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Old 09-12-2010, 06:35 AM   #1
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Loading up the Harley

Well I loaded the Harley in the toy hauler for the first time yesterday. It is a “Low Rider” because I have very short legs. I washed and waxed it, then let the ramp down. If you have never done this, let me tell you, it is an experience. Having very short legs, for a moment when the front tire goes up on the ramp and the back tire is still on the ground, your feet leave the ground going up which feels very awkward and a little scary. The bike weighs over 650 pounds so if it falls to the side, hello broken leg.
The back tire made it up and I stopped for a moment to get my bearings. I applied the front break but the bike slid back down the ramp, repeat the process. This time I applied both breaks front and rear. The bike held, so I applied a little throttle rode up. The low hanging frame of the bike scraped against where the top of the ramp hits level floor and bottomed out. It would not go so I rolled back down. I made my mind up, “I bought a toy hauler and I’m hauling my toy.”
So I went to Walmart and bought a floor jack. I took a 2X4 that had carpet on it that I used to carry my kayaks on the bed of our truck, placed it on top of the floor jack and let the ramp/door down. I jacked it up until it made contact. I then rode the bike up on the ramp but the board was not evenly placed across the door, only one side was coming up. So I backed down and repositioned the board and jack. This time I tried it again but it wasn’t working so I rode up to where the frame was about to scrape and stopped. Now this is awkward because the ignition key is on the right side and I had to hold the front brake which is on the right handlebar. I applied the rear brake and it held so I killed the ignition. And then got the kickstand down. I got off and positioned the board directly under the rear wheel. It jacked up right this time but this is a real pain.
So this morning I’ll go and buy two 6X6 inch timbers. I’ll place them under the end of the ramp raising it a foot. I have aluminum ramps that I can use to ride up onto the back door/ramp decreasing the angle and hopefully it will work. I suppose this will get easier as I learn the best method but it was a little hairy the first time.
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Old 09-12-2010, 07:38 AM   #2
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Try doing 2 dressers, what I found is to jack the front or get another ramp and place on the tail gate to decrease the angle of entry. then drive it up. also get some non skid and put where the tires enter up the ramp help. good luck
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:11 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sledgehammer View Post
Well I loaded the Harley in the toy hauler for the first time yesterday. It is a “Low Rider” because I have very short legs. I washed and waxed it, then let the ramp down. If you have never done this, let me tell you, it is an experience. Having very short legs, for a moment when the front tire goes up on the ramp and the back tire is still on the ground, your feet leave the ground going up which feels very awkward and a little scary. The bike weighs over 650 pounds so if it falls to the side, hello broken leg.
The back tire made it up and I stopped for a moment to get my bearings. I applied the front break but the bike slid back down the ramp, repeat the process. This time I applied both breaks front and rear. The bike held, so I applied a little throttle rode up. The low hanging frame of the bike scraped against where the top of the ramp hits level floor and bottomed out. It would not go so I rolled back down. I made my mind up, “I bought a toy hauler and I’m hauling my toy.”
So I went to Walmart and bought a floor jack. I took a 2X4 that had carpet on it that I used to carry my kayaks on the bed of our truck, placed it on top of the floor jack and let the ramp/door down. I jacked it up until it made contact. I then rode the bike up on the ramp but the board was not evenly placed across the door, only one side was coming up. So I backed down and repositioned the board and jack. This time I tried it again but it wasn’t working so I rode up to where the frame was about to scrape and stopped. Now this is awkward because the ignition key is on the right side and I had to hold the front brake which is on the right handlebar. I applied the rear brake and it held so I killed the ignition. And then got the kickstand down. I got off and positioned the board directly under the rear wheel. It jacked up right this time but this is a real pain.
So this morning I’ll go and buy two 6X6 inch timbers. I’ll place them under the end of the ramp raising it a foot. I have aluminum ramps that I can use to ride up onto the back door/ramp decreasing the angle and hopefully it will work. I suppose this will get easier as I learn the best method but it was a little hairy the first time.
I carry my bikes in a 6x12 enclosed trailer and have an assortment of 2x 6's and other lumber to cut the angle. The Road King goes right in but sometimes the Heritage wants to drag.
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:45 AM   #4
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We have a Tri-Glide with low pipes and a SuperLow (which replaced an equally low Nightster). Hubby bought aluminum ramps at Harbor Freight (or Northern Tools). They separate and he uses those for the trike, rear tires only to raise the back end so the pipes don't scrape.

Then he bolts them back together to bring in my bike..since it's double wide he can feet down all the way. BUT, he has to raise the back of the ramp to get my frame over the entrance. If it's not too high he uses two chocks on their sides (the big yellow wedges). If too high, he drilled holes in the black rubber bumpers on the ramp and attaches two scissor jacks to them. He uses his drill to quickly raise them. Adds the ramp and up and it he goes.

He has the whole system down to about 15 minutes. Oh, he has to load my bike first, goes into a Condor self-locking chock, and then uses a HUGE screw driver to move my rear tire over further. Then he brings in his trike which parks at an angle so we can use the door from the garage to the living area.

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Old 09-12-2010, 11:19 AM   #5
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Wow, Stu and Donna, really got it together! Looks great.

06 Suzuki Vstrom ("high rider")
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Old 09-13-2010, 09:15 AM   #6
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Well I got it done. I have the ramps from harbor freight as well. Put two landscape timbers under the ramp ans my ramps, went right out.
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Old 09-13-2010, 10:55 AM   #7
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Well I got it done. I have the ramps from harbor freight as well. Put two landscape timbers under the ramp ans my ramps, went right out.
Way to go! We also look for spots where the ground goes up behind the rig, makes for less of a slope.
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Old 09-13-2010, 11:46 AM   #8
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How about platform shoes?
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Old 10-08-2010, 05:58 AM   #9
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Wow! I never new there was such an issue. I have been riding for more years than I would like to count and trailering in about every configuration imaginable.

I have used some of the most convoluted ramp configurations ever devised most of em pretty darn scarry when loading alone.

My wife and I are considering a number of options as retirement rapidly aproaches and although a DP was at top of our list, after reading here for the past couple of weeks, we are re-evaluating and a nice TH was one of our options but reading this, maybe not so much.

One of the most important things to me after so many years of loading crappy trailers with crappy ramps is ease of loading. Three years ago I bought a nice utility w/ramp door and outfitted it specifically for hauling my Road Glide and I love it.

That said, it has a very low deck so there is no severe angle at the top of the ramp/door.

I may now have to rethink any TH decision since if it's difficult to load, I know I won't ride.

Thanks for your insight and discriptions of the creative solutions.
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Old 10-09-2010, 04:29 AM   #10
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It's not an issue now that I know what to do. It just never occurred to me that it might bottom out. Now that I know to prop up the end of the ramp, it's no problem.
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Old 10-09-2010, 07:05 AM   #11
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How do you get them down?

What about the type where the door just comes down to horizontal, and is itself a lift?
Or are those only found in the big $$$ rigs?
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Old 10-10-2010, 08:20 AM   #12
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Actually it probably wouldn't be a problem with any other bike. Mine is a Harley Low Rider, the seat is only 24" off of the ground so the frame is very low. A Gold Wing would probably roll right up and in. I just have to place two landscape timbers under the end of the ramp to reduce the extremity of the angle of approach. I then place my ramps on the ground so I can ride up on the ramp door. Getting them out is the same way, I raise the front of the trailer as high as it will go.
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