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Hooker
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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
OK! Got the bike in. While I was packing a few boxes, my buddy strapped it in the truck, 2 on the rear wheel, and 2 on my highway bars. It doesn't look like the suspension is down at all - is that a pretty important thing? The bike seems pretty secure...
 

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I always put 2 on the handlebars, straps pulling down, forward and out to the sides, have someone put weight on the front of the bike and then crank down. As mentioned before the forks don't need to be compressed all the way down.

Compression of the forks prevents the straps from getting loose when you hit a bump.

The back end won't go anywhere.
 

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Yes you must compress the suspension, or the bike will pound against the straps over every pothole & bump on the road. It may look secure sitting still in your driveway, not so much once you're moving
 

Hooker
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Discussion Starter · #26 · (Edited)
Got into town a few days ago. Everything went well. Ended up getting to people to help shove the bike up the ramp, with me on it. I wanted to pull it while they pushed, but my foot wasn't having it. Getting the bike down was a whole other matter. The truck was just a bit too narrow for us to turn the bike around, so I ended up riding it backward down the ramp while my dad kept it stable. That was freaky as hell, since the ramp was just narrow enough so that I had no footing. I was against the whole idea, but my dad had to get to bowling and kept insisting that it was the only way. That went well, though I had nothing but visions of the me and the bike going over the side of the ramp the 5-10 seconds it took.

I started her up today and let her run for a couple of minutes, then went around the neighborhood for a few minutes (that felt a lot longer with the freezing temperature). She sounded quiet and sorta muffled. I'm not sure if it's because I haven't ran the bike in a few weeks, or the cold weather (temps here are about half what they are in the south right now), or maybe even altitude (20 ft to 1100 ft) - I have no idea. She also died on me when I revved up at a stop, though that could just be low fuel. Then again... my warning light wasn't on. I'll have to let her run longer tomorrow.

Oh, if you've gotta move anything soon, do it before the gas prices go back up. Between the truck and the auto trailer, I got about 7 miles per gallon. I bought a little over 140 gallons of fuel. Damn, that would have lasted my pickup about 4 months.
 

Shaper Of All Things Metal
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Welcome to the deep freeze. It's supposed to stay cold a while so you might not get much riding in any too soon.

Glad you got the bike down off the truck safely. I was kind of holding my breath reading about your 'ride' down the ramp. Lot's of videos on YouTube of loading and unloading disasters.
 

Hooker
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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Yep, exactly why I didn't wanna do that. If my dad wasn't as stocky as he is, I wouldn't have tried it. Still, I haven't even been on a rollercoaster that had me as tense as rolling a few feet backward on that ramp.
 

Hooker
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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
I'm back up in Omaha. I'll be going to Bellevue University after I get all of my stuff transferred. They've got a pretty awesome logistics program, and a fast-track option that should allow me to get a bachelors in 15 months.

Now I just gotta get used to the weather and the drivers again.
 

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Gosh, I wish I had seen this post earlier.

For 4-1/2 years, I worked as a "Transfer Driver" for Ryder Truck Rentals. I used my Honda Goldwings to transport the trucks.

I'd ride the bike up into the truck, tie it down with four straps, deliver the truck, then BACK the Wing out of the truck down the ramp and go get the next one. I moved hundreds of trucks like this during that time.

You haven't lived, until you have backed a $20,000.00 900 lb. bike out of a dock high rental truck, backwards, on a bouncing 22" wide 12' long aluminum loading ramp!

There is a secret to backing the bike out of the truck that very few people know about. So I will explain it here...

First rule of backing a bike out of a truck: Allow NO ONE to 'help' you. You cannot balance a bike when outside forces (helpful friends) are pushing and pulling on the frame and luggage from both sides, so tell your friends to BACK AWAY.

When you back a bike out of the truck, you CANNOT rely on the front brake to hold the bike on the ramp, because the front tire will slide backward even with the brake locked. So you MUST use your REAR brake to back the bike out.

"But Joe! But Joe! That means my right foot will not be on the ramp!"

That is absolutely correct! You use your right foot to control the rear brake and your LEFT foot to guide the bike down the ramp.

You DO NOT bring your wheels down the center of the ramp. There will be no place for your feet and you WILL lose your balance.

First, you should have your engine running and your bike IN FIRST GEAR while holding your clutch in when you do this, as you will have an "abort!" option that way.

Inside of the truck, with the engine running, in first gear, clutch held in, and right hand on the front brake, use both feet to back the bike to the edge of the truck bed. Position the right sidewall of the rear wheel about one inch to the LEFT of the right side of the ramp and stop. Put both feet down.

With the wheels coming down the right side of the ramp just inside of the side rail, you have twice as much 'ramp' on the left where your left foot will be balancing the bike. Draw some chalk lines on a flat driveway to test this before you do it with a truck and a ramp.

Now with the front brake held with your right hand, and placing the bike's weight on your left leg, place your right foot on the rear brake. I know! your brain is screaming, "But I might need to put my right foot down onto the ramp!" You won't.

Now get your balance, and shift your left foot about 12 inches rearward against the right ramp rail. When your foot is firmly planted, ease the rear wheel onto the ramp. Use the rear brake to control the descent down the ramp. The rear brake WILL stop the bike at any point on the ramp.

When the bike has rolled back a foot or so, stop the bike with the rear brake, get your balance, and shift your left foot back again. Ease off of the foot brake and repeat the process.

If at any time you "high side" the bike with your left leg by pushing too hard, give it gas, let out the clutch and ride back up into the truck. Squeeze the clutch and rear brake the moment your rear wheel enters the truck body.

As you let off of the rear brake slightly, the bike will begin to roll backward. Stop it when you are at a point where you can shift your left foot rearward safely, while you have good balance. KEEP YOUR BALANCE as you shift your left foot rearward, holding it both down onto the ramp's surface and against the left ramp rail.

As the bike rolls backward, repeat the process, left foot ... rear brake ... left foot ... rear brake .. .controlling the descent with the right foot brake and the balance and rearward motion with the left foot.

You must NOT turn the handlebars, as you can steer the front wheel off of the ramp or to the center which would guide the rear wheel over the right rail. Come STRAIGHT down, slow and steady, and roll back onto solid ground.

Changing your shorts afterward is optional.
 

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Oh, one more thing. ALWAYS take a good look at the two small metal hooks that hold the ramp onto the truck. The ONLY time I dumped my bike while unloading is when a rusted out bracket broke under the weight of the bike coming down the right side of the ramp. The ramp cocked sideways and I went over. My bike landed on it's right side. $2,800.00 later, she was good as new. Ryder paid the bill, since their ramp collapsed beneath me.
 

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It is normal for a rider to use both legs to back up a bike, so it is unnatural to back up a bike using ONLY your left leg. With some practice on a driveway between two chalk lines, you will quickly see how this is the superior method for unloading a motorcycle.

Of course, I SHOULD have been using a Helix scooter or something lighter, as the Goldwing and me exceeded the weight capacity of the ramp by some 400 lb. every single time.
 

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BIG mistake. He started too close to the ramp. He didn't give himself enough time to get the bike balanced before he hit the ramp. Start some 50 feet back OR MORE to get your balance and speed right BEFORE hitting the ramp.

He hit the ramp t-o-o s-l-o-w-l-y. At that speed he would have fallen over on a flat parking lot.

When he hesitated, he grabbed his clutch, thereby disengaging his forward motion. This is NOT how you load a bike into a truck!

 

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One last thought before bed ... those wooden rails in the rental trucks ... CHECK them to see if they are bolted to the walls with bolts that you can see from the outside!

Many (not all) of the rental trucks use an epoxy to GLUE the rails to the truck body's interior walls. After all, they are just supposed to be something for your dresser to bump against.

If the rails are not bolted through the walls, DO NOT rely on them to hold your motorcycle.

Also, straps ... the hook straps should be slipped behind the rails from underneath and then hooked over the rail, or to the strap itself. If you hook them underneath as people normally do, and you drive through a dip, the strap hooks will drop out and allow your bike to fall over when the bike's suspension momentarily gives the straps the necessary slack to drop out. Using the LOOP straps is best. Check your straps and make sure they will stay attached to the rails in the event they are given slack.
 

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Great post, Joe. Thanks for taking the time to type that all out! I'm sure many people will benefit from you advice.:)
Thank you. I have often though about doing a You Tube video of this process, so people can really understand what to do, and what NOT to do when loading and unloading motorcycle.

I once loaded and unloaded an 800 lb. safe into a rental truck up that aluminum ramp using only an appliance dolly, two 10-foot long 2x4s and an 8-year-old boy. That is the TRUTH! I'd be happy to demonstrate this to anyone for a reasonable fee. :biggrin:
 

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This guy did ... okay, but he should have started farther back to get his speed set and his balance right.

Also, he should have been wearing a helmet and NOT wearing flip-flops!

At least he did not grab his clutch though. A nice, simple load, fairly well done.

 
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