EXCLUSIVE: Transporting your motorcycle in a Mercedes Vito
Sometimes, it’s simply not good enough to use a trailer to transport your motorcycle from A to B. After spending thousands of pounds on your motorcycle, it seems only right to treat it with the care and respect it deserves.
Scratches and other damage resulting from accidental negligence in transportation can result in a significant drop in value.
So what will you need to transport your motorcycle from one destination to another with little fuss? You’ll need an old cushion, preferably not your wife’s designer favourite with an elegant elephant and butterfly pattern printed on. One from your grandmother would do just fine. You’ll be using this for the motorcycle’s handles to lean up against.
You’ll also need a few ratchet straps, ideally with mounting hooks at each end. These can be purchased from stores including Halfords.
For off-road motorcycles, you’ll also need a fork saver. And of course, you’ll need a van with enough space in length and height to park your motorcycle. S&B Commercials have kindly shared their infographic with Motortrades Insight on how to safely prepare and load a motorcycle into a Mercedes Vito van.
Once you have all the items including that snugly old cushion, it is time to prepare the van. Clear a space in the corner, identify the four closest floor and wall-mounted D-Rings and prepare the ratchet straps.
If your motorcycle is dirty, clean it – at the bare minimum give it a quick wipe over with large heavy-duty wipes. You do not want any excess debris, stones, mud or sand making its way into the rear of your van.
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For long-haul journeys, drain the tank. This is a little more complicated so if you do not know how to do this, take the bike for a few spins around the block until you are nearly out of fuel. But ensure you have fuel in a jerry can if you are planning to ride it at the other end.
Of course, place the motorcycle into neutral gear. Now it’s ready to go into the van. Secure a plank of wood, like the type used in scaffolding, or some other ramp to the rear of the van. Push the motorcycle into the corner of the van and secure the handlebars or turn them inwards.
Now position the bike so it is sitting comfortable for its journey ahead. Use that old cushion and place it accordingly to protect surfaces that are prone to scratching. If you have an off-road motorbike, which you will do if you are racing at amateur or professional off-road events, you’ll now need to insert the fork saver to prevent excessive bouncing.
It is important that you now secure the motorcycle to the floor or sides of the van with ratchet straps extending over the saddle. Following this, secure the rear of the motorcycle with ratchet straps going over or through the rear tyre. Make them as tight as possible and try to shake the motorcycle to test movement. You’ll either need to tighten the current ratchet straps or add additional ones to ensure the motorcycle is secure and held down.
If it is possible, it is advised to use wheel chocks to prevent the motorcycle form rolling and tyres from slipping. Keep testing it and rocking the bike until it can no longer be rocked by you. Importantly, drive slowly and do not drive harshly.
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