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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guys

I and my 05 LT will be leaving Florida this spring, taking the outer banks North, circling the remainder of the Great Lakes heading West to Vancouver & North. My concern is the possible need of tying down the bike for the ferry rides. Ive taken her on a few short ones in Gulf Shores AL. and Galveston TX. but my concern is the longer and rougher ones, the one North from Vancouver is 15 hrs & overnite. Should the bike be on the centerstand if I am going to tie her down? Should it be on the centerstand if im not going to tie her down? Should I worry about tying it down at all?
 

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Welcome To Canada and beautiful British Columbia. I live in Vernon in the Okanagan and run the Ferry to Vancouver Island and up the coast many times. You have nothing to worry about the staff will take care of you. I to have a 07 LT and have kept it on the center stand and side stand nothing ever happened. I see many bikes using both never had a bike go down. Again they will take care of you. Just bring you camera and enjoy BC.
Take care
 

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I can say that the ferry ride if on the Knotts Island Ferry from the Outer Banks to Virginia Beach is smooth and there is not need for a tie down. If you cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and take Rte 13 or 113 to the Cape May Ferry the bike is also quite secure and in both cases is happy on the side stand. The Knotts Ferry is free while the Cape May Ferry is a bit pricey but includes a nice nearly ocean passage, none the less this route allows you to see the Eastern Shore of Virginia and Maryland including Chincateague, Ocean City, Rehoboth Beach and more.
 

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If there is a need to tie down, don't let anybody do it to the handle bars.
 

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No experience with bikes on BC ferries - but a lot in the Maritimes, on a variety of bikes.

On rivers, the ferries usually run flat & smooth and there is no need to worry about tie-downs. Make sure to leave the bike in gear so it does not roll of the sidestand.

I prefer sidestand to centerstand, because the 3-points - stand and wheels - provide wider (more stable) base in all directions than the centerstand.

On crossings that get waves (like St. Lawrence River in QC), I use a ratchet strap to lock the sidestand to the rim of front wheel. That way, I assure that the bike does not pitch abruptly and roll off. Also, occasionally, I have locked the brake: a velcro strap tightly wound around front brake lever. Great parking brake.

If you are planning on a really wavy crossing (like going to Victoria, for example), be prepared to tie down your bike. Usually, the crew will instruct you to do so. I carry my own straps for that purpose - I either tie the bike down with them or at least use them to extend the provided straps or ropes: these tend to be grimy and soaked with oil. I also carry disposable gloves (yes, I know it is feeble, so?) - that way I do not have to ride the rest of the day with hands and gloves reeking of diesel.

Rarely, on some ferries, the crew will insist on pulling a strap across the seat. I usually try to discourage that, as it stresses the stand - and does not help anyway, since the bike settles on shocks.

Also, as mwnahas posted: make sure no helpful crew member ties down your handlebars!


Here is an example for turbulent crossings: 2 straps up front, one from the rear wheel, on a ferry to Goose Bay, Labrador.



In picture above, the front straps are attached to the crash bar - not really applicable to the LT. For the Light Truck, it's best to go to the front fork brace, as demonstrated on this Newfoundland ferry crossing. You can see the strap pulling the rear wheel.
Notice how I extended the crew's straps with mine.






But, as I wrote, if you are only going to use river ferries, there should be no issue (though the brake lock won't hurt). Just park the damn thing.



Look at what the other riders do and follow their example.
 

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I would trust the side stand over the centerstand. And I would tie the front brake lever closed just for GP's. But that's just me.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Much help, my 05 LT leans so far on its side stand that although it may be safe, with it loaded I bust a nut to right it, thus the reason I like to pump up the centerstand everytime. However it is a little squirrely on a slick surface, lends to walk around.
The velcro on brake lever is a good idea when the bike is on the side stand, but for a 15 hr crossing im sure it would kill the battery. Could disconnect the battery but then I go threw all the reprograming.
 

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jameshawk said:
Much help, my 05 LT leans so far on its side stand that although it may be safe, with it loaded I bust a nut to right it ...
The velcro on brake lever is a good idea when the bike is on the side stand, but for a 15 hr crossing im sure it would kill the battery. ....
The opposite here - not having the electro-hydraulic stand, I am often unable to lift a fully loaded LT on or drop off the centerstand, so I with the Light Truck am forced to use the sidestand anyway.

I am surprised that the bike leans so far for you. Are sure you do not have too much play in the side stand pivot? I always felt that my LT's did not lean enough, ready to tip over the other side, with the slope even slightly to the right.

Regarding battery - I am only familiar with the GS power brakes, but: the servos run for you with the ignition key off?
 

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In the attached pics you can see both methods, sidestand and centerstand. This ferry ride was a 24 hour 24 knots strech from Finland to Germany.

I used to travel almost weekly on fast ferry from Finland to Estonia and I preferred the side stand method. That way the bike has three support points.

Centerstand is Ok as long as you don't leave the bike untied. Plus leaving it on gear helps nothing (as your rear tire is in the air). The centerstand is pretty slippery on the steel deck so you need to secure the bike somehow from rocking back and forth and especially off the centerstand.

The other two pics describe a simple and cheap tie system in which you can fasten the tie down ropes of the ferry (provided that they have those...)

Regards
 

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pozo_izquierdo said:
...
The other two pics describe a simple and cheap tie system in which you can fasten the tie down ropes of the ferry (provided that they have those...)
Regards
Hey, Ari, you are the Farkle King! Your bike is even equipped with eyebolts for tiedowns. Too much... :rotf:

I had to smile about another one of your pictures. The other bikes park perpendicularly, but the LT gets its own parking space! Neat! Truly a Light Truck.

A brief hijack of thread: Your license plate reminded me of a question I always wanted to ask a Finn. Do you know why the country designator was changed from Suomi-Finland? (From SF to FIN?)
 

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rdwalker said:
Hey, Ari, you are the Farkle King! Your bike is even equipped with eyebolts for tiedowns. Too much... :rotf:

I had to smile about another one of your pictures. The other bikes park perpendicularly, but the LT gets its own parking space! Neat! Truly a Light Truck.

A brief hijack of thread: Your license plate reminded me of a question I always wanted to ask a Finn. Do you know why the country designator was changed from Suomi-Finland? (From SF to FIN?)
Hi Robert,

you are right about the special parking. LT is already as such somewhat longer than the other bikes but I had my special luggage rack installed (which you can barely see in the picture) so it would have been way too long for the width of the "bike lane".

As far as the SF to FIN is concerned, you seem to be well informed...If I remember correctly the original Suomi-Finland (SF) was changed to FIN somewhere in the 80's or maybe even earlier. The reason was that very few foreigners knew the words that the SF was abbreviated from..("Suomi" is the the name of our country in Finnish) Actually too many thought SF came from "Soviet Finland". So somebody figured that FIN is less confusing and therefore that became the official abbreviation of our country.

Regards
 

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pozo_izquierdo said:
...If I remember correctly the original Suomi-Finland (SF) was changed to FIN somewhere in the 80's or maybe even earlier...
Oh, boy, now I feel old. :(

Have a great ride - hopefully the season starts for you soon, too.
 

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rdwalker said:
Oh, boy, now I feel old. :(

Have a great ride - hopefully the season starts for you soon, too.
Yup, time flies doesn't it...;)

Thanks for the wishes, but his year it looks like we will not start the riding for another two months. We are having close to 3 feet snow but I guess that is pretty much the same in your Northern States as well.

If you come to CCR, we will see in Idaho!

Regards
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Robert
What do you mean by "sidestand Pivot"? do you mean as in wear? if that is the case none. And reguarding brakes, they are minimal with the key off but existent.

and to Ari
The eye bolt is a great idea, however finding a metric one in the U.S. will be quite a hunt.
Say have to drilled a weep hole for your clutch? Oh nothing just quite a puddle in that area on picture #1
 

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I rode the Ferry a few times at the Outer Banks. I have always used the side stand and stayed with bike for the most part. Not bragging here but have made these crossings with mostly people on Harleys crossing also. The LT always gets the most attention. I some times feel bad for the HD riders. Maybe people think that there Pirates. :wave
 

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jameshawk said:
Robert
What do you mean by "sidestand Pivot"? do you mean as in wear? ...
Yes, that is what I thought - on some other bikes the sidestand had a lot of up-and-down play and would allow the bike to tip over sideways more than normally.
 

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James, Living on an island in the pacific northwest, I ride the ferries all the time on my bike. Even the roughest crossing, the Keystone to Port townsend ferry across the straights, I always use the side stand. I have twice stayed with my bike when the waves were bad, and the boat was pretty bouncy, but I don't think you will encounter anything that severe, also the victoria ferries are much larger, and are not as subject to sea surface activity as the smaller boat used in the keystone-PT ferry run. If your bike feels like it is tipping too much, you can cut a plywood square to use as a pad for the side stand. As has been related in some previous posts, always put the bike in gear, and roll it forward before putting it on the stand. I am not sure about the victoria ferry, but none of the other ferries I have ridden in the system here have tie down areas like the photo in the other post shows. Don't worry! All of these ferry runs here including the victoria are inland waters. You will have fun, and your bike will NOT tip over!!
 

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jameshawk said:
and to Ari
The eye bolt is a great idea, however finding a metric one in the U.S. will be quite a hunt.
Say have to drilled a weep hole for your clutch? Oh nothing just quite a puddle in that area on picture #1
The eye bolt that I have is from a boat store. Stainless steel with standard 8 mm thread. I would assume that for you guys it is easier to find metric bolts than for us to find the inch stuff.

As far as the oil puddle...Lucky that it was not my bike on that picture! And in fact, that bike started giving clutch malfunction symptoms some two three days later. We were heading down to South Germany and my buddy continued to Switzerland and Italy and his clutch problems got worse. He made it back home but some weeks later he had to have the clutch done.
Actually the oil was from a Hardly Ableson that occupied the same spot on the previous trip...:p

Regards
 

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Tie Down Straps -

I've carried these from the beginning of my K1200LT ownership along with pictures and instructions, but never used. I was told they would be handy if the bike ever needed to be carried or tied down. I scanned the instructions and the nylon straps are about 15" long with 5" loops on both ends. I always keep them in my tool kit.
 

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The ferry (Badger) that crosses Lake Michigan from Ludington, MI to Manitowoc, WI requires the rider to supply at least two tie-downs. I haven't done it yet with my LT, but when I had my GT, I did not put either of the stands down. The tie-downs kept the bike upright without any stand.
 
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