Ramp or Trailer

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by frogy, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. frogy

    frogy Been here awhile

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    I currently have an BMW R1150RT and will be buying another smaller bike to play with (K1100LT into a naked maybe).
    Anyway I have been trying to decide whether to buy a wide ramp for my Ridgeline and then put in some 4by8 sheets to support the tailgate and have a place to screw down some 2by4s to keep the tires from sliding left to right.
    Or do I buy a small trailer.I do not want to spend a lot of $, I would rather spend that on the second bike.
    I would like to get your opinions and pics of your transport decisions.
    Thanks in advance.
    #1
  2. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    I hauled an 1150GS around in the bed of an F350 long bed for almost a year - going cross country and back, loading and unloading many, many times.
    I used a wide alum ATV ramp as a connection to the ground and the truckbed, and it worked well.
    My best scenario for loading was putting the rear truck tires in a ditch or depression. This greatly lessened the angle and effort needed, and danger/worry.

    A lower height towed trailer would be much easier.

    I only used four tie-down straps (compressing the suspension on both ends), without any solid bracing, and didn't habe a problem.

    If I were to use a small trailer, designated just for hauling the large bike, I would toe-nail some chunks of 4x4 to the wooded bed, and use the four straps. Take the suspension way down. IMO, that is the key.
    #2
  3. DustyPockets

    DustyPockets Flatland wanderer.

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    I bought a 5 x 8 Teske trailer this spring and wondered how I ever got along with out it. Lightweight with a steel mesh bottom and drop down ramp but heavy enough to carry two bikes with ease. I paid $600 ish for it.

    If you buy one keep it hidden from your buddies.
    #3
  4. gasit4fun

    gasit4fun Adventurer

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    So, if you don't have a ramp yet, I'm guessing you haven't tried putting that big bike in the RL? I too have a Ridgeline and it's a great vehicle, but I ain't gonna lie, the bed is quite high. I use a pair of curved folding aluminum ATV ramps (750 lbs each, $100 for the pair). The ramps are 7' 5" long, and could stand to be even longer, because with that bed height they can get plenty steep. With their length, the curve is mandatory, so that it's not as steep at the tailgate. I walk up one ramp, and idle the XRL up the other one. It takes a bit of skill, and I hold my breath each time. With a heavier bike, my ramp setup wouldn't work.

    If you get a bigger ramp, consider where in the bed you would put it and secure it.

    For 2 dirt bikes or lightweight dual sports, hauling in the bed of the Ridgeline is great. I can still get into the trunk with the bike in the bed, and it fits all my gear. But if you have to put plywood in there to support heavy bikes, the trunk is no longer accessible.

    If you get a trailer, then you can bring multiple bikes, storage boxes, etc. And you can use it for other things besides hauling bikes. The only downside might be a place to store the trailer when it's not in use (which is the only reason why I don't have one).
    #4
  5. Twohondas

    Twohondas Long timer

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    I have both and I say start with the truck and then add the trailer if you need it down the line.

    I split about 50/50 as the "best" just depends...........like anything else.

    [​IMG]

    And sometimes I have one in the bed and two on the trailer.
    #5
  6. Precis

    Precis Maladroit malcontent

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    If a K1100LT is a "smalll" bike, I'm guessing shoving it up and down a steeply-angled ramp won't be an issue - why, you could probably just hang it up by its front wheel on a hook on the back your Peterbilt sub-compact's cab...
    Seriously, a trailer is easier to load, but can be a PITA to find parking for downtown, be a hassle to store out of the elements, represents still more tyres & lights to maintain - and your wife will not only refuse to reverse it, she will also refuse to direct it while you do.
    I have three different-style trailers and haul a variety of bikes in all of them - and in 30 years and tens of thousands of miles, have never bothered with channels or lumps of wood to keep them in line.
    Just get some soft rope and make up some loops to go around painted or chromed parts so the tie-downs don't hurt them, and use at least 3 tie-down to pull the bike down against its on springs, to the load-bed evenly.
    Oh, and take the bike out of gear when it's being transported like this...
    #6
  7. frogy

    frogy Been here awhile

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    Thanks Gas,(hope U don't mind me callin U Gas:D)yes I love the RL and it is tall thats why I would purchase xtra wide ramp.I would also purchase a auto locking tire chalk to hold the bike so I can tie it down by myself and help support the bike.
    Storage is always a problem for a trailer,and the pain of watching your speeds,and backing up is a pain too.I have been looking at the smaller one bike trailers,the units that have a single rail that folds down to the size of a large baseball equip. bag.
    I have many options and little $...but thats why I need ADVriders help.With all the experience on this site with the transport of bikes,I know you all can steer me in the right direction.
    #7
  8. frogy

    frogy Been here awhile

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    The K1100LT starts out as a big bike,but when Im done with it ,it will have lost quite a few pounds.Just wondering why U would want the bike out of gear ?
    #8
  9. frogy

    frogy Been here awhile

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    Holy Moly,what a view.Thanks for the advise.
    #9
  10. rjdills

    rjdills Been here awhile

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    The message below makes me think I have a twin out there. I second all of those comments, and I'm only recently down to two trailers.

    While there are some parking issues, thinking ahead or walking a short distance from the parked rig have always easily solved them.

    I do a two plus week trip around California each late spring with three or more bikes in a trailer: small street bike, big bike, dirt bike, sometimes with a trials bike thrown in for good measure. Then spend days going wherever the truck is pointed. When I see something that looks like an interesting ride, I pull out the right weapon, pop on a gps and go wherever the front wheel is pointed. Sometimes that's an all day adventure. When I'm done, I let the gps take me back to the waypoint where I dumped the truck.

    I know lots of people here are all about long freeway rides on their bike, but to each there own. To me, a well equipped trailer is magic.


    #10
  11. frogy

    frogy Been here awhile

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    Thanks rjdills,nice collection of bikes you have.
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  12. lonewolf97

    lonewolf97 Long timer

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    A trailer is the best option. My first one was an old jetski trailer I converted. Only had a couple hundred bucks invested in it. Now I have a 6x10 cargo trailer. The back door is the ramp. I can roll two bikes up in it and strap them down in 10 min. It keeps them out of the weather and doubles as a camper.
    #12
  13. high dangler

    high dangler Been here awhile

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    if you have a truck and only need to haul one bike then no need for trailor IMO (is the ridgeline a truck ?)
    Downside of a trailor is that they take up a lot of room and youve gotta fool with tag sticker every year. If its in the yard you have to move it contantly to mow under it.
    #13
  14. CollinsB

    CollinsB Been here awhile

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    I had a Harbor Freight "fold-up" trailer for a few years....put thousands of miles on it. Hauled a full sized ATV and my XR650 by attaching a rail across the tounge. (not recommended)

    Used it for all kinds of Home Depot runs etc. ..Great little trailer!
    #14
  15. troyslegacy

    troyslegacy PigGS Feet

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    I just bought an Aluma brand trailer for $1450. I'll be hauling my GS across the country next week. I drive a ram 1500 and would never want to put my GS in the back, it's just too much of a pain in the ass for solo loading and unloading. I bought a HF wheel chock and mounted it with some tie down points to the trailer floor. The alumas ride a bit nicer as well. I have the HF mount offset so I can put my dirtbike next to the GS. They also have a torsion suspension which rides much better than a leaf spring trailer. It really comes down to how often you are loading and unloading. If you're driving from point a to b and will only be loading and unloading at your destination then go with your RL. If you're stopping along the way and riding several places then I'd do a trailer in my IMHO.

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk
    #15
  16. frogy

    frogy Been here awhile

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    Yes:roflthe Ridgeline is a truck.Honda makes it,it has a trunk in the bed which is real handy.But the bed is short.The rear tire will be resting on the tail (tailgate has load cap.of 250lbs)which is why I thought of laying down 1 or 2 sheets of ply to disperse the load,add to that two 2by4s as wheel gides (the 2by4s screwed to the ply would also disperse the load.)Put a tire chalk in and this would be a one man loading.
    But again a trailer might be easier:hmmmmm
    I keep going back and forth
    #16
  17. PunkinHead

    PunkinHead Moobless Adventurer

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    For me it's a no brainer - get a trailer. I carry dirt bikes or my trials bike in the bed of the truck, but loading a full size bike is one of those things that works fine right up until the time it doesn't. Then the repair bill to both you and the bike will dwarf the cost of a trailer. A trailer is also great for hauling mulch, lumber, etc. Or you can get an enclosed trailer which is nice for bike storage - it frees up space in the garage.
    #17
  18. frogy

    frogy Been here awhile

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    Thanks again everyone.Does anyone have pics of your trailers that U are using?
    #18
  19. Mr. B

    Mr. B Contrarian

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    I don't know if you've already decided, but I'll add that I owned a pickup with a high bed. Even with a helper, getting a big bike up there was really dicey. I've also owned an RT and it's way too heavy and has way too much tupperware to risk falling over.

    Anyway, I now have a 5X8 aluminum utility trailer with side rails. It works well for hauling two small-to-medium sized bikes or one large bike. With the lower deck, loading bikes is far less exciting.
    #19
  20. high dangler

    high dangler Been here awhile

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    i can load and unload a 500 lb bike in a full size truck by my self .Ive done it several times.
    Its much better to have helper.
    If no helper available then you have to be clever .
    Ive got some tricks up my sleeve to get that tailgate down to a reasonable level.
    #20