Get Loaded with the Big Boy II Loading RampWe are constantly loading and unloading motorcycles at Ultimate MotorCycling, and long, heavy, and wide touring bikes are among the biggest challenges. YouTube is filled with people who make catastrophic mistakes when loading motorcycles, and we do not want to go viral for dropping a bike.
The Big Boy II 2-Piece Ramp System, which we obtained from DiscountRamps.com, is the safest ramp we have used in decades of bike loading. Consisting of two folding ramps that are held together by C-beam brackets with spring clip pins, the Big Boy II is available in four lengths (8-, 9-, 10- and 12-feet) to suit your requirements.To give us the most options, we are using the 12-foot version for the company Toyota Tundra SR5 4×4. We wanted the shallowest slope going in, which minimizes the chance of bottoming out the frame or exhaust when transitioning from ramp to bed.No question about it, this ramp is big and burly. Each half of the ramp weighs 54 pounds, and is six feet long when folded, and over five inches thick. Storing two of them in the bed with a large bagger is tough, but doable. The two C-beam brackets and safety straps can be stored with your truck’s tools.The Moto Guzzi California 1400 Tourer is an excellent challenge for the Big Boy II, which has a 1000-pounds-per-ramp weight limit (shorter ramps have a higher capacity). With a rider aboard, the Guzzi weighed about 925 pounds, so we were near the one-ramp limit, though we had the ramps clamped together.Taking it slow, the Guzzi was able to crawl its way up. The combined width of 38 inches mean the rider can put his feet down securely and paddle up. Traction is plentiful with the serrated cross rungs, and the 12-degree offset in the hinge makes for an arch-like ride. The safety straps hooked to the truck frame keep the ramp in place.We also tried a bit of momentum, coasting the bike up with the rider’s feet on the floorboards. This resulted in a bit of ramp flex and truck suspension movement, though not enough to alarm the rider. Either method is safe, even with a big bike like the California 1400 Tourer. Bikes can also be walked up; we preferred to be astride the bike.Manufactured in the United States, the Big Boy II 2-Piece Ramp System meets our demanding expectations, and we will not be loading a big bike without it.For additional information, log onto DiscountRamps.com.This story is featured in the May/June 2013 issue of Ultimate MotorCycling magazine — available on newsstands and good bookstores everywhere. The issue is also available free to readers on Apple Newsstand (for iOS devices) and Google Play (Android). To subscribe to the print edition, please visit our Subscriber Services page.
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Ultimate Motorcycling’s weekly Podcast—Motos and Friends.
My name is Arthur Coldwells.
This week’s Podcast is brought to you by Yamaha motorcycles. Discover how the YZF-R7 provides the perfect balance of rider comfort and true supersport performance by checking it out at YamahaMotorsports.com, or see it for yourself at your local dealer.
This week’s episode features Senior Editor Nic de Sena’s impressions of the beautiful new Harley-Davidson Low Rider ST that is loosely based around the original FXRT Sport Glide from the 1980s. Hailing from The Golden State, these cult-status performance machines became known as West Coast style, with sportier suspension, increased horsepower, and niceties including creature comforts such as a tidy fairing and sporty luggage.
In past episodes you might have heard us mention my best friend, Daniel Schoenewald, and in the second segment I chat with him about some of the really special machines in his 170 or so—and growing—motorcycle collection. He’s always said to me that he doesn’t consider himself the owner, merely the curator of the motorcycles for the next generation.
Yet Daniel is not just a collector, but I can attest a really skilled rider. His bikes are not trailer queens, they’re ridden, and they’re ridden pretty hard. Actually, we have had many, many memorable rides on pretty much all of the machines in the collection at one time or another.
From all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!