There’s nothing quite like hitting the open road. The freedom, adrenaline and excitement. You could have the best motorbike on the market, the best travel routes mapped out, but do you know how best to store or strap things on your motorbike to make it a smooth and reassuring journey? And how safe is it to strap loads to your motorbike?
First, let’s explain the difference between bungee straps and cords
Bungee straps and bungee cords can be used interchangeably, but here at The Bungee Store, we’re quite the bungee specialists. So we’ve got a helpful distinction.
Bungee straps, however, are simply made of a flatter material to strap down things or to act as barriers.
Can I use bungee straps or cords for motorcycles?
Yes, you can use bungee straps and cords to hold down a range of items to your motorbike. There are, however, important risk factors you need to consider. One being the weight of the load. When you get your bungee cord, you should test its stretchability and weight limit. Don’t strain it to the max, as this isn’t safe. The last thing you want is to weaken your bungee straps, or worse, cause it to disattach. What should you do then?
Avoid flexible, moveable bags, like grocery bags, plastic bags, rice bags etc. You want stability when strapping items down with bungee cords
Do not strap down heavy loads with bungee straps or cords, make sure to test their stretchability and weight limit
Make sure your bungee straps and cords are tight, with a secure grip and attachment
Factor in whether you’re taking a bumpy route. If you hit a bump, your package could jump and possibly slide out because of the elasticity of bungee materials. They can be tight and secure, but remember they stretch
Monitor your bungee cords over time, always testing their strength, you may have to replace them every so often
Always check for dangling cords, a good cord will be hooked or attached into place securely with no loose or dangling bits that can get caught
Bungee cord net for motorcycles
If you’re a bit hesitant to use bungee cords or straps, consider a bungee cargo net.
These can be made by knotting bungee cords together to make a stable cargo net. Many bikers use these to strap parcels and helmets down to their motorbikes. The wider surface area design works great for securing trickier items to your bikes. Again, avoid moveable items like a shopping bag full of groceries – you don’t want anything toppling out or falling down. You can also tailor them to your needs by making them with smaller squares, but just remember to factor in the stretching; test first.
Ropes to tie things down
There are, of course, good old-fashioned ropes you can use to tie your items down. You just need to make sure you have knotted them tightly and secured them to your bike. What’s great about bungee straps, cords and nets is that they work well by being hooked down and offer stretchability. With rope, always make sure there are no loose ends that may get trapped or become loose when riding. Keep any excess ends tucked away with no dangles. Watch out for ropes stretching over time, especially the cheaper ones. Regularly check the rope and test it for its strength, wear and tear, and thickness.
With ratchet load straps, you can get a range of sizes, from small to large straps made for heavy cargo on trucks. The smaller ones are sufficient for motorcycles, too. For instance, if you need to ride home with a large and heavy bag, a ratchet strap works well to tie it down. They come with cam buckles, so you should be careful when putting them on your bike and when taking them off; you don’t want to scratch your precious bike, or have them bang against it.
They can also come with hooks or loop ends. When using a loop end – which is preferred for tying down a bag – make sure to loop the end of the strap around a foot peg bracket with the other end around the grab bar or frame (depending on your motorbike), then connect your ratchet strap together on top of the bag.
Whatever you use, just make sure you’re always checking your cords, ropes and straps for any weakness or wear and tear. Double up your straps if you need to, and consider a few different options for different loads. Ensure whatever you use, they are held down and attached securely and tightly, and factor in your routes – especially bumpy ones. Ride safe!