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Offline dietDrThunder

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Re: Requesting recommendations on how to tie down my TT.
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2020, 03:08:41 am »
I know this is late, but I took some time to write this in another post, and I wanted to put it here in case others need the info. The short story is that it is not the least bit difficult to tie dow a Trophy, or any bike; you just need a good plan, and an understanding of the leverage you'll be using...
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1. The best way to get stability is to find or create anchor points somewhere near where the subframe is attached to the frame. On our bikes, there is an exposed bit of subframe tubing that is perfect for tie down hooks (see pic). These should be attached to anchor points on the trailer at a 45 degree angle to the bike, and straight across the trailer, such that the tie down is pulling neither forwards nor back; just down. If you're a lifelong (lots of folks are) tower who has relied on the front of the bike for tie down stability, you will be shocked at how stable the bike is when you get these tight. Leverage can be an issue when tightening, so you might want to use ratchet type straps for this. I don't, but they can be easier. Keep reading for notes on how to use tie downs properly.

NOTE: on our bikes, one (maybe both) of the areas of the subframe I'm talking about has wiring behind it, so be sure to get the hooks under that...wouldn't want to ruin the wiring.

2. Handlebars: it is fine to use Canyon Dancers (the handlebar harness thing) as your secondary point. Don't ever use these as your primary tie-down spot, because all sorts of stuff can go wrong with that. On our bikes, as it's been mentioned the bars are rubber-mounted, with obvious drawbacks for this subject. Also, depending on the angle and tension, the bar harness can really jack up your grips. There is a particular style of these that professes to not do that, but I don't remember what they are. It doesn't matter though, because we're not going to be applying a ton of tension to the front straps. They are there to a) pull the front wheel into the front of the trailer (assuming a small trailer) or wheel chock, and to provide backup in case one of the rear ones fails. Make sure they're tight enough not to come out of the anchor points when you hit a bump, but that's about it.

3. Front wheel: you need some sort of chock, or other arrangement that will keep the front wheel straight. You can buy a front wheel chock for under $50 that will allow you to ride/roll the bike into it, then get off and it will stand up straight, making it a trivial matter to attach your straps. If you don't want to do that, nail some boards to your trailer to put the front tire in between. Whatever. Just make sure the wheel is held from turning to one side.

NOTE: if you use some sort of wheel chock, be careful to keep the bike vertical. DO NOT roll it in, then get off and lean the bike on the side stand...unless of course your goal is to create an excuse to buy new brake rotors :) Not all of these wheel chocks will get your rotors, but some will...just make sure either way.

Speaking of the side stand, do not ever, and I mean ever, never, ever...ever, tie the bike down on the side stand. the tang that the stand is attached to is meant for leaning on, and is not engineered to take the massively higher amount of stress that you add by tightening the bike down on top of it, then bashing over potholes on your garden trailer.  Vertical is The Way to tow your bike.

4. Alternatives: for sure you _could_ use the front as the main anchor for towing; people have done it forever. One way that works well is to use soft ties above the lower triple clamp as your anchor point. If your bike has stout bars and grips, you could use the bar harness (Canyon Dancer or similar) as primary; I did that myself for a long time when they came out, until I destroyed the grips and one switch pod on a brand new bike I was delivering. You could put soft ties around the inner part of the bar, or the top triple; there are many options.  All of these will work some of the time on some bikes.

But, you have to be careful not to foul your bodywork. That is always the trick. If you use the rear area as I've described, you won't ever have this issue. It works on the vast majority of bikes, and is super easy to get right. When you do this and feel how stable it is, you'll be amazed (if you haven't done it before). You know how in the past you're always sort of stepping back and thinking 'is that tight enough? Too tight? Hmm' every time? You won't ever feel that way again, I promise. It's immediately obvious how secure the bike is at your first go.

5. Tie downs: get good quality ones. Many people use the ratchet style, and who can blame them? They're very secure, and very reliable. I'm lazy, so I use the cam style. These also work fine as long as you have good quality ones. I will say that if I were towing my bike more I'd probably get some ratchet ones for the rear, because it can be a little hard to get that short run tight, depending on where your anchor points are; being able to ratchet them down instead of just yanking on them makes that super easy.

As it happens, I took a pic (had to text my wife that I made it :) ) when I took delivery of my bike. It shows exactly what I'm talking about. Ignore the straps that appear to go over the seat, that was just because they're really long, so I tied the ends together over the seat so that they wouldn't drag on the road, get into the trailer tires, etc...nothing to do with stability of the bike.

Hope this helps...


Offline Fatherof2

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Re: Requesting recommendations on how to tie down my TT.
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2020, 10:33:43 am »
Hello Diet,

 Thanks for your post. I do have a couple of questions. Is your chock  bolted to your trailer  or does it attach to the metal piece that also appears to have your tiedown hooks attached?

 Also, it looks like the straps on the back are at a 90° angle to the bike.  In reading your post I thought I understood you to say that these need to be at a 45° angle. Maybe I misunderstood you. Thoughts?

Thank you.

Offline dietDrThunder

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Re: Requesting recommendations on how to tie down my TT.
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2020, 02:08:19 pm »
*Originally Posted by Fatherof2 [+]
Hello Diet,

 Thanks for your post. I do have a couple of questions. Is your chock  bolted to your trailer  or does it attach to the metal piece that also appears to have your tiedown hooks attached?

 Also, it looks like the straps on the back are at a 90° angle to the bike.  In reading your post I thought I understood you to say that these need to be at a 45° angle. Maybe I misunderstood you. Thoughts?

Thank you.

I have locating stops on the trailer that hold the chock. The straps are at roughly a 45 degree angle...must be a trick of the light.

Offline Rick505

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Re: Requesting recommendations on how to tie down my TT.
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2020, 02:47:16 pm »
*Originally Posted by Fatherof2 [+]
Hello Diet,

 Thanks for your post. I do have a couple of questions. Is your chock  bolted to your trailer  or does it attach to the metal piece that also appears to have your tiedown hooks attached?

 Also, it looks like the straps on the back are at a 90° angle to the bike.  In reading your post I thought I understood you to say that these need to be at a 45° angle. Maybe I misunderstood you. Thoughts?

Thank you.

I suspect his "45 degree" is measured looking from the front or rear of the bike.  He's not recommending 45 degrees toward the rear of the bike when looking from the side

Offline trophied

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Re: Requesting recommendations on how to tie down my TT.
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2020, 02:57:28 pm »
Most of the direction of stress with it tied down on a trailer is toward the front under braking.  Cargo aircraft always have the majority of tiedowns located to keep the load from shifting forward, because no matter how much power they use taking off they can't induce as much load as braking does on landing.  The chock being on the front of the trailer does a nice job of that with the front wheel strapped into it, all the other tiedowns only prevent lateral movement and keep the bike securely upright.  No matter, the only important thing is that the Trophy gets where it's going in pristine condition and safely.
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Offline dietDrThunder

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Re: Requesting recommendations on how to tie down my TT.
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2020, 03:22:33 pm »
*Originally Posted by Rick505 [+]
I suspect his "45 degree" is measured looking from the front or rear of the bike.  He's not recommending 45 degrees toward the rear of the bike when looking from the side

Oh right...I thought I was clear on that in my decription where I said that they should not pull towards either the front nor the rear.

"1. The best way to get stability is to find or create anchor points somewhere near where the subframe is attached to the frame. On our bikes, there is an exposed bit of subframe tubing that is perfect for tie down hooks (see pic). These should be attached to anchor points on the trailer at a 45 degree angle to the bike, and straight across the trailer, such that the tie down is pulling neither forwards nor back; just down. If you're a lifelong (lots of folks are) tower who has relied on the front of the bike for tie down stability, you will be shocked at how stable the bike is when you get these tight. Leverage can be an issue when tightening, so you might want to use ratchet type straps for this. I don't, but they can be easier. Keep reading for notes on how to use tie downs properly."