If you're lucky to live and play near a trail system (or have your own Motocross track built on your backyard!) then tying down your dirt bike for a trip away from home isn't so much of an issue.
But, since heaven must wait for most us who have to drive our bikes to our favorite riding spot, we, of course, must get our rides tied down nice and tight no matter how long the trip.
Good thing there's plenty of answers.
Some riders own a sprinter van, but most owners haul their dirt bikes in the bed of a truck or on a trailer. Either transport system requires additional installed equipment that safely secures a dirt bike. You can certainly go the cheap route and look for ropes, chords and bungees lying around in the garage but we don't recommend it. Instead, spend a little now for a tried-and-true method that should last the life of your dirt bike or even your truck.
When hauling a dirt bike it's important to restrict the front wheel from moving around during travel. This is a recipe for something to break. In fact, adding fork support prevents undo strain on the forks and seals. A fork support installs easily between the top of the tire and the bottom of the triple clamps.
As for securing the dirt bike, a wheel chock probably represents the most convenient method to securing the front tire. It's a bit more expensive option but also eliminates the time and hassle with straps. This method is most commonly used with trailers since you permanently bolt the device into the floor board. So breathe of sigh of relief if you just bought a brand new truck. It can certainly be used in a truck bed but ideally it's on a trailer used primarily for hauling dirt bikes.
Another option is the Risk Racing Lock-N-Load. This device secures the bike using the foot pegs. It's the most expensive option we'll cover, it's simple to use but we've also found it necessary to invest in additional equipment to keep the front tire from moving. Like the wheel chock, this product is also best used on a trailer.
Lastly, the permanent High Roller Truck Bed Tie Bar attaches to the front of a truck bed and features three locations for the front wheels and eight tie-down spots. Mounting requires a bit of know-how but once installed makes hauling dirt bikes, especially multiple dirt bikes, quite easy.
The optional Tie Bar Kicker allows you to haul three dirt bikes by setting the middle bike back further on the truck bed allowing two on the sides to rest towards the front without banging bars.
The more traditional method to securing dirt bikes is using a clamp device along with locking straps. We recommend the following in conjunction with one another:
- ANCRA Removable Tie Down Anchor
- Canyon Dancer Tie Down Strap Rings
- Lockstraps Locking Tie-Down
- BikeMaster Tie Down Extensions
You'll probably discover this tie-down method widely used by riders because it's the most cost effective, works on trucks, trailers and sprinter vans, plus the equipment extends beyond its use of hauling around dirt bikes. Additionally, nothing is permanent. It's also not a bad idea to incorporate the tie-downs with some of the permanent options discussed above for extra security.
If your trailer or truck bed is used for more than hauling dirt bikes it's best not to install permanent fixtures like a wheel chock
The Ancra is popular because, though it does require bolting in, sits out of the way when not in use allowing you to use the truck bed or trailer for unrelated needs.
The strap rings simply require you to remove any bolts already installed on the truck, trailer or even the dirt bike, pop the rings in place (like a washer) and tighten the bolt or screw back into place. Strap rings have a break-rated 2000 pounds so a handful of these, along with lockstraps and tie down extensions, go a long way towards securing your bikes.
If you own a short-bed truck you're not out of luck. Drop the tailgate, thus extending the bed, and attach a Moto-Gate Tail Gate made of thick, durable nylon. It's a cinch to install, takes up little room when not in use and offers a breaking load of three tons. The netting works not only as a tail gate but provides additional security since it doubles as an additional tie down that wraps tightly around the rear wheels of the bike. Check out the video:
Now, where to attach the other half of all those tie-downs? Use the bars of the dirt bike, this keeps the front tire steady, but be wary of wires, cables and other control components. Anticipate some movement during travel so ensure the tie-downs don't interfere with other connections. MotoSport Powertye Tie-downs feature a soft hook system that reduces slippage and damage to the bars which you can utilize for extra support.
Ordinarily, triple clamps don't offer a good place to attach a tie-down without chafing the number plate or front fender. Using the Canyon Dancer Tie-down Strap Rings allows you to attach tie-downs to the triple clamps or almost anywhere there is a bolt.
Attaching a strap ring to the triple clamp is one way to help tie down a bike
You can also use the foot pegs as anchor points and most riders typically don't tie down the back of the bike. A general rule of thumb when using the anchor/tie-down system is you can never have too many tie-downs!
Finally, you'll rarely, if ever, see a truck or trailer load of dirt bikes without a fuel can(s) in the payload. Full jugs of fuel are heavy but not immune to tipping over. Trust us, you don't want five gallons of gas spilled in the bed of your truck or all over your trailer. The Jug Snug is for gas cans what everything above is for dirt bikes. It's well worth the investment.
A number of anchor systems exist and any tie-downs or clamp devices sold on MotoSport.com work just as well. Choose based on the method of travel (truck or trailer) and whether or not your truck bed or trailer is used specifically and solely for dirt bikes. The chock system works great on trailers used for hauling dirt bikes but a truck bed that carries dirt bikes one weekend, furniture the next, and camping gear on another, would be best served by the strap rings or removable anchors.
Check out our Dirt Bike Straps and Cargo Accessories page for additional products.
Written By: AndrewT