How to Tie Down a Motorcycle

How to Tie Down a Motorcycle

For transporting a motorcycle from one location to another it is essential to tie it down properly in the bed of the truck or trailer you are using to move it. If you want to know the best tips and tricks on how to tie down a motorcycle then keep reading! This easy to follow guide will explain how to use tie-down straps to securely tie down your motorcycle for transport.

How to Tie Down a Motorcycle in Three Steps

Here is the basic process of tying down a motorcycle broken down into three easy steps:

  1. Attach ratchet straps to the four corners of the truck or trailer
  2. Position the bike on the trailer with a wheel brake/wheel chock and attach with soft loops to each of the straps
  3. Secure any loose strap ends and check regularly for safety as you drive

What Supplies Do You Need to Tie Down a Motorcycle?

To tie down your motorcycle you are going to need a set of heavy-duty motorcycle straps. Choosing the right kind of straps is very important because some heavy-duty tie-down straps for motorcycles have metal pieces that could scrape up the body of your motorcycle as they move. This is why it is recommended to find a high-quality pair of tie-down straps that are heavy-duty and also invest in some nylon loops, which are a type of tie which is soft enough to not damage the paint on the motorcycle.

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If you are not sure what kind of straps are the best for you, you might want to try asking your mechanic what straps and loops they recommend. There are also several online guides for finding the best motorcycle straps. In addition to multiple heavy-duty straps for tying down the motorcycle, you may also want to invest in a high-quality motorcycle brake lock for the wheels to keep the motorcycle securely in place as you tie it down.

Using the right kind of ties is essential for transporting motorcycles. Using regular rope will not work because you will not be able to get it tight enough to keep the motorcycle from falling over on it’s side. A wheel chock and a friend to sit on the bike while you strap it down will also be a big help in keeping the bike upright for the process.

Step One: Preparing the Straps

The best way to tie down a motorcycle is to have it in the center of the truck bed or trailer with the straps attached and stretching to the four corners to create enough tension to keep the motorcycle upright for the duration of the transport. Instead of putting the motorcycle into the bed of the truck and then trying to tie it down, it is recommended that you first assemble the supplies and attach your straps to the four corners and extend them towards the middle, leaving them laying loosely until you are ready to attach them to the motorcycle.

This step is beneficial because it reduces the chances of you accidentally knocking the motorcycle over on it’s side trying to attach the straps to the truck or trailer later on if you do it the other way around. If the straps are securely positioned and ready then it will be easy to attach them properly to the motorcycle right away with less chances for an accident to occur.

How to Tie Down a Motorcycle

Step Two: Positioning and Securing the Motorcycle

After you have assembled the proper tie-down supplies and attached them to the four corners of the truck or trailer, you can then position the motorcycle as well. A wheel chock is highly recommended, because this tool will keep the front tire upright on the truck or trailer. This will need to be installed prior to loading the motorcycle by either permanently attaching it with screws or bolts or by using the same kind of ratchet straps that you use to tie down the motorcycle.

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You do not need to start the motorcycle to get it up into the truck or trailer. If you have a motorcycle ramp this is going to be the most effective way to get the motorcycle up into the truck bed although some trailers are low enough that they do not require a ramp. While rolling the motorcycle up the ramp you should not let go of the handles or the motorcycle may fall over and if you have a friend to help you stand on each side of the bike it will make the process go a lot smoother.

Some motorcycles have built-in parts for tying down the motorcycle, but if not then you want to use the suspension bars on the front of the bike for tying it down. You should have already laid out the straps and loops and attached them to the trailer/truck for this step so you can easily grab them and attach them. Try not to attach the loops to the rubber part of the suspension and instead only tie down the motorcycle using the sturdy metal parts.

For the back of the bike you will want to “wrap” the back tire. It is important that the straps only wrap around the rubber part of the tire and not any of the spokes or it could cause damage. For the best results all of the ratchet straps should be tightened as much as possible so that the bike is held upright for the duration of the transport from all four corners of the bike.

How to Tie Down a Motorcycle

Step Three: Secure Loose Straps

If the straps are hanging loosely at the ends then you will want to secure them somehow so that they do not fly around in the wind and bang up against the side of your vehicle, causing paint damage and scratches. As you are driving you should be checking in your mirrors regularly to see if the straps are visibly loose as well as listening for any strange noises. On long car rides try to stop every once in a while to tighten the straps and do safety checks.


If you want to safely transport your motorcycle then you need to have the right kind of straps and soft loops for the job. We hope our guide to tying down a motorcycle will help you on your next adventure.