Author Topic: Trailer tie downs  (Read 2495 times)

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Offline elektra

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Trailer tie downs
« on: April 30, 2012, 06:51:21 PM »
I don't mind riding the 400 miles across the Mojave desert from October to April, in order to get to the California coast. But in summertime it is downright brutal. All the good riding is now 5 hours away across the most G-d forsaken landscape in the US. So, It would be great to trailer across the desert to beat the heat.  Question is: where would you attach the tie downs without doing damage to the fairing? Has anyone successfully trailered the C14, and if so please advise. Thanks in advance.
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Offline Nick

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Re: Trailer tie downs
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2012, 08:49:32 PM »
I have used Canyon Dancers for years and love them. They just cannot be used on bikes with iso-mount handlebars.
http://canyondancer.com/

I agree, the desert is brutal either day or night. Last year I decided to ride it at night and almost pinned a coyote on the 40 near Needles.
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Offline JimA

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Re: Trailer tie downs
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2012, 09:06:25 PM »
I trailered my '06 and '07 FJR-1300 all over God's creation. I have an open landscape-type trailer (14x7) with a wheel chock mounted in the front center.
As a new owner of a 2011 Connie, I hadn't looked at the set-up for trailering. It looks challenging, compared to the FJR. I'm interested to know as well. The back is easy. Its the front top straps I'm wondering about.

For the FJR, I would chock the front wheel and strap the bike into the chock. I then used two straps on the left and right of the triple tree to the front corners of the trailer. I used two straps on the grab handles up at the rear seat to keep the rear centered. I used minimal tension on all four straps being sure to never bottom out the suspension. The bike would bounce up and down with the road conditions but never came close to falling.

This will be more challenging!
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Offline Cap'n Bob

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Re: Trailer tie downs
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2012, 01:17:14 AM »
     Yes I have trailered my C14 a few times. Preferably with a chock device of some kind. But I also prefer to strap to the bottom triple trees. I have a Canyon Dancer, but will only use it as a back up set of straps. There have been cases of C14's snapping the handlebars while using a Canyon Dancer. The C14 bars are not the strongest point on the Concours for strapping down the bike.
   Yes folks have done it without any problems. But folks have also broke their handlebars or worse in the past on their C14 by using a Canyon Dancer. I'm not telling folks what to do. Only to provide information and let you make your own decisions.   ;)

Offline JimA

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Re: Trailer tie downs
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2012, 01:43:29 AM »

This was my set-up for the FJR. Very easy and took minutes to do. Agree on the Canyon Dancer. Looks like a great concept, but a little concerning for for our type of bike.

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Offline S Smith

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Re: Trailer tie downs
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2012, 02:46:46 AM »
For the C14 (as well as C10) I use some type of front wheel chock (I'm presently using a Condor) and soft tie extensions on both sides of the lower triple clamp, and then use ratchet type straps going forward and on an angle away from the bike. This should allow clearance so that no straps are touching plastic and provide some compression of the front suspension. The rear tie downs are not as important as their purpose is to prevent the rear from hopping and going out of line with the front.  What I do is use 2 straps off the rear wheel going out to the tie down points to the sides. I've seen a single strap around the rear wheel directly to the floor/rail of the trailer.
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Offline RoadRocket

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Re: Trailer tie downs
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2012, 04:01:19 AM »
If anyone has some pictures of your set up, that would be very helpful for some. I used Canyon Dancers as well on other bikes but never had a comfortable feeling knowing the possibilties of over tightening and snapping the bars. I like the front lower fork idea but does look like we have much room up in their
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Offline BJ_CT

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Re: Trailer tie downs
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2012, 05:08:27 AM »
I can't believe there aren't at least 45 vids on YouTube showing how this is done with Soft Loops as S Smith outlined.  There are obviously some riders out there who ARE NOT wasting their time appropriately.  I've not done this with the C14 yet but have done it with an RT.  Works fine.  You may need to remove some Tupperware or relocate tie down points on the trailer closer to the front tire (tip over stability can be accomplished at the rear).  Under no circumstances would I tie down to the handle bars on the C14.


Offline S Smith

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Re: Trailer tie downs
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2012, 05:24:31 AM »
The C14 rode in the trailer to to National Rally in Vermont (as one of the organizers I had too much stuff to bring to fit on the bike).  Here is a description of the the setup I used - sorry, no photos.  The trailer bed is 4'x8' with D-ring tie-down points in each of the corners.  The 4' spacing of the forward mount points worked OK, but was almost at the limit to where the straps would touch the plastic. I may add another set 4"6" inward. The front wheel was chocked using a CONDOR unit.  To tie down the front I used a total of 4 soft-tie extension loops like these:



One tie went around the lower triple clamp and each fork tube. The second looped through the first tie as an extension so that the ratchet tie down strap hook was extended away from the plastic. 

For the rear I used a single soft-tie looped around a rear tire spoke with a cam lock tie down on each side to keep the rear end from moving side to side.

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Offline RoadRocket

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Re: Trailer tie downs
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2012, 05:36:26 AM »
I can't believe there aren't at least 45 vids on YouTube showing how this is done with Soft Loops as S Smith outlined.  There are obviously some riders out there who ARE NOT wasting their time appropriately.  I've not done this with the C14 yet but have done it with an RT.  Works fine.  You may need to remove some Tupperware or relocate tie down points on the trailer closer to the front tire (tip over stability can be accomplished at the rear).  Under no circumstances would I tie down to the handle bars on the C14.
Yah your right, It looks like we have to remove some plastic to gain access to the lower forktube clamps for proper hook up. That's what lead me to the original question. I need to look at it again seeing I just did a quick glance when I first got the bike.

I think S Smith has the right idea with the straps but I need to look gain.

 Thanks for the info
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Offline tmm2good

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Re: Trailer tie downs
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2012, 06:48:07 AM »
I have used a condor chock up front, Soft tie's around the round frame bars above the foot pegs, strapped out to the side. And one strap through/around the back tire down low. Bike never moved an inch in a couple thousand miles in the trailer. I would not go to the forktube. The round piece of framework is solid.
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Offline BJ_CT

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Re: Trailer tie downs
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2012, 09:20:21 AM »
Yah your right, It looks like we have to remove some plastic to gain access to the lower forktube clamps for proper hook up. That's what lead me to the original question. I need to look at it again seeing I just did a quick glance when I first got the bike.
[/quote]

I believe you can get the necessary access to the lower triple clamp from the top assuming you use soft loops.  If I can get my hand inthere to change the light bulbs, I should be able to get at the forks below the top triple clamp.  Alternatively, tip the bike upside down so that it's sitting on it's handle bars and the seat and gain access from the wheel side.  Once you have the soft loops installed, there's no rule that says you need to remove them and could probably be kept in place with zip ties.

I believe you could run the tie downs as straight down the forks as needed to not touch the plastic.  This would pull the bike down into the trailer and put load on the front suspension (which keeps the bike from bouncing around).  Then you'd keep it from tipping over side to side with another set of tie downs, probably on the back end of the bike.  The tie downs on the back also assist should one of the front tie downs fail.

Since I will be trailering this year for different reasons, I'm glad this post came up.  Gives me something else to ponder and maybe spend money on. :truce:

Offline S Smith

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Re: Trailer tie downs
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2012, 09:28:30 AM »
I was able to get the soft ties on the lower triple clamp from underneath without removing plastic. It is tight, but possible.
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Offline gts1250

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Re: Trailer tie downs
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2012, 10:13:14 AM »
Recently had a small local shop change out my 09 C14 front tire for a PR2.  Their method of lift was an overhead chain pulley around the handelbars, which snapped the handle bars instantly.  I would limit there function to push right go right only.  I know,, I used to follow J Edgar,

Offline Teleskier

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Re: Trailer tie downs
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2012, 10:43:27 AM »
Yes I have trailered the C14. 400 miles of twisty mountain roads. And yes I used my Canyon Dancer with the bike in a Baxley wheel chock. No issues. I don't understand why the dancer can't be used. When tension is applied, the cuffs of the dancer just cinch around the grips. If pressure is equal in both directions should there really be any concern?

In an above thread, someone said we have iso bars. What the heck is that? We also have a Honda VFR800 and have used the dancers without incident.

Someone please enlighten me...LOL

Offline elektra

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Re: Trailer tie downs
« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2012, 10:51:41 AM »
gts1250 Sounds like you need to find another shop. Tire guys are not the brightest on the block, that's why I remove the wheel and bring it to the tire center along with the new rubber. If they damaged your handlebars, I would be worried about whether they torqued the axels properly, replaced the spacers, greased the splines or damaged the brake discs.
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Offline Teleskier

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Re: Trailer tie downs
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2012, 11:48:46 AM »
I just spoke to the owner of Canyon Dancer who happens to live just a couple hours from me. He said the original issue with iso mount bars was with BMW many years ago. An owner left his bike strapped down for days which compressed compressed the rubber mount leaving his bars loose. Since that time, he has heard of no BMW owners with any issues. Has BMW changed the rubber? He does not know.

For us, he said the best we could do is use a quality wheel chock like the Baxley with a soft tie down to the lower triple pulling the front of the bike down and forward into the chock. THEN, us the dancer for lateral stability not cranking the ratchet straps so tight they are like banjo strings (which he has seen) and making sure we also secure the rear so in the event of an accident, the rear of the bike is not catapulted over the bars.

Offline JR

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Re: Trailer tie downs
« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2012, 12:21:16 PM »
I don't own a trailer, because I don't own a vehicle that could tow the trailer. If I ever do, I'll remember this. Heh.
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Offline MidlifeCrisis

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Re: Trailer tie downs
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2012, 12:22:03 PM »
Not a big fan of anything that uses the handlebar grips for tie down.  Soft ties around the GSG frame sliders work great for me, but only workable because I always use a wheel chock.  It's a matter of convenience to be able to make a one-person job (if I absolutely have to).  The added benefite of not having to crank down hard on the come-a-longs is great too.

I can see why the handlebar would snap in that tire changing snafu, because they were stressed the wrong way.  If you look at how the handlebars are designed and the bolts pattern, they were not set up to take a lifting load.
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Offline Cap'n Bob

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Re: Trailer tie downs
« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2012, 03:00:45 PM »
I just spoke to the owner of Canyon Dancer who happens to live just a couple hours from me. He said the original issue with iso mount bars was with BMW many years ago. An owner left his bike strapped down for days which compressed compressed the rubber mount leaving his bars loose. Since that time, he has heard of no BMW owners with any issues. Has BMW changed the rubber? He does not know.

For us, he said the best we could do is use a quality wheel chock like the Baxley with a soft tie down to the lower triple pulling the front of the bike down and forward into the chock. THEN, us the dancer for lateral stability not cranking the ratchet straps so tight they are like banjo strings (which he has seen) and making sure we also secure the rear so in the event of an accident, the rear of the bike is not catapulted over the bars.


Yeah, that's pretty much what I said I do. The Canyon dancer might be used, but only as additional support or back up. But not the main tie down. And when I use it as secondary support, I put a limited amount of pressure on the bars when ratcheting down the straps to the Canyon Dancer.

Offline gts1250

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Re: Trailer tie downs
« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2012, 05:20:51 PM »
Thanks elektra. I don't want to stray off topic, but it was the son of the owner.  Come to find out the owner was out on business that day.  He has the exact same model and is intimately familiar with the mechanical aspects of the bike.  After chastising the staff for even thinking of doing such a thing, he personally did the tire replacement.  I had used the shop on previous occasions and trust the owner.  But those handle bars are definitely brittle

Offline JimA

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Re: Trailer tie downs
« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2012, 06:25:29 PM »

Since I will be trailering this year for different reasons, I'm glad this post came up.  Gives me something else to ponder and maybe spend money on. :truce:

I agree! I hadn't thought about it. Now I can start playing too.
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Offline LSGiant

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Re: Trailer tie downs
« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2012, 06:41:41 PM »
I was able to get the soft ties on the lower triple clamp from underneath without removing plastic. It is tight, but possible.

+1  You can fish the soft ties through without removing the any plastic. Probably hauled my C14 1,000 miles last year. And before you get all excited I put 19,000 miles on the bike.

I have the inexpensive Harbor Freight roll in chocks.
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