Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How I made a Good Black Widow Ramp almost a Widowmaker? :)

Or... How NOT to load a Motorcycle with a Motorcycle Ramp! :)

Had a little bit of excitement loading the Raider in Utah. We'd been camped in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument for more than a week and we're getting ready to roll on up by Moab to meet some friends.

The wind was blowing, and to tell the truth, I wasn't really feeling on top of the world...

If you've looked around the site at all, you likely already know I live full time in a fifth wheel and that I use a Black Widow Ramp, to load and carry my Raider behind the cab when we move camp. I moved the hitch back toward the rear of the truck to make room for that...

Now... loading with a ramp, by itself is no big deal... you run up the ramp and badda bing! You're loaded... right?

Well... sometimes, not so much! :)

The thing is... if you load in-line... and you misjudge or goof a bit... the worst that happens is you thump the back of the cab... UH... if you're loading cross ways... and you make an UH OH... there ain't a whole lot of room... or time... for absorbing the error!

An uh oh... can get to be an Aw Crap! ... reeeeeal damn quick! :)

So... I climb on the Raider, twist the throttle and roll up the ramp, just like I have a Whole Bunch of times... with nary a bobble... until... Escalante...

Goin' up that 12' Black Widow Ramp, something caught my attention and pulled it left... and we all know what happens when you look somewhere...

Yup... the bike goes where you're lookin'...

When you have about a 4" hole to hit on the chock... and a foot or two later... nothing but air if you miss... you Don't want to miss! :)

Well... uh ... I missed! ... so... no problem, just grab the brake right?

again... not quite... my feet were down in preparation to land the bike in the chock... which left ONLY my right hand... Now... a thinking person would have had the brake lever Covered... right? :)

Normally, I'm a thinking person... but NOT this morning... nope... my hand was around the throttle... and when I flipped it up to grab the break... THIS TIME... and never before! It just hit under the bottom of the Brake Lever...

So... here's the bike moving across an 8' bed... NOT aimed at the Chock... with me sittin' on top of it... tap tap tappin' my fingers, UNDER the brake lever... Not Good!

Now, have your fingers stutter on the brake lever two or three times and in the whole scmeme of things, that's enough time to use up a whole lot of an 8' bed!

Luckily for my silly kiester... that chock is built with something like 1 1/2" support legs that run out to the sides. About the time the tire hit the end of the left side leg, my hand finally found the brake and stopped the bike, with the front tire on the precipice!

OK... so the 40" or so deck of my truck isn't really much of a precipice... but... it would sure ruin my day! :)

In the end...  all I had to do was call for the old lady to come out and pull that custom seat on my Raider... out of where it had got sucked up in to ... so I could climb off the bike! :)

The moral of the story is... 1. Keep your eyes on the chock! no matter what! and 2. go back to the drawing board and create some sort of a safety bar that can be set in place if you're gonna load cross ways (which I am in the process of doing!)... for those times that you fail to keep #1 in mind! :)

Grab Your Handles and Ride!

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