Just a little problem... loading and unloading the bike

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Petard
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Just a little problem... loading and unloading the bike

Postby Petard » Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:22 pm

I finally got my Yamaha TT-R230 this afternoon. The guys at the shop helped me get it into the back of my truck (pretty easy, since they have a ramp to back up to).

It all sounded so easy, how he told me... fasten the ramp to my truck's frame so it doesn't slide away, straddle the bike from the front and steer and push it backward down the ramp (and the reverse to get it back onto the truck).

Well, I undid the straps and positioned it so the rear wheel is in line with the ramp and... I don't think I can do this the first time (by myself) :blush: I tried again, but it is just not going to go, for fear of tipping onto the pavement.

I cinched it up again and will head over to the shop tomorrow to have them teach me how it's done.

No doubt some of you have had to load and unload a bike by yourselves? Is there a secret? Maybe use the tiedowns to stabilize it... ?

Just a little problem... loading and unloading the bike

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Re: Just a little problem... loading and unloading the bike

Postby trailguy » Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:53 pm

Try and park with your tail gate as low as possible. Set up the ramp and place a milk crate beside the ramp for a foot step. Stand on the left [shifter side] of the bike. Use the front brake to slowly back the bike down the ramp. This is how most riders un-load.

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Re: Just a little problem... loading and unloading the bike

Postby giantjoe » Fri Jun 02, 2017 8:52 pm

trailguy wrote:Try and park with your tail gate as low as possible. Set up the ramp and place a milk crate beside the ramp for a foot step. Stand on the left [shifter side] of the bike. Use the front brake to slowly back the bike down the ramp. This is how most riders un-load.


Milk crate!? Come on...
----------------->just some guy<-----------------

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Re: Just a little problem... loading and unloading the bike

Postby Petard » Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:30 pm

trailguy wrote:Try and park with your tail gate as low as possible. Set up the ramp and place a milk crate beside the ramp for a foot step. Stand on the left [shifter side] of the bike. Use the front brake to slowly back the bike down the ramp. This is how most riders un-load.


Well, I had supper to steady my nerves and decided to back the truck up right to the garage (didn't want my neighbours to watch me dump my bike the day I got it) :lol: I watched that video on DirtRider with the girl putting her bike onto a truck in three different ways, so I thought I'd do the reverse of the step method (yep, your milk crate method, trailguy). My garage isn't on a slope, unfortunately, just this once...

After a lot of jockeying and manually lifting the rear, I finally got the front and rear tires aligned with the ramp. I was standing on the right side of the bike and I had a little 3-step ladder just outside the tailgate. Slowly, the rear tire went past the tailgate, I stepped down a step and... woops!

I'm not sure what happened, but I might have turned the handlebar slightly to the right as I stepped :D Next thing I saw was that the bike was on its side, lying on the ramp, luckily, and kind of on my legs, too, I think, but I was still standing and I had the handlebar firmly in my grip. The rear wheel must have already been almost on the floor and the front wheel rolled a little bit on its sidewall and a cup or so of gasoline spilled onto the garage floor filling the garage with lots of vapours before I could get the bike set upright. My nerves were a little racked until I saw that the bike was unharmed and safely upright in the garage and off the truck, which unfortunately got it's first little scrape on the rubber top of the tailgate :crybaby:

Knowing that it can be done will make it easier next time. There's got to be a video of the same girl getting her bike off the truck :thinking:

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Re: Just a little problem... loading and unloading the bike

Postby trailguy » Sat Jun 03, 2017 7:23 am

This is why you stand on the left side of the bike. It is much easier to operate the front brake and in turn help keep the bike straighter as you back down.

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Re: Just a little problem... loading and unloading the bike

Postby Petard » Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:06 am

trailguy wrote:This is why you stand on the left side of the bike. It is much easier to operate the front brake and in turn help keep the bike straighter as you back down.


I will try that next :thumbsup: and the kick stand's on the left side!

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Re: Just a little problem... loading and unloading the bike

Postby cedric » Sat Jun 03, 2017 2:15 pm

I generally use a milk crate too, but had a near miss recently when the milk crate slid forward on the asphalt as I stepped up on it. Luckily my shin hit the edge of the tail gate hard enough to stop me from falling. That felt great! I always favored standing to the left of the bike but never thought about why, thanks Trailguy.

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Re: Just a little problem... loading and unloading the bike

Postby cycleworks » Sat Jun 03, 2017 2:52 pm

The struggle is real! After many different "solutions" I finally ended up getting a big fold out sled ramp. My coworker and fellow RMDRA member made a few mods for me- and I am left with a grippy, flat surface that I can unfold and literally walk up with my bike beside me- ALWAYS on the left (usually started).
It makes unloading very easy too. Not having to think about foot placement or momentum was a real confidence builder for me. The ramp was pricey (and its a bit heavy), but worth every penny.
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Re: Just a little problem... loading and unloading the bike

Postby Petard » Sat Jun 03, 2017 6:41 pm

cycleworks wrote:After many different "solutions" I finally ended up getting a big fold out sled ramp... I am left with a grippy, flat surface that I can unfold and literally walk up with my bike beside me... It makes unloading very easy too... The ramp was pricey (and its a bit heavy), but worth every penny.


The cost was bothering me (you can just take one out of your store), but I have already thought of that and I might consider it.

I'm going to give the present ramp a couple more tries (I still have the bike standing in the garage, so I've not yet tried loading it), but being able to walk up with my bike, not having to be concerned about aiming the wheels up/down a narrow track while wheeling it, not having steps to trip on and being on sure footing and not a stepladder that can easily topple would be worth it.

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Re: Just a little problem... loading and unloading the bike

Postby Xcfjohn » Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:15 pm

I have a tri folding ramp I think princes auto sells them quite cheap. I normally walk it up at the end of a ride with the bike running and a bit of gas.

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Re: Just a little problem... loading and unloading the bike

Postby RJHenry » Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:40 pm

I loaded my VFR 800 exactly once with a ramp and an egg crate... never again! I promptly went and bought a second ramp to walk on beside when loading and unloading. Cheap insurance!

I now have more comfort and sometimes use one ramp and a very stable step with my Husky , but still do not prefer it. Tailgates are tall!
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Re: Just a little problem... loading and unloading the bike

Postby Dobi » Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:25 am

This is probably the most difficult part of the whole ride. My wife and I had a great discussion as I was trying to teach her how to load her new bike into my gmc. It turns out the bike stand(milkcrate) method is not as easy for her as it is to me. Having 6" and over 80lbs on her allows me some additional leverage apparently. The left side of the bike may feel more natural and a second ramp can be procured from an home construction site for free. The laminated new style floor joist served me well for years to push my bike up before going aluminum folding.

Good luck

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Re: Just a little problem... loading and unloading the bike

Postby Hooligan » Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:12 pm

CDN Tire has a sale on ramps this weekend.

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Re: Just a little problem... loading and unloading the bike

Postby Petard » Sun Jun 11, 2017 11:02 am

I did end up buying a second ramp, so I just set it up in parallel (with a slight gap between the two), and slowly backed out the bike. I was pretty hesitant, with my hand constantly hovering the brake lever, but this is the way to go, I think. You are walking at the same height as the bike and not stepping onto ladders or pails or whatnot. I am sure that I will become confident quickly, after a couple of tries.

Loading is somewhat harder, as you are pushing hard on the handlebars, but you could start the engine and slightly open the throttle and slowly walk the bike up with some engine assist. Don't do this in a garage or enclosed space.

I got my ramps at Pro-Am for $140 each. There are various types on the market, but these have a perforated aluminum surface, so there are no places for your feet to fall through. Ouch! The ladder types, typically for ATVs (that are driven up), could pose a major risk to your ankles, should you lose your footing and have a leg fall through. Caution!

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Re: Just a little problem... loading and unloading the bike

Postby Spinalguy » Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:19 pm

i buy t joists from rona lumber.i use 8 ft ones as i like a gentle slope ($30). i then fashion some wood slats across to act as steps. i use that ramp for walking up and down in rain, snow or sun.
i always have the bike running to get it up.
i use this method for my 450 and 950, although i do need to psych myself up with the 950 every time.
Down is simple, up is nerving. ha.

i have dropped the 950 a few times and i have crunched my tailgate 3 times when i forget to tie down the ramp to the truck and the bike spits it away, that almost always sucks.
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