The Acebikes Tyre Fix motorcycle tie-down strap is a completely different system to secure a motorcycle on a trailer.
It's very well made, with heavy-duty components.
The flexible tire gripper fits over the front or rear tire to hold the motorcycle securely on the trailer.
If it fits your bike, it's more effective than using a strap on the handlebars and frame.
The Tyre Fix tie-down is easy to use and fits most motorcycles.
Acebikes makes some very high-quality products, each with an ingenious feature or two that makes them stand above the competition.
For example, the original Acebikes Steadystand (review) may look like many other front wheel stands, but this one is simpler, easier to use and it weighs less and is therefore more portable.
Next came the Acebikes Steadystand Multi (review), in either fixed or portable configurations, which adjusts for different wheel widths and diameters.
Acbikes specializes in motorcycle transportation products. These are typically precision-made and obviously designed by someone who knows motorcycles...and the intricacies and idiosyncrasies of trailering a bike.
The newest Acebikes product in this regard is the Acebikes Tyre Fix, a flexible motorcycle tie-down strap that can be used on either the front or rear wheels. The design is similar to the Tyre Down tie-down system (review) from Australia, which has served admirably for many years.
The standard method for tying down a motorcycle on a trailer is to attach a couple of ratchet straps to the handlebars or triple clamp in the front and another pair pulling down on the rear.
It works, and owners have been using that system for decades, but it can put a lot of strain on the handlebars and it can be difficult to find a good tie-down point where the strap doesn't interfere with the bodywork.
When the straps are tightened, the suspension is compressed. Most owners seem to tighten the straps too much, figuring that more is better, but too much can stress the suspension and also puts a lot of stress on the straps and tie-down points, like the handlebars, so don't overdo it. Compressing the suspension a little bit is fine; after all, the same thing happens when you sit your carcass on the saddle and ride... But too much pull on the handlebars isn't a good idea.
It's often difficult to find a good place to attach the straps, both in the front and rear of the bike, especially on a touring bike with a front fairing. And probably the most significant issue is ensuring that the straps don't chafe on body parts or scratch the paint. It doesn't take much, especially with a dirty strap.
The Acebikes Tyre Fix tie-down system offers a completely different concept for holding the bike on the trailer. The flexible strap can be used on either the front or rear tire or both. It's placed over the tire and it has a system of straps with attached ratchets to hold the bike.
The Tyre Fix strap holds the tire only, not the motorcycle or the handlebars. This means there is absolutely no suspension loading and you don't have to worry about bending the handlebars, forks or scratching the paint.
Since most the rear tire on most motorcycles has much more clearance over the top than the front, the Tyre Fix may or may not fit on your front tire, depending on the amount of clearance between the fender and the tire. It fits the front tire of a 1986 BMW R65, for example, and, obviously, the Suzuki DR650 (blog). It may not fit between the tire and fender of a sportbike with less than about 10 mm clearance.
The "V" shape formed by the side straps and the fact that they are independent and then connect at the metal buckle is a deliberate design to allow the straps to be placed around the front fork tube on either side of the bike.
Just note that the Tyre Fix will fit the rear tire of many more motorcycles than the front tire, due to differences in clearance, the front fender design, fairing issues, etc. on the front tire and wheel.
We have used the similar Tyre Down system on the rear wheel of many motorcycles over the years and it works beautifully. In fact, this type of system is one of the best innovations in all of motorcycling.
The Acebikes Tyre Fix is a variation on this design, because the "cup" that holds the tire has a flexible "H" shape, which helps to make it fit more easily over some types of tire and wheel configurations.
The tire holder is 6 mm thick, so it can slip under almost every fender to fit on top of the tire. It's made from a heavy-duty nylon webbing, similar to the webbing used on traditional ratchet and lift straps. This type of webbed strap is used in industry to lift very heavy items weighing dozens or even hundreds of tons, so when it's properly designed, there should be no worries about breaking.
In fact, the webbing and the ratchets used on the Acebikes Tyre Fix look like they're overbuilt by a factor of, oh, about 10 or so.
Underneath is a rubberized friction material that feels something like rubbery Astroturf. It provides excellent grip on the tire when the Tyre Fix straps are tightened with the ratchets.
Each "arm" of the H has sewn-in straps with a galvanized steel clasp at the end. The clasp from one slides over a post on the other, which also holds the ratchet. This forms a strong "V" shaped anchor and then another separate tie-down strap with a hook on the end is attached to the trailer.
The adjustable straps attached to the ratchets of the Tyre Fix are shorter than we expected. Acebikes said that the straps are designed to be placed closer to the tire (at a narrower angle) than usual, which helps to keep as much of the Tyre Fix gripping surface on the tire as possible.
The recommendation is that the spread between the hold-down hooks is no less than 700 mm and no greater than 1300 mm. But, since it's possible that your trailer may not have the anchors located in the optimal position, having a little extra length on the straps would probably be better.
But, since it's easy enough to add an extra tie-down point on most trailers, especially a flatbed, Tyre Fix owners should consider adding a length of E-Track or other system to the floor of the trailer closer to the tire. In other words, if you have a wide trailer, the hook end of the straps on the Tyre Fix may not be long enough to reach all the way to each side of the trailer bed.
We loaded the Honda CBR600 shown in the photos on a small 4' by 8' trailer and the Tyre Fix strap hooks were placed on the outer edge of the trailer frame. You can see in the photos that the straps are just long enough to reach the sides of the trailer and still use the ratcheting mechanism, but there is no extra length of strap left at the ratchet.
You could use the hook end from a set of standard ratchet straps to replace the shorter hook end of the strap on the Tyre Fix if more length is needed; just be aware of the Acebikes recommendations for the optimal distance between the hooks for the Tyre Fix.
But, we didn't notice any problems using the Tyre Fix at the angle shown in the photos. The CBR600 was secured with the straps placed at an angle that was wider than recommended. But, it would be best to simply bolt the tie-down anchors on to the bed of the trailer at the recommended distances. You can see in the photo below that the hook end of the Tyre Fix strap is at its length limit.
It's not much fun putting a motorcycle on a trailer, but the Acebikes Tyre Fix makes the task a snap. It provides a far more secure system that minimizes the movement and bouncing of the bike on the trailer.
The Tyre Fix tie-down strap may not work on a motorcycle with a fully enclosed rear tire though, such as a BMW K1200LT, because of the limited clearance on that bike.
Obviously well made and strong, the Acebikes Tyre Fix is a welcome addition to our "bag of tricks" for securing a motorcycle to a trailer...should the need arise. The system is easy to use and helps avoid scratching and stress problems with standard ratchet straps. The Tyre Fix system eliminates much of the stress involved in hauling a motorcycle.
UPDATE: Contrary to earlier reports, the U.S. retailer will continue to sell Acebikes products. The Tyre-Fix will be sold for $114.95 USD on the Wheels and Wings (Herman USA) website.
European customers can purchase Acebikes products through the European retail network or directly from Acebikes (contact them via email).
The Tyre-Fix is simply a better way to secure a motorcycle on a trailer.
More: wBW Motorcycle Trailer Reviews
wBW Review: Acebikes Tyre Fix Motorcycle Tie-Down System
|Manufacturer: Acebikes (Netherlands)||List Price: $114.95 or €69|
|Colors: N/A||Made In: Netherlands|
|Review Date: November 2012|
From "J.K." (April 2013): "I purchased one of these after the initial review to try. This is a great product. I have purchased two more so I have one for each of my bikes.
I am using them on a Kawasaki C14, Ninja 650R, and DRZ400E. They work well for all three.
The price may seem steep but these make it so much easier to tie down the bikes as well as making the bikes much more secure that it is well worth the cost."