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Old 01-19-2012, 11:29 PM   #1
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Carrying Along a Vespa?

Friends,

We are looking into the purchase of a Vespa scooter, but my big question is whether I can easily get it in and out of the bed of my '07 F150 tow vehicle. So my question: Does anyone in our community carry a motor scooter in the bed of their truck while towing? Would like to hear your experiences with this, how you get it in and out, etc. Thanks!

James
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Old 01-20-2012, 06:49 AM   #2
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I carry an '86 Yamaha Riva 125. I have two aluminum ramps that , together, weigh 35 pounds. I roll it in and out of a 3/4 ton, 4wd PU. It's really not a problem. I walk it up and down on one ramp, while it is on the other ramp. I use the engine to help up and just keep the brake applied to get it down. Since it's an "automatic", using the engine isn't an issue and doesn't take that much coordination. If your uncomfortable doing it, find a ditch or hill to level out the process.
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Old 01-20-2012, 07:51 AM   #3
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Getting it in the bed should be no problem. You can use the fancy aluminum ramps or just something like a 2x10. Make sure that whatever you use that it won't come off the back of the truck when you are trying to roll the bike up the ramp. Using the engine helps alot. I have loaded a lot of motorcycles in the back of trucks and I always use the engine to help it up the ramp.

You are already getting close to the max on the truck pulling the trailer is the scooter going to exceed your max payload when pulling the trailer?

I plan on doing just what you are doing when I can afford a pickup tow vehicle. I will probably have something bigger than a scooter. I will need to have room for the wife on the back. There are rigs that will load the bike in the back of the truck for you.

Perry
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:47 PM   #4
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We have 2 Vespa 150's that we load into our Ram 1500 4x4. Since the tailgate is higher on a 4X4 than a 4x2 I had an aluminum ramp built that is 11 feet long and folds in half. I use an electric winch to pull the Vespa's into the truck, wife runs the controls while I walk it up to the tailgate. Then I get into the bed and walk it the rest of the way and strap them down and place ramp between them. We can load or unload both Vespa's in less than 15 minutes from the time we unhook the AirStream. I can post some pictures if you want and it warms up outside.
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Old 01-20-2012, 02:16 PM   #5
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It is easier to get the scooter into the bed of the truck than it is to secure it sufficiently that it will not be damaged while traveling.

There are some self-locking wheel chocks out there that, I'm told, help a great deal, though I have not used them. They're not really chocks but rather clamp arrangements that completely immobilize the front wheel.
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Old 01-20-2012, 03:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer
It is easier to get the scooter into the bed of the truck than it is to secure it sufficiently that it will not be damaged while traveling.

There are some self-locking wheel chocks out there that, I'm told, help a great deal, though I have not used them. They're not really chocks but rather clamp arrangements that completely immobilize the front wheel.
Jammer for scooters you simply need to run the tire up against the truck bed (or any stop that prevents forward motion) and use a harness called "canyon dancer" which you can buy on Amazon or most motorcycle shops. Works like a dream....
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Old 01-20-2012, 04:46 PM   #7
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My first vehicle... will it also be my next vehicle?

As a very poor 17 year old college freshman, I got a motorcycle. It was a Honda 125 cc. The year was 1966, and moi, a young, not-a-slut type of woman was riding a Honda. Whew. I felt like the only Airstream owner in a town full of SOB's... but the opinion of the townspeople? There were no actual lynch mobs, but I definitely went from "role model" to "terrible warning" overnight.

My mother whose favorite phrase was "but what will the neighbors say?" surprisingly accepted the idea. She even told me about an event from her childhood when her older half sister came home to visit in 1931... and to mom's wide eyed wonder, got off her Harley Davidson wearing jodpers, boots and a flight jacket - and then lit a cigarette!

I loved getting 75 mpg - and paying $48 per year for insurance. Even in N. E. Ohio I rode year round, only taking the bus when there was fresh snow on the ground and the plows hadn't cleared the roads.

I actually got my first car and a regular driver's license 10 years later. I stopped riding cycles in my mid-thirties. I had one minor accident in the whole time, and limped away from that.


Today in my 60's I'm tempted to get another one just because I live in the Airstream, but I've faced a hard reality:
  • cars are safer for the people INSIDE them... the people they hit? Not so much.
  • there are a lot fewer people driving drunk, but there are many more cars on the road. Many drivers are distracted by cell phones, texting and even their own GPS
  • old bones break more easily and heal more slowly - ditto for ligiments and tendons and muscles
  • a few members of this forum itself have already posted "lucky to be alive" stories that should serve as real warnings
In short, I'm still tempted to get a motorcycle to run around on when camping and traveling, but I won't be driving it to and from work to save money. That's because I live in the Virginia Beach/Norfolk area - heavy traffic, military drivers who have come from every state in the union with driving styles that don't form a cohesive driving style.
If you're in a nice rural campground? Cycle good.
Big city? Death trap.
If you decide to get a cycle, consider carefully what to buy - A big loud Harley gives you raw torque and power to escape from some situations - and it's NOISE alerts drivers on each side that something is there. A three-wheel Vespa with the two front wheels is so odd looking that people notice it. A Chinese electric with a max speed of 25 mph? Not even in bright yellow thank you!


The three things that are still the best protection for motorcycles?
  1. an absolute belief that everyone else on the road is out to kill you
  2. the best helmet you can afford
  3. full leathers - even in summer
I would not ride anything that couldn't comfortably do 55 mph on the open road - and 80 mph fully cranked out. I've accepted that my reactions and my vision aren't quite what they were when I was 20, so if I do get a bike, I'll be super courteous and super aware whenever I ride. Not creating a bad situation and staying away from bad situations - just a good way to remain above ground.

Everyone wants to go to heaven... but no one wants to die.

Riding a motorcycle is far more interactive and fun than driving a car - but the dangers are really there.

Stay safe, but have fun. Paula
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Old 01-20-2012, 06:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
It is easier to get the scooter into the bed of the truck than it is to secure it sufficiently that it will not be damaged while traveling.
I am 6'1 and weigh 290 lbs and I cannot roll the vespa into the back of a fullsize pickup. It was possible when I had a Dakota, but the tailgate is 5 inches higher on the Ram and the angle is way to steep. As far as securing the Vespa I use ratchet straps attached to the handle bar and the welded ring in the bed, never had them fall over even after over 5000 miles.


Gary
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:23 PM   #9
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I carry my 2 MX bikes in my bed for short runs under 500 miles a few times now with no issue. The issue with the scooters you need to watch are the low center stand can drag, not a problem going up but a major one coming down. The other is that some scooters style have the front fender overhangs the front tire so it will make contact with a wall before the so it does need a chock block of some kind. You also need to look at how the bars are mounted as I've seen people over tighten Caynon Dancer type enough to bend or pull the bars down, a problem with vintage Vespa's headsets. I'm short so I use a step stool to make the jump up and be careful using engine power as you can spin the ramp back off the gate! I can jackknife the truck enough to get my bikes out. Think I have a pic of the truck loaded for a race in my sectione here.
I know I've seen an adamant "Don't " about putting a carrrier on the back of the trailer but I'm thinking about it for a light 215 # scooter. I am redoing my trailer after gutting it and have moved the bath to the middle and put in tanks between and behind the axles. Will have to finish it up and weigh it to see if I think I got it lighter or moved it far enough towards the front.
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Old 01-24-2012, 11:54 AM   #10
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My experience

Like Foiled, I bought my first motorcycle in the late '60s. I have ridden ever since. Hauled dirt bikes in Utes (small pickup) when living in Australia, lots of road bikes here in the states. Including 800 pound long haul highway tourers (Honda Goldwing).

Foiled (Paula) had lots of good comments on the pros and cons of riding. Well said Paula. I would add that if you have not riden motorcycles before please take a riding course. Just about every state has one. (I just realized I didn't look to see if you are in the USA.) As a former Motorcycle Safety Instructor I can tell you it will jump start your learning curve and very well could save lots of heartache.

The two ramp suggestion for loading is a very good one. Making that step onto the tailgate when pushing even a light motorcycle up the ramp is an exercise best left to youngsters. Even with a step stool there is a lot of balance, foot placement and control of the bike issues you have to deal with. I lost control of one of my big BMW Adventure motorcycles (around 600 pounds) one day. No one else around to help me when the bike slowly leaned over onto me while trying to make the step up. I knew I would have at best one chance to right the bike before I would have to let it drop on the ground. I got it up but it was a near thing. Attempting it was stupid but I learned.

So a ramp to walk up and one for the scooter. Using the engine with a clutchless scooter is very easy to do. Getting it secure is easy and has been detail very well above. I also recommend Cannon Dancers. Motorcycle shops will also have wheel chocks for the front wheel.

My wife and I haul a 250cc scooter with us in my F350 Dualie. It is a wonderful way to look at the local scenery and stop to take lots of pictures. And again as Paula said...cities not so much.
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Old 01-24-2012, 06:12 PM   #11
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Get you a Suzuki DR650SE and you can go anywhere fast. It will eat those little scooters for breakfast. Just ride it into the back of the truck.

Perry
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
As a very poor 17 year old college freshman, I got a motorcycle. It was a Honda 125 cc. The year was 1966, and moi, a young, not-a-slut type of woman was riding a Honda.
Wow, you had a motor! I looked all over campus for you ... on my pedal bicycle - parents made me leave my Honda 150 dream back at home. 1966 was a stellar year for us young-uns until uncle Sam's guided tours of SE Asia came into play.

We bought the converta plank ramp ends for 2x12 or 2x10 boards; that gave us relatively inexpensive and easily manipulated ramps, but it was very difficult to either ride or push the 80cc scooter into the 4wd bed (much easier and safer to use a bike trailer, but then it doesn't work if you are already towing an AS). In retrospect, I would use a box mounted 12 volt winch to pull the scooter into the bed with "balance" people on either side of the ramp. Our foray into scooters was forshortened by a crash which leaves my wife scared today. She is quite happy riding behind me on the beemer, however.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:18 PM   #13
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Paula,

You rock babe! My wife is scared to ride on my motorcycle with me...let alone ride one herself. You are too cool!

Perry, I had a KLR650 Kawi dual-sport which is about the same as the one you quoted. I would often haul it in the back of the Ram and ride it around once we got to where we were going.

I since got rid of the KLR and have a Harley V-Rod; the liguid cooled one that some Harley guys don't like, but it makes about double the power of the aircooled ones. I love it. I've done 133 on it before I ran out of nerve.

A Vespa? Man they were slowpokes 40 years ago. My daughter has an electric scooter I bought her that looks like a Vespa...it is really cute. But she was ten when I got it for her. It'll go 15mph and run about 45 minutes on a charge. I have ridden it and it will haul my 185lb butt around just fine. But I'd be a bit scared to take it on the street. But it only weighs 40lbs so that's a niceity.

Hey, get yourself a Suzuki GSXR-1000. They weigh about 375 lbs, have about 185 horsepower, and will go 180+mph and ride a wheelie as long as you want to

Nah, seriously, some of the nicer electric scooters are kind of cool. Just get one with a big enough battery to give you some decent range. None of them are that heavy....

Still not as cool as a V-Rod, but they are quite-er....

see ya on the road,
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Old 03-06-2012, 02:26 AM   #14
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