Best Motorcycle Wheel Chocks: What are they?
Wheel chocks are devices which prevent your motorcycle from spinning out of control when it hits bumps or obstacles. They work by stopping the wheels from turning too fast and can stop a vehicle’s momentum completely. Wheel chocks come in various sizes and types with different functions, but all of them have one thing in common – they slow down the speed at which a vehicle spins out of control.
The most basic type of motorcycle wheel lock is called a “condor” style and consists of two parts. One part is attached to the front forks, while another part is attached to the rear axle. When you put both parts together, it forms a cage around the tires.
The other type of motorcycle wheel lock is known as a “double cradle” style and consists of three parts. These include two separate pieces connected by a hinge joint.
How do I use a motorcycle wheel lock?
A motorcycle wheel lock is used to keep your motorcycle from spinning out of control when you hit bumps or obstacles. A simple way to explain how they work would be like this: If you were driving along and suddenly came across a bumpy road surface, then your vehicle might spin out of control due to the sudden change in speed. A wheel chock would prevent this from happening by slowing down one or more of your tires. When you hit the bump, the wheel(s) which are held back will only accelerate at a much slower rate than the others, preventing you from losing control of your vehicle.
Here’s a tip: You should use a wheel chock when parking on an incline or decline, especially if your motorcycle is heavy or has a side-stand.
How can I choose the best motorcycle wheel chock for my bike?
There are three main factors you should consider when choosing a wheel chock:
Whether or not it can support your vehicle. Whether or not the wheel chock can be folded away. How easy it is to use.
The first thing you should do is measure the length and width of your motorcycle so you know which wheel chocks are going to be able to support it. Next, you should check to see if the wheel chock can be folded or disassembled in any way, as this may make it much easier to store in the long-term. Finally, you should always remember to take into account how difficult the wheel chock is to use; after all, it’s no good having a product which might not work if you can’t set it up every time you park your vehicle.
Do I need a motorcycle wheel lock?
That depends on how you like to park your vehicle. If you like to park on an incline or decline then the answer is yes, you will need a motorcycle wheel lock. Not only do they prevent your vehicle from rolling away, but they also prevent you from getting a ticket for parking in a handicap spot without a permit. Whether you’re using a “condor” style wheel chock or a “cradle” style wheel chock, you will need to consider how easy it is to set up, and how well it can support your vehicle.
Do I need a motorcycle wheel chock?
As long as you don’t like parking on an incline or decline then the answer is no, you don’t need a motorcycle wheel chock. In this case you may even consider removing your side-stand if you rarely park on inclines or declines, though this isn’t generally recommended.
How do I store my motorcycle wheel lock?
When not in use, it’s a good idea to clean your wheel chock and allow it to dry out before storing it away. You may want to consider getting a storage bag for this purpose. Finally, you may want to consider how the chock will be stored. If you’re using a cradle style wheel chock then you may find that your vehicle’s tires prevent the chock from being folded up; in this case you may want to get a different style of wheel chock which can be collapsed in some way.
How do I know if the motorcycle wheel lock I’m looking at online is right for my vehicle?
Make sure you know the length and width of your vehicle before you buy! If you can’t find specifications for this information online, you can always measure it yourself. Sometimes the specifications will be in the owner’s manual, or you may be able to find it on the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) plate, which can usually be found on the dashboard. Once you have these figures you can compare them to the specifications on the product page.
Why does my vehicle need a motorcycle wheel chock?
If you park on an incline or decline then you definitely need a wheel chock. Not only will this prevent your vehicle from rolling away, but it can also prevent you from getting a ticket for parking in a handicap spot without a permit. Wheel chocks for motorcycles come in two basic styles: “condor” and “cradle”. The condor-style chock is essentially a piece of metal which you place beneath your tires to prevent your vehicle from rolling in any direction. The cradle-style wheel chock surrounds your tires, giving much more support and making it much more difficult to roll.
What are the benefits of using a motorcycle wheel lock?
They can save you money. If your vehicle starts rolling down a hill, you could potentially damage your tires, break something else, or worse. A wheel chock will prevent this from happening.
They can protect the environment. If your vehicle is in motion and you’re driving without brakes, then you might not be able to stop in time to avoid an accident. If you’re driving without tires, then you might not be able to drive at all!
They can prevent injury. If your vehicle rolls away and hits someone else, they could suffer serious injury. This might result in a lawsuit, or at the very least, an angry passerby.
Using a wheel chock can help prevent such a thing from occurring.
They can extend the life of your vehicle. If your vehicle is parked on a hill or decline, then your vehicle’s engine and other parts are working extra hard to keep it in place. This can reduce the lifespan of your vehicle and cause unnecessary wear and tear, which requires maintenance and can get expensive.
How long does a motorcycle wheel lock last?
How long your motorcycle wheel lock lasts depends on a few factors: the quality of the wheel lock, how you use it, and the environment your wheel lock is stored in. High-quality wheel locks are made with a higher quality of metal and with sturdier build construction. Cheaper wheel locks tend to bend, break, or become loose after a few uses. Using wheel locks for unintended purposes can also decrease the lifespan of your wheel lock. For example, using a wheel chock in the wrong way can damage it, or using a locking wheel nut tool for something other than its intended purpose can cause it to become damaged. Environmental factors such as exposure to the elements can cause rust, which can damage the wheel lock and make it harder to use. To get the most out of your wheel lock, store it in a dry place away from moisture and humidity.
How to use motorcycle wheel chock?
Park your vehicle on a flat and stable surface, such as a driveway or garage floor
Identify the front and back of your vehicle. The front is typically marked with a small “F” on the license plate, or in some cases there may be nothing at all on the plate. Other clues include:
If there are two headlights on the front of the vehicle, then the front is facing you. If there is a driver door, then the front of the vehicle is on the opposite side.
Look at the tires. On the back of most tires, you will see the letters “FRONT”. If the tires are sideways and you cannot tell, get inside your vehicle and look at the dashboard.
Most vehicles have a small sticker on the dashboard which shows which side is the front of the vehicle.
Verify that your vehicle cannot move in any direction. This means that your parking brake needs to be engaged, and that there is nothing preventing your vehicle from moving.
Park your vehicle at a slight incline (3-5 degrees)
Place the wheel chock in front of the tires, behind the front wheels, under the body of the vehicle. The wheel chock should fit snugly against the tire.
Slide the chock back until it stops, or is no longer touching the tires. If using a lever-type chock, make sure the chock is pushed all the way against the tire before beginning to lift the vehicle.
Pump the chock up and down in small increments, pausing between each pump to make sure there is no movement. If you cannot get the vehicle to move no matter how many times you pump, then you can stop. If you can get the vehicle to move slightly, then keep pumping until the vehicle no longer moves.
Is it difficult for you to reach your vehicle’s tire?
If this is the case, we carry a series of mini chocks which are specially designed for smaller vehicles.
What material are motorcycle wheel locks made of?
The construction of your wheel lock mainly depends on the type of materials used. Different materials have different advantages and disadvantages, so it’s all in the material you choose.
Metal wheel locks are the most durable. They’re strong enough to withstand serious abuse, but they can be cumbersome. While metal is heavy and sturdy, it’s also a little on the slow side when it comes to transporting them from one place to another.
However, these devices can be stored away when they’re not in use.
Plastic chocks are versatile and lightweight. They’re easy to use due to their small size and can also be wheel locks that you can take anywhere with you. However, they aren’t as durable and strong as metal chocks, so they might not withstand the weight of some vehicles.
Which type of tire lock should you get?
There are so many different tire locks on the market today.
They come in all shapes and sizes, so how do you choose the one that’s right for you?
It all depends on what you want out of a tire lock.
Levers work by lifting up the locking mechanism, which then releases the tire from the brake. These locks can be cumbersome due to their long arms, but they’re also very low-profile and won’t get in the way while stored away.
Leverless locks work with a padlock. The mechanism is on the inside of the lock, so when you wind up the lock, it compresses a spring. When you close the lock, the spring expands and pushes against the locking mechanism, which releases the tire from the brake.
These are very low-profile and are great for those who don’t want to worry about carrying around long arms all the time.
Keys are the most common tire locks. They come with a long, cable-like key that you use to release the tire from the brake. The key can get in the way while stored away, but it’s very easy to use and it’s durable.
Deciding on a tire lock is all about what works best for you and your vehicle. Get one that is versatile enough to fit your needs and provides good value for money. Never compromise quality for price.
How do you carry your tire locks?
Carrying your tire lock around can be a hassle. If you choose to get a metal tire lock, then you have to worry about the extra weight. If you get a plastic one, then you have to worry about the key or cable getting caught on something and causing an accident. It’s important that you choose a way of carrying your tire lock that doesn’t inconvenience you while out on the road.
Wrap it around the spare tire. This is one of the most convenient ways of storing your lock. If you have a small or medium-sized vehicle, then this would work for you.
Just wrap it around the spare tire and make sure it doesn’t get in the way when you’re driving.
Attach it to your car or truck. If you have a large vehicle, then you can attach your lock to your car or truck. Just make sure it’s not too close to any moving parts, especially the brake pads, as this could damage your tire lock.
You also want to make sure that it doesn’t get caught on anything.
Strap it to your roof or awning. If you have an RV or some sort of large vehicle with an awning or roof, then you can strap the tire lock to that. This is a great way of keeping it out of the way and preventing any accidents from happening.
What size should your tire lock be?
Tire locks come in a variety of different sizes. From large to small, there is a tire lock for every vehicle, but you have to make sure that you choose the right one. You wouldn’t want to buy a lock that’s too big or small for your tire, as this could cause an accident while you’re driving. To determine what size tire lock you need, follow these steps:
First, check your tire. It’ll have some information on it that looks something like this: 35-Series 1234 M. This includes size, Manufacturer, and Model.
You’ll need all of this information to find the right size for you.
Look at your tire’s sidewall. You’ll see a bunch of symbols and numbers. Ignore the ones that pertain to the tire itself (i.e., Tire Size) and look for some that have to do with your vehicle (i.e., Load Range).
Check your vehicle manual. In the section regarding tires, it should have a table that lists your vehicle’s make and model, and next to that, a tire size.
Tip! If you’re still not sure what size you need, check your local dealer or mechanic. Most mechanics are willing to help out people in need, so just ask them for assistance and they should be able to provide you with the information you need.
How do you store a spare tire?
Storing a spare tire is fairly simple, but there are a couple of things you have to keep in mind in order to prevent damaging it. Follow these steps:
Make sure it’s in good condition. Before storing your tire, make sure it’s in good condition. If not, take it to a mechanic and have them fix it before you put it in storage.
Find a suitable place to store it. It’s best to put the tire in a dark and cool area. The garage is ideal, but any place away from the elements should do.
Get a proper storage container. Don’t just throw the tire in a box or lay it out on the floor. Get a tire container, such as a tire stacker.
This will allow you to stack the tire without it rolling around and getting damaged.
Tire Locks: The Mechanical Jack of All Trades
A tire lock is a cheap but effective way of preventing steel-belted tires from rolling away. Installing one is relatively simple, but there are a few things you have to keep in mind. Follow these steps:
Locate your tire lock. Most tire locks have a small pin that prevents it from locking unless it’s positioned at a 45-degree angle. Once the pin is horizontal, the tire lock should lock in place and be ready to use.
Park your vehicle so the lock is closest to you. If you have a van or truck with an awning or roof, park it so that the tire lock is facing you. That way, it’ll be easier to access the locking pin.
Align the tire lock with the valve stem. While facing the tire lock, use one finger to keep the locking pin horizontal. With your other hand, slowly roll the tire toward you until it stops at the locking pin.
The tire should now be locked in place.
Spare tires and tire locks should be stored in a safe location away from children and anyone who doesn’t know how to properly use them.
Inspect and rotate your tires regularly to ensure their longevity. Inspecting your tires can prevent serious problems from arising, such as damaging the rims or getting stranded on the side of the road. To inspect your tires, follow these steps:
Put on some sturdy shoes, gloves, and safety glasses. Check your tire pressure. All tires have a minimum and maximum psi written on the side.
Never exceed the maximum psi by more than 40, or you risk serious tire damage.
Perform a visual inspection of all four tires. Look for large cuts, bulges, or anything else that looks abnormal. Also look for any signs of uneven or irregular wear.
If you see anything concerning, have your tires replaced before proceeding.
Inspect your rims for any dents, bends, or rust spots. If you see any of these, do not drive the vehicle any further. Continuing to drive with damaged rims can cause irreparable damage to the tire, and even cause an accident.
Now that your tires are inspected and ready to go, all you need to do is maintain proper tire pressure and rotate your tires every 5,000 miles.
Maintaining proper tire pressure is easy. Just inflate your tires to the psi listed on the side of the tire. You can also use a tire gauge to do this.
Rotating your tires is just as easy. All you have to do is drive on a full rotation of the tires. In other words, drive on each tire for an equal amount of time.
This helps ensure even tire wear, which in turn helps your tires last longer.
Proper spare tire maintenance and storage is just as important as regular tire maintenance and storage. Follow these steps to keep your spare in top condition:
Check the pressure. Check the pressure of your spare once every month or so to ensure it hasn’t leaked.
Inspect the tire. Inspect the tire for any cuts, bulges, or other signs of damage every month or so. If you find something wrong, replace the tire immediately.
Keep it cool. Store your spare on a sturdy rack away from direct sunlight and heat. Heat is the number one killer of spare tires, so keeping it in the shade will ensure your spare lasts as long as possible.
Now that you’re familiar with the parts of a tire, how tires work, and how to maintain your tires, you’ll be better prepared to face whatever the road throws at you.
You can also learn more about tires and tire safety at your local DMV.
AutoKnow has helped you get back on the road!
Benefits of Worn Tires and When to Replace Them
Curious about when it’s time to replace your tires?
There are a few benefits to worn tires, but be sure to check them before going on a long trip. Busted tires can cause an accident, damage other parts of your car, or cause a flat tire. Having the right amount of tread is also important for safety and fuel efficiency.
Benefits of Worn Tires
Tires have different tread depths for a reason. Different weather and road conditions can call for different levels of tread. As a general rule, most tires have the following recommended tread depths:
New Tires: No existing damage or signs of wear
3/32″: Ideal for dry, wet, and snowy roads
1/8″ of tread: Ideal for dry roads
1/4″ of tread: Ideal for wet roads
1/2″ of tread: Ideal for snowy roads
When to Replace Tires
Not sure if it’s time to replace your tires?
Check the inside of the tire wall to see if there are any embedded objects. You can also check for uneven wear, bulges, or other signs of damage by looking at the outside of your tires.
It’s also important to remember that tires aren’t meant to last forever. The average lifespan is anywhere from 6 to 8 years depending on the tire. Tires are also at their best performance between -50 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tires can lose up to 1% of their strength for every 10 degrees above or below this range. Higher temperatures can also decrease the elasticity in rubber, which leads to cracking and other issues with tire pressure.
Finding the Right Tires for Your Car or Truck
Now that you know everything there is to know about tires, it’s time to find the right set for your vehicle. The first thing you’ll need to do is find out what kind of tires your vehicle needs. This information should be in your owners manual or you can just look at the tires on the car and see what they say.
The next step is finding out what that tire takes as far as size and type. This information should be on the tire itself, either in a code or written directly on the tire.
Once you have this information, you can start getting prices for the tires and finding places that sell them in your area. You can start with local brick and mortar stores, then move on to online retailers. Be sure to compare prices, discounts, payment methods, and shipping costs before making your final decision.
Now that you know everything there is to know about tires, it’s time to take care of yours. If you ever have any other questions about tires, don’t hesitate to give us a call or ask in person at your local Firestone Complete Auto Care. We’re always here to help you keep your vehicle running like new.
And if you haven’t had a car inspection recently, be sure to make an appointment today.
To learn more about tires, talk to your local Firestone Complete Auto Care near 92679 about what type of tires you need for your vehicle.
Sources & references used in this article:
Locking wheel chocks for vehicles by WC Carpenter – US Patent 3,687,238, 1972 – Google Patents
Dual purpose track for holding wheel chocks and strap clips to tie down dirt bikes to trailers by TS Toteff – US Patent 6,966,734, 2005 – Google Patents
Adjustable wheel chocks for tandem wheeled vehicles by J Stutzman – US Patent 5,547,045, 1996 – Google Patents
Portable and adjustable motorcycle wheel chock by AJ Graham – US Patent 9,409,508, 2016 – Google Patents