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Old 03-11-2014, 06:22 PM   #1
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How to haul motorcycles

If anyone has suggestions for me, please let me know. I would like to use my 2005 (2nd gen) Tacoma to haul my wife's motorcycle and mine. The Tacoma has the Access Cab, 4WD, V6, 6-spd manual, and towing package, so it has the towing capacity. My problem is that my wife's motorcycle is a Can-Am-- 3 wheels, 2 in the front. So it's too wide to fit side-by-side on a trailer with my 2-wheeler.

My 2-wheeler is a 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad 1500 FI. I've considered putting it in the bed of the truck, and that means that the rear wheel (if it goes on the truck front end first) will be on the tailgate. So, that raises 2 questions. First, will the tailgate handle the weight of putting the bike in in the first place, and second, will the tailgate be able to handle that weight on it while the truck is moving. Any ideas?

If I put my bike in the back of the truck, then renting an appropriate trailer (from U-Haul) for the Can-Am will be a snap. (And I'd much rather rent a trailer than buy, it's so much cheaper-- and you don't have to store a trailer when it's not in use, and each time you rent, you can rent whatever trailer is best for your needs each time.)

If I could rent a trailer that could hold both bikes, I'd do it. But I haven't been able to find an appropriate trailer, for rent or for sale, that would let me do that-- unless you're talking about a trailer designed to haul something huge, like a full-sized front-end loader/backhoe. And that kind of trailer would probably be too heavy for my truck (and WAY heavier than I need for the motorcycles). I put the Can-Am on a friend's 12-foot utility trailer once, just to see how it fit, and I would need another 4 feet at least, more like an additional 6 feet, to be able to fit the second bike in.

And just to make the whole deal more complicated, I also have a motorcycle with a sidecar, and I would like to be able to haul the Can-Am and the sidecar rig without having to use 2 vehicles. But I haven't yet been able to figure out a way to do that, at least not with my Tacoma.

So, any suggestions? Thanks
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Old 03-11-2014, 06:47 PM   #2
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What if you got a double axel landscape trailer, drive the Can-Am on straight and then put the Kawasaki sideways on the trailer behind it? You would just need plenty of rings to strap to. Might be a pain maneuvering the kawasaki on and off, but it might get you where you need to go.
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:09 PM   #3
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I say both on trailer for ease of loading/unloading and securing. Pull can am spyder to front of trailer. The Kawasaki can go on either side of the spyder. Doing this you should be able to get away with a 6x12 trailer. Pulling rear wheel of the spyder toward one side will give you a little more room for the Kawasaki. This can easily be done using ratchet strap throug rear wheel and ratchet to one side with one of those furnature moving discs underrear wheel. Use 3-4 straps per bike to be safe and check to ensure bikes are still secure often. How far you hauling them? Position them like this and measure to see if it will work or to see how much room/trailer size needed.
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:47 PM   #4
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I had the same problem with hauling bikes. I know that the dealership replaced mine after they told me it would handle it. Toyota informed me that the max weight on the tailgate is 225lbs. If you are going to be hauling this setup a lot you might want to look at some motorcycle transport systems. I know there are a few that have a winch installed in the back and winches up and down a steady steel brace that the motorcycle rides on. Good luck!
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:54 PM   #5
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:59 PM   #6
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Trailer them both. Pull the Nomad to the front, all the way to one side, then back on the Spyder so the back end is off to the other side of the trailer, opposite the Nomad and the wide part is toward the rear. You shouldn't need more than a 6x10 or 6x12 trailer for both.
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:59 PM   #7
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i made ramps to attach to my rack.. but i think if you got a little trailer its less hassle .
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:05 PM   #8
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For the truck bed, you could have something like this made.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=961030

That would take the load off the tailgate.

If you tow a trailer with the tailgate down, you need to be aware of clearance between the tailgate and the trailer, especially when turning.

Snowmobile trailers are specially made for wide machines. It's unlikely you'd find one for rent, however.

Or, here's a thought: leave the truck at home and ride to where you want to go!
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pugga View Post
Trailer them both. Pull the Nomad to the front, all the way to one side, then back on the Spyder so the back end is off to the other side of the trailer, opposite the Nomad and the wide part is toward the rear. You shouldn't need more than a 6x10 or 6x12 trailer for both.
This is opposite of orientation I mentioned. Reason I suggested opposite of this is I feel like there will be more tongue weight with spyder to front vs the back of trailer. Need tongue weight vs a balanced load or no tongue weight/tongue lift. Also I do not feel 10' will do it based on length of either orientation. Each bike is what 7-8' and the kawasaki will need to be in front or behind one of the can ams front wheels somewhat adding to total length?
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:15 PM   #10
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Honestly, for me its not worth the hassle of loading up a heavy bike like that in the bed, and its so much easier to have a trailer with a ramp to just roll the bikes up to or ride up to. You should measure out your bike and see with how long the bed is because I know with my dirtbikes I can fit one side ways with the tailgate up and with it straight in the wheel is right on the back of the tailgate. I know its not what your looking for but a trailer is your best bet. Its one of those convenience factors.
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Old 03-12-2014, 06:04 AM   #11
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I'd see if the Kawasaki fits in the bed diagonally. My dirt bike fits with at least 2-3 inches to spare and if I didn't have the bed rail reinforcers in the front two corners I'd have another 2" or so of space.

These are the things I have in the front two corners.
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Old 03-12-2014, 06:08 AM   #12
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Looking at a picture from Google I don't know with that rear fender and the pipes if that'd work.

When I put two bikes in the rear tires were right at the edge of the bed and I had no issues in 800 miles of driving though couldn't raise the tailgate all the way and drove with it down, granted each bike was only 350 lbs or so.
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Old 03-12-2014, 06:19 AM   #13
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Like this

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Old 03-12-2014, 07:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RadTaco914 View Post
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Exactly! That's how I load my bikes. You need to jam the front wheel into a corner and get the back wheel in the opposite corner. Its really quite stable when its in the diagonal position. The rear wheel will be sitting either in the box itself or way over to one side of the tailgate if your bike is longer. You want to avoid having the back wheel sitting in the middle of the tailgate because it will bend pretty easy.
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Old 03-12-2014, 07:50 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicyclist View Post
For the truck bed, you could have something like this made.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=961030

That would take the load off the tailgate.

If you tow a trailer with the tailgate down, you need to be aware of clearance between the tailgate and the trailer, especially when turning.

Snowmobile trailers are specially made for wide machines. It's unlikely you'd find one for rent, however.

Or, here's a thought: leave the truck at home and ride to where you want to go!
Best idea I read for the OP dilemma!

Or just buy a sled trailer like the man suggests!
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:01 AM   #16
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Why are you trailering them both? Are you moving? I just don't understand why you'd have to trailer them rather than riding them.
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:02 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trdtoy View Post
This is opposite of orientation I mentioned. Reason I suggested opposite of this is I feel like there will be more tongue weight with spyder to front vs the back of trailer. Need tongue weight vs a balanced load or no tongue weight/tongue lift. Also I do not feel 10' will do it based on length of either orientation. Each bike is what 7-8' and the kawasaki will need to be in front or behind one of the can ams front wheels somewhat adding to total length?
I know this is exactly opposite of what you mentioned and there's a reason for it. #1 reason is, backing a 1500cc cruiser onto a trailer would be a PITA at best and a disaster at worst. The Spyder has reverse and would make it more ideal for backing onto a trailer. The Nomad will also be more difficult to secure so it's typically easier to secure the bike with the front tire against the front rail of the trailer so it remains standing. As far as trailer length, the track width for the Spyder is about 5' at the front so if you have a 6' wide trailer, you should be able to overlap the rear of the Spyder and the Nomad. Maybe 10' would be tight but I would think it could happen, definitely with a 12', no problem.
To address your comment about weight distribution, the Nomad weighs in around 800 lbs while the Spyders weigh in around 700 lbs depending on the model. That's close enough to where it won't matter which one is further to the front as most of your weight will be forward regardless.
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:09 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregman View Post
Exactly! That's how I load my bikes. You need to jam the front wheel into a corner and get the back wheel in the opposite corner. Its really quite stable when its in the diagonal position. The rear wheel will be sitting either in the box itself or way over to one side of the tailgate if your bike is longer. You want to avoid having the back wheel sitting in the middle of the tailgate because it will bend pretty easy.
Yeah the adjustable tie points are the tits also. You can run your straps perfectly! As far as a larger cruiser/street bike thats another story...
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:24 AM   #19
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These are all good suggestions. If possible, I'd prefer to get both vehicles on a trailer (rather than one in the pickup bed), and maybe some finagling with one of those furniture mover pads would help me do it. At least, with the Can-Am and the Kawasaki. The Can-Am and the sidecar rig would be another matter; that may require a 16-foot trailer.

Yes, riding to our destinations would be another way to get there, and that would be the manly way to do it (and weather be damned). But for a longer trip, hauling them with a vehicle like my Tacoma would allow us to get to our destination more quickly and easily, and have more time for riding once there (like most people, I find that I can't ride as far or as fast, at least not safely, on my bike as in a car). I'm thinking specifically about going someplace like Sturgis, which would take me about 3 days to get to by car, and probably longer by bike.
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Old 03-12-2014, 12:00 PM   #20
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Hauling motorcycles

Let me qualify myself first: I have been in the motorcycle business for 4 decades; as a owner, racer, dealer, wholesaler. If it had 2, 3 or 4 wheels we hauled it, on a variety of vehicles and trailers. We wholesaled Harley's, so we saw a lot of heavy bikes.

You mentioned you would like to use a 2005 Tacoma access cab, 4x4.

1. The tailgate should not be used to hold the weight of the motorcycle. Many threads on the tail gate have been posted; If you should have any doubts about this, take the black plastic cover off ( a few screws), and look at the tailgate under that black plastic cover. This is for you doubters out there, take that cover off and look at the tailgate.
There was one doubter on here that said he hauled his lawn mower, w/no problems. God forbid he ever has to haul anything substantial.

2. I googled your bike and it weighs somewhere around 775. lbs.
The length of your bike is a big factor here. Sure a MX bike, is much lighter and shorter; I do haul them w/ my Tacoma.

3. I also have a Pingle (wheel chock) welded to a 1/2 inch thick, steel plate, that goes the width of the bed at the front. Also have 2 heavy duty cargo tie-downs at each front corner. The factory cargo tie-downs should work with a smaller bike/MX; not your heavy bike. The Pingle keeps the front wheel stationary; which is much safer. I can get a pic, if you want it.

4. With the Pingle, we only used 2 good straps, to the lower corners of the bed. Never lost a bike.

5. I can't stress how weak the tailgate is, in out Tacoma's. When I said we hauled Harley's; with the Tacoma, it would only be a Sportster. The big bikes were hauled on a trailer or bigger truck. We had a cube van w/ liftgate, and a Ford 7.3 Powerstroke, w/ long bed 8 ft.

6. I see your dilemma; the Can-Am needs a trailer; but for you to get a trailer to haul both; you may have to get a trailer that is too big for the Tacoma.

Just do it safely, we saw others that cut corners. Could get expensive if something goes wrong.

oldracer
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