Transporting bike inside of a U-Haul? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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  • 1 Post By C-17 Pilot
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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Transporting bike inside of a U-Haul?

Hi all,

Moving soon (Woohoo!) and have a logistical challenge ahead of me: I'll be driving a U-Haul full of my stuff that will be towing my Corolla behind it, so a motorcycle trailer isn't an option. My plan is to load the bike into the rear cargo space of the truck, lift it onto a rear stand, and ratchet-strap the front and back of the upper frame to the mounting points on each side of the cargo space. Probably from the passenger grab handles in the back and the handlebar risers above the triple-tree in the front. I know it's ideal to load the heavier weights in the front of the cargo space, but it seems unwise for this setup in case of sudden braking--don't want the rest of my stuff sliding or toppling forward onto the bike.

It seems straightforward and within the tolerances of the bike's suspension, the spools' load limits, and the rear stand's stability limits--but I want to ask the community in case there's something I'm not thinking of! Anyone have experience with this non-standard moving technique that could share some wisdom?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 08:25 PM
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I would not put the bike up on a paddock stand. Leave it on the wheels and get a Harbor Freight wheel chock to hold the bike upright.

https://www.harborfreight.com/1800-l...ock-61670.html

Use the triple trees or handlebars (whichever allows no contact with the plastics) and strap the bike to the wheel chock just enough to take about a 1/3 of the compression of the forks. Also put a soft tie from the wheel to the front wheel stop on the wheel chock.

Then strap the bike and the wheel chock so they don't move, and/or screw the wheel chock into the floor if it is wood.

Many a bike has been wrecked trying to ride it up the narrow ramp.

Just remember that if you use less straps than needed bad things can happen. If you use more straps than needed you have redundancy.

If this is a heavy uhaul truck the weight of the bike will not matter as to where you place it.

Good luck and have someone doing video while you load it.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 09:38 PM
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I hauled a Suzuki Bandit 1200 (about 100lbs heavier than a V650) twice - once on a uhaul flatbed, once inside a uhaul 15' truck. Kansas City to West Coast both times (don't ask why).

No track stand or chocks. Just lots and lots of tie downs (8, IIRC). Slightly compressing the suspension but with plenty of room for it to "bounce". Handle bars, triple clamp, and grab rails. On the trailer, all tie downs went to mounting points along the sides. In the truck some tie downs went down low, other about midway up the walls of the truck.

No problems. Tie downs are cheap (did I mention, lots of them?)

The truck absolutely didn't notice the weight of the bike. Boxes of books weighed more.

My Pontiac Gran Prix was NOT happy towing a trailer 1850 miles! But it did it

Good luck and safe trip!
Rob in KC (or Seattle, or SF Bay Area, etc, etc)
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 11:48 PM
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Thats a tough putt. My memory of those trucks is that anchor points are not abundant on the floor level, which is ideal for a bike tie-down. If a front wheel chock is not available I think I would pull it straight into the front of the cargo area and use the front wall as a static brace for the bike, using straps to pull it forward into the wall. Wouldnt use the rear stand but thats up to you.

Heavy braking, like you said, is the issue, and I wouldnt be comfortable with only lateral straps keeping the bike from lurching forward and maybe jumping off the rear stand.

Less worried about things falling on it from behind just use more straps to secure that stuff, or place a mattress right behind the bike. Good Luck!

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by twowheeladdict View Post
I would not put the bike up on a paddock stand. Leave it on the wheels and get a Harbor Freight wheel chock to hold the bike upright.

https://www.harborfreight.com/1800-l...ock-61670.html

Use the triple trees or handlebars (whichever allows no contact with the plastics) and strap the bike to the wheel chock just enough to take about a 1/3 of the compression of the forks. Also put a soft tie from the wheel to the front wheel stop on the wheel chock.

Then strap the bike and the wheel chock so they don't move, and/or screw the wheel chock into the floor if it is wood.

Many a bike has been wrecked trying to ride it up the narrow ramp.

Just remember that if you use less straps than needed bad things can happen. If you use more straps than needed you have redundancy.

If this is a heavy uhaul truck the weight of the bike will not matter as to where you place it.

Good luck and have someone doing video while you load it.
I second that about a harbour freight wheel chock , getting that bike up the ramp could be a huge challenge, however I have moved several times, ( not with a Bike) However space is always a premium. Here is a suggestion, buy the wheel chock, some 2X4 , some 3/4 plywood, put the bike on first, left front corner,you can use the side fastening to hold the crate and bike in place.

Have the base and one side made of 2X4's and wheel chock mounted, have the windscreen and mirrors removed, you could put anchor points on the 2X4 base frame with ratchet tie downs, I would also block the rear wheel for side to side movement. You then build over the bike with plywood top, yes you built a crate. Now you can store above and beside and to the rear. Sounds like a lot of trouble, however I have done similar before, every inch counts when I load up, just the cost of 1 piece of plastic ( around $200 Canadian ) makes it worth while. You can have this pre built using screws.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 09:14 AM
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Jonny tries to think.....what could go wrong?

I hauled my Vulcan on a flatbed that I own a few years back, and it was super easy; no issues whatsoever. And yes, lots of tie downs. I was thinking about what I have to do to get my Versys into the truck when I go pick it up in May. The angle is steep to the bed, how am I going to do it by myself... I need a winch ...anxiety...stress. What was I thinking? I have no idea why I was so hell-bent on getting the damn bike in the pickup bed. I am just going to use the flatbed with the wheel chock; problem solved. WTF Jonny? I guess it's good to have forums to remind us of doing thing right. The voice of reason. Thanks for the thread!
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Last edited by RR Jonny; 03-14-2019 at 09:18 AM. Reason: Additional thoughts
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 09:25 AM
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Getting the bike into the truck is a trickier operation than you can imagine. Youtube is probably chock full of fail videos.

We used to have a full sized van that I transported a motorcycle in. Even the little lightweight 250 was a challenge to safely load and unload. Riding the bike up a ramp is very dangerous and very likely to fail. Rolling the bike up/down a ramp is difficult once the bike is more than a few inches above ground level. Even if you can find a hill to back the truck against so the ramp is level, you will not be standing at the same level as the ramp.

I ended up building a motorcycle trailer from a kit to transport the KZ550 behind the van. That was a perfect solution. Way safer than trying to get it in the van. The little trailer was so light that it really wasn't even noticeable when hauling it.

For you, could you do a car trailer pulled behind the truck? Put your bike on the front of the flat trailer and lash it down securely. Then put your car on the trailer behind it.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by RR Jonny View Post
I hauled my Vulcan on a flatbed that I own a few years back, and it was super easy; no issues whatsoever. And yes, lots of tie downs. I was thinking about what I have to do to get my Versys into the truck when I go pick it up in May. The angle is steep to the bed, how am I going to do it by myself... I need a winch ...anxiety...stress. What was I thinking? I have no idea why I was so hell-bent on getting the damn bike in the pickup bed. I am just going to use the flatbed with the wheel chock; problem solved. WTF Jonny? I guess it's good to have forums to remind us of doing thing right. The voice of reason. Thanks for the thread!
I agree, first time I considered using my trailer for picking up my 2015, the trailer was meant for hauling a dirt bike and canoes , it was a tilt trailer, no ramp and 2.5 feet off the ground. I found out my local U Haul down the street and motorcycle trailers for $14.95 per 24 HR / day, with built in wheel chock, floor tie downs and a fold out ramp, what a amazing trailer. Just bought a used snow blower, rented the same trailer, way better than taking the seats out of the Sienna and trying to lift it in.

I picked this video as it shows the special trailer by U Haul and also the tie down locations.


Last edited by onewizard; 03-14-2019 at 11:31 AM.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 11:40 AM
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Harbor Freight wheel chock +++ and a lot of tie downs but don't cinch them down so tight that ya bend stuff.
.
.
These Harbor Freight wheel chocks are pretty tough and they're cheap
.
.
.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 12:26 PM
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There's a better way. In 2011 I towed my '09 from Florence, AZ to Calgary, AB (1,700 MILES!!!) as in these pics, w/ NO problems enroute, OR to the bike's suspension!

Tie your bike down to the trailer to w/ about medium tension on those tie-downs, then to keep the tie-down-hooks from jumping off wherever the tie-downs are attached on the bike, when you hit a large bump, put a bungee cord from the top eye of the tie-down to the bottom eye. THIS will keep tension on the tie-downs to keep them from releasing, and at the same time protect your bike's suspension from getting sacked.

LOOK AT THE AMOUNT OF EXTENSION ON MY FORKS to see how much tension I used.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Awesome, thanks for the advice! I rode my Zx-6r up and down a few cargo loading ramps over the years I had it and don't mind that challenge at all anymore. The V is bigger, but I'm confident it won't be a problem. I'll be sure to film it anyway, just in case I eat my words!

I'm going to nix the paddock stand in favor of the wheel chock like you all suggested. However, because the truck will be 85% loaded in Mississippi, then driven to Oklahoma where the bike and remaining property is before the long haul to California, building a crate around it in the front corner won't be an option... but points for creativity on that one!

Off to Harbor Freight for a wheel chock... and going to pick up a couple extra packs of tie-downs while I'm at it!
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 07:24 PM
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Why not make or buy a crate and then place it properly in the truck? When I moved my stuff (mostly machine tools )from California to Texas, I just rented a forklift on each end. There were no problems (Damage) with the trip because the cargo was packed properly. I think you are adding a lot of risk to save a few bucks.
Good luck
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Or consider a lift gate

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Last edited by Randyjaco; 03-18-2019 at 07:43 PM.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 08:37 AM
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Load The front of the truck with as much of your stuff as you can and leave enough room to get the bike in behind it. A Harbor Freight wheel stand is a good idea as you can start by strapping it down to it. I will keep things upright. Leave the rear wheel on the ground. Use lots of ropes or tie downs the keep the bike secure and the other cargo from falling down on the bike. Heavy trash bags full of clothing or bedding stuffed around the bike for padding work ok. The plastic bag protects your cloths and the cloths are something soft if the bike wants to tip over. Your stuff will be more inclined to move forward do to braking than to move back due to acceleration. I like the idea of a fork lift or lift gate but I suspect that is not an option so just be careful and go slow as you load it. Get as many friends as possible to help.

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