A question about using a ramp to load bikes in a pickup...

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by CaptnJim, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. WeazyBuddha

    WeazyBuddha Carbon-Based Humanoid

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    I was too chicken to ride the VFR I bought up into the bed of a nissan pickup but my friend, who sold me the bike, did it with no drama using his Ramp-Master ramp. They are pricey but very good.

    Adv thread: Ramp Master Opinions

    Ramp Master Link
    #21
  2. don63

    don63 Adventurer

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    The problem your going to have is, if you do it without a ditch or something to raise the base of the ramp. The belly of the scooters will drag the top of the ramp when transitioning to the bed of the truck. The problem are the ramps. They are not long enough and don't curve at the top. I got these ramps which are 90 inches long and have a curve in them which stops the bottom of the Elite from hitting. http://www.discountramps.com/atv-loading-ramps.htm
    The Aprilia is high enough it wouldn't hit regardless. Good luck and don't scrape the paint off the bottom
    #22
  3. don63

    don63 Adventurer

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    #23
  4. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scootist

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    Those look like a good ramp. We have a good spot nearby to get the rear wheels down, which makes for less of an angle where the ramps meet the tailgate... should be good to go!

    Best wishes,
    Captain Jim
    #24
  5. DaBinChe

    DaBinChe Long timer

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    Also if you have a removable tailgate then take that off, makes it much easier and give you more clearance for the underside of the scoot.
    #25
  6. topless

    topless Been here awhile

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    You need an arched ramp to keep from dragging the bottom as you go into the truck. Straight ramps only work with bikes that have high ground clearance. I always use a tie down to keep the ramp from slipping off the tailgate. You can't catch a bike falling with the ramp, no matter how big and strong you are. 15 seconds of prevention is worth months of waiting for a cast to come off.
    http://www.literamps.com/single_motorcycle_ramps.htm
    #26
  7. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    How is removing the tailgate going to change the angle of the ramp?
    #27
  8. DaBinChe

    DaBinChe Long timer

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    Most all modern trucks have a slight angle to them, meaning that the rear kinda sticks up higher then the front. Park on a level surface and you see that the rear of the bed is higher then the front. This causes the tailgate to be up higher then the end of the bed when it is down. It doesn't seem like much of a difference but it is just enough to make a difference in clearance. Also with the tailgate off the bumper is a good step so you don't have to step up as high, it is only a few inches but makes it that much easier to load. I almost always take of my tailgate when I load big heavy things not just bikes. Besides it will save your tailgate cable from eventually failing. My tailgate is only rated for 300#. I have home made flat ramp, it has been improved since this picture:
    [​IMG]
    Also in this pic I had the tailgate on, this was back when I was still riding a 50cc scoot and it was so light that I could easily man handle it. I got the aluminum part from Pepboys for about $20 years ago, they come in a pair. The board is a 2"x8" 8' long. Since then I have added side support with 1"x4" so now it looks like a channel with the bottom flush with the main board and the top sticking up acting as a guide to keep the tire on the board and not fall of the side. I had to cut the side support down a little at the top because bikes would get hung up on it. I also screwed in hex head screws to give traction because the board by it self is very slippery. I'll take a pic of the current form when I remember.
    [​IMG]
    #28
  9. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    I didn't believe you so I went out and measured the tailgate height on my truck.

    You were right, it is about an inch higher. I'm not sure how much difference and inch would make since I had to raise the end of my 7 foot ramp by 10 inches to keep my Super 8 from grounding out.

    [​IMG]

    Also, if you can get your rear wheels down into a ditch, the end of the tailgate will be LOWER than the bed.

    In my case, my Avalanche only has a 5' bed so most of my bikes end up with their rear wheels on the tailgate.
    #29
  10. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    The only scooter I've ever had in the bed of a truck besides the Stella, was a Honda Metropolitan, and it did drag going over the top of the ramp. The truck my father in law has has a really short bed, so it would have been impossible to have gotten 2 scooters in it. The Stella had to go in crossways. And even if the bed is long enough, there may be a width problem with the fenders. I used to have a work truck with a utility (tool box) bed, which had a 4'x8' flat floor in the bed. I was able to get 2 dirt bikes in it easily, but they did hit each other and the sides of the bed. To load the dirt bikes, I used 2 ramps, like you have, put the bike on the right ramp, and walked it up from the left ramp, with the engine off. I left the engine off because even a tiny slip with your hand on the throttle could twist the throttle wide open. The only thing I ever rode into the back of a truck was a quad, and once while doing that I caught the plastic front fender of the quad on the back edge of the bed and tore a chunk out of it.

    And yes, the back end of most trucks is noticeably higher than the front, usually 3"-4" higher. That is to give it more load carrying capacity. One way to deal with that is to use ramps in the front, like you use when working under a vehicle. Drive the truck up on the ramps, raising the front will lower the rear.
    #30
  11. Warney

    Warney Been here awhile

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    Observed first hand at Rallies...
    Overtightening a Canyon Dancer can bugger up the throttle tube on a Stella right now. It is a pretty simple fix involving removal of the headset cover and straightening of a thin brass looking guide. You'll know right away when it happens; once fixed you won't overtighten again. Better to use the seat pin and a couple of those cinch straps once you have the Canyon Dancer just snug enough to hold the Scooter up.
    Make sure the fuel tap is off before you transport!
    Many a Lambretta have suffered broken alloy headsets from overtightening a Canyon Dancer. Better to use cinch straps below the Headset.
    Ratcheting straps suck, the manual type are a lot easier to judge tension.
    That metal flange DaBinChe uses is also available at Tractor Supply.
    Any loose strap will slap the paint enough to bugger it up, take a roll of 3M Super 33+ electrical tape to hold down any loose straps.
    #31
  12. DaBinChe

    DaBinChe Long timer

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    Board is a 2"x8"x8' and the sides are 1"x4". If you want a wider ramp you can use two of the aluminum flange on a wider board or two boards screwed together which should also give you double the load capacity. With my single setup I have loaded 500# street bikes with no problems. My current bike, W650, is lowered an inch at both ends and clears the ramp with no problems with the tailgate removed, my truck's rear end is also about 2" higher then stock because I have RoadMaster spring assist installed.

    here is what mine set up looks like:
    [​IMG]

    you can see how I have the angle cut to clear the bike as it gets to the lip/flange/top of the ramp and also the hex screws I put in to give traction:
    [​IMG]

    with out tailgate:
    [​IMG]

    with tailgate:
    [​IMG]
    #32
  13. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scootist

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    Trial run today. It all worked. We had our son-in-law there "just in case"... the Blonde and I handled it fine.

    Here's the link:

    http://captnjim.blogspot.com/2013/03/practice-loading.html

    And a preview...

    [​IMG]

    The ramp from Harbor Freight was plenty solid with the bike and my weight on it at the same time.

    Thanks again for all the suggestions and tips. All were considered and appreciated.

    Best wishes,
    Captain Jim
    #33
  14. aj_day

    aj_day Adventurer

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    None of those people were going fast enough, that is the problem! But seriously, I would not ever recommend riding the bike up the ramp.

    It looks like you picked a nice looking ramp, particularly because of the extra width. I like to power the bike up the ramp very slowly while I am walking beside it. Do the reverse on the way down, with your hand on the brake.

    Heavy bikes can be a little tricky coming down because you can only cover the front brake, and most of the weight is on the back wheel. The front tire will slide a little bit if you get going too fast and then jab the brake. I suspect you will not have this problem with the PX150's because they are not very heavy.

    Take it slow and easy, and you will be fine.
    #34
  15. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scootist

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    Ah, we scooter pilots can cover both brakes at the handlebars. :evil Other than the strapping situation, it was really a non-event with the ramp.

    Best wishes,
    Jim
    #35
  16. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Captn Jim, where do you put the ramp after you have loaded the bikes?
    #36
  17. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scootist

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    Folded, on the floor of the pickup bed, diagonal between the bikes. Snug fit, but it just goes.
    #37
  18. ausfahrt

    ausfahrt mach schnell

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    Wow.

    Some of those pics are scary. I spent a few bucks and I am happy with my trailer.....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #38
  19. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scootist

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    I understand that. I am happy with my Featherlite trailer, too. It just happens to be 1348 miles from us right now. I will be renting a trailer to get the bikes back to our Texas home, since the truck bed will be occupied with the 5th wheel. We have plenty of experience double towing...

    [​IMG]

    We didn't bring the cargo trailer with us this trip.

    Best wishes,
    Jim
    #39
  20. vtwin

    vtwin Air cooled runnin' mon

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    I used the Cycle Gear ramp and it works fine. I paid something like $59 on sale. It comes with the strap to secure it to the truck. I also use a milk crate as a step when I walk the bike up high enough.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #40