How to Tie Down a Harley Davidson Motorcycle on a Trailer


Even though carrying your Harley Davidson on a motorcycle is fairly an easy task, you do not want to make mistakes and cause damage to the bike or trailer. There are several ways to load a Harley Davidson into a truck depending on the type of trailer you have. Here we discussed the basics of strapping a Harley bike properly. Let’s learn:

Step 1

Usually, there are tie-down locations on trailers. The first step is checking for those tie-downs and finding a total of four locations, two on the front and the other two on the back. Your trailer does not have tie-down spots? Then, you should install tie-down hooks!

Step 2

Make sure you have the proper Harley Davidson tie down straps with an adjustable ratcheting feature. On each of the hooks, place the straps and ensure they are adjusted right for reaching your bike’s handlebars. You should be able to adjust the straps and tighten or loosen them accordingly.

Step 3

When you are rolling the motorcycle into the trailer, the straps should not be stuck under it. So, keep them on the side and keep the space for the motorcycle free. You can use motorcycle ramps to roll up your bike easily. If the trailer is too high, you may need help to roll it in. Make sure the front wheel of the bike is situated against the front wheel chock or the front of the trailer. Front-wheel chock is always a better option!

Step 4

After you have successfully rolled the motorcycle into the truck, use the kickstand to keep it standing while you strap it in. Start by placing the hooks on both of the straps over the bike’s handlebars. Make sure there is nothing between the strap and the handlebars to prevent any damage.

Use the ratcheting adjusters to adjust and tighten the straps. You need to tighten them until the bike can stand by itself without having to use the kickstand. After you are done with strapping it in, you can raise the kickstand.

Step 5

Now, you can take the chock and place it behind the rear wheel of your Harley and adjust it for proper attachment. Use a tie-down strap on the high point of the bike, generally on the frame’s rear part situated behind the seat. Do this on both sides of the rear end and tie the straps on tie-down locations on the back of the trailer.

Step 6

After adjusting all four straps, check if the motorcycle is standing straight or not. If it is leaning in any direction, loosen and/tighten specific straps to make sure it is straight. Note that having the motorcycle vertical and straight is very important.

To double-check, rock the motorcycle and shake it lightly back and forth to see if it leans in any direction. Also, check for straps getting loose.

Do Not –

  • Use bad attachment points such as rear bag guards. They are not safe and can easily be pulled off.
  • Buy cheap and bad straps. Be very careful with your purchase of quality straps for bigger motorcycles like Harley Davidson. Remember that any damage happening to your bike will cost far more to repair than the price of the straps.
  • Use the handlebars to tie the bike down with the straps. Harley’s handlebars are not made for getting strapped for carrying on trailers. Handlebars are far stronger in a Harley Davidson bike than any other part. Moreover, they are less susceptible to damage from straps than other locations of your bike.


The best way to understand the basics of carrying a Harley bike on a trailer is to learn it from a thorough video. If you are having trouble getting the idea of how to strap down a Harley Davidson from an article, check out this detailed video by Matt Laidlaw.

Final Note

Having the straps nice and tight and ensuring the bike is not leaning left or right will be enough for carrying the bike on a trailer. In addition, be careful going over bumps and while taking turns. If your trailer does not have permanent tie-down locations, do not try to perform this process without installing them from a professional.

Alston Seymour

A Harley-Davidson Motor Company certified Master Technician and avid biker, I love to write about everything and anything related to biking.

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