Like when they’re badly secured in the back of a pickup truck, or when lubing a chain on a bike without a centerstand. I thought I could reduce those possibilities by using a contraption to hold a front wheel in place, and after asking around I focused on the Sport motorcycle chock, made by the Baxley Trailer Company.
The Sport Chock weighs in at 21 pounds and is very ruggedly made, nothing flimsy about its construction whatsoever. I admit, I was not using this chock as it was originally intended, which is for a bike to come whipping off the race course and into the pits, riding right into the chock—where it sits securely. If you didn’t know, racers take their side- and centerstands off, so they do need something to hold them upright.
My use was primarily for a pickup. Every so often I have to haul a bike somewhere, and I use four tie-downs, all pulling forward, but still I worry. I look in the rearview mirror on a bumpy bit of road with the front tire pushed tight against the front of the bed and I have visions of its slipping sideways, bike angling over, having to stop, all sorts of complications. Soon after this Sport Chock arrived I had to truck a bike 300 miles, and happier hauling I have never had. I still used the four tie-downs, which may have been a bit of overkill, but the chock gave me a fifth vision of security.
Another excellent use is in lubing a chain. I have two bikes with chains and no centerstands, and I come in from a hard ride, chain hot, and want to lube. Now I just run it into the chock, slip the rear stand under the swingarm, and I’m set. It does make my life simpler, instead of having to balance the bike upright while slipping the stand underneath, which can lead to problems.
The Sport Chock is made of good stout steel, properly welded, with four “rubber” feet to protect whatever surface you are laying it on. At the front is what is called the “upper shoe,” where the midsection of the tire fits. There is a huge variation in tire size these days, from 130/90-16s on the cruisers to 90/90-21s on dual-purpose bikes. This “shoe” has been built with a 110/70-17 in mind, but 16- and 18-inchers fit as well, and I carried a 21-incher quite happily though not quite as snugly. There are both easy-adjust “short” and “deep” settings for the shoe, short for quick on and off, like at the track, deep for transport, which is where I have it set.
Where the bottom of the tire goes is the “capture” mechanism, sort of like a toothed trough. Tilt it back in preparation for rolling the bike on, and it widens; as it tilts forward with wheel in place the interlocking aspect tightens its grip on the tire. Very neat, very simple. An “optional locking tab,” or hook, will secure this clasping mechanism once the bike is in place, and Baxley recommends its use in earthquake-prone locales (that’s me).
The Baxley company has been around for 60 years, and they stand by their products. This Sport Chock, in black crinkle finish (other colors available), retails for $215—a lot cheaper than replacing a piece of plastic on your bike’s fairing.