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Old 05-19-2014, 05:55 AM   #1
markk53 OP
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Tying an off road/dual sport bike down... question

My question is about using a block between the tire and the upper triple clamp.

Is there any advantage to it in the line of stability or whatever.

Key point, I do not believe for one minute that tying a bike down compressing the forks affects either the seals or the springs, so forget that.

I am asking about any advantage that may come from having the more solid set up since the board or special manufactured part will take the suspension out of the tie down equation.

So, any advantages in this?
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Old 05-19-2014, 06:10 AM   #2
foroffroaduseonly
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Yes. The block does make the bike more stable. Especially when the tie points are close to the front tire. Like two bikes in a pickup.
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Old 05-19-2014, 08:16 AM   #3
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imho, the block is a bad idea.

it doesn't do any good.

and, if it falls out (yes, it happens...especially with the homemade ones that are just pieces of 2x4), you don't have enough tension on the forks (because the block prevented you from cinching down the straps as tight as you need to without the block in there).

then, going over a bump, the suspension compresses (because it's not cinched down tightly enough), causing slack in the tie downs...and that slack can cause the hooks to come unhooked.

i've seen it happen.
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Old 05-19-2014, 08:56 AM   #4
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Depends on what I'm loading it IN. Open trailer with minimal suspension... use a block. Pickup or enclosed/well suspended trailer. .. never.
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Old 05-19-2014, 10:20 AM   #5
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One thing to be careful with tying down dual-sports is that soft suspension can move a lot more under bumps. I never had issues using ratchet straps with sportbikes and my WRR is ok, but my wife's XT250 has such soft boingy suspension that when the trailer hits bumps it can compress so much the seemingly-tight straps on the tail come right off. So if your bike is soft, either put something in or tighten it real well. I haven't used a block yet, but I've thought about it.
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Old 05-19-2014, 11:38 AM   #6
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The purpose of the block is to eliminate any movement of the suspension. Without the block, every little bump causes the suspension to compress and release even if only slightly. With cam-buckle straps this can cause them to loosen. It's less of an issue with ratchet straps but, unless you strap the front end down so far you reach the stopping point of the suspension, a big bump can bounce the bike enough to let the straps loosen or even come off. Can you haul without a block? Sure. Is it better to use the block? IMO, yes. I've hauled bikes both ways for hundreds of miles with no problems but, if possible I use the block.
I also highly recommend getting double-loop straps for attaching the hooks! They are so much more versatile and keep you from having to put a hard hook anywhere on your bike!
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Old 05-19-2014, 11:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbo Ghost View Post
With cam-buckle straps this can cause them to loosen.
tie the ends to the trailer rails (or front tire or whatever), and that becomes impossible.

Quote:
I also highly recommend getting double-loop straps for attaching the hooks! They are so much more versatile and keep you from having to put a hard hook anywhere on your bike!
agreed 100%. soft ties are the way to go.
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Old 05-20-2014, 05:28 AM   #8
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I realize all the stuff about soft ties and such, I use them wrapped around the forks just above the lower triple clamp to get best triangulation. I use good motorcycle tie-downs (Ancra and Honda which I also think is Ancra) and tie the back when I think it's needed. So it isn't about tying down the bike - I can do that.

I am really wondering if the tire to triple clamp block, removing the front fork suspension from the mix, can make for a really solid tie where the bike won't flop back and forth as suspension can allow it to do more easily - and which I've seen bikes do.

I'm thinking a block fitted up into the fender against the bolt heads and fitted with a removable tie system to go through the wheel might make a good non-slip set up. But I've never used one of those blocks, so I don't have any sort of clue before I go buy or make something (most likely make).

I have an enclosed trailer now and would like to get the bikes into a position where they will experience very little sway when the trailer does. I'm already looking at roll-in chocks that should be able to hold a bike upright with minor modifications. Most are made to fit everything from a 90/90 to a 130/90, so I've got some thoughts to narrow the width to suit. I have some thoughts there, but the set up using the tire/triple clamp block is of interest too. Seems they might be easier to deal with when tightening and releasing than when the suspension is compressed so much as when normally tied down.

That is why I asked specifically about the block. That is the focus here and I'd like to hear a bit more. I'm sure the users are in the minority since a bike can easily be tied down against the suspension, so I'm looking for that minority to fill me in.
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Old 05-20-2014, 06:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markk53 View Post
I am really wondering if the tire to triple clamp block, removing the front fork suspension from the mix, can make for a really solid tie where the bike won't flop back and forth as suspension can allow it to do more easily - and which I've seen bikes do.
You've already answered your own question! One factor is the longer your suspension travel, the more likely it to move and come loose from the straps. Dirt bikes are the worst. That's why they specifically make a tool for that! http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com...r-fork-support My particular block is made of wood blocks covered in foam and wrapped in duct tape. The soft parts keep it from slipping in any way and the wood gives it a positive stop once you've tightened it down fully. Once I started using it, I NEVER had a strap loosen! I have had straps loosen a little in the past without the block and I hit some rough road once and had a strap come completely loose but, luckily I always keep the kickstand down and it fell that way and didn't fall completely over!
Simply put, I recommend it. I think it's a much more secure method and easier on the front suspension.
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbo Ghost View Post
You've already answered your own question! One factor is the longer your suspension travel, the more likely it to move and come loose from the straps. Dirt bikes are the worst. That's why they specifically make a tool for that! http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com...r-fork-support My particular block is made of wood blocks covered in foam and wrapped in duct tape. The soft parts keep it from slipping in any way and the wood gives it a positive stop once you've tightened it down fully. Once I started using it, I NEVER had a strap loosen! I have had straps loosen a little in the past without the block and I hit some rough road once and had a strap come completely loose but, luckily I always keep the kickstand down and it fell that way and didn't fall completely over!
Simply put, I recommend it. I think it's a much more secure method and easier on the front suspension.
Strap came loose with the block or before you used it?

I guess I can cut up some wood and make one to see how it does.
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregulator View Post
One thing to be careful with tying down dual-sports is that soft suspension can move a lot more under bumps. I never had issues using ratchet straps with sportbikes and my WRR is ok, but my wife's XT250 has such soft boingy suspension that when the trailer hits bumps it can compress so much the seemingly-tight straps on the tail come right off. So if your bike is soft, either put something in or tighten it real well. I haven't used a block yet, but I've thought about it.
If you are worrying about the straps falling off, use Bungee cords on the straps.

Bungee cords between the hooks on the strap itself will keep some tension between the two hooks, so even if there is some slack in the actual tie down webbing itself, the bungee will hold tension between the top and bottom hooks and they won't fall off. Twist/wrap the bungee around the tie down multiple times till you have shortened it enough that it is tight then hook onto the loopes that the webbing is sewn through. I have seen those spacer things fall out, leaving my tie downs very loose, so I don't use them anymore.
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Old 05-20-2014, 10:31 AM   #12
Turbo Ghost
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Originally Posted by markk53 View Post
Strap came loose with the block or before you used it?

I guess I can cut up some wood and make one to see how it does.
The strap/hook came loose without a block. If you use a block and tighten it down fully, it can't come loose unless the bike isn't fixed in place somehow. The way you describe using the straps, around the lower triple (same way I do) is very secure as long as there's no way for the front tire to move.
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Old 05-20-2014, 11:02 AM   #13
LittleRedToyota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbo Ghost View Post
If you use a block and tighten it down fully, it can't come loose unless the bike isn't fixed in place somehow.
tires flex. enough to let a block work loose and fall out over bumps. (and then you don't have enough tension on the straps and they come loose and the bike falls over.)

mark, if you do make your own, put some wings on it to engage the fork tubes and keep it in place.

(or just cinch the forks down tighter without a block and stop trying to solve a "problem" that isn't really a problem.)
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Old 05-20-2014, 11:17 AM   #14
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Try shock straps. I just purchased them at the Overland expo. They don't come unhooked when the shocks compress.
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Old 05-20-2014, 03:13 PM   #15
markk53 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleRedToyota View Post
tires flex. enough to let a block work loose and fall out over bumps. (and then you don't have enough tension on the straps and they come loose and the bike falls over.)

mark, if you do make your own, put some wings on it to engage the fork tubes and keep it in place.

(or just cinch the forks down tighter without a block and stop trying to solve a "problem" that isn't really a problem.)

That was my plan. Make it so there is a strip on both sides of the fork legs or maybe a strap that would go around the tire fastening the block in place on the tire.
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