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Ramps for one person load/unload into pickup

  1. #1
    Lifer SteveM's Avatar
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    Ramps for one person load/unload into pickup


    Iím planning a trip down to NC in June and Iíll be driving my Ridgeline with my son and two dogs. Iíd like to bring either the vfr1200x or the vfr800 but am not interested in buying/registering/towing a trailer.

    I would like some thoughts about ramps for loading and unloading that will permit single person operation.

    Black Widow Folding Arched Motorcycle Ramp - 10' Long | MF-12038 | Discount Ramps

    Any experience/preferences???

    If this works, it seems like a great way to manage multip day trips by using the truck to get everything to where i want to go on day 1 and then ride from that base location.

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  2. #2
    Member Studio X's Avatar
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    Re: Ramps for one person load/unload into pickup

    I use this

    Big Boy II Folding Motorcycle Ramp System - 8' to 12' Long | Discount Ramps

    One section fits alongside the bike in the back of the Tacoma. If I don't have help loading/unloading I'll bring the second section.

    fwiw - The ridgeline has a pretty short bed, make sure the bike will fit in it.

    x

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  3. #3
    Lifer SteveM's Avatar
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    Re: Ramps for one person load/unload into pickup

    Thanks,

    I know the VFR800 will fit, although the tailgate may have to stay down. The VFR1200X is longer, but should still fit with the tailgate down. I’d probably put a sheet of 3/4” plywood down for the vfr1200x to spread the load on the tailgate, but it is probably overkill.

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  4. #4
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Ramps for one person load/unload into pickup

    That's a lot of money for a ramp, IMO.

    I bought a 'Titan' branded set of 7.5' aluminum ramps (pair) for $130 off the amazon. They do the deed for my needs. I've loaded each of my motorcycles into the bed of a 4WD Silverado 1500 using these ramps, including the porkster DL650. Make sure you secure the little strappy do-dad to your receiver hitch or something beforehand, especially with the bigger bikes. And it helps to have a spotter. But other than that. Taller guys can do the milk crate walk-up thing. I cannot; I need the second ramp to walk the bike up.

    I also use these ramps for lawn mowers, snow blowers and all kinds of other wheeled crap.

    Do you have space for a 10' super wide ramp in the bed with the bike?

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  5. #5
    BMW track whore e30addict's Avatar
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    Re: Ramps for one person load/unload into pickup

    I use these. 1000 lb. Capacity 10 in. x 84 in. Steel Loading Ramps, Set of Two

    I can set the width to what I'm comfortable width. The drawback is backing it off; you need to be pretty spot on or you can get in trouble quick.

    The wide folding ramps work better for that.

    The longer they are the better in either style.

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    Member Swizz's Avatar
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    Re: Ramps for one person load/unload into pickup

    I picked two of these up from cycle gear.

    Trackside Aluminum Folding Ramp - Cycle Gear

    I've seen guys use only one at the track and walk up a small step ladder but I prefer to use both ramps and walk up one next to the bike.

    First couple times felt a little sketchy but I've loaded and unloaded my bike solo about 20 times with no issues. Always strap your ramps to your bumper or hitch too, I've seen them slip out on guys before. Not pretty.

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  7. #7
    Lifer SteveM's Avatar
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    Re: Ramps for one person load/unload into pickup

    Riding vs walking beside

    Pros & cons?

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    Re: Ramps for one person load/unload into pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveM View Post
    Riding vs walking beside

    Pros & cons?
    Personally I've always felt more comfortable walking next to the bike while feathering the clutch. If I stall it, I just hold the front brake, fire the bike back up and get her rolling again.

    If I was riding the bike, halfway up my skinny ramp and stalled the bike I could be in trouble with no where to put my feet. Not saying you can't ride your bike up a ramp, lot's of guys do it.

    Some guys don't use their engine either and just run up the ramp with the bike. It's all preference

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  9. #9
    Lifer SteveM's Avatar
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    Re: Ramps for one person load/unload into pickup

    Riding would require a wide enough ramp for my feet, more like paddling it up

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  10. #10
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Ramps for one person load/unload into pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveM View Post
    Riding vs walking beside

    Pros & cons?
    Consult yootube!

    Just walk it up. Trust me!

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  11. #11
    Lifer gixxer72's Avatar
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    Re: Ramps for one person load/unload into pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by e30addict View Post
    I use these. 1000 lb. Capacity 10 in. x 84 in. Steel Loading Ramps, Set of Two

    I can set the width to what I'm comfortable width. The drawback is backing it off; you need to be pretty spot on or you can get in trouble quick.

    The wide folding ramps work better for that.

    The longer they are the better in either style.
    I have the same ramps. Cheap, and they work for everything. Only bitch I had is some of the cut edges were fucking sharp.

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  12. #12

    Re: Ramps for one person load/unload into pickup

    I am such a klucking futz and never power it up anymore...it has to be a straight shot, no stopping engine off. With motor running I have:
    1.) Revved too much and shot the bike into the truck
    2.) Missed and dropped the bike on the side of the ramp
    3.) Revved, had the tire slide sideways and rear wheel fell off
    4.) Shot the ramp out (the cambuckle was not enough...I use a ratchet now)

    So I always find a hill, get momentum, or get a push from behind, back up to a curb, and push it in engine off. One shot...run as fast as you can..I am tall enough to step in with an MX stand. I have run in with the vstrom on level land but was a little sketchy.

    Next stop: install winch into bed. Seems the safest way to me... walk up next to it slowly. Helps if you are off-camber off road rescuing an adventure bike....helps if loading a dirt bike and boots are wet/slushy and you can't get traction with your feet to run.

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    Last edited by breakdirt916; 01-14-18 at 06:47 PM.
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  13. #13
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    Re: Ramps for one person load/unload into pickup

    I used to move a bike on a pickup all the time back in the day. I always used two ramps - one for me, one for bike. Let the bike move on its own power and just clutch it up. Chock the front and tie down the rear. I always rode with the tailgate down. I have driven across country and back that way and never had a problem. Ramps with a bit of an upward angle make it less likely to drag your sport bike belly pan.

    I recently got a pickup again and picked up these really cheap amazon ramps:

    Amazon.com: Yaheetech 2 x 7.5’ Aluminum Lawnmower ATV Motorcycle Truck Loading Ramp 1500lb Capacity: Automotive

    I then stuck some grip tape on the one I walk up. These ramps can get slippery when its raining and are fairly cheaply made, however I believe they will do the job for occasional use.


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    Last edited by xxaarraa; 01-14-18 at 07:45 PM.

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    Re: Ramps for one person load/unload into pickup

    I just picked up this YuTrax XL folding ramp, and added three 1/4” plywood sections to the built in channels. I needed something reasonably priced that I could load a sled or bikes on a 6.5’ bed with a modestly lifted rear. Longer ramps would be great but I wanted to keep it compact-ish.

    Thinking about adding a winch with a bed mount, it would make loading a breeze even if the bike was dead or conditions were sketchy and I was solo. Haven’t tested it with a bike yet but it looks promising and I like the width. Hated using my old skinny ass ramps it sketched me out every time, maybe for a low trailer but not on my truck!

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    Re: Ramps for one person load/unload into pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by breakdirt916 View Post
    Next stop: install winch into bed. Seems the safest way to me... walk up next to it slowly. Helps if you are off-camber off road rescuing an adventure bike....helps if loading a dirt bike and boots are wet/slushy and you can't get traction with your feet to run.
    Heck yeah exactly what I was thinking. Also screw those cam buckles they are useless

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    Your Father csmutty's Avatar
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    Re: Ramps for one person load/unload into pickup

    Ymmv...but...

    In my experience I have found that it is easier to load a bike using one ramp. I do this by putting a weighted bucket to the left of the ramp. I use the clutch to bring the bike up until I have to step up into the bucket. Then I step up onto the bucket with my right foot and then onto the tailgate with my left foot. My truck is lifted so it's a steeper angle, but still works great. Much easier than dealing with 2 ramps. I never felt like I was able to balance the bike with 2 ramps.

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  17. #17
    Lifer Imbeek's Avatar
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    Re: Ramps for one person load/unload into pickup

    Definitely watch YouTube motorcycle loading fails, as nhbubba suggested. There are LOTS of ways to screw it up with fairly disastrous results for the bike and/or truck. YouTube has all the methods well documented.

    The most common fail IMO is to case the bike at the junction between the ramp and truck, with nothing to dab your foot on to prevent tipping over. It’s a long fall from there. See the 40 second mark in this video:
    YouTube

    Edit: is that you, Smutty, in the video, pulling the same maneuver at 2:40?

    The way I do it is use two ramps, attach them to the truck with their own strap or tie downs, and SPREAD THEM APART so you can comfortable walk alongside the bike with the bike leaning slightly against your hip. Then clutch it up as you walk alongside, slowly. I set up the tie downs ahead of time, hooked into the truck anchor point with the free end sitting on the rail of the truck bed so I can reach it while holding the bike. I attach the first one so that the bike leans away from the strap, slightly, then get it straight up and down once both are attached. With this method, you can still case the bike and have problems but it is less likely and less severe without your weight compressing the suspension. Park the truck somewhere that leaves the ground end of the ramp higher than the rear wheels of the truck if it’s a low clearance bike (like any pure streetbike!)

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    Last edited by Imbeek; 01-15-18 at 10:57 AM.

  18. #18
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    Re: Ramps for one person load/unload into pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveM View Post
    Riding vs walking beside

    Pros & cons?
    That depends.

    If you're tall enough to get your feet down solidly, then no reason not to ride slowly up (ever notice how every single video of people riding up onto trailers is of cruisers, not sport bikes?). I'm short (tippy toes on my R6) so I walk.

    Remember that there will be a moment or three when the effective seat height of the bike goes way up... when the front wheel is partway up the ramp but the rear wheel hasn't reached it yet. Stopping right there if you're on the bike could be very awkward.

    I'm also older than your average track rider (pushing 59) so don't have a lot of strength to brute-force things when I don't have the engine running to help me. So the engine-off roll-up, while I've done it, might not end well. You have to keep the momentum up, so a misstep or slip is a bad thing.

    Re screwing up by powering up... if you have decent feel for throttle and clutch, it's not that hard.

    Cons of walking pretty much amount to this: You might screw up and drop the bike... but you can screw up with any loading method.
    - Potential for a foot slip, misstep
    - Potential for mismanagement of throttle/clutch
    - Awkwardness of dealing with shifting into first if you stall (if you stall halfway up the ramp, you need to get it into neutral while holding the the bike up, start, then get it back into first... it's a bit of a tricky one-footed dance)

    General rule: Get the angle of the ramp as low as possible. I use a Harbor Freight trailer, so the 6' ramps I've got are plenty long enough. For a truck, get as long as you can... I'd go 8' minimum, arched, if I had to deal with a truck.

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    Last edited by adouglas; 01-15-18 at 10:42 AM.

  19. #19
    Lifer gixxer72's Avatar
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    Re: Ramps for one person load/unload into pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by csmutty View Post
    Ymmv...but...

    In my experience I have found that it is easier to load a bike using one ramp. I do this by putting a weighted bucket to the left of the ramp. I use the clutch to bring the bike up until I have to step up into the bucket. Then I step up onto the bucket with my right foot and then onto the tailgate with my left foot. My truck is lifted so it's a steeper angle, but still works great. Much easier than dealing with 2 ramps. I never felt like I was able to balance the bike with 2 ramps.
    I always load my MX bikes this way, using the work stand instead of a bucket. My taller, more nimble riding buds can just use a single ramp and run/jump onto the tailgate as the bike climbs the ramp. Fuck that. We never load these bikes under power, but I guess you could.

    For street bikes I like the 2 ramps. Even with an 8' ramp you may find you pinch the belly pan once the front wheel is onto the truck bed, it helps to have a 2nd person just lift up on the end of the ramp to reduce the angle (it's not that heavy).

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  20. #20
    Lifer Punjistick's Avatar
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    Re: Ramps for one person load/unload into pickup

    I have the black widow ramp. With the skinny ramp bolted to the main ramp it's wide enough to ride up, but the ramp is heavy and takes up a lot of space. When I had a tall pickup I used the main ramp without the skinny ramp and walked it up under power. Now that I have a trailer I just use the skinny ramp but still have the bigger ramp if I ever need it.

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  21. #21
    Lifer Punjistick's Avatar
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    Re: Ramps for one person load/unload into pickup

    Also keep in mind because of the curve of the ramp it's not going to lay flat on itself when folded in half.

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  22. #22
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    Re: Ramps for one person load/unload into pickup

    if you're worried about riding up a ramp you could always pull it up...but it would require an extra person to hold the button down unless you had a loader and a smooth ramp...

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    Last edited by Point37; 01-15-18 at 01:00 PM.
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  23. #23
    Expert Agitator GearHd6's Avatar
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    Re: Ramps for one person load/unload into pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    I bought a 'Titan' branded set of 7.5' aluminum ramps (pair) for $130 off the amazon. They do the deed for my needs. I've loaded each of my motorcycles into the bed of a 4WD Silverado 1500 using these ramps, including the porkster DL650.
    Do you get much flex of the ramp while loading that bike? Also, are you close to bottoming out at tailgate transition? I've got a Ram 2500 4x4 that I'm thinking is substantially higher than your 1/2 ton. Thanks.

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  24. #24
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    Re: Ramps for one person load/unload into pickup

    I use 2 ramps side by side and just put bike in 1st and walk it up on the clutch. Youre on the right track getting arched ramps. I would never buy a ramp that wasn't arched. Seen too many scrapes on the belly from straight ramps.

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  25. #25
    Lifer SteveM's Avatar
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    Re: Ramps for one person load/unload into pickup

    So far, lots of really good advice, thanks

    Long, arched ramps for sure, walking seems to be a better option than riding, especially for the VFR1200X as I will not be able to always get my feet down.

    Also, practice on the vfr800 first is probably advisable, since it's lighter and 18 years old.

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