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I want something to haul my motorcycles. Should I get a Tacoma???

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Old 07-19-2009, 07:25 PM   #1
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I want something to haul my motorcycles. Should I get a Tacoma???

Hi, I'm new to this forum and I'm wrestling over the idea of getting a Tacoma. What sparked this idea is 1) i have a street bike and want to get another dirt bike, and I need a way to transport them to the places i want to use them. this can range from a few hours to way to a couple thousand miles away. Up until now I've mainly relied on friends or family with pick up trucks, but that is becoming increasing difficult, and impractical. 2) my current car, a tiny dodge neon, is getting up there in miles (110K) and i think id rather trade it in now while i can get a couple grand instead of wait till it starts becoming a money pit anyway. I'm attracted to the tacoma because of it's modest size, relatively good gas milage, and i think it looks awesome.

I've been doing a lot of research and trying to compare and weigh what i need and what i don't. V6 vs. I4 (or is it v4?). 4x4 vs 2x4. access cab vs. crew cab. manual vs. auomatic. you get the idea.

However, searching this forum has brought up some questions.

1) i saw something about insufficient leaf springs?? is this all 2nd gens? I would like to carry the dirtbike and the streetbike, or even 2 street bikes at the same time sometimes (if they even fit laterally). this would be about 650-800lbs total in the bed. would i need to upgrade the springs? how much would it cost? how would i do so?

2) Ive read the thread involving the tailgate. i have to say, it's weakness was a bit dissappointing. the fact that it hasn't been addressed by toyota, or even the aftermarket is discouraging. this in mind, should i get the access cab then? would a race replica street bike (kawasaki ninja) fit in the bed of an access cab with the tailgate up? if not, or if i get the double cab, would it be safe to put both rear tires on the tailgate? or if i take 2 street bikes in the back of the truck, if a friend comes. would this be to much weight for the tailgate while driving.

....or perhaps the 1st gen taco would be better for me???? how does their MPG compare??

i'm also considering the nissan frontier but was turned off by reports of transmission failiuers, electrical gremlins, and cam chain timing issues.

for the record. im 20 years old, so i'm on a bit of a budget. i've never had to get a loan for anything, i've managed to pay straight up for everything until now. i'm a bit lost when it comes to loans, financing, leasing, etc etc but thats another story. but i did see the result of the age poll and i see my age demographic is the largest. maybe some tips from others my age??.

Also, i live in south florida. pavement land. so i don't really NEED off-road capability or 4x4. but it would be nice to have. a friend of mine off-roads lightly some places in florida. and i spend a lot of time in vermont. so off-roading is something fun to think about but not very important. more important is a truck that can be a daily driver when i don't commute on the bike. or take my bikes to the track or trails.

LASTLY (i know...) what should i look for when looking at used tacoma's? and what would be a good price. i've seen they tend to range from 16k to 23k used.
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Old 07-19-2009, 07:35 PM   #2
I don't want a large farva!
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Wow dude, a little long winded doncha think?

A Taco will be fine fer yer needs. Just get a trailer to haul whatever bike you get with. Easier that way.
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Old 07-19-2009, 07:41 PM   #3
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ok perhaps not lastly. i forgot some things.

I'm pretty sure i want/need the V6 but the fuel efficiency of the 4 is attractive. however, i'm not sure if the 4 would be able to handle hauling 1 or 2 bikes for thousands of miles. and ins south florida, you need a car that has the power to overtake other cars, in order to be able to safely maneuver through traffic at 80mph. i already have issues in my neon trying to safely get through traffic here. also i've heard the 4 cylinder isn't really much better because it takes more RPM to accelerate at a realistic pace, thus burning more fuel. any comment on that?

also, how is the shifting on the manual version? i've heard the nissan manual is a bit notchy. i've never driven a manual so i guess i wouldn't have anything to compare. but just curious.

oh LASTLY. how many miles can i expect to get out of a taco. realistically. 120k? 150k? 200k?
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Old 07-19-2009, 07:44 PM   #4
I don't want a large farva!
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Just go test drive one man!
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Old 07-19-2009, 07:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefridr View Post
Wow dude, a little long winded doncha think?

A Taco will be fine fer yer needs. Just get a trailer to haul whatever bike you get with. Easier that way.
thanks for the quick reply. seems kind of pointless though to get a truck with a bed and then get a trailer. i can pull a trailer with a CUV or something, thus defeating the purpose of getting a truck for me. and i don't have the space for a trailer really.
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Old 07-19-2009, 07:49 PM   #8
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the tsb is pretty important if you want to haul stuff.
before my tsb i had 800lbs of plaster in my truck, and it bottomed out like crazy.
after the tsb i had 1,200lbs of plaster and it rode low, but didn't bottom out.

if you're going to haul two bikes (assuming they are road bikes weighing 600lbs apiece, then you might want a full size truck. but if it's crotch rockets you might be fine.

dealers/toyota are giving some people with 2009 models a hard time about the spring tsb.
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Old 07-19-2009, 07:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin723 View Post
an SR5 1st gen has a towing capacity of 5000 pounds im sure your bikes will be fine, a V6 can get good gas mileage if you do certian mods.
He already stated he does not really have room for a trailer.
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Old 07-19-2009, 07:52 PM   #10
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I think a 4cyl or V6 would be fine, it depends on a TEST DRIVE for ya...

I haul a 16' 1500 lb boat with my 4 cyl and while I only do it every once in a great while, and it's a bit slow when pulling it, it's in no way scary slow to do so. I figure I spend 95% of the time with the bed empty, so why not have the most efficent drivetrain for that purpose.
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Old 07-19-2009, 07:56 PM   #12
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin723 View Post
SR5 have the same running gear as a tundra and if i recall thats 3/4 ton, so beef the rear springs up and its fine.
What?
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Old 07-19-2009, 08:17 PM   #13
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tacoma will be fine. I pulled a monster of a boat today and didn't have a problem. V6 = good.
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Old 07-19-2009, 08:26 PM   #14
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This is a lowered 2008 X runner with a lowered Sitting Sic suspension. The bike is a Suzuki DRZ400SM.


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Old 07-19-2009, 08:29 PM   #15
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if i were to buy the tacoma used, and it didn't have the leaf spring TSB, how much would it cost me?

yes two "crotch rockets" would be the heaviest (400-ish a piece).
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Old 07-19-2009, 08:38 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coupe View Post
This is a lowered 2008 X runner with a lowered Sitting Sic suspension. The bike is a Suzuki DRZ400SM.


oh thanks for the picture. that really helps. that xrunner looks pretty cool. i wouldn't mind one of those if it could do everything i need it to do. does it get better mpg due to better aerodynamics?
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Old 07-20-2009, 07:36 AM   #18
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I carry my 600+ pound quad all the time in back of my double cab v6 with the tailgate down. I'm still a bit nervous over the tailgate. It does seem weak. But so far no bending. I'll be putting a sheet of plywood across the floor and the gate soon just to be safe. I'm not sure how a 4cyl would do with 2 bikes in back. No experience with them but I'm guessing a 6 cyl might be better for that purpose.

You may not even need a TSB. Just look at the leaf springs. I'm in Canada and hear most of them already have 4 leafs. If you buy used and have to pay for the TSB, i'm guessing it will run at least $1500.
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Old 07-20-2009, 07:41 AM   #19
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if it's only 800-900 Lbs of bike in the back (two Rockets) You will be fine with a 2.7L Tacoma with the spring tsb done.
The 1,200 Lbs of plaster, 800Lbs of roof shingles. Didn't feel much different in my four banger.
As said before, How much of the time will you be hauling? it's all preference. So go test drive both. The v6 will be better of course. But the i-4 will serve its purpose. All depends how much you want to dish out for a truck , And fuel economy.
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Old 07-20-2009, 02:56 PM   #20
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2wd is plenty for flat and paved south Florida, though some will argue otherwise. Drive one and see you feel.

A 4x2 Access Cab with the 4-cyl. and a stick is $21.7k, and would probably work out for what you need, while getting better than 20 mpg most of the time.
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