Track days. A cross-country move. Cam chain failure. All reasons your bike might get transported instead of ridden. When the situation arises, you'd better be up to the task. Here's a compilation of essentials that will help you get the job done with minimum fuss.
Lockhart Phillips Pop Chock
Simple, reliable and affordable, the standard wheel chock just got better. Lockhart Phillips' new Pop Chock features flush-mount floor attachments for quick and easy installation and removal. If you use your pickup truck, van or trailer for more than just bike hauling, you'll appreciate the Pop Chock's convenience. It's made from tubular steel and braced for strength and stability, and costs $49.95.
SMC-600 Motorcycle Hitch Carrier
Not all hitch carriers are as terrifyingly flimsy as the scooter-toting jobs you see on the back of itinerant RVs. The Rage Power Sports SMC-600 hitch carrier is rated for a full 600 pounds, and comes with an anti-tilt device to improve stability during transport. The powdercoated steel frame supports a tapered-aluminum rack wide enough for fat sportbike tires, plus a built-in wheel chock. The assembly costs $298.88 and mounts to any 2-inch Class III receiver.
Geza Pro-Stretch Cover
You wouldn't subject your pride and joy to a sandblasting, but that's pretty much what's happening when it's sitting on a trailer in the maelstrom of your truck's turbulence. Protect your bike from debris, damage and road grime with a Geza Pro-Stretch cover, the only cover engineered to withstand highway speeds. Geza covers are custom-cut from patented fabrics for a snug fit, so they won't flap, rub, tear or fray. Available in seven different fabric series to meet the demands of any environ, Geza covers range in price from $124.95 to $299.95.
Bed Buddy Pro LT
The Bed Buddy provides a front-wheel brace for your motorcycle without obstructing cargo space, plus it buttresses your pickup's bed rails so they don't bow under the tension of tie-downs. Constructed from steel and finished in a durable powdercoat, the Bed Buddy is easy to install, easy to use and looks pretty cool. Three tapered wheel slots accommodate a range of wheel sizes, and there are three robust tie-down loops for securing your bikes or other cargo. The Bed Buddy comes in three sizes to fit most trucks, and retails for $139.95.
Canyon Dancer Bar Harness II
An indispensible towing accessory for the past 15 years, the Canyon Dancer has been updated to make it more reliable and easy to use. Using high-strength cups instead of the previous cuffs, the Canyon Dancer II won't interfere with switchgear or peel back rubber grips, and holds tie-downs farther away from bodywork to accommodate a wider range of bikes. Each glass-filled polycarbonate cup is reinforced with a steel D-ring inlay, and the straps feature heavier thread and more stitching for added strength. At just $29.95, it's only $3 more than the standard harness.
Advanced Motorcycle Tie-Down Kit
Bargain-bin tie-downs, with their sketchy straps and flimsy ratchets, shouldn't be trusted to secure anything more than a load of junk headed for the dump. Discountramps.com's $89.99 Advanced Tie-Down Kit is a quality assemblage, complete with everything you need to lash down your bike. Four tie-downs, including two compression straps with wide handle ratchets and huge, 5-inch vinyl-coated hooks, plus four 12-inch soft loops, two sleeve protectors and four versatile anchor plates rated to over 2000 pounds each mean you're well equipped to restrain even the burliest machinery.
Strapless Transport Stand
If the sight of a fully compressed fork has visions of blown seals and sagging springs dancing through your head, take a look at the Strapless Transport Stand. Using a stainless-steel rod and a unique stand design, the STS eliminates stresses on the fork, triple clamps and steering-head bearings by supporting the bike through the rear axle. Locked in place and unable to move side to side, front to back, or lean at all, a bike mounted on the STS will arrive upright and intact no matter how rough the ride. No tie-downs, straps or wheel chocks to worry about, for $229.95.
The Ready Ramp
It's such a good idea, we're featuring it again six years later. Race weekends and track days require a lot of equipment, so combining two essential items into one makes sense. The Ready Ramp is a loading ramp that doubles as a bed extender, increasing the length of your pickup truck's bed by as much as 2 feet. Constructed of 6061-T6 aluminum, the Ready Ramp comes in satin black or satin silver, and utilizes your truck's OEM tailgate hardware. Cost is $269.95 for the 600-lb. model and $299.95 for the 1000-lb. model, including shipping.