As a long-time truck guy, I fell into that trap as a sort of default to convention. When you hang around motorcyclists long enough, and when the job calls for transporting multiple bikes at a time, you get a truck. The two go hand in hand. Pretty quickly, however, you realize some of the downsides to truck ownership when it comes to hauling bikes: high load heights, and having your stuff exposed to the elements – and prying eyes when you’re not around. In my particular case, I had drilled my truck bed to accept a chock system specifically for securely loading and strapping two motorcycles without having to thread a strap through the other bike’s front wheel.
Maybe it’s a result of me getting older, but I wanted to make my life easier. I wanted a van. So out went the truck, in came a Ford Transit, and my first order of business was getting it setup as my moto hauler. What I didn’t want, however, was to drill any holes or make any permanent changes that couldn’t be reversed later because, inevitably, when you own a van you become the designated people mover, too. In my case rear seats and motorcycles need to be interchangeable.
The trusty truck got the job done hauling bikes and gear, but do you see the problem here? Everything’s out in the open.
Lastly, while I like the idea of keeping the bike(s) secured during transport without putting any load on the forks, the nature of this job means there are different motorcycles we’re hauling all the time. Also, refer back to my desire not to drill any holes in my van. So, those options were out.
Enter Bolt It On
Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say, and Scott Corgiat, being the inventor that he is, had a need for something he couldn’t find anywhere else. In fact, he was in the same boat as me. He wanted a secure way to keep his two-wheeled toys secure in his van without drilling any holes. Being handy with a welder, he came up with a simple creation, the Bolt It On wheel chock system. Genius in its simplicity, the Bolt It On chock system is comprised of a bar with pre-drilled holes. Various kinds of wheel chocks and hooks, all of which Corgiat and his team fabricate in-house, slide into those holes and create a space for your motorcycle’s wheel to reside without fear of turning while the van is in motion. A support at either end lifts the bar to the correct height and distributes the weight of the tie-down straps as motorcycles get tightened down.
The image at the top of the page shows you what the Bolt It On system looks like, but this is where the magic lies. The square tubing is the backbone of it all and the various chocks and accessories either slide or screw on. The two triangular support beams lift it into place and help distribute the weight, and the J-hooks attach to the floor of your vehicle.
The real genius of this design comes in the way the system stays in place. Since virtually every van has some sort of anchor and/or loop on the floor, the Bolt It On system uses J-hooks to attach to those anchors. At the top of the J-hook is a thread that goes through the main bar. A screw-on fastener keeps the hooks tight. In the case of my van, the anchor originally used for the bench seats proved to be the perfect spot to place the hooks. Screw down the two hooks and the system is complete and ready to use. If I need my van for people hauling again, simply unscrew the two J-hooks and pull the whole thing out. Simple, easy, and completely reversible without doing any permanent changes to my vehicle. This is why I spent my own money and bought the system you see in these photos.
Each Bolt It On system is made to order right here in the US of A in Paso Robles, California. The steel tubing is welded together by Corgiat’s team of welders and sometimes, when he’s not busy fielding phone calls from nagging motojournos like myself, he’ll flip his helmet down and weld up a system with his own two hands. For my particular system, I’ve got the standard sportbike chock, a roll-in chock, and two angled chocks. All of them come with hoops at either end to attach tie-down straps. I also threw in an additional hoop to put in the middle of the bar.
Seen here is the roll-on chock option that cradles the front wheel of your motorcycle (it’s adjustable to accommodate anything from skinny dirtbike tires to fat cruiser rubber). Each chock has built-in tie-down points, and in the bottom right corner you can see an additional screw-on anchor point. With the release of a pin, the roll-on chock can be removed from the base and put away if you’re not going to have a motorcycle on that side.
Well, there’s not much to it, really. You roll the bike into the chock and strap it down. Pretty simple. I placed the roll-on chock on the driver’s side, as space between the sidestand and the wall of the van is limited. The cradle holds the front tire in place so you can maneuver around it to strap it down. It’s also adjustable to accommodate virtually any wheel size.
Unlike a truck, where I can simply leave the tailgate down to accommodate long wheelbases, I can’t leave the rear doors of the van open if a bike sticks out too far. This is where the angled chocks come into play. More of a preemptive measure as I haven’t had to use them yet, but wheeling the bikes in and placing the front wheel at an angle affords just that little bit of clearance needed to close the rear doors. Additionally, it also moves the bar end away from the van’s window (eliminating the risk of accidental jarring smashing glass) and gives a little more space in the middle between the two bikes. I’ve personally seen the exact same van as mine, equipped with the same angled chocks, fit two large adventure bikes side by side and still have plenty of room to close the rear doors.
Two sportbikes can fit straight in without touching and without the need to angle the bars. This shot was taken before I added the accessory tie-down anchor point in the center.
With the bikes secure, driving around couldn’t be easier. The bikes stay locked in place, and so far anyway, I haven’t loaded a motorcycle that’s been anywhere close to damaging the side of my van. The system is solid, sturdy, and secure. And did I mention it’s completely removable?
More than just a chock for motorcycles, Bolt It On also has accessory adaptors to hold bicycles (especially mountain bikes, Corgiat’s other hobby) in place. Other options like the Gear Pole snap into place on the main bar and provide a handy place to hang jerseys or helmets.
Into bicycles? You can use the Bolt It On system for those, too. The Gear Pole attaches directly to the bar to hold your stuff.
Initially, the Bolt It On system was intended for the various platforms used for Motovans: the Mercedes Sprinter, Ford Transit, and Dodge Promaster primarily, but with its simple mounting method as long as your vehicle has at least two anchor points for the J-hooks to screw to, you’re good to go. Custom applications are also a phone call away to meet the needs of toy haulers, RVs, pickup trucks, flat beds, trailers, and basically anything you can think of to transport motorcycles. Bolt It On has also expanded its range to accommodate E-track or L-track, so you don’t need the J-hooks at all.
Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is
We get offered products all the time to test here at MO, so it takes a lot to convince us to actually spend our own money on something. But when it came to keeping motos secured in the back of my new vehicle, all while supporting a local small business, it wasn’t a hard sell. Actually speaking to Corgiat on the phone and experiencing the customer service first hand, the deal was sealed. Bolt It On also offers a limited lifetime warranty behind all its products against any defects from normal use.
Snug as a bug in a rug. Not my van or my bikes, but this shows the effectiveness of the angled chocks.
So far I’m very happy with my purchase and have even suggested a few accessories Corgiat could add in the future. Kits start as low as a couple hundred dollars and go up from there depending on what accessories you want. Obviously, full custom jobs will bring the cost up even more.
Shop for the Bolt It On Wheel Chock System here
How do I secure a motorcycle inside a van?
There are a few different ways to do it, but the most common way is to roll the bike into the van (or truck) completely. Secure the front wheel so it can’t turn during transit (a chock system is best, but wedging the front tire against the back of a seat will work in a pinch). Then strap the front end down with tie-downs attached to either of the triple clamps or the handlebars. You don’t need to ratchet them down with Herculean strength – just enough so they don’t move much. Some take the additional step of ratcheting down the rear of the bike as well via the passenger pegs.
What is a wheel chock?
A wheel chock is a device used to cradle one of the wheels on a motorcycle, typically the front. Typically shaped like a V, some chocks are designed to hold the motorcycle upright so you don’t need the sidestand, while others simply keep the front wheel from turning during transport.
How to use a motorcycle wheel chock?
There are a few variations on the motorcycle wheel chock, but at its core using a wheel chock is very simple. All you do is roll the motorcycle onto (or into) it. Chocks with cradles require a little momentum so the cradle can rotate on its fulcrum and keep the wheel in place.
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Source: All Bikes news one