The Bike Insurer explains how to load your motorbike into your van
Almost half of all vans in the UK are used by people for something other than a commercial purpose, and many of them will be to enable a hobby or pastime. Motorbike owners will often use a van to transport their pride and joy to the racetrack, dirt track or off-road course so as to avoid having to ride an unsuitable or not road legal bike long distances.
However, getting a motorbike into a van is not easy and unless done properly can be dangerous and costly. Our sister site The Bike Insurer explains the best way to load and secure your bike, so it arrives at your destination in top nick.
Ramp it up
Most important is that you have a good quality ramp. There are lots on the market to choose from, but it needs to be sturdy, fitting perfectly onto the lip of the van, so make sure you shop around and choose one that you can safely wheel your bike up.
Depending on the weight of your bike, and the angle of the ramp, you can use the engine to help you roll the bike up into the van. Turn it on, kick it into gear, cover the front brake and use low revs to let it just tick over as it drives itself up the ramp.
If it’s not too heavy, and you aren’t keen on using the engine, then you can always push the bike up manually. Whichever method you use, stay balanced with the bike and wheel it in slowly, taking your time. Remember that the bike will go in ahead of you and you’ll need to leave room to hop into the van alongside it.
Hold your position
The positioning of your bike in the van will depend on how many other bikes you’re transporting and what else you’re packing into the van.
If it’s just the one bike, it can go in dead straight, which is ideal, otherwise to the side of the van is fine. Don’t forget the wheel needs locking into position, preferably at a right angle to the bulkhead or rear seat.
Ratchet straps are a staple for loading bikes into a van, as they’re pretty easy to use. However, they can be a pain as they leave you with quite a bit of ratcheting to do – only pull through the amount of strap that you need so you only have to ratchet two or three times.
You should have one strap on either side, pulling the bike down and forwards and as long as the front wheel is pushing into the bulkhead or rear of the seats, the bike should be secured.
A top tip from The Bike Insurer is to use Apico straps. These have a clasp to attach to the floor at the mounting point, the loop goes around the bike, and you can just pull the strap down for a strong mounting – simple!
Remember that, while you’ll need to use weight to secure the straps, you need to think of the pressure straps are putting on the bike. Avoid strapping around the handlebars as this can bend them out of shape. The best place to secure the bike is the lower yokes, as this will give the best support from the mounting point without damaging the bike.
And that’s it!
If you need further advice, you can watch this video for a practical demonstration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQ_B_17FQ7o
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