Tying Down a Valkyrie for Trailering
Pics are on down the page...
OK, OK... I know many of you bikers will pound on me for
even considering trailering my Valkyrie anywhere. But, it makes a
lot of sense, if you live in Houston and want to spend some quality time
with the SO in Colorado. We get to have a great run up to Colorado
in our truck, make better time, have good conversation, then when in Colorado,
plenty of time to really enjoy motorcycle riding in the mountains.
And, as you can see in the photos, I also trailer my motorcycle trailer...
the department of redundancy department, no?
The pictures below show an example of the way a Valk can
be trailered. Proper tie down is essential if you don't want to lose
your bike. I hit some incredible pavement on the way to Colorado
one year... the trailer leaped into the air, then crashed back down...
I watched in horror just how much the Valk jumped around, but it hung on.
Whew! A few notes are in order:
use nylon loops around the lower triple tree. They
even work on the I/S with a fairing. Available at any motorcycle
shop. Do not use the handle bars to tie down. You want to be
as near to the center of the bike as possible.
screw down 2 x 4's onto the trailer floor, one on each side
of the tires. The purpose of the 2 x 4's is to prevent side to side
motion of the wheels and tires.
when tying down the front forks of the Valk, make sure they
are compressed about 1 1/2 to 2 inches. Anything less than this and
you risk the possibility of having the front tire jump out of the 2 x 4
rails, which would cause the bike to fall.
Make sure your front tie downs pull towards towards the front
as well as to the sides. Similarly, the rear tie downs should pull
to the back in order to minimize fore/aft movement.
Keep the kickstand up. You want to trailer with the
bike upright. Never tie down with the bike on the kickstand.
The forces are sufficient to bend the kickstand mount.
there are at least a couple of places to tie down at the
back. You can use the bag guards on a Valk with saddlebags.
Or, for any model, remove the seat, attach the S hooks to the frame crossmember
and make sure they are forward of the cross member. Replace the seat.
(this is obvious when you actually do it).
I tie the front wheel to the frame to minimize left/right
A lot of people say you need to use ratchet tie downs.
I disagree. The clamp type tie downs work just fine. When I
my motorcycle in a wreck, it was interesting to note that the nylon
straps broke when the bike was thrown from the trailer, but the latches
were exactly where I left them. Just don't buy cheap ones... they
need a minimum of 1200 lbs max load each.
Be sure your gas petcock is off. The vibration of riding
on a trailer can cause a cylinder to fill with gas, creating a very bad
Make sure your bike is in gear.
If you are using an open utility trailer, a piece of plywood
across the front will greatly reduce the number of dings on your bike from
gravel thrown up by the tow vehicle. Just about mandatory for gravel
roads. I know. I towed with the rig below across 40 miles of
gravel road and got several dings in my fairing.
Tying down the front end to compress the forks is hard on
any motorcycle. It places a lot of pressure on the fork seals for
an extended time. The ideal way to trailer a motorcyle is with a
tire chock that securely locks the bike in an upright position, and keeps
the front wheel from moving, side to side, or fore and aft. My brother
solved this problem by supporting his Valk on the crash bars before tying
down. He used a chainsaw to cut grooves in an old railroad tie to
hold the crash bars.
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