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Bike Grab Wheel Chock

Motorcycle Wheel Chock - Bike-Grab

by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com

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Motorcycles seem to flow in and out of the webBikeWorld garage in an endless stream and in various states of repair.

The logistics of transporting all of these bikes and equipment was getting out of hand, so it was time to get a nice, heavy-duty trailer of our own.

There are about as many different trailers as their are motorcycle brands, but I decided on a smallish 4' by 8' flatbed because of its versatility for hauling all sorts of equipment, including ATVs, riding lawnmowers and other toys.

The only problem with a flatbed was that I'd have to find a wheel chock that could be bolted to the trailer floor and removed when necessary.

Some of the local track day specialists recommended the Bike-Grab, and after considering various alternatives, I ordered one from Driven Gear, the U.S. distributor.

I'm especially fond of dual or multi-purpose devices, and the Bike-Grab certainly fits that description. It can be used in the garage as a front or rear wheel chock, as a place to park a motorcycle (it can also be permanently mounted to a floor), as a front or rear wheel stand to hold a motorcycle in place for maintenance and repair, and also for hauling a motorcycle on our flatbed trailer.

The Bike-Grab wheel chock doesn't seem to be as well known in the U.S.A. as it is in the U.K. The product was originally designed in England and it's still made there, along with the Tommy Jack and the Bike Lift. The Bike Lift is a very unique motorcycle lift, and we'll be reporting on it in an upcoming webBikeWorld article.

I'm always appreciative of good engineering and design, and the Bike-Grab is no exception. Someone must have spent a lot of time and effort to develop this unique product and to also have the motivation and wherewithal to bring it to market.

The Bike-Grab is made from heavy steel tubing; I measure it at 1.712" diameter (43.5 mm). I'm assuming that this is metric sized 43 mm tube, because the nearest ANSI tube size would probably be 1.750". The extra half-millimeter or so is probably the thickness of the powder coating.

In any case, it's hefty stuff and not likely to bend, warp or break. In fact, Quasar Products Limited (UK), the manufacturers of the Bike-Grab, offer a lifetime warranty and a 30-day money back guarantee on all of their products.

The Bike-Grab wheel chock is easy to use. After the metal side plates are adjusted to fit the front tire, the motorcycle can be rolled on (or off) the chock by pushing it up and over the short front ramp.

There are two rubber cushions under the square-tube wing-like supports located on either side. The bumpers help to keep the Bike-Grab from sliding when the motorcycle's front tire first hits the ramp.

However, the two small rubber cushions don't provide enough friction to prevent the Bike-Grab from sliding on the concrete floor in our garage. I think more rubber under the round tubing that runs underneath the ramp would probably help to keep it in place.

I may try gluing a section of an old inner tube underneath to see if this helps. In the meantime, an old piece of vinyl flooring (see photo) or carpet serves to hold the Bike-Grab in place.

 

Photo 2: View from underneath the trailer, showing the central box section spine and revised Bike-Grab mounting bolts (yellow arrows).

 

Photo 3: The central mounting holes (yellow arrows) interfered with the frame of the trailer. We drilled two 3/8" holes (blue arrows) on either side to secure the Bike-Grab to the trailer.

 
Mounting plate for Bike Grab

Photo 3: Optional mounting plate. The Bike Grab slides in and is secured using the bolt.

 
 

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The Bike-Grab includes two metal side plates that are used to hold the motorcycle tire in place.  The plates can be adjusted for tires from 80 to 200 mm wide, although an optional set of top plates is recommended for tires less than 100 mm in width.

The optional plates (not shown) bolt to the top of the Bike Grab with U-shaped clamps (supplied). They can be installed and then rotated out of the way if necessary when not needed.

Four carriage bolts (two on either side, supplied by the manufacturer) hold the plates in place. The width is adjusted by loosening the Nylock nuts to move the plates in and out using the scale on the front of the ramp to adjust to the correct tire width.

The Bike-Grab can be used on either the front or rear tire, although some motorcycle rear fenders may hang too low to allow the bike to fit. The Bike-Grab works great in the garage or shop for holding the motorcycle during repair.

Once the front wheel is dropped down into the chock, the bike is very secure. Some side-to-side movement is apparent if the motorcycle is pushed, but I can literally shake the bike back and forth very hard and it stays in place.

Video clips and photographs are available on the Quasar and the Driven Gear (U.S.A. distributor) websites that illustrate the sturdiness of a motorcycle when secured in the Bike-Grab chock.

The neat thing about the product is its ability to be used as a front wheel chock on a motorcycle trailer. Two 3/8" diameter holes are pre-drilled into the Bike-Grab's mounting plate, and these can be used to mount it on the floor of a trailer.

However, our trailer has a box section central spine that runs down the center underneath the floorboards, and we didn't want to drill through it for mounting.

Update: We first mounted the wheel chock by drilling a 3/8" diameter hole through the square tube support arms on either side of the Bike-Grab. We used corresponding 3/8" diameter hex bolts to attach it to the floor of the motorcycle trailer (see photo 3).

The only problem with this was that the square tube supports are welded to the round tubing of the Bike-Grab at a slight angle, to provide the elevation necessary for the motorcycle tire and wheel to drop down into the Bike-Grab for security.

When we tightened the bolts, the unit was drawn down to the floor of the trailer, decreasing the height and somewhat diminishing the security of the chock.

We tightened up the bolts just enough to hold the Bike-Grab securely without having to draw the square tube supports directly down on to the trailer floor, and we used a lock washer over a 3/8" diameter flat washer to make sure the nut remained on the bolt.

The trailer was used several times to tow motorcycles with the Bike-Grab mounted this way and we experienced no problems.

Since then, we learned that a mounting plate is available that is specifically designed to solve this problem (see photo 4).

The plate is mounted to the trailer bed with four 3/8" bolts; we used 2-1/2" long bolts with flat washers under the bolt head and the Nylock nut, along with a lock washer just in case.

The Bike-Grab then slips in to the mounting plate and is attached with a single bolt at the rear. This provides a very secure mounting system, and it also makes it easier to remove the Bike-Grab from the trailer if necessary.

So if your trailer has a metal spine running down the center, as many do, the optional mounting plate is recommended.

The Bike-Grab has a lifetime guarantee. But there really doesn't seem to be anything that could go wrong with the device, because there are no moving parts, so I'm not really worried about having to make any claims.

Once we figured out how to mount the Bike-Grab on the trailer we had no other problems. It's very easy for an individual to roll the motorcycle up on to the flatbed trailer with its big, wide ramp (although it's always nice to have help).

One of the advantages of using the Bike-Grab as a wheel chock on a trailer is that once the motorcycle is in place, you can walk around and secure it with your ratchet straps without needing an extra set of hands to hold the bike.

It is important to make sure the side plates are adjusted correctly and that they are bolted down. This helps to ensure that the motorcycle tire is held with the least amount of play and helps the bike to remain upright when in the chock.

The Bike-Grab requires a slightly different tie down technique for securing the motorcycle on the trailer. I followed the guidelines and photographs on the Quasar website (see below) and also the article by Chris Edwards on the Mid-Atlantic Ducati Owners club website ("Tie Down Po' Boy Style" in the Articles section). Chris also uses a Bike-Grab and a similar flatbed trailer to transport his Ducati.

The general idea is to use the straps to pull the motorcycle down and in to the Bike-Grab's cradle. One of the advantages of using a Bike-Grab is that the motorcycle can be secured by running the straps over the axle on each side of the forks, rather than over the triple clamp, which places a load on the motorcycle's springs.

We use a second set of straps attached to the frame, located near a low region around the footpegs, again pulling the bike forward and down into the Bike-Grab.

It took some getting used to, but we've successfully used this method for hauling motorcycles over several hundred miles so far on some rough roads and at speeds up to 70+ MPH on the Interstate without problems. This method minimizes the loads placed on the motorcycle's suspension and springs and helps prevent deformation of the forks and any suspension wheel alignment problems.

Just remember that every motorcycle is different and what works for us may not work for you. Read the directions, do some research on how to transport motorcycles (the wBW Motorcycle Trailers page is a good place to start) and seek help from motorcycle owners who have lots of trailering experience.

Conclusion
We really like the Bike-Grab; it's versatile, well made and ingenious. The price is reasonable also, especially considering it has multiple uses.

We wish there were more options for securing it to a motorcycle trailer, and it could use some additional rubber bumpers underneath to prevent it from sliding when the motorcycle is pushed up on to the ramp. But overall, we're pleased with the product and especially its usefulness when used on a motorcycle trailer.

wBW Product Review:  Bike-Grab Motorcycle Wheel Chock

Available From:  Quasar Products (UK);  Lifts and Stands (US) Suggested Retail Price:  $169.95 + Shipping
Colors: Red, Silver Made In: England
Review Date:  March 2005  Product Comments:  Works great as a front or rear wheel stand, wheel chock and with motorcycle trailers. Well made, guaranteed for life and 30-day satisfaction guarantee.

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