TW fell off my trailer!
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Thread: TW fell off my trailer!

  1. #1
    Member Lefecious's Avatar
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    Jun 2016

    TW fell off my trailer!

    It was a sad sight.

    I have a carry-on 5x8 utility trailer (the kind you buy at Lowes), and I added wood planks to the floor, and then added 3 D-rings to serve as tie-down points. 1 attached to the metal on each side of the trailer, and 1 in the middle attached to the wood.

    I put 2 bikes on the trailer. The TW and the XT225.

    I failed to get a pic of my set up, but if you can imagine this but with ONLY 2 tie downs on each bike, on the handlebars.

    Took a turn, heard a sound, and looked back to see my precious TW being dragged upside down on the street, still attached to the trailer on one side.

    The bike survived incredibly well, thanks to my cyclerack rear rack. The only damage I've found so far is that both mirrors broke off, the left handgrip is destroyed, along with the left handlebar getting the metal equivalent of road rash. Then on the rear of the bike, nothing took any damage except for the cycleracks rack being scuffed up and maybe bent about 1/4 an inch or less. My son and I were able to put the bike back on the trailer and still go riding, so everything was functional on the TW.

    Now I'm doing a post-mortem on my trailer and tie-down set up to ensure that this never happens again. Here are all the mistakes I believe I made:

    1. Only used 2 tie downs on each bike, one on each side of the handlebars. I've now seen pics online and it seems almost everyone ties both the front AND back of the bike.

    2. Did not use a wheel chock. When I carried 1 bike, I put the front wheel into the corner of the trailer so it couldn't turn, but when I loaded up these 2 bikes, I put both tires facing straight forward, so there was nothing preventing the front wheel from moving other than the tension from the tie-downs, which I thought would be enough since it was a very short trip (boy was I wrong).

    3. I relied on the tie-down hooks, when I perhaps should have used carbiners or something that can't come unhooked from the D-rings.

    4. I did not use a fork-saver device, which would have allowed me to crank down tighter on my tie-downs without ruining my front suspension. I cranked it down pretty tight, but apparently there was still a tiny bit of travel left, and I undoubtedly stopped cranking at that point because I didn't want to ruin my shocks, and I thought "it's good enough" (famous last words).

    5. I did not take into consideration the difference between truck suspension and trailer suspension. I had tied dirt bikes down in the back of trucks using only 2 straps and never had a problem. But what's clear to me in hindsight is that those trucks had great suspension compared to a little trailer. The trailer bounces around much more, so the bike needs to be that much more secure.

    Well that's about the gist of it. My 5 pillars of stupidity. Maybe you guys can come up with a few more things that I have not considered. I'm open to suggestions on how to ensure this never happens again. I was very fortunate this time but next time I probably won't be.

    Also, any advice on new mirrors? I've seen some that fold down, and I thought that was pretty cool, but I guess that's not feature I absolutely need.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Purple's Avatar
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    Mar 2015
    Ynys Môn
    You should have made sure that the first casualty would have been the XT225 .....
    (Warning - Forum may contain nuts) ...... Hidden Content

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Donzo's Avatar
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    Oct 2016
    Ugh....what a nightmare! Sorry this happened to you and you Dub. I always tie down the handlebars and then from the same tie downs as the bars go back and attach to the loop that the rear foot pegs are attached to = this pulls the bike into the wheel chock and would keep the bike upright if one of the front tie downs failed.
    Also loop a tie down over the rear tire (between lugs) and cinch down firmly.
    If you have an accident from the front (or brake aggressively) and don't have the rear wheel secured the bike will flip forward and damage your tow vehicle etc.
    Glad the Dub was'nt damaged worse -had it gotten free and cartwheeled - it would be a mess!

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Badgerflorida's Avatar
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    Jun 2017
    Milwaukee, WI
    Quote Originally Posted by Purple View Post
    You should have made sure that the first casualty would have been the XT225 .....
    +1 for evil humor

    Seems the damage coulda been much worse. Still it sucks. Cool that it didn’t ruin your father and son ride. Cheers
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  6. #5
    Super Moderator littletommy's Avatar
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    Mar 2013
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    Bummer Bro!!
    Ken and Cornelis like this.
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    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

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  7. #6
    Member Lefecious's Avatar
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    Jun 2016
    I know I made a lot of mistakes, but one mistake that I think the strap-makers made is leaving the open-ended hook. I can't believe these things were made for dirt bikes, yet they still had an open hook instead of a closed carbiner end. I think I'm going to buy these things next and toss my old ones. I don't get why all dirt bike tie downs don't have closed hooks. Seems like such a small cheap thing that would've prevented my accident and many others:
    Last edited by Lefecious; 04-09-2018 at 03:32 PM.

  8. #7
    Ken is offline
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    Aug 2016
    Houston, Texas
    That's horrible but I'm glad it was still rideable. Thanks for sharing your insight to prevent others from doing the same. I always strap the front and back. My trailer is short enough that I just pull the wheel tight to the front.

  9. #8
    Senior Member PlacerLode's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    Out West
    Wow what an ordeal!

    I once bought a TW sight unseen the guy said was "mint" I sent him $2500 cash for a 400 mile 2009 he was a very nice guy and when I got there to pick it up it was obvious it had fell off a trailer at highway speed I mean it was ridable but the rear seat frame was swayed, headlght bracket twisted and enough road rash for 100 TW's fresh from thew MOAB ride lol. I couldn't get mad the guy was so nice I really think all he went buy was the 400 miles so to him it was a "like new" bike lmao - the seller said it was all street miles he just forgot the last 1/4 mile was tumbling down the street lol - when I got home my neighbor ran right over to the wrecked bike and begged me to sell it to him because he wanted a project to do with his son so I sold it at cost he was happy and I was thrilled to break even and he and his son are still riding that bike to this day

    I always tie each TW down with 4 straps, 2 in front often hooking the lower triple trees instead of the handlebars and make an "X" patter under the rear seat to the triangle area in the frame and try to make those rear straps vertical that way you don't have to crank down the front straps too much and if the front straps fail the rear X straps will keep the TW standing while you pull over

    One thing is if you have a smooth floor I add anther strap around the front or rear wheel at deck level tied side to side so the tires cannot slip out from under
    Ye Old Spaghetti Factory lol - in this trailer I have to chocks so I put the TW's in first gear and they can jiggle around a little as trailers tend to be a bouncy ride - no kickstands down lets use rubber and suspension to ease the pain !
    Last edited by PlacerLode; 04-09-2018 at 06:18 PM.
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  10. #9
    Senior Member old w/??'s Avatar
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    Apr 2014
    I do use carabiners at every spot so nothing can come off in a bounce from trailer or bike suspension. Things could shift; but not fall off.
    I have lost fork savers twice - and if you loose one; your suspension can then really bounce around. So no more for me.

    My PRIMARY for the front are: tie-down extensions wrapped twice at the bottom of the rubber fork covers (never remember their name) at the top of the fender brace.
    Carabiner through both loops of the extension and through the tie-down hook's loop with the other end of the tie-down carabined hook loop to eyelet on trailer or truck bed.
    Solid tie down with nothing to compress unless your tire deflates.
    My handlebar tie-downs are secondary for the front with out forcefully cranking down the suspension; just as higher securing points against tilt and fore/aft tension if desired.

    ps Sorry to hear you went through that.

  11. #10
    Senior Member TW-Brian's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
    Pleasanton, CA
    And I thought that I went overboard on straps!

    I use a minimum of 4 straps per bike, and usually use 6+ per bike. My philosophy is that straps don't do you much good if you leave them in the garage or laying in the bed of the truck.

    Lefecious, I have had nightmares of what you actually experienced. Glad it wasn't any worse that it was.

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