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Hi all, my name is Ben, and I am on an Senior Undergraduate Engineering Design Team at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA. Our team is designing an automated device, operated by only one person, that loads a motorcycle into the bed of a pickup truck (instead of using a simple ramp).

We would appreciate your input to this problem by answering the questions below. We are trying to get a feel for the market for this type of product.

Please reply to this post with your answers to the questions below:
1. What kind of motorcycle do you own (make, model)?
2. How do you transport it currently (pickup, trailer, etc.)? How many people does this require to load it?
3. If you own a pickup truck, would you buy an automated device that safely loads your motorcycle into your truck?
4. If you do not have a pickup truck, hypothetically if you did have one, would you buy a device like this?
5. What is the maximum price you would pay for a device like this?
6. Can we contact you later about this project? If yes, please PM me with your e-mail address and name.

Thank you very much for your input! If you would like to contact our team, you can e-mail us at gogomoto.gt[at]gmail.com.
 

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1. 2006 Yamaha V-Star (550 lbs)
2. Sometimes on a trailer when necessary. Usually ridden.
3. Yes, when I'm pulling my 28 ft. RV with the truck, the bike
could go with us in bed of the truck. Too big for bumper
mount on RV
4. N/A
5. A lot less than $2195. See cruiserlift.com on net
6. Not particularly. But I do read this forum.
 

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Master of Rex Kwon Do
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If you see my bike on a trailer or in the bed of a truck.... call the cops and report it stolen....
 

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Gone.
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1. What kind of motorcycle do you own (make, model)?

-Several Harley Davidsons. If you're designing a device for mass appeal I'd guess you would have to design it to cover a large variety of bikes. It should be able to handle anything up to, say, 900 pounds and with a tire width (front) of at least 150mm, and a back tire width of 200-300mm to accomodate all the chopper guys. Any tire vices should be able to adjust easily to any tire size.

2. How do you transport it currently (pickup, trailer, etc.)? How many people does this require to load it?

Pay no attention to the "I ride it" comments you're likely to get from the tuff-guys. <chuckle> I do to, BUT, if it ever breaks down or blows a tire, or more likely, I have to go pick up a bike from a customer, I currently use an enclosed trailer with a ramp. One person can load a bike as long as it rolls. I've never loaded a bike in a pickup, but if there was an easy way to do this I'd consider it. (Manuvering a trailer can really suck sometimes.) I think the device would have to be easily mounted, like maybe with some QD mounting devices, and it would have to be light enough, or it's sub-assemblies light enough, that it could be easily taken out of storage and bolted to the truck bed, so that it didn't have to stay there all the time to interfere with normal use of the truck. I think it should be made of materials that resist corrosion too. I'd likely want something that I could leave outside of the shop, mount in the truck bed in a few minutes, and go.


3. If you own a pickup truck, would you buy an automated device that safely loads your motorcycle into your truck?

I'd consider it. It wouldn't be something I'd need at all, but might be something I'd want, so it would depend on the price and the ease of use. It might be a great device, but as I don't transport my bikes, or those of others, unless they need repair, it would be an investment I'd be making for only occasional use. Generally speaking, most owners don't transport their bikes, they actually DO ride them.

4. If you do not have a pickup truck, hypothetically if you did have one, would you buy a device like this?

Uh-huh

5. What is the maximum price you would pay for a device like this?

I'd swing maybe $300-$400 for it. Like I said, I don't really NEED one, but it might sure have it's uses. I'd definatly pay, like, maybe $50 for a plans set and materials list. So maybe you could develop and market it as something like that? I'm thinking that if you plan on building and selling it, you're going to have to get very good at planning efficient production methods and keeping the design as simple as possible, and using as many available components and materials as possible. Do as little maching and fabrication as possible, to be sure.

Good luck!
 

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1. Currently I own a Honda Shadow 750, but I have had to transport my old Honda CM400 when it broke down.
2. I loaded the old CM400 into the back of my pickup, but it was a lot lighter then the Shadow. I now have a small trailer that I would use for the Shadow if it was a short distance (in town, no faster than 35 mph), otherwise I would probably rent a closed in trailer for longer distances and highway hauling.
3. Only if it became necessary for me to transport my motorcycle constantly and I didn't have room to store a trailer. I really don't see this happening anytime soon though.
4. N/A
5. It would have to at least be cheaper than a good used trailer and more likely less than $500
 

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1. I own a Suzuki vl800
2. I've never needed to transport the bike anywhere I couldn't ride so far, but if I did, I'd call for someone else or rent a trailer from u-haul.
3-4. I don't own a truck and not thinking about getting one.
5. I'm going with what's cheaper.
 

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1. What kind of motorcycle do you own (make, model)?

Yamaha FZ6R

2. How do you transport it currently (pickup, trailer, etc.)? How many people does this require to load it?

The only time I've needed to transport it so far it was trailered by the shop. If I needed to transport it myself for some odd reason (taking it to the shop I guess...) I would rent a trailer form u-haul. 15 bucks, easy and cheap.

3. If you own a pickup truck, would you buy an automated device that safely loads your motorcycle into your truck?

No pickup, just a jeep (with a hitch).


4. If you do not have a pickup truck, hypothetically if you did have one, would you buy a device like this?

It's hard enough for me to justify the 150 bucks it's going to cost me to buy front and rear stands, which I would be using at least a couple of times a month. I don't foresee needing a product like this (for me) more then once or twice a year. Short answer... no.

5. What is the maximum price you would pay for a device like this?

N/A

6. Can we contact you later about this project? If yes, please PM me with your e-mail address and name.

I'm subscribed to the thread, I can read any other questions you may have here.
 

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Malevolent Savant
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1. What kind of motorcycle do you own (make, model)?
1979 Suzuki GS550L
2. How do you transport it currently (pickup, trailer, etc.)? How many people does this require to load it?
I own a '87 pickup, '03 minivan and '08 Jeep. All have a hitch. If I need to transport the bike any and I'm not riding it, I'll trailer it becasue I can get it on & off the trailer by myself.
3. If you own a pickup truck, would you buy an automated device that safely loads your motorcycle into your truck?
A very weak, Maybe. Depends on the price.
4. If you do not have a pickup truck, hypothetically if you did have one, would you buy a device like this?
See answer 2 & 3
5. What is the maximum price you would pay for a device like this?
Around $200. It's what my trailer hitches and wiring harness cost me. Why would I want to pay more for something than what I currently use.
6. Can we contact you later about this project? If yes, please PM me with your e-mail address and name.
Sure. PM Sent
 

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1982 Twinstar.
If it ever needed hauled, I'd probably just go get the title notarized and tape it to the side of the bike where ever it broke down with a sign that said "FREE!"
 

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Challenged Mechanic
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1. What kind of motorcycle do you own (make, model)?

1968 Honda CB350 and a 1986 Suzuki Savage (LS650). Both are light bikes, around 400 lbs.

2. How do you transport it currently (pickup, trailer, etc.)? How many people does this require to load it?

I've had to transport bikes quite a few times, sometimes because of breakdown/maintenance or for an event where I need my bikes but also need to haul a lot of other stuff (like the IMS this year at Daytona Bike Week). I have a tilting 4x7 flatbed trailer for which I made a removable double front wheel chock. I can, if necessary, load the bikes by myself, but it is much easier and safer with two people.

3. If you own a pickup truck, would you buy an automated device that safely loads your motorcycle into your truck?

Don't own a pickup.

4. If you do not have a pickup truck, hypothetically if you did have one, would you buy a device like this?

Yes.

5. What is the maximum price you would pay for a device like this?

$200-300

I think a device that could be quickly removeable and be mounted either on a pickup truck bed or on the bed of a small utilty trailer would be best. If someone doesn't own a pickup chances are they will have a trailer of some sort. I have a four wheel drive vehicle and drive offroad and so I have a portable winch. If I just had the hardware to hold the bike while loading, but could use a cheap winch for the muscle (or even a boat hand-winch), I think I would be interested in something like that.

Cheers,

Mike
 

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I own a Triumph Sprint and I ride it I don't haul it. The rest of the questions are now rendered invalid.
Obviously a southern rider...

I'm in a state where there is real snow, not as much as Wisconsin or Minnisota, much less Michigan, but sometimes we will haul bikes for reasons from getting one vehicle back home to hauling bikes to deadhead to a destination where it is efficient to do so and the trips to and from are not the "enjoyment" part.

I use an S10 and I'd probably build one with a winch if I wanted to do one.

I haul either a 650 dual sport or a 550 standard street bike

I'm thinking I could build one for about $100 or so... I'm an industrial tech teacher with an engineering background, so it's part of the fun.

Having worked in motorcycle sales for about 22 years full and part time, I can tell you there are people who would love some kind of set up. Ramps alone are about $100 so I'm thinking if it could be one person doing the job another $200 for a total of maybe $300 wouldn't be bad.
 

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Malevolent Savant
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I know some southerners who do not believe Florida to be part of "THE SOUTH". :D
 
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