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Can I load a Harley in Tacoma bed?

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by Matt_C, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. Aug 31, 2008 at 10:01 PM
    #1
    Matt_C

    Matt_C [OP] New Member

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    I'm seriously considering purchasing a new '08 Tacoma for the purpose of transporting my H-D Heritage Softail (~800 lbs.) from central Illinois to Daytona Beach, FL.
    I've respected small & mid-size Toyota trucks for a long time, and do not want a full size truck. I want something with a stick shift and decent mileage. The Tacoma seems to be a very good fit.
    I have a concern though, can the plastic bed & tailgate handle loading a large heavy motorcycle?
    Has anyone moved a full-size cruiser bike in a plastic-bed Tacoma before?
    I've searched the site, and understand the need to use D-rings instead of the bedrail system. I see that some of you have moved sport bikes without a problem, but my bike is probably twice the weight of a sportbike. It is well within the payload capacity of the truck I'm considering (Access Cab, 4x4, V6, 6-spd), but I am concerned due to the bed material.
    Any suggestions/advice/experience would be greatly appreciated.
    --Matt
     
  2. Aug 31, 2008 at 10:05 PM
    #2
    JJ Customs

    JJ Customs Supreme Leader!

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    I don't think you will have a problem but to load it I would remove the tailgate and if you get a 3/4 inch piece of plywood and cut it to line the floor of your bed you will not have any problems, that will spread the load. Your other option is to buy a small trailer. The truck will tow it with ease.
     
  3. Aug 31, 2008 at 10:05 PM
    #3
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Moderator

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    Welcome to TW!
    Get some pics up!!!!!
    You should be able to handle the weight. Bed stregnth is not an issue. :)
     
  4. Aug 31, 2008 at 10:07 PM
    #4
    SocalMan22

    SocalMan22 Founder Socaltacomas.com

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  5. Aug 31, 2008 at 10:09 PM
    #5
    derekabraham

    derekabraham Living vicariously through everybody

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  6. Sep 1, 2008 at 2:57 AM
    #6
    dirthawker1313

    dirthawker1313 Well-Known Member

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    i loaded a 93 fxr in my 07 DC shortbed and it folded my tailgate.. i had to have a new one put on with the tailgate TSB.
     
  7. Sep 1, 2008 at 5:06 AM
    #7
    Brunes

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    I loaded my sport bike (~400lbs) over the tail gate no issues in a 08 Access Cab. I love the 6 spd and the V6 is great.
    Go for it....The bed will hold up.
     
  8. Sep 1, 2008 at 8:45 AM
    #8
    canadiankid

    canadiankid Well-Known Member

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    Just make sure that the tailgate is off when you load and you wont have a problem
     
  9. Sep 1, 2008 at 11:20 AM
    #9
    dbbd1

    dbbd1 Well-Known Member

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    Ditto on removing the tailgate. I have not loaded my HD onto my truck yet (don't think I would try either, too high and I have a trailer) but I do have the Sethmark gater-saver. It is basically a piece of steel shaped to fit your tailgate. It adds a great bit of durability to the gate. Also, be careful of where you tie it down to. Unless you went with the d-ring mod, where they are bolted to the frame using the bed bolts, I would not trust the d-rings just bolted through the side of the composite bed.

    And welcome to the forum!
     
  10. Sep 1, 2008 at 12:12 PM
    #10
    Caddmannq

    Caddmannq MotoNerd

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    OK, I'm confused.

    I have a '09 Tacoma & it has the plastic bed liner, but aren't those tie-down rails bolted through to a solid steel bed undernieth? This plastic is just a liner, right?

    I have an '04 Kawasaki Nomad, and it weighs over 800 lbs wet. Put my fat a$$ on it and that's over 1025 lbs, and I wouldn't want to find myself folding up the gate like a wet noodle.

    Hopefully they've reinforced these for 2009?

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Sep 1, 2008 at 12:35 PM
    #11
    Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Well-Known Member

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    Nope, it is a plastic bed, not a liner.
     
  12. Sep 1, 2008 at 12:38 PM
    #12
    Caddmannq

    Caddmannq MotoNerd

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    I'm ticked now. This is not the kind of crap I'd expect on a truck.
     
  13. Sep 1, 2008 at 12:47 PM
    #13
    Matt_C

    Matt_C [OP] New Member

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    Thanks to all for your advice. I'll keep checking back.
    It seems like a poor design that I would have to remove the tailgate to load something that is under the truck's payload.
    I expect that if I were to buy one of these, the truck would already have the new reinforced tailgate that they replaced bent 'gates with due to the TSB (toyota service bulletin). I suppose it isn't worth chancing it, and I should just take the gate off.
    Now you've got me thinking also, that I need to check that the factory D-rings are mounted to the frame. There are 4 in the bed that I looked at (stock at the dealer), but I want to make sure they are tied into something more structural than the plastic bed.
    Plus now I'm thinking I would need to get a sheet of plywood or something to distribute the load... and I'm wondering if the rear edge of the bed is strong enough to handle the ramps.

    I understand a lot of you would just recommend doing this with a trailer, but that complicates things. For one, it's just not as easy to travel with a trailer... I'm always looking back, worried. For two, when you're down in Daytona, trailer storage is a problem, you can't park them at the hotels, and I don't want to leave it all alone (admittedly locked) in a distant parking lot. I would simply buy a different truck if the Tacoma required me to use a trailer for this. Sad, because I just don't want a full-size gas-sucking v8 with an ancient 4-speed automatic. And I'm not a fan of the Dakotas. The Colorado/Canyon's and Rangers are just too small. I guess Toyota is the only player in this category for me, and I'm just a little disappionted in their bed design.

    Caddmannq, I'm just a newbie, but no, the interior wall of the bed is just some formed plastic. I'm sure it mounts to steel in a few places, but you can crawl under your truck reach up and poke the bottom side of the plastic bed. Hence my concern loading a bike in the same weight range as yours.
     
  14. Sep 1, 2008 at 12:54 PM
    #14
    Imrubicon

    Imrubicon Wife thinks I am done Modding truck

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    I have seen a St1300 in the back of a tacoma but the tailgate was off and they had a metal rail that the ramp locked onto.
    Why not ride to Daytona Beach and then parking would not be a problem or drag close and park then ride the last few hundred ?
    You can also shipa bike across us for $500 or $600 now so that might be less than driving all the way down from Ill.
    Just Ideas
     
  15. Sep 1, 2008 at 2:19 PM
    #15
    squad314

    squad314 Thinks he's Steve McQueen

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    Hi Matt,one more for removing the tailgate.I'm not sure about the 09's but my un-TSB'd 07 just doesn't feel sturdy enough.I get antsy when I'm loading my snowblower and standing on it.As far as the composite bed,my thought is that it wouldn't be a problem at all.The plywood may give you some peace of mind,and I'd deffinitely use the hooks mounted to the floor as opposed to the D's on the rails.

    Have fun and ride safe in Daytona.My buddies and I went to Laconia NH every year and had a ball.I sold my Fatboy (check my pics),but my Father still rides.He bought an '08 Fatboy 115 incher,and my Uncle has an '05 Screamin' Eagle Road King.I've got both of those babies at my disposal at any time but my young family keeps the riding time to a minimum.

    On a light note,...What does a Labrador Retriever and a Harley Davidson have in common?


    They both love riding in the back of trucks.:D
     
  16. Sep 1, 2008 at 3:41 PM
    #16
    Caddmannq

    Caddmannq MotoNerd

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    Crap! Mine only has two. Looks like I'll be going back tomorrow.

    Yeah, I just went and poked under mine. It's all plastic except for the outer fenders and crossmembers.

    Evidently the gas tank is plastic too.

    Ya know, when I first drove this truck I thought, "Toyota really has a handle on what American's want." Now I'm thinking that they've missed the boat a bit. Unless I'm totally screwed in the head, Americans don't want a plastic truck bed and they don't want a plastic gas tank.

    I can't imagine what a replacement plastic bed costs, but I can't imagine it sitting in the California sun every day without rotting eventually. I see a lot of used Tundras getting converted to stakebeds some years down the road from here.
     
  17. Sep 1, 2008 at 7:25 PM
    #17
    OBXTucker

    OBXTucker Member

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    I've got to say that I love my plastic/fiberglass bed (and my plastic gas tank). Nothing to rust, easy to keep clean, quiet when I toss things in the back, stuff doesn't rattle around when traveling, etc.....

    I think Toyota delivered exactly what Americans wanted....
     
  18. Sep 2, 2008 at 10:55 AM
    #18
    red06toy

    red06toy Well-Known Member

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    We put a coke machine in my truck, drove it about 35 miles even stopped for luch (40min) I had no issues w/the gate. we leaned the machine on the gate then picked it up from the bottom and pushed her in, unloaded it thge same way. Ive had alot of weight on the gate and in the truck, Its held up well, btw, the machine trip was before the tsb, It was an olde machine (mid 80s) weighes about 600lbs. all of it was on the gate twice.
     
  19. Sep 2, 2008 at 12:53 PM
    #19
    wiscdave

    wiscdave Lets Do It!

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    yep, my 08 handles my 650lb quad with my 215lbs on it so 865lbs drives right up on the tailgate into the bed. Ramps are on the tailgate. But its 2 wheels dispersing the weight when driving up , not one like a cycle. The 08s are supposed to be fixed, if it bends they WILL fix it I was told.

    I like the plastic bed, no rust, cleans easily and its light for better MPG
     
  20. Sep 2, 2008 at 1:28 PM
    #20
    Dcrooks84

    Dcrooks84 Sir Anal Loin of Beef

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    I have hauled a 01 Road King fully dressed in the back of mine with no problems. Took the tail gate off due to the fact I have bent it already and the King is just ridiculous in weight, plus I've already bent the tailgate. It's really simple to take the tailgate off so no biggy anymore.
     
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