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Loading bike in pickup truck

I have 4 ramps (12" each, 8ft long), so I could make a ramp that's the entire width of the truck. I really don't want to, the ramps are big and I really think 3 is plenty to ride up, go up the center with a full 12" ramp on either side for my feet. But I really feel that riding up would be better control than trying to push it up or control the bike off to the side walking next to it. IDK why that's the recommended method (I've never loaded anything like that before) but it does seem that most say "don't ride up".



Are you talking about truck loading in general or walking next to the bike when unloading? Unloading I have a lot less concern, just roll back until the front wheel hits the ramp, then let it come down. Much more concerned about loading, that's where I've seen things go sideways before and where I really struggled with the XR. When I got it home, I just put the ramps out, sat on the bike, and let it roll down them, didn't feel sketchy at all because gravity is working in your favor.

I won't be bringing enough muscle, it'll be solo load/unload. Maybe I can get some help at the track, but I'm not counting on it.

One thing I did notice, when people do the "walk up" method with 2 ramps, they put the 2nd ramp further away from the bike. That's a good idea, it would have been much easier to control if I was further away/had more leverage. But, overall, not a huge fan of walking up those ramps, it's kind of sketch even without a motorcycle, IMHO.
First- if you are not comfortable with “ride up, mounted back off” loading, don’t do it. Both require the commitment that it’s no big deal. Deciding that you don’t want to or can’t do it in the middle can get ugly.
Second- while I try to impart some wisdom to the initial questions as they are asked, a trailer will be a better way to go.
An enclosed trailer can easily be set up with your “track day” in mind. It can hold all your track gear when you are not using it. It can store your E-Z Up shade canopy along with your tools, cooler and anything else you find handy to have at the track.
Good luck.
OM
 
An enclosed trailer can easily be set up with your “track day” in mind. It can hold all your track gear when you are not using it. It can store your E-Z Up shade canopy along with your tools, cooler and anything else you find handy to have at the track.
The guys we know who do track days like enclosed trailers for those reasons.
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First- if you are not comfortable with “ride up, mounted back off” loading, don’t do it. Both require the commitment that it’s no big deal. Deciding that you don’t want to or can’t do it in the middle can get ugly.
Second- while I try to impart some wisdom to the initial questions as they are asked, a trailer will be a better way to go.
An enclosed trailer can easily be set up with your “track day” in mind. It can hold all your track gear when you are not using it. It can store your E-Z Up shade canopy along with your tools, cooler and anything else you find handy to have at the track.
Good luck.
OM

An enclosed trailer absolutely seems like the best answer. I'm just so deep financially right now on this that I'm not really super keen on spending any more money until I know this is something that I really want to do with some regularity. Also, I already have a toy hauler RV, which is right there with an enclosed trailer as the "best" answer. I'm just not too keen on hauling a 26,000 lb trailer down there for 6 hours on the track. As long as I don't really dislike it/decide it's not for me, I suspect many, perhaps most of my days in the future I'll pull the RV and make a weekend of it. I'm just trying to do a quick "1 day, see if it's something you want to continue doing" which is why the bed of the truck is appealing, I'm going to be driving a lot of miles then riding at pace for a few hours, then a lot of miles to get back home; I'd like to make the driving part as stress free as possible.
 
An enclosed trailer absolutely seems like the best answer. I'm just so deep financially right now on this that I'm not really super keen on spending any more money until I know this is something that I really want to do with some regularity. Also, I already have a toy hauler RV, which is right there with an enclosed trailer as the "best" answer. I'm just not too keen on hauling a 26,000 lb trailer down there for 6 hours on the track. As long as I don't really dislike it/decide it's not for me, I suspect many, perhaps most of my days in the future I'll pull the RV and make a weekend of it. I'm just trying to do a quick "1 day, see if it's something you want to continue doing" which is why the bed of the truck is appealing, I'm going to be driving a lot of miles then riding at pace for a few hours, then a lot of miles to get back home; I'd like to make the driving part as stress free as possible.
I'd look for an inexpensive open trailer and stick a wheel chock and tie-downs on it. If it turns out that track days aren't your thing then you can resell it and recoup some/all of your investment.
 
An enclosed trailer absolutely seems like the best answer. I'm just so deep financially right now on this that I'm not really super keen on spending any more money until I know this is something that I really want to do with some regularity. Also, I already have a toy hauler RV, which is right there with an enclosed trailer as the "best" answer. I'm just not too keen on hauling a 26,000 lb trailer down there for 6 hours on the track. As long as I don't really dislike it/decide it's not for me, I suspect many, perhaps most of my days in the future I'll pull the RV and make a weekend of it. I'm just trying to do a quick "1 day, see if it's something you want to continue doing" which is why the bed of the truck is appealing, I'm going to be driving a lot of miles then riding at pace for a few hours, then a lot of miles to get back home; I'd like to make the driving part as stress free as possible.
You mentioned your great Toy Hauler. Hauling it on down may be a bit more work but considering you have an air-conditioned spot to take a break. Your own bathroom- toilet, shower. A place to take a nap after a day of concentration. Your choice of hot and cold food and beverages on hand.
I like the concept.
OM
 
How much does it weigh? Is it aluminum or steel?
200 lbs all aluminum - mine is the short bed tailgate on version with rear wheel extension and 1100 lb capacity. The tailgate closes when the bike isn't loaded and has no load on it when it is.
 
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You mentioned your great Toy Hauler. Hauling it on down may be a bit more work but considering you have an air-conditioned spot to take a break. Your own bathroom- toilet, shower. A place to take a nap after a day of concentration. Your choice of hot and cold food and beverages on hand.
I like the concept.
OM
Oh, that's definitely the longer term plan. Issue with this coming weekend, wife is away, so I need to be there/back in a day. Also, CMP isn't exactly the easiest place to tow a big RV to, I'm sure I'll manage, but I'd like to have a copilot the first time down there. That's why I'm resistant to a trailer, I have an RV, it already has the Pit Bull plates in it, I have the pins for both bikes, and I've had the S1000XR all over creation in that thing, I have 100% confidence that it's a safe place for a motorcycle.

Also, another reason I'm really trying to get the pickup "usable" for bike loading, this weekend I got on unrepairable flat (knife blade on the road, can you believe that??) on the BMW. My wife doesn't know how to tow, but she can drive the pickup, so I had her come get me with it. That's a real "nice to have", so I'd like to get at least moderately comfortable loading/unloading a bike into the pickup. Also be useful to take the bike for service/etc..

I'm going to do some staring at the ramp/pickup combo. The XR was a nightmare to load, but I was exhausted, I only had 2 ramps, not 3 (so I didn't feel comfortable riding up), and that bike is much heavier and taller than the Tuono; I think it was kind of worst case situation all the way around. Oh, and my rear tire was flat. That helped too. :) But it shook me a little, it was WAY harder than I remembered it when we loaded dirt bikes in pickup trucks (often using a 2x6, if you can believe that!). I think if I just "sent it" I would have been fine, but having never done it before, I was trying to follow what others had suggested (walking it up instead of riding it, which, IMHO, was a mistake given the equipment I had available).
 
My ramp for successfully loading my bikes and ATV-


Always good to check that you won’t “belly-out” with extreme angles.

OM
 
Why do you insist on making things more complicated/prone to problems than necessary. You and everyone here has said that loading a bike in a tall truck is fraught with problems even for people who have done it alot.

I think you have: long ago lost sight of what you were trying to accomplish: attending a fun class at an on track location and learning something in a comfortable and safe environment. That could have been accomplished, with the help of the MOA Foundation I believe, for a few hundred dollars. Currently, I believe, you are into this weekend for considerably more than $6K.

Now you are considering putting yourself in the position of possibly dropping your new (to you) bike from over 3’ before you ever set a tire on the track. (Actually, you will have to go through this 4 times in one weekend!) You don’t need this risk or worry. If you make it through the day, you are going to be pretty tired when you have to reload the bike to get home, adding another opportunity for something to go sideways.

Unless you don’t have a Uhaul dealer within an hours drive or you don’t have $15 left in your budget, you should be doing things to insure success and make your weekend go as smooth as possible. The Uhaul trailer has an 18” deck height, a full width fold down tailgate ramp, a built in wheel chock and many tie down options. Down the road, after you decide if this is something you want to do more of, there will be plenty of time to consider more elaborate or risky towing possibilities.

You mentioned you are hesitant about you wife’s towing abilities. Anyone can tow a small light trailer that is not wider than the tow vehicle and not very long, as long as they remember to not cut tight right turns. The trailer just follows the tow vehicle. The problem comes with BACKING UP and maneuvering in tight spaces such as parking lots, NOT driving forward on roads.

Sorry about the lecture, but there is a reason that so many organizations or endeavors live by the KISS principle in their attempts at success.

Whatever you decide, have fun and stay within your own comfort zone, not anyone elses.



:dance :dance :dance
 
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This endeavor drifted way beyond its stated desire long long ago. I get the sense you have been asking us to help justify taking this further and further down a rabbit hole, perhaps to help get buy-in by SWMBO. If so, may not end well. Sounds like you are now justifying a bike lift for the truck, then a new truck for that lift, oh, and then a new garage to fit it, which means a new house. I think you get my drift. All so you could see what it might be like to try riding a bike in a safe environment beyond regular speed limits, all because you got a speeding ticket. The amusing part is you still haven't even done a track day.
 
The amusing part is you still haven't even done a track day.

I'm getting there, slowly but surely. :)

Listen, I get the advice to just take what you have and go at it. That's just not me. If I'm going to do it, I'm going to be as safe as possible (airbag, suit/helmet/gloves that I'm comfortable in, good, not "race level", but good gear all the way around). I absolutely would have taken the XR if I could get it insured but, after much investigation, the only company that I could find that would do it (Foremost) was incredibly expensive for a 1000CC bike for a track day (and, as mentioned earlier, incredibly cheap for the 660, no idea on the "why" behind that). Could I afford to bin the XR without insurance? Yeah, I guess I could, but that's a risk that was a step too far for me, one misstep by myself or someone else on the track, the results could easily turn that day into 20,000 dollars out of pocket.

I'm really enjoying the 660, it's very different than the XR, and I can see myself having a lot of fun with it regardless of how the track goes; I didn't stress too much about the cost because even if I really didn't like the bike for the street (which isn't the case) selling an almost new motorcycle is pretty easy and wouldn't be a huge financial loss.

Sounds like you are now justifying a bike lift for the truck

A bike lift for the truck is out of the question. Honestly, buying anything else is kind of out of the question at this point, I already have all the possible methods for transporting; I have a toy hauler (what I will likely use if I enjoy the track and want to continue doing it), a 16' landscape trailer (with a full width ramp and low loading height) and a pickup truck with ramps.

That could have been accomplished, with the help of the MOA Foundation I believe, for a few hundred dollars. Currently, I believe, you are into this weekend for considerably more than $6K.

I never saw that option?! As far as cost, if you take the bike out of the equation, I'm not at 6K. Getting close, but other than the suit, nothing is "single purpose", it's all stuff I'd use track day or not and most of it is protective gear (airbag being the highest cost single item). I was weighing this against the "rent everything" route, which had a few problems for me; only a few orgs rent the bikes, most of the locations weren't nearby, the cost was eye popping, and most of them tied into a "race school", something I really don't have ton of interest in.

You mentioned you are hesitant about you wife’s towing abilities.

Sorry, it's a few things coming together (the "dual purpose" mentioned above). This weekend, I was riding the XR and got a flat tire that I was unable to repair on the road. I've had this happen twice, and, both times, I've had my wife come "rescue" (yes, I know I'm lucky, and also grateful!). She can drive the truck, but doesn't know how to hook up or drive the landscape trailer. So having ramps for the truck that are usable to get the bike in/out of the truck are valuable for that type of situation (also, taking the bike to the dealer for service or a weekend away where we want to bring the bike but don't want a huge trailer to deal with, etc).

Personally, I'm a pretty confident/competent at towing and, for this weekend, if my wife was around, I'd just take the toy hauler and call it done; that has to be up there with "best" as an option for transporting a bike to the track. But, this weekend, I'm solo, my wife is away, and I need to be down/back in a day (pets at home), something I could see happening with some regularity, and towing the RV down there, well, for anyone who's towed a big RV, it's just a lot; I'm as big as a semi towing the RV, so you really need to bring your "A game" (or at least I do!).

While it may not seem like it (or maybe it does, IDK), I'm very risk averse. Yes, I'm fully aware that I could have done this buying almost nothing (ride the XR down or put it in my landscape trailer, rent a suit/all the gear, forego insurance and hope for the best). That's just not how I operate, I never would have been able to enjoy the day with that much exposure and "new to me" stuff at one time. I tried to stay very "middle of the road" for gear, reputable brands, but not the "top of the line, race spec" gear. My "track helmet" was 300 dollars, not 1300 dollars. ;) My suit was 700 dollars, not 3000. Safe, comfortable, familiar with the gear/bike, insured should the worst happen; that was my "north star" as I've been selecting and testing things for the adventure.

Anyway, I do appreciate the help and guidance! I'm still thinking through my options, but you guys have given me a lot to think about. I don't see any big downside to taking the landscape trailer this weekend and that's dead simple to load/unload; I might even be able to setup a canopy over the trailer so I can sit/park the bike up there vs in the dirt, so, right now, that's the top option (and 0 dollars, for those keeping a tally!). I'd just like to learn how to transport in the bed of my truck comfortably; once the XR was in, it was awesome; could see the bike the entire time and obviously, nothing behind me to worry about at all (except for getting it back out!!).

Talking about financial pain, check these pictures out. Tire (from the XR, the reason I had to load into the truck in the first place) so new it still had the "ticks" from the mold on it, destroyed. :( I did reach out to Michelin to see if they'd do anything, it's not their fault, but, still, a 300 dollar tire into the trash with <40 miles on it... Ugh.

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This tire hazard protection would have come in handy


Any experience using it? Or, put another way, is it better than BMW's roadside assist (that's included with their new motorcycles)? Reason I ask, I've tried the included BMW roadside twice, both times, complete fail. No driver available, he's on his way, be there in an hour (never showed up), you're out of the service region (I'm in NC 30 miles from Asheville?!?).

I'd love to have a roadside plan that I could count on, I've just been very unimpressed with the few that I've had. I ride in rural/mountain areas, so I get that there aren't a lot of tow trucks around, and, like most of us, I often ride on the weekends, when everything (at least in the south) seems to be closed.

That tire damage actually happened in Marion, NC right in front of a Lowes. I thought to myself, "what luck" (vs on Rt 80 in the mountains, where I was heading). Around 3PM on a Saturday, I started dialing around to the local tire shops. All closed and/or unable to (unwilling) work on a motorcycle tire. To be fair, I didn't try BMW roadside this time, but given that I was only ~40 miles from home and my wife was around, once I realized I couldn't get a local shop to fix it, I just had her come up.

But to say I'm unimpressed with BMW roadside would be an understatement. If the MOA plan is better, I'd be interested.

Sorry, I just re-read and saw you said their "tire hazard plan" would have been handy. Yeah, for sure, it would have been!!!
 
I have used the tire hazard plan a few times with no problems getting reimbursed. One time my Michelin PR4 only had 100 miles on it when it picked up a nail. I was really glad I had it!
 
I have used the tire hazard plan a few times with no problems getting reimbursed. One time my Michelin PR4 only had 100 miles on it when it picked up a nail. I was really glad I had it!

Thanks Mike, think that seals the deal for me; I put a lot of miles/yr on my bikes (well, not compared to some here, but I go through 4-6 tires per season on the XR) and I think the additional cost for the MOA plan is likely worth it. I would have used it twice already; at 300/tire, would have paid for itself.
 
Do you have a hill or anything nearby that you can use to reduce the angle? I have done that a few times when the terrain supported it (sloped driveway, grassy knoll, etc.). Just point the front of the truck down the grade and use the angle of the terrain to your advantage.

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I’ve utilized my driveway’s apron in the past this way with a homemade trailer that is lower than a pickup’s bed before I bought the Kendon. At two different motorcycle dealerships I’ve also backed my pickup against a low height loading dock, one that is lower in height than one used for a semi’s trailer. But those lower loading docks are few. Sometimes you can find one of those at a local post office facility and “borrow” it on a Sunday. Local postal trucks have lower beds than a semi’s.
 
I’ve utilized my driveway’s apron in the past this way with a homemade trailer that is lower than a pickup’s bed before I bought the Kendon. At two different motorcycle dealerships I’ve also backed my pickup against a low height loading dock, one that is lower in height than one used for a semi’s trailer. But those lower loading docks are few. Sometimes you can find one of those at a local post office facility and “borrow” it on a Sunday. Local postal trucks have lower beds than a semi’s.

I have a pretty good slope on my driveway at home that would help reduce the angle significantly. But when you're loading somewhere else, I kind of feel like I have to be "ready" to load from the flat; at CMP (the track near me), I didn't see any good slopes I could use. Doesn't mean they don't have one, honestly, kind of feel like a track should be setup with a "loading/unloading" area where there's a slope specifically for this purpose, but I didn't see one.
 
Your not trying if you can't get a few hands to help load/unload at the track. Everyone's there to have a good time and help each other out.
 
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