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Old 03-12-2003, 06:30 PM   #1
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Question Trying to take my motorcycle with me...

Has anyone had experience in towing your Airstream with a pickup and also taking your motorcycle with you?

I have a Dodge Ram 2500 long-bed 4X4 and a 25' Safari. I would like to load my Yamaha V Star 1100 in the pickup bed and I am really concerned about simply using the motorcycle ramps; as riding up and down that thing is sure to result in difficulties, and I don't want to drop the bike off the back of the pickup.

I have looked at autoloaders, but I have only found one manufacturer (ToyTrax motorcycle lifts), but they seem to be having some manufacturing difficulties, and even if they were making them now, they cost about $2500. Ouch!

Questions:

-- Does anyone know if there are any other manufacturers that have the auto-loader type mechanisms?

-- Or, am I relegated to the ramp and effects of gravity?

-- Or, might there be other alternatives (besides leaving the bike home)?

Thanks in advance for any assistance.

Take Care,

Carl Jackson
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Old 03-12-2003, 06:47 PM   #2
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Talking yes i do!

carl

i take my '55 harley everywhere i go.

i use a folding aluminum ramp to load it in my 2500 silverado.

ramps work fine, just use a natural depression or a slope to your advantage. that way you can use the ramp as a bridge instead of trying to push it up.

get the best tiedowns you can, and use four of them with the bike upright. leave it in neutral and off the center stand.

john
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Old 03-12-2003, 06:51 PM   #3
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Riding a motorcycle up a ramp to a pickup bed, especially a heavy motorcycle, does not sound like fun to me (unless your an Evil Knevil type!).

You could use a small electric winch attached to the front of the truck bed to pull the MC up the ramp, while you just balance it. Something like a Superwinch. You will either need a wide ramp, or two narower ones (one for the MC, one for you).

Another option (expensive) is a Tommy Lift
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Old 03-12-2003, 06:56 PM   #4
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Great idea John!

John

Thanks for the comeback! Having never hauled a motorcycle before I had not thought of dropping the rear wheels into a depression and using the ramp as a bridge. Great idea! It also relieves my anxiety over dropping that darn thing.

Take Care,

Carl Jackson
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Old 03-12-2003, 06:59 PM   #5
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John, one more question?

John

How do you attempt to keep the monster Harley clean when hauling it?

Do you cover it somehow, or just haul it open and clean it when you get there?

Thanks,

Carl Jackson
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Old 03-12-2003, 07:09 PM   #6
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Whatever you do, do not ride your motorcycle up a ramp into your truck. I'm a professional motorsports photographer, and spend a lot of time at race tracks taking photos at club events. I've seen people ride their bikes into their trucks, and occassionally the torque of the rear wheel will send the ramp skidding backwards out from under the bike. One guy last year tore ligaments in his knee when this happened. After riding his bike at over 100 mph all day he got hurt trying to load it in his truck by himself.

The suggestion above to use a natural depression so the ramp acts like a bridge is excellent. I'd also suggest buying two aluminum ramps, one for the bike and one for you to walk on. This makes loading and unloading the bike much easier and safer.

Ratcheting tie-downs also help. Don't skip on the price on the ramps or the tie-downs. One tipover and you'll do far more damage to your bike and yourself than the money you'll save buying cheap junk. You might also consider getting a front wheel chock installed in your truck bed. It will help keep your bike in place.
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Old 03-12-2003, 07:20 PM   #7
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I agree. Driving up a big hog or even a little one up an incline just screams of trouble.

If I were 10 years younger, I'd take the bet, but now am older, wiser and more feeble!

Eric
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Old 03-12-2003, 07:28 PM   #8
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clean?

carl

i haul my bike open, trying to keep a 48 year old harley is a challenge! it has drip type chain oilers on it. kinda like a chainsaw!
it stays dirty until i get home, i kinda like the used look anyway.

you can view a photo of it in my album.

as for wheel chocks for the front wheel, i am not a big fan of them. as they will damage the side wall of balloon tires. i just use 2 2x4's nailed in a "L" shape to keep the front tire from bowing the front of my pickup truck box. if you use four tie downs the bike will not move much.

consider getting soft ties also, they are just little loops of nylon. you use them around your handlebars instead of the hooks on the tiedowns. loop them around, then attach the tiedown. they will protect your brightwork from damage. most bike shops sell them.

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Old 03-12-2003, 07:32 PM   #9
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i forgot!

photobitstream,

welcome to the forum, i agree! never ride yer bike in!

i too have seen some pretty spectacular screw ups when people try that!

john
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Old 03-12-2003, 07:35 PM   #10
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I really like this forum!

What a great forum. You guys know a lot! What a great resource for A/S folks.

Thanks for all the input.

Carl Jackson
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Old 03-13-2003, 10:49 AM   #11
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HeySkipper- A couple of things I have used in the past before I started carrying my 4 wheeler. I used a 6' folding ramp because I have a short bed. I think they make 8' ramps which would lessen the angle. I have used the metal ramps made for changing oil, under the front tires before also to lower the angle. They are hard to carry all the time but usefull sometimes. On my fold out 6' ramp, I used 1/4" plywood on one side with several 1"x2" strips crosswise for footing.
As far as the ramp shooting out from under you, use a couple of tie downs and hook one on each side of the ramp and the truck and it will stay in place. It is sometimes a hassle to take your bike with you but always worth the effort.
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Old 03-13-2003, 06:14 PM   #12
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The taller your truck, not only the steeper the incline, but the sharper the angle where it meets the truck tailgate, and the greater the chance the bike will drag at that point.

An arched ramp will lessen the potential to drag there, as will a longer ramp.

You can tie the ramp to the hitch ball in the bumper to keep it from sliding back.

I'm probably gonna get one of these 120" big boys for the Road King, given my truck's height.

When I used to haul a bike in my utility trailer (getting it in there by backing the trailer into a shallow ditch), I used a 2X4 crosspiece in the front of the trailer, with two long 2X4s going back on either side of the bike's tires, and these were braced to the side of the trailer with a coupla more 2X4's. All these were attached by hinges, so I could fold the back side braces up and open the long 2X4s into a V to ride into.
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Old 03-14-2003, 06:46 AM   #13
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I hope you will continue to update your experiences with bringing your bike along. That is the next step for us.
We have to move to a pick-up from the surburban but now that we are empty nesters that is a good thing. The bulldog and & cat won't mind being in an extended cab.
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Old 03-14-2003, 08:21 AM   #14
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I bought an E350 instead of a pickup partially so I could carry my motorcycle when I travel. I like being able to leave the bike parked inside my van rather than leaving it exposed to elements and thieves. I can't imagine how anyone could manage a bike and a trailer with a Surburban, unless you buy a toy hauler.

Another advantage of the van is the lower floor height compared with a pickup. That makes loading and unloading the bike easier. Of course, I do have to be careful to not bang my head. Ah well, everything is a compromise.
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