Transporting your bike in a van
Owning a motorcycle sometimes involves having to move it from A to B without turning on the engine, it may be broken down or perhaps it's an off roader waiting to hit some woodland. The best way to do this is by van or trailer. Here's a quick guide to transporting your bike in another vehicle.
Getting it on
First off you'll need a ramp. Bikes are quite heavy and pretty difficult to lift, especially if you're on your own. You can buy specially made ramps for this purpose but a plank of wood will suffice. Make sure your ramp is in a good position before you push the bike up as it could slip and cause all sorts of problems. This is probably the most dangerous part of this process apart from getting it down again. Give yourself a little bit of a run up; you don't want to be left halfway up with no oomph. From here it's about a smooth controlled movement, once the bike is on the ramp cover the front brake in case you need to stop. Keep the bike as upright as possible and step up as you reach the top of the ramp. Now the bike is in and ready to be strapped down.
Next step is securing the bike in the van. If you have a front wheel mount, use it as it's the most secure way of keeping the bike in one place. If not roll the bike right up to a corner or the front of the van so the front wheel is touching something. This will help wedge it in position. You can go overkill with the amount of straps but I find 3 is enough, one off each handlebar and another securing the backend. Have your bike on the sidestand and use that as a grounding point. You should have three grounding points, both wheels and the sidestand. If one of the wheels starts to lift as you strap it up, adjust them until all three points are flat on the ground. Give the bike a good shake, it shouldn't move at all; any wobble could pull the straps loose. Add another strap to the back if you're not happy.
Releasing the beast
Once you reach your destination it's time to get the bike out again. Reverse the process, undoing all your straps and putting your ramp back in place. Now this can be tricky but if you stay calm and don't panic you'll be fine. Slowly back the bike down the ramp, cover the front brake and ease it down, no need to rush! In no time you'll be back on the ground and ready to ride!
I hope this guide helps when you're next transporting your motorbike, remember stay calm and take things slow and you'll have no problems!
25.04.14 - Big Ed