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2022 Matte Deep Blue Kymco AK 550
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is one of the saddest views IMO. Tied in and ready to deliver to the dealer for warranty work on the heated grips. Way too much ice on the side streets and lesser roads still to even THINK about riding it there.

This method works best on any bike on the road.

I've only needed to tie down my bike in a trailer or pickup bed a total of 3 times now in 24 years of riding. But I have assisted to tie down a few others along the way. I've found THIS to be the best way that very stable, secure, and uses the least number of straps. If done right the bike will not move in the trailer. It will bounce a little but it won't move around otherwise since the wheels will be solidly planted.

I do prefer to put a soft tie around the fork tube just over the top of the lower triple tree from the left fork to the right side of the trailer and from the right fork to the left side. But on my Burgman 650 (one of the 3) the fairing prevented that unless I removed much of the front end plastic. On my AK 550 I ended up putting the front straps on the forks almost the very same way I did on my Burgman. The Burgman forks have a cast tab that the strap could hang onto so it stayed higher up on the fork at about the top of the wheel. On the AK, with upside down forks, there is no cast tab so the strap is at the bottom of the fork tube. Still above the axle so all is good there. The U-Haul motorcycle trailer has a built in front wheel chock which provides at least half the support for the front of the scooter. The tie downs on each side on the fork tubes going out and toward the front pull the front wheel upright and solidly into the chock so the front of the bike is going nowhere no matter how much the trailer bounces. The benefit of this method, tying at the bottom of the fork tube, is that the bike is allowed to be normally suspended on the shocks and forks as if I was riding it.

All that is left to do now is to secure the rear wheel from moving side to side. So two more straps around the wheel and angled to a hook point forward of the rear wheel to continue to pull the bike into the wheel chock. This immobilizes the rear wheel so now the bike is VERY secure on the trailer.

Here are some pics. Note, in the rear view I do still have the side stand down. I don't leave it down and put it up before moving the trailer. Don't need to punch a hole in the trailer floor or damage the side stand from having it bounce onto the floor. Also, NEVER leave the bike on a center stand for the same reason. Let the wheels support the weight of the bike and the straps hold it upright. A center stand is never designed to handle the full weight of the bike bouncing down on it and damage WILL happen.

I did try using the soft ties over the lower triple tree and that might have worked but using those put the heavy steel hook of my straps right against the upper rear point of the black plastic panel on each side of the front fender. It wasn't real tight against that plastic but I knew if the bike hit a big bump that hook would crack the plastic so I moved the straps to how I described above. There is another way I thought about trying after I had the AK all secured on the trailer so I might do that when it's time to pick up the bike from the dealer.

That other way takes advantage of my straps being long enough to go around the fork tubes if I put the ratchet at the other end of the strap. In fact I am thinking it would work well to run the long end of my tie straps under the lower triple tree, up and around the front of the fork tube, and back down under the triple tree. Again, left fork to the right side tie point and right fork to the left side tie point. I have enough strap that I could have both hooks in the D-ring tie point and the strap would be pulled down a little to miss all the plastic. The other option would be to remove the front fender but I'd like to avoid that if possible. If tying at the triple tree on any bike ALWAYS tighten the straps to evenly pull down the suspension about half it's normal travel to compress the front shocks and prevent bouncing that will cause issues with the straps jerking on things and possibly causing much damage.

One thing I've know from first hand personal report is NEVER use the handlebars to securely tie down any bike. I know ties such as Canyon Dancer seem to be popular but they have been known to damage the handlebars, bending or even breaking the bar or even just the grips. I know of riders who get away of strapping down a bike using the handlebars but it's a crap shoot if damage results or not. I know I will NEVER tie down a bike, especially mine, using the handlebars. Besides, the plastic around the AK 550 up top is too much in the way to even consider doing that anyway.
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2022 Matte Deep Blue Kymco AK 550
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good write up rjs and keep us updated on your new ride; I'm probably going to get one next year. It kinda looks like you're going to a Harley Rally.
And I used to have neighbors with his and hers HD bikes. Always knew when they were headed out to Sturgis 'cuz out came the trailer and bikes were tied on.
 

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U-Haul motorcycle trailers are a great one day deal. I picked one up in the morning and drove to San Diego to pick up my Burgman. Did not make it back before they closed but they said I could drop it off after hours and they would just charge the one day. I did not tell them the ride was 330 miles each way and in another state!
 

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When my sister-in-law and boyfriend moved from Bakersfield CA to Salem OR he rented a U-Haul Motorcycle trailer for "LOCAL ONLY" use but took it up to Salem. When he dropped off the 28 foot box truck they a had major fit. They charged him the 4 days rental time and another $950 for the return fee to Bakersfield.
 
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2022 Matte Deep Blue Kymco AK 550
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
@Dave_J , not surprised about the extra charges. They are sticklers for the mc trailers to be dropped off at the very same rental place as pickup.

But at least they unlimited miles on the rental. And they don't ask about where you are going with it only that you return it to the same outlet from where it was rented. I didn't go as far as @Uncle Fester did, but I didn't worry about the 125 miles out and 130 miles back. In my case the U-Haul place is just a few miles from home so I could drop it off on the way home. I did add a few extra miles to get lunch just after dropping off the bike before my trip back home so that is the extra miles coming back.

Yep, for as little as I would use a mc trailer this one is a fantastic bargain. I could rent one of these ($14 + tax) a LOT of times before spending as much as an acceptable mc trailer would cost to buy and own. But I have often thought about getting a trailer similar to the U-Haul one just for using to haul other stuff and to have "just-in-case" I break down on the road and need a transport back someplace. Too bad U-Haul won't ever sell theirs even when they retire them.
 

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U-Haul sells used trucks but not trailers due to unseen stress fractures or such.

Same with UPS trucks. The going out of service truck has its engine oil drained and then started and run at 3,000 RPM till it locks up then the body in cleaved into 4 parts and directly taken to the scrapper and shredded while the UPS mechanic is still there. I'd love to have gotten a few of those 4 cylinder Turbo Cummings Diesel's from the old UPS trucks
 

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I bought a used heavy duty 10ft two wheel trailer about 30 years ago to use for a motorcycle trailer and haven't used it once for that purpose. I did and do haul a lot of tree limbs, trash and other stuff on it. Most of all it stays loaned out; one friend had it for two years before he brought it home; I never missed it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
When I picked up my AK 550 from the dealer today after the warranty repair was completed I tried to find a way to anchor the straps up front higher up on the forks. That just doesn't work for the AK 550 unless I removed the front fender entirely. The straps going over the lower triple tree come down and press out on some of the plastic of the fender and any shaking or bouncing would shatter the plastic so I stayed with how it showed in my first post here. The front wheel chock does most of the work to hold the bike straight up anyway so I really need is to ensure to use the straps to pull the bike into the chock solidly. The front straps do a little of the work to hold the bike up also but the chock does most of that.
 
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