the theft of a jacket?
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Old 20-11-2012, 01:12 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I find it interesting that I post threads re: my plans to do something properly (a rarity in LOS) and others comment on how I'm somehow going about it the wrong way (or at least in a laborious and unnecessary way) by offering cheap, unsafe options that they would probably never consider in the West. Here's the deal- if you're transporting your bike and securing it with rope, you're doing it wrong, even if you manage to reach your destination safely- rope has too much elasticity and will allow the bike to move around and possibly damage it (mechanically or cosmetically), and there are other, better ways to transport your motorcycle- even the cheapest straps are a better choice.

Last edited by FailSafe : 20-11-2012 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 20-11-2012, 01:15 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by draco888 View Post
What is the helmet lock made of that stops it being cut? How could one possibly stop the theft of a jacket?
There's a cable running through it- someone with proper tools can cut it, of course, but most people are opportunistic and won't have what's necessary.

It's long enough to go through a jacket sleeve- again, while someone could cut your jacket, it would take a while and they probably wouldn't bother- it's definitely a deterrent.

Check this out- it's pretty convincing:

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Old 20-11-2012, 01:19 PM   #18 (permalink)
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People have been transporting motorcycles in the back of vans using only hemp rope, bungee cords and ratchet straps since the time of Ramesses the Great without incident. fact.
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Old 20-11-2012, 01:26 PM   #19 (permalink)
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^

So when a better, safer way comes along for the same price (in the case of cam straps, which cost about as much at ratchet straps and bungee cords) the old way is still the better choice? You would really choose rope (which stretches quite a bit) over a proper strap to secure an expensive motorcyle? I wouldn't- in fact, I can't really understand it- 250kg, 500K bike, cheap piece of rope... no thanks.
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Old 20-11-2012, 01:32 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FailSafe View Post
I find it constantly amusing that I post threads re: my plans to do something properly (a rarity in LOS) and others love to comment on how I'm somehow going about it the wrong way by offering cheap, unsafe options that they would probably never consider in the West. Here's the deal- if you're transporting your bike and securing it with rope, you're doing it wrong, even if you manage to reach your destination safely.
I don't think it's the case that others saying you are wrong, merely you can achieve 90% of what fancy motorcycle gear claims to do at 10% of the price. I have seen various ground anchors for bikes at stupid prices which would probably perform worse than a properly embedded fixing point in concrete and an abus chain. Etc etc does not look as good as polished gadgets but works as least as well IMO.
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Old 20-11-2012, 02:02 PM   #21 (permalink)
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^

OK- I will agree that no one said I was wrong- I think I'm just surprised at the 'good enough' attitude when it's not expensive to do it a better way, and I reacted strongly to it- bikes are pricey in LOS, and denting them sucks.

So you would give up 10% of your safety factor to save '90%' (720 baht, which means you can get an acceptable pair of straps in LOS for 80 baht that give 90% of the protection of top-of-the-line straps- I doubt it but it's possible- let's assume it is- I also think you're giving up more than 10%, but let's assume that's correct)

If you were talking about a savings of thousands of baht I would agree with you, but for such a minimal amount I wouldn't be willing to give up 1% if it means putting unnecessary risk to my bike. I would pay 90% more than I have paid already just to increase my safety factor by 10%- I can't see giving up protection for as little as you're willing to save by going to an inferior method.

I mean, rope stretches- that's a fact- the whole point of quality straps is that they don't stretch, as that's the worst thing that can happen to your bike short of an accident- it could come loose on the trailer- why would you risk that, even if it's unlikely to happen on a short trip? You certainly couldn't be willing to do that on a long trip- for such a small price to do it properly, how could you choose rope unless there was no other option?

Last edited by FailSafe : 20-11-2012 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 20-11-2012, 02:13 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Yes agreed the 90% 10% thing does not work on very low value items such as strapping.
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Old 20-11-2012, 02:33 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Yeah, that's really my point- the 'best' straps, while more expensive than standard ones, still aren't that much money, and they last for years.

As you know, I'm very into the technical aspects of my gear (perhaps too much so)- before I buy something, I research it a thoroughly as possible, and I seek the advice of people more experienced than I am- short of the Pitbull system fom post #2, the stuff I got is currently the best way to go according to those who spend a lot of time transporting their bikes (one guy who recommended the Ancra straps used to do it for a living), and it wasn't that expensive- maybe 1500 baht per bike, and I could probably have found them cheaper if I had more time, but a buddy is leaving for LOS next week and I had to rush to get them to him in time, which for me means using Amazon, and their pices aren't always the best.
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Old 20-11-2012, 02:54 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I'm also concerned with the cosmetic aspects of a proper tie-down system- I don't want any paint rubbed off my fairings or my frame damaged- I had a nice bike shipped fom BKK about ten years ago and it was done improperly, and the frame got several deep scratches- I still took delivery, but it was in an obvious spot and it always bothered me- for a track bike with rashed or aftermarket fairings that's no big deal, but for a street bike it can be- it eventually affected the resale value when I sold it.
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Old 20-11-2012, 04:01 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FailSafe
It wouldn't be as good- I've never seen a better stand than what Pitbull makes
I'd shoot the flat parts out of stainless plate on the waterjet and use stainless tube for the rest, all tigged together nicely. Pitbull are using galvanised mild steel by the looks of things
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