Wednesday, October 12, 2011

An Update on How I use My Black Widow Motorcycle Ramp

We live on the road in a fifth wheel trailer. My Raider rides between camps on the truck, sitting crossways behind the cab.

Almost every time we stop somewhere, while the Bike is riding, I get asked; "How do you get it up there?

Sometimes, if I'm not feeling much like talking, I just point at the ramp folded up on the tail of the truck. Other times I'll explain; "Aw, I just get a good firm grip an' lift that sucker!"

Truth is, it got to where loading the bike was getting to be an unpleasant task. Loading it one time, back in the spring, in a camp on the Escalante in Utah, I damn near rode the bike off the other side.

You might not be going very fast climbing that ramp... but at just a couple of miles an hour, it don't take no time at all to cross that eight foot bed... so an old guy, having a "senior moment", or a young guy, who ain't found out yet... that he AIN'T bullet proof,  can see things get ugly in a rushin' hurry! Yup. A slight bobble along the way, and the old lady inside is gonna hear bone crunching sounds followed by bad words, dirty names and plenty of blue smoke!

Because of the configuration of my truck, (it's a little extra tall) the ramp and my motorcycle, the routine required that I ride the bike up the ramp, onto the truck, without stopping.

Though my Black Widow ramp is 12 feet long to give me an easier break over at the top so the Raider doesn't high center; it still hits the ground at an angle steep enough, that when the front wheel of that raked out Raider starts up the ramp, my feet can't reach the ground any longer. So, I can't just ease it up the ramp, I have to go for it... which is a bit of  a problem 'cause the hole I have to hit at the top, only allows a couple inches of room for error.

I've changed things a bit since this last video was made. Where that aluminum box was, is now Two larger Cargo boxes... It's not as open as in this video. The space I have to hit has a pretty narrow margin for error... Maybe an inch or so on either side.

And since I can't put my feet down, I gotta go for it, fast enough for the bike to stabilize, without stopping... or so I thought.

I don't know why it took me so long to come up with such a simple idea, but now, loading is an easy, pretty much stress free deal.

I took two 2X6 planks and attached two 1 1/2" angle braces to one end of each plank.

Now, I hang the ramp on the truck. Then hook the planks on a couple of feet up from the bottom of the ramp, one on each side. I use the attached angles to hook onto the ramp and keep them from slipping.

That gives me raised "Footboards" to span that transition from the ground, up onto the ramp. As soon as the back wheel gets close to the ramp, I can get my feet back down again.

Now, rather than worryin' what's gonna happen if I miss the target a touch, or do some other dumb thing :) I can just walk the bike up the ramp slow and easy. I can stop half way up if needs be. My feet can always reach... so no need to just push on up without stopping... Just a couple of cheap boards and a couple bucks of hardware and that bit of stress, loading the bike is wiped away.

Now that I've got things figured out, I'll get a fresh video made as soon as I catch up on all my other chores... Busting the Pin Box on the trailer, right in the middle of finishing up, and working to get my second novel published has kinda got me a lil' distracted for a bit... That and having an accelerating case of Early Onset Old Timers Syndrome ain't helping any!

In the mean time I'm also getting ready to continue heading South for the Desert, before winter gets any closer!

Grab Your Handles and Ride!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

good thinking.... is not the truck that is to high Brian... your legs are to short. i finally got my little untility trailer modified for my bike for this fall when i head south... an easy load now and don't need 3 guys and dog to help get it on and off. take care talk soon