It’s time once again for another product review. This time the product is something I purchased when I was preparing for my trek to Sturgis, South Dakota. Since I live in Tampa, Florida the trip to Sturgis was no easy undertaking. 2046 miles each way. Lot’s of preparation went along with the trip. The three weeks prior to departure were spent ordering camping supplies, motorcycle parts, accessories and riding gear.
My plans included loading my highly chromed, customized 2015 Harley Dyna Wide Glide into my 5×8 enclosed trailer and towing it to the campground I selected called Rush No More. I purchased 4 Milwaukee Twins ratcheting tie downs with strong 2″ nylon and 4 Soft loop tie down cinch straps. For the handle bars, when I was browsing tie down stuff on Amazon, I noticed a product called Bar Cuffs. They looked pretty sweet, rubber covered over stainless steel. I figured why not, they are only $19.95 and were even sized for my 1.25″ handlebars. They arrived a couple of days later and were put into my staging spot in the garage.
When the time came to leave Florida, I loaded the bike into the trailer and secured the bars and rear shocks to the anchor points in the floor of my trailer. Checked that the bike was properly secured, loaded the rest of my gear into the back of my tow vehicle and began the long journey early in the AM of July 31st, 2015. It took me 3 days of driving 700+ miles a day, a couple of nights in hotels, lots of coffee and lots of time to self reflect. Which is what the whole trip was all about, time to myself and time to see some of the most beautiful riding spots in the USA.
When I arrived at my campground, I unloaded the bike. This is when I noticed after taking the Bar Cuffs off the handle bars, that they were not all that great of a product. You see after 2000+ miles the stainless steel inner parts of the cuffs had managed to chew through the rubber and in the process had scratched the living hell out of my brand new Tuffy handle bars. I was not a happy camper, not at all.
I took some pictures but its not that easy to get a good picture of the chrome scratches, but you can clearly see from the pictures of the Bar Cuffs that the damage was pretty severe. I really wished I had not used the Bar Cuffs and just went with the simple orange soft tie down loops instead. I had four of them and only used two on the rear shocks.
It’s a lesson learned and a warning to those that might be considering using Bar Cuffs on a long tow trip. Rethink this a tad, this could have been prevented and certainly the I-90 interstate from Sioux City, IA to Sturgis is not one of the smoothest roads in the land. Several times I hit bumps so severe in the road that the trailer tires left the ground and bounced around behind me like crazy. The bike stayed secured the whole time, I checked at every fuel stop for any movement or loosening of the tie downs.
For what its worth, I never went over 65 mph due to the fact that I was towing with a 2010 Chevy Equinox with the 2.4 liter Eco-tech motor. Cruise control was just impossible over 65 mph as every hill I climbed would send the motor to 5000 RPM and it would sit there for miles until the climb was over. Gas mileage averaged around 17 mpg the entire trip.