F650 Storage and Transport FAQ
Previously known as the Winterizing FAQ
compiled & edited by Kristian #562
by Charlie FO #814, Flash #412, Todd #389, David #476, James #523
Please read the Disclaimer before
attempting any work in this FAQ.
Last Updated: 13 June 2007, by Winter #1935
For other related FAQs:
Storage of your F650
Items to Take care of
A cold place to store the bike is assumed:
- Make sure the bike is thoroughly warmed up before you store it.
- A full tank of gas is good. Turn off the petcock.
- Drain the carbs on a Classic. See this picture for
(Circled RED, (2#) Locations)
- Park it out of the way on either the center or side stand.
- Disconnect the Battery. Charge the battery a couple of times over
the winter if you think of it and leave it inside where it's warm, like
the Hot Water Cupboard.
- Change the oil.
- It's not necessary to loosen the plugs
- Don't start it just for short time. "A word of caution. With
11 vehicles I had to ask a few questions about storing them and several
mechanics have told me one of the most harmful things to do is start and
run an engine briefly on a cold day. If you don't bring it all the way up
to operating temps for quite a while, it doesn't burn the moisture out of
the oil. All it does is allow more moisture to condense on the cylinder
walls as the engine cools. If you have to leave it parked for more than a
month, best follow the instructions in the manual. Further info is
available in a flyer from BMW at the dealer." David#476
- Radiator Fans can become stiff through lack of use, so after
winter lay-ups always turn the fan by hand before starting the engine. A
seized fan can be the cause of a very expensive overhaul!
Gasoline in Storage
- Gasoline contains lighter and heavier components. The lighter
components will evaporate, leaving the heavier ones behind. Eventually,
all that will be left is "varnish." The question about how long
it takes before gas is "bad" can not be answered specifically.
What is the temperature and relative humidity of the air in which the
vehicle is parked? What was the mix of the gasoline at the beginning?
Gasohol and MTBE contain much lighter (and faster evaporating) components
than "regular" gasoline. Each gas company has their own
- Stabil (in the Gas Tank) has been used by many with good results.
Your best bet for storage is to use a fuel stabilizer like Sta-Bil, but
either draining the carbs, or running the bike with the fuel tap off until
the bike dies and the carbs are dry, then restarting on full choke, until
they are really dry. That way there is nothing left to evaporate and leave
a gummy residue.
- Nobody disagrees that Stabil is good for storage. Assuming the
carb doesn't leak over the winter (you don't park near a water heater or
garage freezer do you?), you won't do any damage either way.
- I only have problems with storing drained carbs when there is
water residue. IMO leaving gasoline in the carbs means eventually leaving
a residue, the more gas left in to evaporate, the more thick residue.
While it might not be too bad over one winter, eventually all the gas will
evaporate. For very long term storage, there is no debate - the carbs must
be empty. Running the already hot engine dry with the choke will remove
almost all the gasoline. I have repeatedly stored outboard motors and
generators for many years, where they may only be used 1 month every 2-3
years, with this method, quite successfully.
Oil in Storage
- You don't want to store a bike with contaminated oil. Synthetic
or not, change it first. The contaminants in old oil make the oil acidic,
which is not good for metal engine parts.
- While I had my bike in to the shop for repairs I asked that they
change the oil. During the discussion the service manager said it's best
to change the oil before winter, then when you start riding again, change
the oil a 2nd time plus the filter.
- IMHO you only need to change your oil once. The manager is
right...change it at the end of the season then run it in the spring. But
change the filter also, don't wait till spring. echo
- Just once, in the fall at the end of season is first choice, but
no later than in the spring when restarting your riding season. But not
- Agree with changing in the fall prior to storage. You want to get
the old oil out because it may contain water and acids from combustion,
which you DON'T want to have in the crankcase eating on your engine
internals all winter (although most oils should be able to neutralize
these, up to a point). Changing again in the spring is probably not a BAD
idea (due to condensation in the crankcase over the winter), but probably
not necessary. If you go the double route, I feel that another new filter
in the spring is a waste of time and $$$, and an expensive oil only for
the winter storage period is a waste as well. Marty #436-Chicago-97 F650F
- Regarding the 2 oil changes, some people do the winter change by
putting in cheap auto oil, then putting in the $$ stuff in the spring.
Since you're not actually running the engine, what's the diff? They then
use the cheap stuff in their cars later on. 2001 F650GSA Chicago, IL
Professional Storage Services
- For Professional Storage see
- If you're storing your bike outside for that long I would remove
the battery, charge it, and leave it inside where it's warm. Along with
the other things you suggest, you'll be fine. I don't think it's
necessary to loosen the plugs.
- On a GS you do not need to worry too much about fuel in the tank or carbs (since the tank is plastic and a GS does not have carbs)
- According to the Australian 2004 GS Manual...
- Clean the bike (See the Cleaning FAQ)
- Remove the battery
- Spray brake and clutch lever pivots and the main and sidestand pivots with a suitable lubricant
- Coat bright metal/crome-plated parts with acid free grease (eg Vaseline)
- Place the bike on its centre stand in a dry place
- Support it so the wheels are off the ground
- Change the oil before storage
- ... Plug holes that may attract mice
- Here's a little something else that may be of value as you
undertake this project. Motorcycle Winterizing Tips
http://www.gmasw.com/bikewin_.htm. Hope it helps in some small way.
Bill #1084 - Des Moines, IA
- I live in northern Canada and dread doing this every year. It just
sucks to put the toys away. Anyways here is what I have been doing for
years and has worked for me.
This year I made the effort of insulating the shed and will put heat into
the shed. Will keep my baby R1150Adv warm and safe. Rick#815
- Change the engine oil, clean oil and filter is good if you
have the bike sitting.
- Wash and wax the bike.
- Make sure the fuel tank is FULL. As far as stabilizer, I
found out it is NOT recommended for a fuel injected bike. Now this is
coming from another person. I haven't checked this out yet. But I have
never added anything and had no problems yet.
- Place the battery in a warm and dry place. I have found a
place in the house were no one can get to it. I will charge it once a
- If you can find a bike cover will help keep the dust and
will protect it.
- I have a F650GS and live in Canada as well, and I'm currently
winterizing mine. This is what I do:
During the winter I regularly recharge the battery every month at home
and make sure it doesn't get dry.In the springtime, I've always managed to
start the engine at the first cranking. In the spring, I change the oil
again, using a better oil and replace the filter as well. I clean the bike
from all the Vaseline, put in the battery and that' s about it. Sojourner,
2000 F650 GS Toronto, Canada
- First, I change the oil (but not the filter, which I will
replace in the spring). I use a normal automotive oil (this year Castrol
GTX, API-SJ standard 10W30). See the FAQ in how to change the oil. It's
probably different for a CS, as the oil tank is in the frame. Once I
change the oil, I avoid having to ride the bike, because this oil will
stay on the bike all winter.
- Then I clean the bike thoroughly, including accumulated
oil on the wheel rims, chain (there is no chain on a CS, so no worries
there). I then lubricate the cleaned chain.
- Then, I apply some plain Vaseline on the wheel rims and
forks (the shiny part). This will protect the metal surfaces from
corrosion and is easy to remove in the spring. I've also added a little
bit of fuel stabilizer to prevent the fuel from gumming up. There's no
need to do anything special to the fuel tank as it's plastic (metal tanks
can rust and might need a different treatment).
- Finally, I remove the battery. Then I put the bike on its
centerstand and place a bunch of 2x4s under the bash plate in order to
raise the front wheel from the ground. It's important to lift both tires
off the ground, so that the rubber won't crack due to prolonged pressure
and cold temperatures.
- Also, ensure the tire pressure is correct.
- Then I cover the exhaust with plastic bags to prevent
moisture from accumulating inside the exhaust. I then cover the bike to
keep the dust away. That's about it.
- Well I will be going on an extended business trip to the desert
(Persian gulf) and have to leave the beloved Beemer behind locked up in a
little dark, dank, cold garage.
I did a search for any other posts on the subject of storing a bike
before posting here and could not find any. Well my Dakar only has 200
miles on it taking it to the dealer today to do an oil change. I went out
and purchased an optima III battery analyzer/charger (thanks to CG). I
have some spray lubricant to spray on all the metallic parts. Is this a
suitable lubricant to spray on the rims, chain, frame and all other
non-painted metallic surfaces. Will any damage be done over the longterm?
Meaning will the lubricant become all sticky and gunked up? The manual
also say to coat chrome/metal surfaces with an acid free grease
(Vaseline). In other words any other CGers out there with experience what
worked for you. And finally I plan on storing the bike on a center stand
(Beer Crate). Once again thanks for the assistance. I don't know what I
would do without this site and I plan on signing up officially upon my
return whenever that will be? Hey maybe I can get a hold of one of those
diesel powered bikes while I am over there hehe. Thanks again, haj 02'
650GS Dakar, Bavaria, Deutschland.
- If you have access to Boeshield T-9 or LPS products over there, I
would use them instead of "spray lubricant" If not, I'm sure
that Wurth makes an anti-corrosion spray. (All are basically lubricant
WITH paraffin that remains on after the lube evaporates). BTW, BMW has a
excellent brochure on storing the bikes, (most of it repeated in my '99
owners manual) that pretty much includes the things you mentioned. I would
only add that you might want to put some fuel stabilizer in the gasoline
and run it for a few minutes.David #476, '99 F650.
Adjust the stand to keep weight off Both wheels. Since you just changed
the oil I'd be sure that when you shut it down it's after a full warmup
& ride to burn off condensation & impurities in the oil. Don't
forget to use a fuel stabilizer in the gas either. 2001 F650GSA Chicago,
IL, Logan's Ride.
Starting After Storage
- If you are having problems starting your bike after storage, check the Hard Starting / Poor Running FAQ.
- Also see the section below if you have inherited an F650 and are unsure of the condition it is in.
- The Australian 2004 GS Manual states...
- Remove any protective wax coating
- Clean the bike (See the Cleaning FAQ)
- Install a charged battery (See the Battery FAQ)
- Check the tire pressures
- Check the brakes
- ... also check / lube the chain, check all the lights are operating correctly, etc (All the normal safety checks)
- If you still have problems starting your bike in cold weather, check the Service Bulletins FAQ to see if your GS needs an update of the FI Computer.
Short Term Storage
- I recently bought a Nelson-Rigg UV2000 for touring and for my Gran Canyon when I park it at work. I like it. It cost well under $40 and has a one year guarantee. Shank saw it and liked it and bought something similar. But I think his is from another supplier. Nelson-Rigg has four elastic loops plus some elastic with velcro that goes behind the forks, plus an elastic "waist-band." It is metallic coated for UV resistance. The price includes a belly bag for storage so even sport bikers with no place to carry stuff can carry it. The price is like $26 or so, plus shipping, putting in the mid-$30 range at your door. All those features, plus the price, is why I picked the Nelson-Rigg UV2000 half-cover over the other ones. IIRC, Shank got the comparable Covermax. Flash 412 (CO)
- I had credit to use up at Mao Mart and got a cheapy there for around $20.00. It's actually not too bad. Mista Vern #1789
- I use an E-Z Touring Motorcycle Cover. I have the half cover which they call the traveler. It covers most of the top half of the bike and has two small cords to secure it to the bottom of the bike. Keeps the rain and frost off for the most part. I think it was close to $50? bottrigg #2111
- I let my Gran Canyon cool while I remove my radar detector from the bike and then my gloves, sunglasses and helmet. After I stow that stuff, I pull the cover out of it's pouch and put it right on the bike, starting in the front. By the time I get to the carbon fiber cans, they've cooled off enough so that they haven't melted it yet. I dunno what would happen with steel cans, though. In that brief time, the carbons have cooled enough so that I can place the palm of my hand on them for a half second or so. They're still quite warm, but not hot enough to burn me. Flash 412 (CO)
- I just bought the NR UV2000 cover a couple of weeks ago since some plastic was starting to fade. I put it on as soon as I park the bike but I do have bag mounting frames which keep it off the pipe. It's a nice cover and folds up small enough to keep in a pocket on my Denali tankbag. brewer90
Inherited an F650?
So you have inherited an F650, and it has been sitting in storage for a
couple of years? You know nothing about the bike and have never done any
maintenance or riding before? This sections provides advice on how to get
your bike in running order. Note: Do not even think about starting
your bike before going through these steps! Who knows what problems you
|Note sure which bike you have?|
|Here is a simple way to figure out which bike you have... Find the
gas / fuel cap. If it is up the front / center of the bike - like most
bikes, then you have a classic. If it is on the right hand side above the
wheel you have an FI (Fuel Injected bike).|
|1. Change the oil.
||Who knows when it was last changed, or what condition it|
is in now. Because the bike is cold, you may have to wait a little
longer for the oil to drain.
GS Oil Change
|2. Change the coolant.
||The qualities of coolant are lost over time, so you should|
replace the coolant as well.
|3. Check / Replace the battery.
||Batteries loose charge over time unless they have been on|
a charger. If you have the OEM Battery, check the water levels in
each cell. Check the voltage of the battery - over 12.5V would be
good for starting the bike after a long break. If you need to replace
the battery, think about getting an AGM battery.
|4. Replace the spark plug(s).
||Not something you need to do, but still a good idea.
||Spark Plug FAQ
|5. Replace fuel filter, airfilter, oil filter.
||Not required, but still a good idea.
|6. Replace the fuel.
||Fuel degrades over time. If the fuel has been in the bike|
for a few years, then it is a really good idea to clean it. If you
have an FI model, you may want to chuck some injector cleaner in the
|GS Fuel Tank FAQ|
Classic Fuel Supply
|7. Check / Clean the carbs.
||If you own a Classic, you will want to check and clean the|
Carb Misc FAQ
|8. Check tire condition and pressure.
|9. Check chain and sprockets.
|10. Check front and rear brakes.
||Check the wear on the pads, and replace the brake fluid
|11. Lube the cylinder.
||If you haven't tried starting it yet, I would suggest you|
first pull the plugs and shoot some clean oil into the cylinders
and then with the plugs out but grounded spin the engine over.
This will lube the cyliners and allow oil pressure to build up
throughout the rest of your engine before the actual starting.
|12. Start the bike!
||If you have a FI bike, do not forget to let the bike go|
through its "bootup" procedure. When starting, it may crank several
times before the bike finally fires and starts up.
|Hard Starting / Poor Running|
GS Hard Starting / Poor Running
|13. Check the Service Bulletins
||Have a look through the Service Bulletins and see if|
anything is relevant to the bike. If it is, take it to your local
BMW dealer and get it all fixed.
- I wouldn't worry about the fork oil for about another 11,899 miles
though. It is in a sealed environment with no pollutants or wear & tear
yet. mark1305 #1495
- Two things I recall having to do was a total tear down of the
carbs to clean out the gas that't turned to gum and the brakes had to be
rebuilt cause the pistons had seized up. RevJVegas #1906
- Might be worth as tire check... who knows how old they were before
they went on the bike. If they still look OK, I think your mission (as a
CBOA) should be to wear them out before they dry rot... Marty #436
- Drain any gas if there is any left in it. Get some fresh gas and
consider some injector cleaner but dont use it till you have to.
Rotate all the gearing,chain, wheels front and rear wheels while applying
the brakes lightly while the bike is on a stand with wheels free to turn.
As an extra take out the spark plug(s) and crank the engine a few revs to
see if anything bad shows up in terms of noise. This would be after you
change the oil. Tom Horning
- Use up the old fuel by putting it either in your car or by
putting it back in the bike maybe a quarter of a tank at a time and mixing
with fresh fuel. norbrat
Transport of your F650
For general hints and tips on transportation worldwide, check out Horizons Unlimited.
- looked into shipping my RS100 to Switzerland when I relocated there. Found it was better to park my bike and buy one when I got there - which I did - and sell it when I left. Ended up costing me almost nothing in the end. Granted, India is not Switzerland and I don't have any idea what the pool of available bikes is there - in Switzerland (near Germany) there were lots of bikes available. Merkin
- Try http://www.shipmybike.com/. The web page indicates that you can obtain a online quote. I have reviewed shipping my GS to Oz, and was told, that I needed a carnet, shipping insurance, they provide the crate and a clear title. You will will need a customs broker in India, and be prepared to pick it up after clearance, as there will be no fuel and a disconnected battery. It could take months Tom #1344
- When I looked into shipping a bike to India a few years back, I found:
- Need a CDP
- Can only keep the bike in India for 6months + 6months of extension (if you can get one).
The only reason I looked into shipping the bike was I wanted to start a multi-country trip (which I canceled) from India. If you only stay in India, try (really try) to leave yours home and buy a bike there.
- Air is faster and more reliable. With certain airlines, you don't even need a crate. About $2400 from JFK to New Deli for just the cargo fee.
- Sea is cheaper but takes longer (6-8 weeks to India). If you can share a container, it'll cost in the hundreds. If you have to have your own container (and you most likely will due to custom procedures), it'll be about 60% of the air cost.
- Going out of US, you will need a certificate for hazardous material.
- Back into US, just show up, pay $9, and ride away.
- I don't have any experience with Indian customs, but I've heard unpleasant experiences from others.
Get a broker if you can spare a few hundred bucks, or do the paper work yourself if you have lots of time and patience. trekkingbee #1855
- Ive travelled by ferry 6 times on my bikes and each time, they went over the seat, to ground anchors several times with rope(using plenty rags/towels) and finished off going round the footpegs but these were only 2 to 4hr crossings while the bike was on the sidestand.They compressed the suspension down so it didnt rock about at all. Ive had no damage done at all. stevo
- I'm leaning towards the Bike-Grab. The design seems to be essentially the same as the LA Chock, but it's $115 cheaper, and easier to mount in the trailer (the LA Chock requires an extra $20 for a mounting kit, while the Bike-Grab only needs a couple bolts from the hardware store). I've seen the Bike-Vise in person, and it looks well made, but one-person loading might be difficult, as you have to get off the motorcycle and turn the crank (while making sure the motorcycle doesn't fall over) to secure the front wheel. josh #581
- Butt, I've seen the LA Chock at the nearby BMW dealership, and I had thought I wanted one. It's slick, works trick. It costs! $$$ Butt, now I've seen the Bike-Grab and it looks even slicker (on the web). Seems to take up a skosh less floorspace / trailer-bed space than the LA, and for a hunnerd fewer smackers. Sadlsor #1444
- I built a chock out of a $1.98 2x4. I put some eyebolts (~2.00?) through it and along with a pair of $20.00 tie downs, I had a pretty solid chock. Let me know if you'd like me to email you the plans. My email contact is in my profile! The other ones (listed above) sure are fancy though. Mine wasn't fancy, but it was very functional. I used it on my GS with no issues. Seacuke #1214
- I use the Pingle wheel chocks in my trailer and haul everything from the H*nda 90 to the full dress H*rley. Absolutly no problems and they are quickly removble. Just my 2 cents. lomaxcm
- Can I fit my 97 ST and a friend's Dakar in the back of my Ranger PU at the same time? I'm looking at a 1000 lb. capacity ramp that folds in 2 places to make a "cage" that sits on the open tailgate to extend the bed.
- Both bikes will probably fit. Folding ramps are junk. Get a solid one. jetdocX
- Unless your Ranger is a jacked up 4x4, one-piece ramps are my recommendation. Here is my experience with RampMaster 90" Arched Ramps. With their 3-ramp system, you should be able to ride the bikes in, then stack the ramps up between the bikes. If you decide to roll out backwards riding, just keep the handlebars straight, have the engine running to help keep your balance and in first gear just in case, after the front wheel is on the ground stop with the front brake, then let out the clutch, wheel around and park. It looks cool and is easy to do once you get the hang of it. Not recommended by anyone, try it at your own risk. Mad Mac #2035
- I went with the Fly ramp. It folds, holds 750 lbs and fits behind the seat of a pickup truck. I have an older F150 and the long ramp fits in with room to spare. It is a skinnier ramp and is about 2x the width of the rear tire. I picked mine up locally, but here is a website that has them. WEBSITE. matttys
- I am using these to load my dakar into my ranger 4wd when I have to carry it somewhere. Folding ramps that work great. You should be able to fit two biks in the back but it will be tight. Northerntool website. mothra
- I think I'd put the two bikes side-by-side on the ground to get a measurement, then go measure the bed. Also consider the length, as you may have to stagger the handlebars (one bike forward, one back a bit) to get it to work - and don't know how strong that tailgate is on the Ranger to hold up the back wheel of the bike (I seem to recall some beds were made out of plastic). Oh, and I have a one-piece arched ramp. YMMV. Marty
- It will be a tought fit for two bikes in the back of a PU truck bed .
Ramp: Get one that is about 8'long and folds in the middle ( long ways) and is about 3-foot wide when un-folded. This will allow you to stop mid way...if nessary and put you feet down. Thumper
- "Juanita" is a Toyota Tacoma, which I THINK is about the same size as a Ranger. A couple of years ago we had reason to haul two Funduros. Both bikes fit just fine in Juanita. If they both won't fit in the Ranger pointing the same direction, turn one of them around. If you're worried about them banging into each other because you can't get enough triangulation on the outside tiedowns, throw a few old tires between them. Shank and I are considering hauling both of our bikes south for a ride before too long. No reason to burn up $400 worth of motorcycle tires when the trip will hardly put a dent in the truck tires. And the truck with two of us in it gets about the same highway fuel economy as riding the two bikes. Flash 412 (CO)
- If you are still looking, here is a source. They have all kinds of ramps for whatever you need to haul. We use these ramps at work to haul riding lawnmowers around and they work really well. I recently met a guy who used ramps made from 2x12 boards with a kit bolted to the ends. They were slippery, skinny and the angle where they met the pickup truck was wrong. He fell off, ruptured a disk and had to have back surgery. Discount ramps. qwerty
- Basicly, all you need to do is to center the front wheel aganist something solid and use tie downs to slightly compress the front suspension to prevent movement. Attach the upper hook somewhere on the outer side of the handle bars (away from throttle, wires,etc) and the lower to the floor in front. BTW, I like ratchet style tie downs, they cost more but I don't care. bmwterrien2 #1059
- My method was front wheel up against the stop, L & R ties from the handlebars, and one strap over the rear wheel, and one over the seat with a towel as padding. NO WORRIES. PaulNJ97ST
- Don't know if it's really the best way but what I've done is to use four of those figure eight heavy duty web straps, that are 10" long or so, and use them to achieve the attachment of your straps to the motorcycle. I use a set of four, 1" nylon heavy duty straps with "trucker style" ratcheting tighteners and steel hooks at each end.
I loop one of those figure eight thingies around each handlebar near where the skinny reinforcement bar meets the main bar and I put the rear ones on the supports for the passenger footpegs. That way I don't have to attach a metal hook directly to the bike.
I've carried the bike back and forth between Marblehead and Northeast MD in the back of my Tacoma three times now and most recently, on a friends' dedicated motorcycle trailer. Getting the bike up the 2x8 ramp to the back of my pickup is not real fun..............getting it back down even less so....but I've not had too much trouble so long as there's help around. The Tacoma has nice heavy duty steel eyes, one in each corner of the bed that hold the other end of the straps. I get it sitting up there nice and straight and use the ratchets to slightly compress the suspension. On my Tacoma, I have to keep the tailgate down, but I've got one of those aluminum tubing bed extender thingies that hooks up quite nicely behind the whole mess once she's on.
The trailer works pretty much the same way, although much much easier to load and unload by one's self. If you use a speedpass for tolls you can temporarily register the trailer as well.........sweeeeeet.
Anyway, on either the truck or the trailer, the bike rides like it grew there. On my first transport, I was way nervous and could hardly take my eyes out of the rearview mirror.......it's a nice way to bring your favorite toy along if you've gotta cover mega miles in short order and take along lots of stuff/people. timagination
- In addition to what has already been said, to keep the rear tire from sliding, I have two pieces of angle iron bolted to the floor of the trailer for each bike. On the GS 650, I use the web ties described in other replies on handlebars and on the rear luggage mounts. I compress the suspension pretty well on the front, but in the rear the main objective is to keep the tire from hopping over the pieces of angle iron, so there is not much compression needed there. In the case of the KLR, I tie the soft ties to the frame tubing beneath the fender because otherwise the straps will rub.
I use fairly fancy wheel chocks. When the bike is rolled in, it will stay there by itself without falling over. I anker the front wheel to the chock with a soft strap. If I happen to be using a rail-type trailer, then I do not have ties on the rear, I just tie the wheel to the rail so it doesn't jump out.
In addition to all this, I use cable ties to tie the softstraps to the hooks so that the hooks can't jumb out of the soft ties. taylorboy #1788
trailer-tiedown-twobikes-1.jpg and trailer-tiedown-twobikes-2.jpg
- If it's over any sort of distance, a bumpy road, or "Alternative" transportation in a container such as ForwardAir or barge company "G"van, I cross-tie the back of the bike. I do that on heavy and light bikes. On the Dakar I used these holes, I think I had to run Carabiners through them to connect the tie-downs.
The bike tied down in a crate
You also don't want to Over Compress the forks, I use a "Fork Saver" that slips between the top of the tire and the lower triple clamp. The theory is you don't keep a ton of pressure built up inside the fork and blow out seals (doesn't work for penguins!). Westest US Dakar #1432
- I used short soft ties round the front lower triple-clamp, then tie-downs. Tiedowns on the rear footpeg brackets or frame, can't remember. Be sure to use a strip of duct tape to close off the open end of any hooks on the tie-down straps - if a bump causes the suspension to compress and the strap goes slack - you DON'T want the hook to come unhooked. Sad Also use the duct tape to keep the coiled up excess tie-down strap from flapping in the wind (possibly hurting the paint finish - tape the coil to the taut strap) and take a few soft rags along to keep the straps from rubbing on the bike's paint (depending on how the tie-downs end up positioned - duct tape the rags around the straps). Keep in mind that you *might* need to tighten up the straps a bit after 50 miles or so (be sure to check them about then) - so position your duct tape with that thought in mind. Marty
- also make sure you don't fully compress the forks or rear shock...will ruin them (fork seals). Greg #1245 SEVa
- Don't overlook securing the front wheel to keep it from moving sideways. If that happens the bike might fall over or you might knock the forks out of alignment. OSG
- Lot's a folks go all anal with strapage. Honestly, you don't need ANYTHING other that what's holding down the Zook. Wheel chock, two tie downs high and back to low and forward, so they pull the bike into the chock and support side to side. Anything else is superfluous.
Use 75% of the fork travel. That's not enough to blow the seals, but generally enough to keep the front end from bouncing down and letting the strap get loose. Finally, TAPE the ends of the hooks so if it DOES bounce down, the strap doesn't come off. If you don't have a fancy wheel choke, screw a couple of 2 x 4's into the floor.
Second point: If you do have to use the forks like the ST, be careful. A good ratchet strap can bend a fork leg if you're not. This all comes from my son who, as a motorcycle mechanic, has secured hundreds of bikes and travelled hundreds of miles with them, to and from his shop. dlearl
- I'm looking at transportation options for my Dakar, and just ran across a number of trailer hitch mounted motorcycle carriers. These things hold your motorcycle in the same position that rear mounted racks hold bicycles, only your motorcycle doesn't hang from hooks like bicycles do. One of them, the VH-55, claims to be "designed to safely carry 500 lbs." Claimed wet weight of Dakar ~425 lbs........................ It looks like a cool idea and a simpler option than dragging a trailer around. It also looks like it could be a nightmare. darkness
- I've heard from other people that the Mototote is quite handy and works very well to transport a dirtbike. Personally I'd hesitate pushing the limits on it though. I've looked at them up close and the tie down areas are very close to the bike, which to me would mean that there is little stability. Maybe you don't need that much, but it looked very awkward. With the lighter weight dirtbikes this might not be a problem, but I'd think long and hard before putting my 650 on there. keep in mind this is an opinion only, I don't speak from actual factual knowledge here. But my gut feeling says that the 650 might be pushing the limits on a mototote. Razz
- I don't own one but have seen one in action. It worked very well and the brand name was something like "Motojack," although I know that's not quite right. I'm sure it had "jack" in the name. However, I don't know the specified weight limits of this particular unit, and I would also advise not exceeding the manufacturers recommendation.
You didn't mention what sort of vehicle you would be using for this. Be sure not to exceed the weight limits for the hitch. To haul a 425 lb motorcycle on a hitch behind a vehicle, it would seem wise to use a fairly large automobile such as a pickup or larger SUV. I sure wouldn't try it with something like a H*nda Civic.
I was very impressed with how well the one I saw worked, and plan to get one for my KTM dirtbike. Loading the bike was very quick and easy, no tiedowns were required, and the bike seemed very secure. liketoride2 #926
- I too have been considering these for my 650GS and have done a fair amount of searching. First, you have to a truck or SUV with at least a Class III hitch to take the weight; this is a LOT of tongue weight (like having a very heavy trailer hitched). So, the one that seems the best for a 650, weight wise, is the Mototote Sport, which is designed for bigger sport bikes and up to 600lbs. This is a better safety factor over that standard Mototote and includes the ramp. Also, the front tie downs are on bars to spread them out; looks like exactly the way a trailer is set up. I think the worrisome part of these things in getting the bike up the ramp safely, and in this respect, I'd look at the height of the hitch receiver...how high up will the bike be? The units with a jack up feature are intriguing and would avoid the ramp issue, but they're much heavier (recall you have to include the tote weight as well as that of the bike when you figure whether your hitch will accomodate the weight), so that might affect the choice (that and you have to lift it up into the receiver); there's the $ issue too. Greg #1245 SEVa
- I own and use the versahaul VH-55. However I only carry a KLR 250 on it bike weight between 275-300lbs. I Use a Toytota Tacoma 4x4 with a Class III hitch. I have the ramp for it and can load and tie down my bike solo. It takes some prep, mainly having your straps ready and being able to balance your bike. You can check this webpage for info on vehicle capacities from versahaul. I believe that a 650 would be a bit much for anything under a F250/350 or 2500 class truck or suburban, but a large vehicle such as those could probably handle it. See if you can locate a dealer that will let you try one out, worth a try? Patch29
- http://www.scandipacific.com/index.php option=com_content&task=view&id=24&Itemid=35
- Looks like my choice would be the Scandi LCI-832 is $285, 8" wheel and 1000 lb payload. And it folds nicely when not in use. Actually, that model may not fold. I may not have decoded their models correctly. OldDave
- I think that model actually costs $580. And at that price, that's a bargain for the convenience. Other foldable trailers I've seen cost around $1000. I'd spend the extra coin to get the foldable trailer. However, if you're not strapped for space and you're budget is limited, almost any HIW will have small garden tractors complete with lights and a loading ramp for U$D300-450. NothingClever #1441
- http://trailerinabag.com/products.php ... While pricing seems steep (about $1200), the notion of a trailer that you can carry in a bag on your bike (or in car) when not needed is ingenious. I am awaiting their utility trailer rollout... euromedic #1983
- I have a Versahaul and it's 'da bomb...highly recommend it (although I only use it under tire circumstances). It's easy to put on and off, store, and it's easy to load the F on it. But, your truck has to have a Class 3 or 4 hitch to take the load. Greg #1245 SEVa
- I have and like a Big Tex 15LT. You can get one for about $700.00 DON ONE #2044
- Anyone have this one? http://www.ourlocalguide.com/motorcyclecarrier/ Blackwell
- From thread searches, I've gleaned that I need a 10"x6" pressure-treated plank to use as a ramp and four good-quality, ratcheting tie downs, from the shop or Home Depot. AAA strapped their tie-downs around the fork mounts in the front and the sides of the factory rack in the rear; snugging it down with a rider sitting on the bike. I have no idea if this was a proper method or not, but the bike didn't move in their flatbed on the ride and seemed fine once we got there. Would it be better to back the bike into the truck bed, or load it front-facing? We'll be going 12 miles, primarily on the freeway. I'm not sure if my Classic will fit in the bed or not (assume standard bed length). jsanford #1839
- I hauled my f650gs home from the dealer 90 miles in the back of a four cyl. S-10 sport side with the tail gate down (it was the middle of winter) no problem. I would recommend some soft ties and I tied the rear wheel down and the front forks to the factory tie points in the box . loading it front first . not sure but I think the bike may have hauled the truck better than the truck hauled the bike my 650gs short
- I used my S-10 to haul my F650GS to the dealer on a few occasions. I used soft-ties along with the cinch type straps on the front. I also used two cinch type straps on the back, but was told this was not necessary. Did it anyway, cause I'm sort of anal about things like that. Anyway, the standard bed of the S10 is just fine with the tailgate down. OCRider #1484
- you might want a ramp a little longer than 6" ... :) stoneroller #1517
- That rack looks like painted metal but it's really plastic (nylon?). I would find someting else in the back for the tie-downs, not to long ago someone else posted doing the same thing you're proposing and ended up premanently bending the rack. patobravo #1754
- I am about to transport my bike from California to Colorado for some ridin'. I just got a ramp and test-loaded the bike today, and when I have it straight in the bed, the rear tire sticks out about 3 inches past the end of the bed. (I took the tailgate off, the tire BOTTOM is firmly on the bed, it's just the very back of the bike that sticks out).
If I turn the wheel full lock and roll the bike forward, it all fits inside the truck, but is diagonal. My question is... which position is better? I know that for balance having the bike centered is the best bet. But having the tail end of the bike "flappin' in the breeze" really bothers me for some reason. Seacuke #1214
- Your other option is to put the tailgate back on and buy a tailgate extender that also folds out into a MC ramp. I believe DennisKirk has them......... TW #1368
- Brian - My experience...keep it centered and let it stick out. Greg #1245 SEVa
- I wouldn't worry about it sticking out, as long as the contact patch is (as you stated) firmly in the bed of the truck. If you're worried, use a couple extra tie-downs on the rear. I used to have the same situation with my old Ford Ranger, but never had any problems. josh #581
- Yea I would add a couple of straps to the back, say from the frame near the end of th seat down to the lower aft part of your truck bed. I used a couple of those short double looped nylon webbings to put aroung the frame then put the racheting strap from them down to the attachment in the bed of the truck. Will in CA
- I looked at a 5x8 today and they have a ring in both forward corners but they look kind of light duty. Hate to have one tear out and find the bike slamming around a few hundreds miles later. FWIW I need to use a covered trailer to transport some other items as well when making the trip north from San Francisco to WA. Otherwise I would use a propper m/c trailer. bg #1002
- I think I can picture these rings you speak of, and they do seem like they are light duty. I don't have the experience you seek, but I did have a brainstorm at your question (or at least a light drizzle): Have you considered building a stand alone frame that could take the force of tying down the bike, and could be slid into (or assembled inside) the trailer. Maybe something like a couple pieces of channel, formed into a T, or a cross; the bike sits in the "upright" and the tie-downs go out to the arms. Then when you're done, disassemble for storage. djw #1736
- Brad I have seen things like the gismos below. I think you could make something easy enough that would work even out of wood if not metal. tie down devices
- A few years ago I used one to haul my bike to OK, I made a frame out of 4=2"X4"'s and 2=2"X6"'s. I cut the 2X4's to fit across the trailer (5', keeps the assembly from moving side to side in the trailer) and spaced them so they were in front and back of the tires (laying on the flat side (4"). I ran the 2X6's front to back (8' keeps the assembly from moving front to back) and attached them to the 2X4's. The 2x6"s were spaced so the tires would fit between them, the 2X4's kept the bike from moving front to back and the 2X6's supported the bike side to side. With a couple of tie downs for good measure the bike traveled just fine. Peter Jensen #233
- I used JC Motors when I had my used Dakar shipped from the seller in Washington State to me in Denver. Good customer service, bike arrived a day or two early, and I saved $100 by picking the bike up at their Denver warehouse. Douglas80210 #1798
- This is the way I did it last week and all went well. I over did the amount of straps. I read where you should do 2 or 4 but I did 6. the two extra are the red ones that attach to the engine guard at the bottom and are tied back. Basically wanted them to protect the bike a little extra against sudden stops. You can't see in the picture but I nailed down 2 by 4s around the tires the keep them secure. Pulled up all kickstands and left the bike in gear. The picture isn't the greatest cause of all the stuff around but I think you get the idea. See this picture. Bobcatou #1157
- Came accross this: http://www.chaseharper.com/Accessories/Accessories.htm?fl=AccessNav.htm&al=9100&fr=9100.htm. Who knows how this would work with handle bars? tmotten
- You use the loop-through to attach it to the towing vehicle. You take the other end and run it between the fork legs as high up as possible, preferably at the headlight. Then you wrap the thing ONCE around the handlebar and take it over to the throttle grip. You hold it with your hand. If the towing vehicle starts going too fast, you can simply let go and it SHOULD release you. On a rocky trail ride, I blew out a (deeper, finned) RT oil pan that I had put on my R80G/S. Luckily we had spent most of the morning going UP and I didn't need to be towed very often or very far as I managed to coast most of the way back to the road by maintaining my momentum at the short uphill sections. Flash 412 (CO)
And I thought Flash was going to say something like, "Are you nuckin futs?" ... gail #1782