How do you tow a Triumph Street Triple safely and without damaging the bike? It’s actually pretty easy, and I’m going to show you step by step how to do it.
Sometimes your motorcycle can’t get from Point A to Point B on it’s own, either due to mechanical failure, or because of state or provincial laws, and you need to tow your motorcycle. If done right, towing a motorcycle is just a minor inconvenience. If done wrong, it can be disastrous.
This article will cover what you need to have, what’s nice to have, what to do, what not to do, and fail safes and back-ups.
Note: Much of this still applies, but this article is pretty dated. I have newer and better information on how to tow a motorcycle, here.
What you need to tow a Triumph Street Triple
- NEED: Tow vehicle (duh)
- NEED: Trailer – My Klinger 3×8 motorcycle trailer lowers flat to the ground (review here and video here) but you can rent a motorcycle trailer from U-Haul for around $20
- NEED: Soft loops x 2
- NEED: 1” ratchet straps x 2
- NEED: 2” ratchet straps x 2
- WANT: Black Widow wheel chock (review and video) – They’re only $89
How do you tow a Triumph Street Triple?
I’ll take you through step by step, what I did to tow the Street Triple as best I can. Keep in mind, a picture is worth a thousand words, so if anything in my write-up isn’t clear, you can check out the video that I made to show you step by step how I do it.
Also, if you have any questions, or if this article and video made your life easier, feel free to post a comment down below. I always love getting those and will try to answer all questions that come in.
- The bike should be fully upright, not on the kickstand
- The kickstand should be in the down position, but not touching the ground
- Take the key out of the bike and keep it with you in the tow vehicle
- Anything less than four straps is too little, anything more is too much
- Back straps are to prevent the back of the bike from fishtailing on the trailer
- Ideally, the straps should be at 45-degree angles
- Never have your straps twisted, always straight
- Front straps should not bottom out the suspension but hold the bike in place
- Back straps also act as a fail-safe should something go wrong in front
Step 1: Bike on the trailer, into the wheel chock
A wheel chock helps to hold your Triumph Street Triple upright for you, so that strapping down your motorcycle becomes a one person job. At $89 and lasting forever, a wheel chock is the least expensive helper you can get.
Once the bike is on the trailer and in the wheel chock, stick the kick-stand out, but keep the bike upright. The kick-stand out is just a fail-safe should your Street Triple start to fall on the left side.
Step 2: Strap the front end down
Starting on the kick-stand side (left side) of your motorcycle, wrap a soft-loop around your Street Triple’s front fork, and through itself, as shown. This will give you a way of strapping to the front of the motorcycle without scratching the front end. We start on the kick-stand side just in case the bike starts to tip.
Once the left side is secure, secure the right side. Go back and forth until the bike is level. Make sure to keep at least a couple centimeters or an inch of travel in the suspension. This will make sure your Street Triple’s suspension isn’t maxed out which could cause premature wear.
Step 3: Strap the back end down
Strap down the back end in similar fashion. Start with the left side, because it’s easier as the Street Triple has brakes on the right side. Strap through solid metal, like the swing arm or the frame. Don’t strap to bits or pieces held in by bolts that can come out, like the rear passenger foot peg supports.
The back straps will not only prevent your Triumph’s rear end from fishtailing on the trailer (or off the trailer) in the event you need to turn or swerve at high speed, they also act as a backup to your front straps.
Step 4: Tie up loose strap ends
Loose straps can get caught in your trailer’s wheel well, which can rip your motorcycle right off of your trailer and cause an accident, so you’ll want to tidy up those loose ends.
In the video I show you how to make what I call “donuts”, but you can also learn how to tie the bowline knot, or if you’re in a rush and don’t care if it looks pretty, just tie four knots.
Step 5: Make sure your trailer is ready and hit the road
Make sure your trailer’s safety chains are crossed over and hooked up. Make sure the trailer lights are functioning. Make sure your trailer coupler and ball are the same size and properly seated. Make sure you have a clevis pin going through the coupler and a cotter pin going through the clevis pin.
Once you’re ready to go, drive slowly, and remember: New straps will stretch. If this is your first time using a new set of ratchet straps, check on them after 5 minutes, then again after 10, and then again after 20 minutes, and so on. If they stretch too much and aren’t re-tightened, they’re useless.
COMMENTS: Did you find this helpful? Do you have any questions? Let me know in the comments section down below!