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Thread: Auto Train Experience? R1100RSL or R1100R

  1. #1
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    Auto Train Experience? R1100RSL or R1100R

    Hello -- I need to get to Florida to take care of some business and I've made the trip from the NE more times than I care to think about. The thought of driving makes my brain hurt, there is zero desire to get on another plane. So for this trip I thought I'd take the Auto Train south with a bike and have an enjoyable few days to ride north back towards home.

    The only time I've taken the Auto Train with a bike was with a Harley I had at the time. It was easy -- just ride up onto a car, and someone straps down the bike while you grab what you need for an overnight.

    This time I want to take either an R1100R or R1100RSL.

    My concern is, especially with the RSL, that there really isn't much to use as a tie down. Unlike the Harley, neither bike has any type of fork brace (crop pictured below with my Harley on left). The RSL also has rubber dampers on the bars so not sure I'd want them tied down tight for 20+ hours. Also, it couldn't be tied down like the bike on the right because of the plastic on the lower forks.

    My R has engine guards, which could possibly be used, although that wouldn't do much to compress the suspension.

    Suppose I could also take my G310R, which could be tied down fairly easily, but Florida freeways (some of which are unavoidable) wouldn't be the most fun. Lots of insanity there.

    Has anyone tried to take a telelever R/RS/RSL aboard the Auto Train?

    Any experience or input would be greatly appreciated.

    Mitch

    autotrainbike_IMG_3535a.jpg

  2. #2
    We have tied down a telelever R1100RS on a trailer many times. We tied down to just above the fork sliders and let the bike float on its own suspension.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    We have tied down a telelever R1100RS on a trailer many times. We tied down to just above the fork sliders and let the bike float on its own suspension.
    That's good to know -- thank you for the reply. My biggest concern would be the welfare of the plastic along the forks (as that is all that could hold a strap "up", but if no downward pressure suspect all would be fine. Will definitely have to let the bike float on its own suspension, regardless.

    I'm sure the Amtrak guys have done difficult/different bikes hundreds of times, but it's good to be somewhat knowledgeable going in. That Harley was probably muscle memory for them.

  4. #4
    Registered User m_stock10506's Avatar
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    It's good to know where to place ties for a telelever and paralever bike. The first thing a flatbed operator wants to do is put ties on the handlebars. Don't let them.

    Youtube video from A&S BMW showing Oilhead tie down.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6v8dy5XwZg

    Do a search for BMW Motorcycle tie down procedure, you'll get a link to the video and also a link to Tiedown2 a PDF with photos from the same tie down video.
    Michael Stock, Trinity, NC
    R1100RT, R100, R60/6

  5. #5
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    Thank you for that video link!

    My R1100R has a fork brace of sorts right at the fender, but there are LED riding lights mounted there. It might be possible to get a strap through.

    Alternately, that bike has Hepco & Becker engine guards -- can't imagine a problem using those for forward straps against the (sizable) chock they use, along with side-to-side stability. There are places near the passenger footpegs for rear straps.

    Definitely won't let them use the handlebars, nor the seat (been there, done that, didn't like it). I appreciate the reminder.

    Was leaning towards taking the RSL, but now thinking the R is the better choice for the train. Not going to complain about either bike.

    Still thinking on the G310R, which would be very easy to tie down, but it might not be the best choice for this trip.

    Again, thank you.

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