How To Transport Your Dirt Bike
Before getting a dirt bike, you're going to need to figure out how you're going to transport it to and from the track. There are a number of different bike transport options, although most share a lot of common traits. In this guide, we share the ins and outs of how to transport your dirt bike.
Choosing your transport: When it comes to transporting your dirt bike, there are generally three types of transport: Using a trailer, vehicle (van/ute), or bike carrier. Each has its own benefits, and it really comes down to the vehicle you drive and what you can afford.
Trailer: A trailer is the most common way for motocross and enduro riders to transport their dirt bikes. Trailers can range from your standard box trailer through to enclosed, dirt bike specific trailers.
Choosing a trailer is really determined by your budget and your vehicle's towing capacity, however consider a trailer as a long-term investment - it will last you for the length of your riding career. A box trailer is a great way to cart your bike and gear to and from the track, while an enclosed trailer is perfect for racers, offering superior security and protection, while also being ideal to work out of on race day.
Van/ute: The most affordable way to cart your bike is with a van or ute, if you already have one. Almost all vans and utes can fit at least one dirt bike, while most can fit two alongside all your gear and accessories.
Vans are particularly handy and extremely popular amongst racers as they offer adequate space and security, while a ute is just as versatile, however the open nature of it means the security level isn't close to that of a van.
Bike carrier: A motorcycle carrier, such as the Ballards Bike Rack, is perfect for riders on a budget and with a vehicle that can adequately carry and store their gear. The bike carrier simply fits onto the towbar of your car and can simply be removed when you're not using it. Obviously bike security doesn't match that of a van or enclosed trailer, however it is a great and affordable way to transport your bike.
Tie-downs: To keep your bike in place while driving around, tie-downs are a must-have! They're strong enough to ensure bike doesn't move around, and they usually last for years and years - so it's always best to invest in a decent set.
Loading ramp: Just like tie-downs, a loading ramp is also a must-have item for transporting your bike. It will make life so much easier, and after a tough day of ripping motos, you can easily just roll your bike into your van or trailer, rather than having to get someone to help you lift it in.
Wheel chocks: On most occasions, you won't need wheel chocks for a ute, but you most likely will for your trailer and van. Wheel chocks keep the front wheel in place, ensuring it doesn't move while in transport while maintaining the same tension on the tie-downs (which can change if the front wheel moves).
Gear net: If you're transporting your bike with a ute that needs the tailgate down, then a gear net, like the Ballards Gear Net, is an absolute necessity! The gear net wraps around the rear of your ute tray and bike, ensuring things like your gear bag, ramp, bike stand, and fuel can can't fall out of the back.
Tie-down points: Your van, trailer and ute may not be fitted with tie-down points, or maybe they're just not in a good position. But, Ballards has you sorted with its versatile D-Ring tie-down points.
Helmet rack: If you have a van or trailer, then the Ballards Helmet Rack is a must-have! It has space to store two helmets between motos, plus it also holds things like shirts, jackets, goggles and tie-downs. It's the perfect race-day organiser for your van or trailer.
Keeping things in place
There are two types of keeping your bike secure in transit - keeping it secure and in place, and keeping it secure from thieves.
We'll start with keeping it secure and in place. To do so, you'll need at least two tie-downs, and two tie-down points - tie-down points can vary on positioning, but you always want to use the points that are towards the front of the bike, with one slightly to the right, and the other slightly to the left. Different combinations may work better for different transport types, but this will be the most secure on most occasions.
After this, you'll need to wrap the 'loop' of the tie-down straps around the handlebars, and place the hook inside of it - ensure the tie-down is not pressing on any cables, as it could damage them. Now it's just a case of pulling the tie-downs tight and getting them to a point where you feel the bike won't move.
Bike security tips
A lot of bike thefts can happen while transporting your bike, such as parking up at the store or staying at a motel overnight. That's why it's important to keep things as secure as possible to prevent your bike and gear from being stolen. If you have a trailer, ensure you use quality locks on the outside, and always lock your bike inside with a chain or cable.
This is also the advice for all types of bike transport, even if you have a van - it's generally easier for thieves to get in, so you want to make it as difficult as possible to actually get your bike. You can go one step further and install an alarmed lock, and if you're using a trailer, also remember to lock the trailer to your car.
Other bike security tips include bringing your bike inside your motel room if it's out in the open, or parking in a way where removing your bike would be impossible without moving your car. These are important things to keep in mind while travelling with your dirt bike.
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