How to tie a bike down on a ferry

Published: 03 September 2010

Q. I’m taking my bike over to Spain next month and I wondered what’s the best way to tether the bike with the ratchet straps I have just purchased.

I have a centrestand-free Kawasaki ZRX1200S and I don’t relish crossing the Bay of Biscay with it rolling around on the car deck.
Dan Jefferson, email
 
A. Park it so it is almost leaning against the deck wall and out of people’s way. You want to tie it down so that the suspension is compressed and the weight of the bike is on the sidestand so it can’t flick up. Watch out that the straps don’t chafe the paintwork during the crossing.

Pieces of sponge where the straps bear on the bike are a good idea. Put it in first gear and tie the front brake lever on with a small bungee or a section of bike tyre inner tube and it shouldn’t shift, even in a storm.