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Topic: Ferry Tiedown: kickstand or centerstand?  (Read 1921 times)

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« on: March 26, 2012, 05:15:54 PM »

Using a Ferry to cross Lake Michigan this Summer.  There are no wheel chocks for the motorcycles.  Just tie downs with bike parked in first gear.  Do you tie down using the kickstand or centerstand?  Which is sturdier?  Or does it not even matter?
Appreciate your insight.
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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2012, 05:22:02 PM »

Theoretically the side stand is more stable, since it's a tripod (which is inherently stable) and the bike's center of gravity is lower than when it's up on the center stand.
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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2012, 05:32:37 PM »

They will ask you to put it on the sidestand, and often give you a wooden chock to shove under the bike's engine to stabilize it.

Tying a handlebar or other solid item on the LH side of the bike to the Ferry is also advisable.
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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2012, 05:39:24 PM »

I used my centerstand on the SV650S when we were on the ferry for four days coming back from Alaska.  Honestly, I think I'd be more nervous with the bike on the sidestand than on the centerstand, but if you use tie downs, it's probably fine either way.
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« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2012, 08:16:56 PM »

I took the lake express last year and just used the side stand with tie downs on my st1300. There were a couple of the stewards that gave me some hints as well as some other riders. I tied down from the handle bars forward and from the passenger foot pegs rearward.  Tighten it down and your good to go.  I also wrapped a loose end of the strap around the front brake and tied the side stand to the forward strap for my own piece of mind. It didn't shift at all even though the return trip was a little rough. They do have quite a few straps available but I brought my own just in case. I was going to take pictures but completely forgot.  There's a strap you can buy that goes over the hand grips I think it's called a canyon dancer strap. It will give you some easy tie down points off of the handlebars. I didn't have it and did just fine though.
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« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2012, 09:00:52 PM »

Side or centre stand becomes largely a moot point, especially if there're sufficient cargo straps.

Depending on the ferry and how they assign bikes to the deck space, it may be better to put the bike on the centre stand to leave a bit more space around it.  

On one crossing from North Sydney, NS to Port aux Basques, NL they let a bunch of us on bikes load even though the ferry was full.  We strapped down in a corner of the deck so we weren't taking up space that could have been used by any cages.  Two 1% fags on Hardleys had to strap down on their side stands.  My Bandit and another guy's GW were sort of left with little choice but to put ours on the centre stands due to the confined space.  Worked out good though.

Other times I've strapped the bike down on the side stand.

On a few short crossings on calm water, I've left the bike on the sidestand, without any straps - but in those scenarios you stay beside the bike anyway.
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« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2012, 02:35:21 PM »

Do you leave the bike in gear when on the side stand?
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« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2012, 03:20:09 PM »

sidedstand, no doubt -- simple physics (wider stance)

BTW, and this is important, don't leave your bike until yoy take a look at the job others do on tying down THEIR bikes . . . . . some, you will want to help, and others, you will wait until they leave and re-do their tie down jobs . . . .

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« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2012, 04:05:14 PM »

Not reading the other replies but:

side stand (NOT centre stand), and ties across the seat to anchor it. You may wish to put a bit of cardboard under the tie down, but one tie should do it.

I've taken a bike across the Bay of Biscauay-and that is rough seas-without it moving.
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« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2012, 04:19:20 PM »


I took the lake express last year and just used the side stand with tie downs on my st1300. There were a couple of the stewards that gave me some hints as well as some other riders. I tied down from the handle bars forward and from the passenger foot pegs rearward.  Tighten it down and your good to go.  I also wrapped a loose end of the strap around the front brake and tied the side stand to the forward strap for my own piece of mind. It didn't shift at all even though the return trip was a little rough. They do have quite a few straps available but I brought my own just in case. I was going to take pictures but completely forgot.  There's a strap you can buy that goes over the hand grips I think it's called a canyon dancer strap. It will give you some easy tie down points off of the handlebars. I didn't have it and did just fine though.


Same here.  Side stand, 4 points, easy-peasy, be it the Lake Express or the Badger.   Thumbsup
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« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2012, 08:09:53 PM »


Do you leave the bike in gear when on the side stand?


Untethered = in gear.

Fully strapped down = neutral.
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« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2012, 09:04:59 PM »

I used the Badger for the first time last summer.  All we did was put the bike on the side stand and lightly strapped them down.  Nothing moved on the ride over from Wisconsin, but I did the overnight trip and slept all the way over in a cabin.  It was great.  There were at least 12 bikes on the ship.

Bring your own tie downs.  They do not supply them.
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« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2012, 11:31:43 PM »

I think the Lake Express does supply them.  I know I had some along just in case.   Thumbsup
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« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2012, 01:21:53 PM »

Brittany Ferries uses a single strap across the seat. Dieppe to Newhaven the bike was on the centerstand. Portsmouth to Bilbao, on the sidestand. Didn't seem to move either way.
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« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2012, 05:36:22 PM »


BTW, and this is important, don't leave your bike until yoy take a look at the job others do on tying down THEIR bikes . . . . . some, you will want to help, and others, you will wait until they leave and re-do their tie down jobs . . . .

Remember the words, Domino Affect.


Yup, saw this first hand last summer on the Badger. One guy tipped his KTM into his buddy's KTM which tipped into a custom Harley. This was while everyone was still there tying bikes down.
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« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2012, 06:18:46 PM »




Yup, saw this first hand last summer on the Badger. One guy tipped his KTM into his buddy's KTM which tipped into a custom Harley. This was while everyone was still there tying bikes down.


Oh no!  I hope the KTMs were okay... EEK!
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« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2012, 10:09:46 PM »




Oh no!  I hope the KTMs were okay... EEK!



My thoughts to.   Hey there KTM's thats just street creed.
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« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2012, 11:03:54 PM »

Doesnt anybody use the search function?
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« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2012, 09:17:51 PM »


Doesnt anybody use the search function?


Dunno...go look it up...
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