Hard Ties for Hauling Your Bike

Zero Compression - Solid Steel - Instant Attachment for a quick and easy haul!

Borrowing from the technology of the Moki EZ Lock Tie Down Systems, I wanted a similar, solid tie system for my trailer, which already has high end LA Wheel Chocks and will not accommodate the Moki wheel chocks, which are an integral component of their system package. If you are running with a flat bed trailer, or other trailer that can handle the complete Moki system, They come to your door ready to bolt in place, with no modifications or calculated attachment points to worry with, but if for some reason, like myself, you simply can't use the whole system, and have the ability to modify parts, the non-chock system components are all readily available and easily acquired, for a total cost of around $150 per bike.

The Hard Tie System has some good points and bad points, so whether it's right for you is purely a personal decision.
   Almost instant bike attachment to your trailer, with no adjustments after initial setup.
   Solid steel components won't wear out, won't break down over time, and can't be cut by vandals. No need to replace every few years.
   Zero compression of your bike's suspension means it's bike friendly AND operator friendly!
   Nothing touches your bike but two permanently mounted chrome frame clamps. No paint or chrome marring, no padding the bike parts!
   Fail Safe! Even if one side has a complete failure, the other will prevent the bike from falling off the trailer, and if coupled with a clamping type wheel chock, it will continue to hold the bike upright and in position. No need for backup ties or safety straps.
   LOCKABLE! By utilizing padlocks in place of linch pins, you can lock your bike to the trailer! (This could be defeated by a crook with lots of time on his hands, by twisting the bars four million times until the ends fall out).

   Expensive! Compared to common tie down straps, the Hard Tie system is about three times the cost per bike of ties and straps.
   Permanently attached hardware on the bike. While this is a "pro" for convenience, it is a "con" for aesthetics.
                          (Makes for good conversation though at bike-nite meets! ;-)
   Not "Universal". Because of the installation of bike specific frame clamps, this system does not lend itself to hauling other non-fitted bikes. Rescuing or hauling a friend's bike would still require the use of tie straps, so don't throw out your old straps and hook anchors!
   Having your bike solidly connected to the trailer means your bike may be subject to more vibrations, depending on the suspension qualities of the trailer. Strap ties do allow more of a buffer between the bike and trailer because there is no metal to metal contact between the two. Similar systems have been used for years by many people, but if this ever proves to be a problem for me, rest assured that I will make that known on this page!

WARNING! Your bike trailer MUST HAVE adequate leaf spring or torsion bar SUSPENSION to accommodate a hard tie system without issues. My Baxley Trailer has NO SUSPENSION other than two thick rubber pads that the axels rest on, therefore, with much regret, after four years and over 6000 thousand miles of transport, I am removing my hard tie system from this trailer, as I have experienced five broken eyebolts over this period due to rough road conditions and lack of pothole absorbing wheel travel on the trailer. Each time an eyebolt popped, the second bar held the bike securely, and I didn't notice the broken part until I reached my destination, but I have come to the conclusion that THIS trailer is simply not suitable for the hard tie system, but I love the trailer more than I do the hard ties, so I've gone back to the traditional tie down systems.

Except for the KuryAkyn Magnum Frame Clamps, all the necessary (3 point hitch) components are available directly from Tractor Supply Company, and your local hardware store.

Tools: Drill with 1/2" Bit, Adjustable Wrench, 3/4" Wrench, Dremel Tool with Tungsten Carbide Cutting Bit, Centering bar or other similar rod.

Hardware: All prices shown on this page are per the time of this writing (2011), and subject to change without page updates!

Click for higher resolution

To create "base pin" assemblies for the trailer, simply bolt a bracket pin through an eyebolt, using two fender washers on either side, a lock washer on the nut side, and an extra lock washer in the center of the eyebolt. This extra lock washer will compress into the center of the eyebolt and serve as a centering spacer to prevent the bracket pin from shifting in the larger eyebolt hole. (note: you might find it easier to fit the extra washer in the eyebolt if you snip off a 1/8" piece with some bolt cutters or Dremel cutoff wheel.)

Use a one inch wrench, socket, or adjustable wrench on the pin nut and a centering bar or other long bar inserted through the linch pin hole to hold the pin while tightening down the nut.

Click for larger image

By far, the hardest part of this whole project is increasing the hole size in the KuryAkyn Magnum Clamps to accommodate the 5/8" thickness of the bracket pins. Those Kury clamps are HARD STAINLESS STEEL!!

I found it useless to try to drill the holes out larger, and ruined a $15 5/8" bit within minutes on the first attempt. I found that a Dremel Tool with a Tungsten Carbide reaming bit would cut the hard metal without a lot of effort, but prepare for some "whittling" time. It takes about 15-20 minutes per hole to slowly ream them out to size.

Tip: Wear gloves, protect your eyes and skin, and work outdoors. Those reaming bits throw out millions of tiny slivers of sharp edged steel which can become instant splinters! I put a fan beside me to help keep the steel splinters blown away from me and off my clothing.

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

Sub-Assemblies are now complete, and we're ready to move out to the bike and trailer!

You will need to set the bike up on the trailer to determine exact locations for the base pins on the trailer and the Kury clamps on the bike. If you're not using a clamping wheel chock, have someone sit on the bike and hold it upright or lightly secure it upright with tie straps.

Base pins assemblies should be located at a strong frame member on the trailer. Lightweight flooring material will not support the system.


Click for larger image

The base and bike pins should be oriented parallel so the tie bar can easily slip off one side and in one direction. This can be inside toward the fender or outside away from the bike. Just make sure you have adequate fender clearance to the pins, nuts, or brackets with the bike fully compressed or you'll be mad at me later!!

Additional large fender washers should be used on the base assembly eyebolts if mounting to a wood floor.


Click for larger image

Although my bike pins are a little more noticeable oriented to the outside, I prefer working the bar outward, away from the fender. This is an easier attachment and less vulnerable to accidental paint damage.

Note: For better clearance between the bar and the Magnum clamp, use a  5/8" lock washer on BOTH sides of the clamp. This spaces the pin out just a tad so the bar doesn't ride against the chrome bracket surface.


Click for larger image

Two bikes, strapless and ready to roll!!

Click for larger image

To finish off this project, I painted the small parts with satin black engine paint and baked them for a bit at 350 degrees, then I ordered some 1.5" PVC heat shrink protective tubing for the stabilizer bars. This thick PVC covering will help protect them from banging against other metal parts of the trailer and bikes, give them some extra weather protection, and tone them down to all black. (The Road King set in the photos above is temporarily covered with carbon fiber wrap.) and finally I added some 1 -3/16" rubber pipe seal rings just to keep them from laying flat on the metal floor of the trailer.
 Click for larger image



My collection of H-D Projects and Pics


Page Last Updated 11-20-2017