Loading, Hauling bike in pickup - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
 
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Loading, Hauling bike in pickup

I'm considering buying a 2002 VN750 approximately 300 miles from home. Any suggestions on how to load it onto a pickup? I will bring a buddy with me to help.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 03:54 AM
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Question: Discussions on tying a bike for hauling on a trailor or in a truck.

HAULING A MOTORCYCLE ON A TRUCK OR TRAILER: While there are many tie-down techniques (some good, some better), I figure what works out for you is best. But remember, there's no such thing as too many straps! Here's a list of the "top 10" suggestions I pulled out of the two articles.

Compressing the forks to where they bottom out can blow a fork seal or sag-out fork springs.

Make use of the triple tree tie as a tie down point. Itís stronger than using your handle bars An additional secure point on the bike is the lower fork below the dust boot and it reduces fork compression.

Use a chock for the front tire when you can to keep the wheel from turning and/or hitting the front wall. Also, tying down the front break lever will reduce movement.

Given a pick-up with multiple tie down spots, do a "V" at each tie down point.

Use soft nylon straps on bike parts instead of "S" hooks including hooks with plastic covers.

With multiple tie down points, all the compression needed is someone sitting on the scoot.

After the first 5-10 minutes on the road and after the ties get wet, stop and check all ties.

Place soft cloth or tie covers between ties and scoot's chrome and paint where the tie may rub.

Pull up kick and center stands that can scrub a hole through a bed liner and paint.

Layout your ties before loading bike for quicker/easier/safer tie down.
Secure the loose ends of your tie downs so they do flap in the wind and beat paint or chrome off the bike

TECH TIP: I've trailered bikes through all kinds of snow storms, blizzards, and generally nasty, and the only time I've had any damage was when I covered the bikes. I strongly recommend that you leave the bike uncovered. Even the softest of covers can scuff the paint on your bike when it starts flapping in the wind. The only time I cover trailered bikes now is when they are sitting in the motel parking lots for the night. It keeps away prying eyes and hands.

TECH TIP: If a person is trailering a bike or hauling one in a pickup, the handlebars may be OK for a tie down, but I for damn sure would not do that with a big bike, no matter what make. My buddy and I have trailered bikes a number of times. Tying to the triple tree, using ratchet tie downs, lets us get it down really snug. I mean to almost full compression of the shocks. Neither of our bikes has ever moved I have seen bikes tied at the handle bars leaning all over the place. This is not good and not for me. We can only hope these guys donít have to learn the hard way.

TECH TIP: Not to dispute MCN, however, I have an awful lot of miles behind me using the handlebars to tie down large bikes. I use soft straps on the handlebars and pick up the bars at the closest point to the fork that I can...such that I miss the windshield.

TechTips are quotes from VROC members

(Note.. do not fully compress the forks/shocks leave a little for shock absorption)

Dianna
Conway, AR
Patriot Guard Rider
2000 VN750 Sere (Serendipity)
1990 GL1500 (Ole Blue)
1986 VN750 EVie (project bike, heavy custom)
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 08:50 AM
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I haven't done a whole lot of streetbike hauling, but I do have many, many miles of hauling dirtbikes.

The first thing to address here would be the ramp to get the bike onto/off of the truck. The longer, the better. And be sure it's something that will hold twice the weight of the bike, just to be sure it wont break in the middle of loading/unloading.
And, if there's a way to secure the ramp to the truck, that'd be a good idea too, so it doesn't pull away when you're half way up/down it.

Having the lower part of the straps (where attached to the truck) as far apart as possible keeps you from having to compress the forks too much, yet keeps the bike very secure.
Like Dianna's post says... "there's no such thing as too many straps!"
To that I add, there's also no such thing as stopping too often to be sure everything is still secure. Being sure to check that all hooks and soft-straps are where they should be.
I wouldn't rely on those add-on tiedown attachments that go into the stake holes in a pick-up bed. A tiedown hook into the hole itself, IMO, would be better.

Be sure there's no loose ends of the straps to flap in the wind and mess up the bikes finish.

Having a buddy with you is a real good idea. Have him keep a good eye on the bike. That keeps your eyes on the road, yet there's still a set of eyes watching the bike.

Good luck with the haul. Take your time loading and driving, and all should go fine.


AKA: Tim & 'The Adventure Cycle' VROC #24567, NEVROC, SteelCity VROC


"When life throws you curves,
Aim for the apex."

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 10:04 AM
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If the ramps are narrow, you might want two - one for the bike and one for you to run/walk, along side the bike. If you can find a ditch/berm for the pickup's back wheels or for the whole pickup, it will make it easier to get the bike in.

DO NOT keep the bike on any stands. Remember you will likely have more chance of a sudden stop than drag racing acceleration so plan extra tie downs accordingly.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 08:23 PM
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Thanks for the great tips!

I've only hauled a bike once ~ a Suzuki 450 in the bed of a Chevy S-10 truck. I couldn't close the tailgate, but the two airplane tie-downs kept it utterly still all the way from Cincinnati to Washington, DC!

I would like to buy a small trailer to haul my VN 750. I have two questions:
1. What's the best trailer out there for this purpose?
2. Can I haul it behind my 4-cylinder Toyota Camry?

EZC


Last edited by EasyRector; 10-29-2007 at 08:28 PM.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 09:16 PM
 
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Dianna had some of the best advice for hauling a bike I've seen yet. (Vulcan Verse, anyone?)

There is only one point I have to add, or more realistically clarify.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dianna View Post
Compressing the forks to where they bottom out can blow a fork seal or sag-out fork springs.
A guy at the local bike shop recommended that for tying down the front forks, sit on the bike when it is in the bed of the truck or trailer, then tie it down based on the weight. This will give it enough play so it doesn't flop (too loose), but also doesn't bottom out the fork and possibly blow the seal (too tight).

Hope it helps...
--Storm
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-29-2007, 09:41 PM
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Yes a Toyota Camry will have the tow power to haul a motorcycle, not much more and I would not try to tow 2.
I am a Toyota Master

Chad Falstad "Hawk"
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-30-2007, 04:38 AM
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I used to haul 3 dirtbikes (about the same weight as two streetbikes) on a trailer with a 4cyl Pontiac Sunbird. Going up hills was a bit of a task, but it did it.
But like Chad said, I would recommend that you don't try it.

I have the trailer pictured below. It was sold by Sears ages ago and is made for hauling bikes. It's seen thousands of miles of hauling dirtbikes, camping gear, furniture, and a few streetbikes, so excuse the ratty condition of it.
Not too sure where you'd find one similar now-a-days, but they're out there.


AKA: Tim & 'The Adventure Cycle' VROC #24567, NEVROC, SteelCity VROC


"When life throws you curves,
Aim for the apex."

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