today i went out loaded my bike and started of thinking of better ways to secure it in the bed.
first the obvious problem, WEAK BEDRAIL ATTACHMENT ANCHORS! how do you secure the bike without wrenching down on thoes weal anchors and possibly breaking them off?
first let me explain a couple problems i have..
many times ill be hauling 2 bikes in the bed any of you who have done this know that it's difficult to prevent the bikes from leaning to the inside of the bed when driving around corners without strapping the hell out of the bike which is bad for the suspention. so i use a fork support. it's a plastic peice you stick on top of the wheel and under the front fender between the forks. this way when you wrench down on the straps it only allows the suspention to collapse about 1 inch and puts all the stress directly on the tire. you can accomplish the same thing with a cut 2x4.
in any case some of the roads we drive on to get to the dirt bike place require you drive on almost 4x4 trails to get to the unload point. in addition to that we live in a hill community that has many mountain roads.
the problem is that if your bike should lean inwards in the bed there is a good possibility the hook at the end of your strap can become UNHOOKED! and fall off of the attachment point and then when the bike returns upright it could easily just fall over the side of the bed since nothing is holding it in the bed. the key here is that you really want the bikes to stay exactly where you put them! I dont want them leaning and moving around back there. thats expensive cargo, heavy cargo and i know it will dammage the truck and the bikes if they fell out! even if you think your current method is working for you please read the rest of this post. its always better to be safe than sorry and the peice of mind i get knowing my bike will arrive safe each time is well worth the extra effort!
first a little history..
a few years ago i had a honda ridgeline, it happend to have a hook at the rear of the bed that lined up perfectly with the foot peg on the bike when the bike was loaded. this gave me a good idea i still use today. if you put a ratchet strap from the outboard foot peg of your bike and strap it straight down it causes the bike to really really want to lean to the outside of the bed which is a good thing because it also won't lean inwards in a turn. so this way i can actually run 1 bike on 1 side of the bed on the way over to my buddys house to pick him and his bike up without worrying about the bike leaning as i make turns. if you have 2 bikes we used to try to lean the handlebars to touch each other so they would help keep each other from moving
now the solution. i was thinking how i might install a D ring on the rear area of the wheel well so i could attach this strap to the foot peg on each side of the bed. I really, really don't want to drill any holes in my bed!
so after looking over ideas, what i ended up doing was detaching a hook from the end of a strap by spreading the eyelet open about a 1/16th of an inch so i could remove the hook from the strap. i fed the end of the strap through one of the forward holes that the feet of the storage compartment covers use at the bottom of the storage compartment so i could get the strap below the bed. after re attaching the strap to it's hook i managed to secure the hook to the frame itself right where the bed attaches to the frame by hooking it around the welded bed mount. with the strap now running from the frame underneith the bed, then through the hold of the storage compartment and up to the foot peg, now i can crank down as much as i want on the strap without drilling any holes or any modifications to the bed. there is virtually no stress on the bed and no holes to drill!. i did drill a small hole through one of the ribs on the underside of the bed and attached a zip tie through the eye of the hook then through the small hole i made it secures the hook so it will never fall off the frame when not under tension. now i just leave the end of the strap with the other hook and tension stop inside the storage compartment when not in use.
i can even reinstall the cover with the strap holding the bike since it just comes out of the cover hole straight out the top. the cover will bend just enough to allow the strap to exit the corner of the compartment and will still latch so the cover wont get lost and doesnt need to be stowed anyplace. in fact it still can be used for storage.
i might have to make a video to explain all of this. its pretty cool actually.
anyway the end result is that you don't have to wrench down on the straps at the front of the bike to keep it from falling over, in fact you only need 1 strap that goes from the inner handlebar to the opposite side of the bed and the one on the foot peg to hold the bike in place it's Brilliant!
also i found that wrapping the front straps around the adjustable bed rail clamps verses just hooking to it puts the stress on the clamps much closer to the bed rail itself so they don't bend nearly as much when you crank them down.
in addition to the modifications oin the rear i reccommend pointing your wheel to the front corners of the bed so it puts no stress on the center of the bed which always results in a bent bed front rail.
i now have 2 anchors at the front of the bed on each side about 6 inches from the front and another pair just inside of the same corners about 6 inches from the bed sides. this way you can still get to a front attachment point for each bikes inboard strap without going over the wheel or through it to get to the anchor.
neither bike will move and neither will touch each other and you only need 3 straps total to secure it ROCK SOLID! using this method you could easily go offroading with no concern of your bikes moving anywhere. i can even push the bike while standing on the ground on the side of the truck inwards and it wont budge! its as solid as it would be if you ran 1 bike in the middle and straps on either side.