Which ramps for loading KLR650 into pickup truck? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 07-11-2017, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Which ramps for loading KLR650 into pickup truck?

I am looking to purchase a KLR650, the bike is a couyple hours away, and I do not have my motorcycle endorsement/license.

I want to buy some ramps ar harbor freight, and go buy the motorcycle, and load it in the back of my pickup truck.

Which ramps would be the best, of those they sale at harbor freight? I see there is a tribple folder ramp, and also I see a set of 2 individual sloped ramps (among others).

I don't want to spend more than I need to on this, since I don't plan on loading unloading the bike frequently (since it is a dual sport with good road capability and highway also). In fact, I don't want to buy the wheel chuck that many recommend, if you guys think I can do it without it,

I was just gonna use straps to hold the bile still. The pickup is a Chevy Silverado short box.

What you guys think? Anyone else here ever load a KLR650 into the back of a truck?
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post #2 of 16 Old 07-11-2017, 06:35 PM
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I can tell you from recent experience these bikes might be much heavier than you think.

Sounds like your intent is to NOT do this on a regular basis. My suggestion would be to rent a motorcycle/utility trailer from U-Haul. MUCH easier to ride or push the bike on the trailer than trying to lift it up into and out of the truck.

Won't have so spend any money on ramps either.

Allen TX - just North of Plano/Dallas
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post #3 of 16 Old 07-11-2017, 07:14 PM
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Borrowing, or even renting, a trailer, versus buying ramps for rare usage appears an idea worth considering, IMHO. Nothing wrong with cinching the bike down with straps, versus a wheel chock.

As rick-dallas says, KLR650s may be heavier than they appear; thus, if you DO go for ramps, get the longest ones you can handle--might be a challenge for a short-bed. The longer the ramps, the shallower the slope loading, and thus the easier and safer the procedure.

A tri-fold ramp gives much more purchase for the people loading the bike (good to have a "spotter" when you can) than a single even a pair of one-track ramps. Also, you get tremendous advantage loading a bike, if you ELEVATE the ramp ends by placing them on a curb, a berm, or whatever is available--a loading dock can improve things a whole lot.

Now, one MANDATORY safety tip--if you use ramps of whatever design, USE SAFETY STRAPS/CABLES/CHAINS to fasten one end to the truck bed. If you ignore this tip, you invite costly and dangerous mishaps. Failure to secure the truck-end of ramps is a firing offense for employees of an ATV hold-down manufacturer I know of; a policy derived from experience.

All this said . . . what are the chances you'd be busted for riding without an endorsement? Isn't there a, "learner's permit" provision in your state's vehicle code? There is for motorcycle endorsements in my state; in fact, when applying for the motorcycle endorsement, the applicant MUST operate with a learner's permit for a minimum of 30 days (licensed rider must "supervise").

Common sense, care and thoroughness will get your bike home safely and in good condition, whatever transport mode you choose.
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post #4 of 16 Old 07-11-2017, 08:56 PM
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Harbor Freight Ramps

I have a set of the tri-fold HB ramps. There is nothing wrong with them. But they are fairly short. They will work if you back into a ditch or do something to decrease the incline to the back of the truck

To get a relative viewpoint. Look at the specifications for the ramps, take a tape measure and then go to your truck and see if that length will be comfortable for you to get the bike on the truck. I wasn't comfortable with my KLR unless backing into a ditch or using an elevated surface using mine.

As mentioned above, a spotter is a good thing. The KLR is heavy and top heavy also. I cringe at the thought of having it fall / stall and then fall etc.

Currently am using a set of long wide single ramps and walk the bike up with my riding buddy when possible.

Its really not that bad after you get a method down, but some of the stuff I see on youtube makes me cringe.

I personally run the front wheel into the corner of the bed. Be aware that just running the front tire into the center of the bed, can (not always) cause the front of the bed to bend into the cab. That of course depends on how you strap the bike in and if you have a panic stop etc. It does happen. I mention this so you can watch for it over time.

And definitely tie the ramps to the truck. If the truck squats, rolls a bit, or you get in a bind, you need the ramps to stay on the truck!

Good luck, you will figure out the best path that works for you.
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post #5 of 16 Old 07-11-2017, 10:24 PM
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IMHO U-Haul (or similar) would be the smart choice!
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post #6 of 16 Old 07-12-2017, 02:07 AM
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Notice in the descriptions of the various ramps the load rating is for a pair or three ramps and the individual ramps never seem to be rated over 500 pounds each. A necked KLR weighs 429 pounds so nobody should be sitting on it. They are also only 6 feet long (steep).

I got an 8 foot 2x12 (not so steep)and screwed 2x4s on each side to make a trough for strength and wheel control. Then I used a 2x8 on each side to put my feet on for balance. I can slowly ride the bike up the ramp into my Silverado short bed. It will fit angle wise with the tailgate up. I can back it down without worring about going off the ramp. No helpers needed.

An eye-bolt in each board can be used to hold it in place and also to keep it in the bed if I run with the tailgate down.

Last edited by GoMotor; 07-12-2017 at 02:23 AM.
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post #7 of 16 Old 07-12-2017, 02:48 AM
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My bike was out of state when I bought it and still cold in March to ride home.
I borrowed my friends atv trailer which had a built in, wide ramp on the back.
Believe me you don't want to "drop" your new bike on yourself much less in front of bystanders.

Or give it too much gas like this guy.
lol had to post this again.

1967 Yamaha 180 YCS-1
1973 Kawasaki F6 125
1974 Kawasaki F7 175
1975 Yamaha DT400
1980 Suzuki GS550L
2011 Kawasaki KLR650
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post #8 of 16 Old 07-12-2017, 08:30 AM
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Soon as he walked over to the bike, I knew he was trouble LOL

2016 KLR 650
2017 BMW S1000RR (traded in for
2018 Ducati V4S
1983 GL1100 Goldwing
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post #9 of 16 Old 07-12-2017, 09:47 AM
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I like loading ramps with close spaced rungs. 4 inch spacing allows a smoother roll of the wheels, be it 2 wheels or four. Therefore less bounce of the ramp.
Definitely secure the ramps to the vehicle.

I use a pair of individual ramps. One on the left that I walk-up and the one on the right for the bike. Only about 4 inches between the 2 ramps. Bike running, slipping the clutch to control slow ascent. And a spotter/helper behind the bike is a very good thing to have.

Check these out. They fold in half, so can be locked inside the cab of a compact pick-up.
RAMP FLDING ARCHD 12X90 | Products | Parts Unlimited®

Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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post #10 of 16 Old 07-12-2017, 06:54 PM
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I built my own ramps based on Marknet's plans.

I found these ramp-ends by searching online:

Located below is a short video of my method of walking the bike on and off the ramps
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