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DriveShaft 10-10-2012 11:30 PM

shortbed pickup bike hauling...what's the over/under on bending the tailgate?
Planning on putting the pig in the bed of the pickup in the next few weeks. Should I lay down the plywood? Use a load extender?

Has anyone here, for example, hauled their liter bike & gone over a pothole/speedbump to discover that they've bowed their tailgate, bent the attachment point, or ripped out the cable? I realize that the deadweight is relatively small, but also realize that it's in the worst possible spot (center-beam, edge of tailgate), concentrated on the contact patch (roughly 9sqin) and if you start going over rough terrain, it can actually be quite a bit more than the dead weight coming down on your tailgate?

Anticyclone 10-11-2012 05:12 AM

Depends on the truck and your definition of pig.

Late model Toyota Tacoma? I've personally seen them bend from loading a F650GS in there.

My 07 Chevy Silverado? I've put my fully loaded vstrom in there and never given it a second thought.

Yossarian™ 10-11-2012 06:01 AM

It's really a lot less fun when you ask the question BEFORE you put the load in the bed and haul it over bumps.

Wolfgang55 10-11-2012 06:04 AM

You are most right to consider the bounce factor.

I used a 2x6 pressure treated board & strapped a the rear wheel to the 2x6. (through the spokes)
NOTE: the 2x6 went all the way under the front tire too. I screwed in about a foot of 1x2s on both sides of the front tire to keep the front tire from sliding off the 2x6.

Later I found a 1x6 channel of AL & that became my KEEP in place track for the VStrom & anyother bike that kept resting on the tail gate.

Plywood will work but does not remove the down ward shock while going over rough roads as well as something stronger directly under the bike's tires.

Have seen some very creative designs from guys who had not tail gates at all & still in short bed trucks.
One guy used his ramp to support the rear tire over hang.

sailah 10-11-2012 06:20 AM

Depends on the truck. I loaded some "green" red:lol3 oak 8x8 beams in a Toyota tacoma that were 10'. I was only going 1 mile. The weight was so ridiculous I went of a rise and completely lost steering for a second. The resulting bouncing periodically caused the steering to regain, lose, regain lose for about 100 yards. Enough to cause major pucker.

Obviously WAY overloaded. Cause a slight bow in the tailgate, surprised it wasn't worse actually.

My Chevy 2500HD? Wouldn't even give it a seconds thought even if I had a goldwing in there.

You could always turn a ramp upside down, like a U channel and as long as the front wheel is on the ramp should eliminate any worry even on a lightweight truck as the back of the bed will help distribute the load going over bumps.

WoodButcher 10-11-2012 06:28 AM

2001 Ford F150 Supercrew. DRZ400S. Rough road with dips. Only tied down the front. Big dip, too fast. Truck goes down, back of bike stays up. Truck comes up other side of dip, bike meets tailgate. Overall structure of the tailgate is just fine. Inside had a recessed area where the bike tire landed. I got lucky.

That being said, I now tie the back down all the time. I've hauled my DR650 in it many times and my GSA once. Haven't killed the tailgate yet. The GSA was on pavement the whole time though.

I'd agree with the other comments. Depends on the truck and tailgate construction. But always tie down the back too. :eek1

zeeede 10-11-2012 07:12 AM

On my '04 ford ranger, my Veestrom's rear wheel actually sits right at the leading edge of the tailgate when the front wheel is pushed all the way up to the front of the bed. Tied down 4 corners, pulling it forward/down in the front with ratchet straps and then back and down in the rear. Nothing under the rear wheel. Hauled it around 30 miles that way with no damage.

I used to haul my Ducati up to Maine and NH and such all the time back when I had that, but the point is moot there because there was no weight on the tailgate at all.

If I were hauling a longer bike, I'd probably put something under it to keep the weight off the tailgate... according to my owner's manual max weight rating for the tailgate down is 100 lbs.

fast4d 10-11-2012 09:03 AM


same there. my bikes' rear tires are barely on the tailgate so no issues for me.

DriveShaft 10-11-2012 12:13 PM


Originally Posted by Yossarian™ (Post 19794133)
It's really a lot less fun when you ask the question BEFORE you put the load in the bed and haul it over bumps.

:lol3 Yeahhhh...didn't want to be that guy.

Interesting feedback and suggestions. I think I'll cut up a sheet of plywood and coat the top in rhino liner, call it done. I already have a hunk of plywood down in the front to chock the wheel.

The pig is an 1150GS, so bigger than a 250cc dirt bike, but shy of a full-dress touring rig. Definitely big enough to make me wonder what a 350lb pig jumping up and down on my tailgate might do. I doubt that was the scenario they had in mind when laying down the specs.

The truck is an avalanche. So, it's supposedly comparable to the silverado, but the whole sail-panel unibody thing makes me believe it's alot more related to the Tahoe than the Silverado. Is the tailgate up to 1500 or 2500 class specs? I wouldn't be surprised if it differed right where it counts.

I know they make load extenders. But those all add serious length. @Sailah, they would've been perfect for your needs in your taco. Funny story, though, in a 3rd person sorta way.

I wonder if anyone makes hitch-mounted load extenders that stop just higher and just further than the tailgate. for hauling bikes, you don't need it super longer...I just need to clear the gate.

tree18is 10-11-2012 04:07 PM

Try it
Tail gates gonna be fine !!!

montanaman 10-11-2012 04:34 PM

800GS and 250 both in my 2012 Tundra
So far no issues. I have a 6'5" bed so once they are in there is almost no weight on the tailgate. Just the up and down part..

Grover6 10-13-2012 07:50 PM

Are you running it straight in or on an angle? I can load my Xr650L in my '05 Dodge Ram with the 6'5" box on an angle and have about 6" or so to spare. Tie down four corners and close the tailgate, good to go.

I hauled it around like this on my 2 week camping trip, and no issues there or back. Yes, I did lots of riding in between, way more than if I would have left it at home, just saying:lol3.

squish 10-14-2012 11:44 PM

03 taco
6 foot bed
It's had dl650s ducatis r100gs two xr650l and all sorts of other bikes hasn't dented bent or tweaked the tailgate yet.

BCC 10-15-2012 03:25 AM

2 big dirt bikes in a Ridgeline and 2 trackbikes in a shortbed Screw, many miles, no problems, both on tailgates.

Never thought to ask first. Good idea.

A board to spread the load of a pig might be a good idea.

IL8APEX 10-15-2012 12:27 PM

I have an '11 Avalanche, haul my sport bikes all the time.

My Tiger 800 is a bit longer, so instead of running it straight down the middle I went corner to corner in the bed. Gave me more peace of mind that the load would be nearer the hinge of the tailgate, less likely to cause damage.


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