Do Tie Downs Damage Suspension?

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#1
Ok, I just spent 20 bucks on a plastic spacer which goes between the Front Tire and Fender and allows the bike to be Tied without compressing the Front Forks. Some say it Kills the fork seals, weakens springs,etc, when you tie the bikes down tight on long trips, Some say It don't hurt the forks at all. Sometimes we drive 2 hour or more round trips to ride, what do you guys think about Strapping the bikes down.
 

JTT

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#2
I agree with Okie...I have never had a problem with dirt bikes, or road bikes in 20 years of traveling with bikes (many trips well in excess of 2 hrs, more like 24hrs or more)
 

RM_guy

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#3
You’re not going to hurt the forks using tie downs. They are abused MUCH more just riding around the track. :eek:

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Lorin

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#4
It may not affect your fork seals, but I use a spacer anyway. If nothing else, it allows me to crank down on the tie-downs without worrying about the bike moving while traveling. I hope to pick up one of the bike shoes eventually, but will continue to use the spacer with tie downs until then.

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#5
I don't like the spacers, wood blocks, etc. I've seen them slip when wet and bikes come loose. Nylon tie down straps also stretch slightly when wet, and when using spacers there is not enough spring force in the front tire to make up for it. If my bike is going to stay on the trailer overnight (not traveling) I just release the tie down pressure. If it bothers you, you can also bleed the air from the forks after the bike is tied down, and there will be no stress on the seals.

Glenn
'00 GasGas XC250
 
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#6
I also transported (street)bikes for years using tie-down straps. When I got my dirtbike, a salesman advised that I use a plastic spacer. He said that the difference between riding and transporting is that when riding, springs are only compressed for a second or less, and then rebound. The amount of time they are compressed when transporting can shorten them and change their spring rate. So I bought one.

Well, when I cranked down on the straps, the spacer smashed down the top of my tire. Then on the trip from my house to the track, the spacer popped out, probably from all the small bumps in the road, which left my bike with no tie-down tension, which resulted in my bike swinging back and forth hitting the other 2 bikes in my truck.

Spacer returned. Back to straps.
 
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#7
Seems the majority of you guys say it won't hurt the Front Forks, I'll proably quit using my spacer if it doesn't stay in well.