View Full Version : Ulysses on a ferry

12-31-2009, 02:34 AM
I finally decided to get rid of the HD Road King and the KLR650 thumper--both good bikes for what they do. My 09 12xt seems like it will do what I want--95% touring and the ability to hit that dirt road that beckons while carrying odd luggage and wife (or is it the reverse?).

In the summers I live on a remote island chain about 50 miles (6 hour trip) offshore of northern B.C.. Further, I travel in places which require ferry trips that may encounter rough waters. My problem concerns that lower exhaust. With the KLR and even the HD--jam the provided wood blocks underneath and tie-down at multiple points on the metal decks (no kick-stands or center stands allowed or trusted). Damn, I am concerned about the durability of that pipe structure! Anybody experienced this and worked out a way to handle?
Doc C

12-31-2009, 02:54 AM
The mufflers on all XB bikes are designed with the strength internally to serve as the lifting point on the bikes. They even mark the Center of gravity on the muffler. When I'm working on my bike I use a hydraulic lift and an H shaped frame made from 2x4's to jack the bike off the tires and have had no issues with the muffler. It's pretty sturdy..
The curved shape of the bottom of the muffler does however dictate the use of some tie down straps to keep the bike upright.

12-31-2009, 03:02 AM
the muffler is strapped at 3 places underneath. makes it part of the bike allmost.

01-01-2010, 06:04 AM
Here's a Muffler "Cradle" someone mocked up on another forum - the template can be found here: Buell Muffler Template thread (http://www.badweatherbikers.com/buell/messages/32777/448564.html?1238894950)
Might be of some help to you.


01-04-2010, 03:35 AM
Thanks for your comments about my Ferry concerns. I did not know the exhaust was actually a lift point. Probably, I do not have room for dedicated rounded objects of the size shown. However, I do have room for a couple of rubber (boat decking?)mats to cover the triangular wood blocks provided for motorcycle storage--such could have other uses. One theory I have about long distance MC travel is that unless a singular item serves multiple purposes---don't take it.
Anybody know where the Queen Charlotte Islands (BC) are? I will be riding there from Reno about June 5 after teaching the mini-term. About 100 klicks out of Prince Rupert (the ferry to QC) is the turn-off for the MARGINALLY paved Cassiar Highway to the ALCON which brings you out about 100 miles south of Whitehorse, Yukon. Great trips for even a cruising bike! Better for even a marginal dualsport.
Anyway, anyone going that way on a Ulysses, I have a guest house (sleeps five)on the water in QC which would be free for riders. No smoking inside! The islands have about a 100k of paved highway and many hundreds of unpaved, but decent, logging roads to some neat places to primative camp.(No, you cannot live there for THAT LONG.
Doc C

01-04-2010, 09:29 PM
With the KLR and even the HD--jam the provided wood blocks underneath and tie-down at multiple points on the metal decks (no kick-stands or center stands allowed or trusted).

Why are the kick stands not allowed ? I travel to Europe frequently on ferries, never had a problem with my fully loaded Road Glide. I must admit the kick stand does flex on the RG but loaded it's the weight of a small car. I haven't tried the Uly yet but I'm confident it will be OK

01-06-2010, 07:34 PM
The idea is to allow the suspension to soak things up - so you want the front and back tied down so it can do that, The side and center stands aren't needed, and using the side stand could cause it to break. Same as transporting in a trailer. Of course the big concern under way would be something tipping over, gas leaking and fire.
I know the last ferry I was on the crew had no clue on the proper method and people did all sorts of things. Plus they had the bikes too close together to properly strap them down. I was really worried one was going to end up falling over / onto another bike, luckily all was good when we arrived.

01-15-2010, 06:22 AM
I don't know about European ferries, but B.C. Ferries will not (some crews don't care) let a side or center stand be used. I've been told a couple reasons: the first is the metal to metal contact is dangerous re sliding, especially if damp; the second is what tocino said, keep the bike centered and strapped on the tires. Generally, you are not allowed on the vehicle decks except to walk dogs, etc every few hours. If the weather is bad-forget it--you just worry. I've seen a couple bikes on their sides--never let anyone close to you. Best bet--on the larger ferries park paralell to the hull and block and tie so there is only one way to fall.

02-05-2010, 02:06 PM
In europe so ferries tie down with the sidestand down - so 3 points of contact - the 2 wheels and the stand - then they ties over the saddle etc.

Others use a clamp type arrangement that pushes in onto the back wheel (tries to squeeze the two wheels together) - heard bad things about these on BMW shaft drive bikes - this pressure from behind on the single side swingarm can ruin the bearings in the drive hub.


02-05-2010, 04:12 PM
What the heck? Why would you tie a bike down this way? I have raced motocross forever, carried street and dirtbikes in the back of trucks and allways used tiedown straps on the handlebars to the floor, and cinch them down. Even on mt 1125R. I put the straps under the fairing. I would NEVER let anyone "jam" blocks under my $20,000 Road King or my 1125R - they dont make them anymore! If you want four straps for more stability then 2 to the handlebars and 2 to the rear pegs or around the swingarm. There is no water rougher than the back of a pickup truck bouncing across a field or up a logging road to a motocross track. What gives guys?

02-08-2010, 09:56 PM
Triple 7: Seems there might be some things that are different among truck beds and ferries. For one, there might not alwys be convenient tie-down points at the right angles. Mostly, though, do you leave your gear (bags, etc) on your bike when it is the truck? Still, You are probably right, I worry too much.

02-09-2010, 12:27 AM
On the Seattle WA ferries we just parked our bikes on the side stands. I used tie downs the same way in trailers as I did in my truck too. I'm not saying your wrong xb12, I'm sure they did that to you, I just dont understand why you would jam a block under your bike? And yes I never took my saddlebags off but I would throw my hemet and coat in the truck. (dont want it to blow away)

02-16-2010, 03:57 AM
Triple7, perhaps I gave the wrong impression. On BC ferries no crew (that I've experienced)will help you secure your bike because of liability. You "jam the provided blocks yourself. If there are more than a few bikes, there may be none left. Also, I've been on the Seattle to Victoria/Anacorties(SP?)/Naniamo ferries. The waters there do not compare to say crossing the Hecate Strait--one of the 10 most dangerous bodies of water in the world.

03-20-2010, 11:02 AM
Here's a Muffler "Cradle" someone mocked up on another forum - the template can be found here: Buell Muffler Template thread
Might be of some help to you.

Thanks for this. Perfect solution for winter storage.