K1600s and Ferries - BMW K1600 Forum : BMW K1600 GT and GTL Forums
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post #1 of 16 Old 03-14-2016, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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K1600s and Ferries

Hi

Off on a couple of European trips this year and I wondered what you all do about strapping the bikes down on ferries?

Main stand or side stand?

I usually put the bike in gear and clamp the front brake on. If I can I use a wheel wedge too.

My last K1300GT was very rocky (front to back) on the main stand so I always used the side stand. The 1600 is way more stable on the main and I am wondering if it's best to use that rather than stress the side stand.

I am assuming the ferry companies use the usual ratchet straps.

Thanks in advance

David

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post #2 of 16 Old 03-14-2016, 11:45 AM
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back in the 70s I road my Honda CB750 everywhere in Europe and they strapped it down using the side stand and bent the crap out of it.

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2015 K1600GT (went over a cliff)
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post #3 of 16 Old 03-14-2016, 12:20 PM
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I use ferries almost each year when touring.
Always use the side-stand (more stable) and first gear. The staff usually throws a strap over the saddle and fix it on the floor. That's why I carry a piece of foam or strong rag with me to protect my saddle.


Always check if the bikes are not too close. When the sea gets rocky, they may start scratching on each other.


I never had problems so far.
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post #4 of 16 Old 03-14-2016, 12:32 PM
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Car transportation favours centre stand and strap down front and rear, what you don't need is inadequate strapping and a bouncy crossing. What does the ferry company say will happen with the pride and joy

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post #5 of 16 Old 03-14-2016, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mole999 View Post
Car transportation favours centre stand and strap down front and rear, what you don't need is inadequate strapping and a bouncy crossing. What does the ferry company say will happen with the pride and joy
Not enquired. I have used Brittany ferries many times and they usually put a foam pad on the seat and strap towards the left hand side.

I am nervous about the strength of the side stand I guess. With the weight, the strap tension and any side-to-side movement I wonder if the side stand is up to it.

On the other hand it's three points of contact to take the weight and with bike in gear and front brake cable tied on all should be good.

Just me I think!!

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post #6 of 16 Old 03-14-2016, 12:50 PM
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Some of the ships have proper bike racks, but that's more the exception than the rule. There you don't use either stand, it's tied down near the pillion foot pegs, pulling the bike forward into the front wheel stopper at the end of the wheel channel.

Not speaking specifically for the K16 (delivery imminent), but I'd always go for the centre stand - it can take much more stress than the single side stand arm or pivot bolt. I always strap down on all four corners for long ferries, just left and right on shorter (calm) crossings. Try and get at least two side straps as high up on the bike as possible to have maximum effect restricting left to right rocking - on my Tiger Explorer I did so at the rear of the bike to keep the wheel in firm contact with the floor to prevent it from moving forwards (in gear), and firm things up with a tie down in the front to prevent it rolling backwards. Some ferries say put it on the side stand and just strap once over the seat - normally when tie dows are in short supply. To appease them I do go over the seat, but on the centre stand, put my one-piece rain suit pack under the tie down on the seat to protect it a bit, and wrap the tie down around the frame at least once so it doesn't slip. I also always carry two tie downs of my own. I normally take the chunnel between UK and France so just stand next to the bike for 20 min chatting to other riders.
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Last edited by MileMuncher; 03-14-2016 at 01:00 PM.
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post #7 of 16 Old 03-14-2016, 01:28 PM
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Opinions are divided on side or centre stand, personally I do whatever the ferry company tells me, usually side stand, and let them strap it down, with as has been suggested before a folded up rag or old towel between the seat and strap. If you haven't got that, then at least put your gloves on the seat under the strap. (Some ferry companies also have a large foam pad they put under the strap). That way, if the bike gets damaged during the crossing, then you have a good claim on the ferry company as they were in charge of securing. Might be a bit difficult if you strap your own bike down and it went for a lie down on route. Leave it in gear and you should be fine.

Before you leave home, a useful addition is to make a cable tie round the front brake lever and handle bar. Not 'emergency stop' tight, but just enough to stop the bike rolling back and forth, then put a dab of super glue on the 'clippy bit' to stop the cable tie tightening. That way it can be put on and off just by squeezing the brake a bit tighter. Also useful to carry around for parking on hills and all sorts.

As for the Eurotunnel, loading is with the front wheel against a small kerb on the left, bike pointing slightly to the left of the direction of travel. Leave it in gear (and cable tie if you like). Very rare for a bike to topple on the train, and as MileMuncher says, you stay with the bike for the crossing. But if the train has to do some kind of an emergency stop, the chance of saving the bike could be very touch and go. There is however a hand rail all along the carriage, so a short lightweight strap (i,e suitcase type strap, piece of rope or similar) from the hand rail to the left of the bike should help stop any toppling of the bike over to the right, as they do move a bit during the journey which is a bit alarming to watch to start with.

Random Library pic from Google here.....

http://brdavis.co.uk/PicsImage/2015-Trip/PIC0002.jpg
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post #8 of 16 Old 03-14-2016, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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I have used the Chunnel a couple of times and prefer it to ferries but that trip around the M25 is one of my least favourite trips EVER!

It is a bit disconcerting to see the bike wobble a bit so I tend to be close at hand.

Portsmouth is only 2.25 hours for me.

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post #9 of 16 Old 03-14-2016, 04:16 PM
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With you on that one David, the chunnel is convenient of you're heading off Germany or Belgium way, but agreed, not a nice journey down there. My preference by far is the overnight ferry out of Portsmouth into Le Harve or Caen. Finish work on a Friday, an hour or so for me down to Portsmouth, a few beers a cabin and a half decent breakfast to what they used to be, and start the holiday on French soil all nicely refreshed around 8:00 or so the next morning...
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post #10 of 16 Old 03-14-2016, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy_F View Post
With you on that one David, the chunnel is convenient of you're heading off Germany or Belgium way, but agreed, not a nice journey down there. My preference by far is the overnight ferry out of Portsmouth into Le Harve or Caen. Finish work on a Friday, an hour or so for me down to Portsmouth, a few beers a cabin and a half decent breakfast to what they used to be, and start the holiday on French soil all nicely refreshed around 8:00 or so the next morning...
I agree - The north of France is not the most inspiring of riding country (but must be visited for the battle fields tour - definitely brings the wars into reality)! We leave London after work, or sneak off an hour early, get the Chunnel over and do the motorway at least to St Omer. North Germany or Scandinavian trips normally start with an overnight ferry into Hoek van Holland. Waking up on "day 1" of the trip already the other side of the ditch is the way to go!

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