How to transport two Piaggio MP3’s at a time

Steve Kinchen, Sr/ March 6, 2013/ Piaggio MP3/ 2 comments

What do you do if you have two of these, but four kids that are too young to ride or drive?

What do you do if you have two of these, but four kids that are too young to ride or drive?

After riding for nearly a year and just over 3000 miles, it was time for our first trip to Tennessee where we would bring the MP3 400. After all of the fun that I had that year, Gina decided that she wanted to ride too… This meant, of course, that we had to purchase a second bike, and then find a way to transport both bikes along with us on our family trips.

Thanks U-HAUL

After careful measuring, and remeasuring,  we determined that the only way to know if we would be able to load both bikes on the largest trailer (5’X9′) that our family van was rated to tow was to rent one for a day and do a test load.  After a few tries, we were able to position both bikes successfully and here is how we did it.

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Both MP3 models have ample possibilities of tie down mounting points for securing the bikes to the trailer.   Due to the trailers lack of tie down points in the front and center position, we stretched a strap with looping points between the front left and right tie down positions.  We determined that the MP3 400 was better suited for  loading in first and closest to the front due to the profile of the bike.  After securing the front of the bike as shown above, we loaded the MP3 500.

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Notice that the straps overlap but do not touch. The strap securing the 400 was connected to the trailers right front tie down point, and the strap for the 500 was connected to the tie down loop on the strap connected to the two front tie down points

 

From all that I have read, the goal is to have the straps pulling down and out at about a 45 degree angle downward and forward for the front, and rearward for the back of the bike.  Although the optimal angles for tie down were not possible on the outside of both bikes, I felt that they were very secure as neither bike swayed from right to left.  I also had my oldest son seated on each bike as I was applying tension to the straps in order to preload the suspension.  This help gauge the amount of “safe” down bearing I was able to load onto the bikes while retaining a little of travel in the shocks before bottoming out.

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Rear view of the tie down of the MP3 500

 

I should also note that the top cases were removed from both bikes while we were loading, but were easily reinstalled for the trip.  As shown here, the 500 has several potential locations for secure strapping and tie down to the trailer and the ratcheting straps that are easily procured at your local home supply store are just the ticket.  My personal preference in straps are shown in this photo and have the flexibility of looping around the bike rails and attach to the steel loops near the ratchets.

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This photo shows how we had to tie down to the outside loops on the trailer which provided ample rearward and downward tension for stability.

 

 

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One last strap drawing the MP3 400 from the right rear grip to the right top rail of the trailer to prevent left to right swaying.

 

 

Loaded and ready to travel

Loaded and ready to travel.  They look to be VERY close, but because of how they are aligned in the trailer, the straps would have to completely fail for them to ever touch.

Heading out for a fantastic trip of riding in the smokey mountains.

Heading out for a fantastic trip of riding in the smokey mountains.

Without the trailer, these photos would not have been possible…

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2 Comments

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