What are the cons to hauling a bike in a pickup? - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
 
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What are the cons to hauling a bike in a pickup?

Well here is the situation, been driving the same car for about a year and a half now, it's a '90 BMW 535i 5 speed that I've modded here and there to my liking... awesome car but it's now turning close to 140k and I think the neglect from the PO is starting to show through.

There's been a bunch of times that the cooling system has made me question whether I would make it to my destination and I've been topping off the coolant reservoir for like the past six months or so. There's a leak that doesn't show up under the car or in the oil and it's not like I've got the time or money to go through the damned car and replace the entire system, knowing full well it's some tiny component that's probably been causing this hassle the entire time. Seems obvious to me that the coolant is leaking onto the engine somewhere and burning off but I don't notice anything visually wrong with any of the hoses.

Anyway, I make the drive from school to home today and roll up into the drive when low and behold vapor starts pouring out from the hood. I pop the hood and start looking around and think I'm damn lucky this is happening here instead of on the IL WI border or something, then look past the engine bay and under the car and there is a huge spill of coolant... look behind the car and notice a trail of coolant all the way up the street.

My ma gets home a while later and says she's sick of worrying about me getting places safely and offers to help me pick up something new.

I'm really considering a 4x2 regular cab Tacoma because of the reliability over keeping my 5er and fixing everything that pops up, also I'd be able to haul my bike to the track... but this is where you come in.

What am I overlooking here? Tell me why trailers are favored over pickup beds - if they even are for a single bike?

Anything else you'd consider besides a Taco? I'm trying to keep this as cheap and no frills as possible because my ma will not even consider used, hates my 16 yo car as it is, and I'm probably not going to be paying very much if at all for this thing so it kind of makes me feel like a dirtbag even considering.

I plan to drive all the compact pickups and fix my car in the meantime... even considering getting a trailer and hitch for my 5 to haul stuff but I'm pretty afraid of towing stuff for some reason for one and ~$500 for the shebang means I'd really have no money at all to ride this season.

Kind of leaning towards the yota at this point, input will be considered/appreciated.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 01:54 AM
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I own an '02 Tacoma (4 door) and believe it or not I can still put my race bike (CBR600) in the back. Mostly I put my scooter, tents, tools and other misc weekend stuff and tow a trailer with one and sometimes two race bikes. I've gone from Libertyville to Blackhawk, Road America, Mid Ohio and done a million other things (hunting and fishing, light trail riding, booning through snow and of course traveling to work) and it has never failed me once! It isn't a huge truck but I'm 6', 240lbs and I can fit four other guys in the truck for driving to Chicago, Rockford and Wisconsin. I bought this brand new as a "cheap" (it was only 27K) beater and every day I am amazed by how reliable and fun this little truck really is!!! It doesn't hurt that Toyota makes awesome commercials for the Tacoma's! I come from a die hard Ford family (Tempo, Taurus, SHO, Explorer's, Bronco II, etc.) and this truck has changed me into a freak for Toyota!

The only negative for putting a bike in the rear is the ride height. It's a pain to push a 400lb bike in any truck. Full size to compact, 4X4 to 4X2 it's always a challenge with a ramp and a sucker. . . er, uh I mean friend!





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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 03:25 AM
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Another model to look at is the chevy colorado. The silverado w/t is also dirt cheap with no options, but it's full size so you can easily fit anything in it. I know there are also some insane leasing deals going on for tundras now, if you want to go that route.

I would probably go for the trailer with a little truck.. Once you get the bike in a trucklet bed, there isn't room for much else. You can angle it and nearly take up the whole bed, or put it in straight with the tailgate down, but then nothing else can go in the bed unless it's tied down. If you aren't really taking much to the track it's not an issue, but it's still a pain to load without extra help.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 03:47 AM
 
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the hardest part of hauling a bike in the bed of a pickup is getting the phucking thing on and off. if you have a 4x4 you'll need at least a 10ft ramp and unless you're 6'10" you'll need a wide ramp or a 2nd step up ramp.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 09:39 AM
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I had a 2wd ranger, and after a couple a times loading isn't really an issue, no "spotter" necessary. Personally, I'd prefer the pickup long before the trailer. If you need the room you can always pull a trailer as well.

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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 09:39 AM
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As long as you buy some good ramps pickup trucks can be easy to load and unload bikes.

the Tacoma is a great truck I liked it a lot. I was ready to buy one, but due to all the lease deals I ended up with a tundra instead as it was cheaper to get the big truck. But you cant go wrong with either, I have owned pickups from all the big 3 American companies, 1/2 tons, 3/4 tons, and mini trucks like the s-10s etc. Not one of them compare to my toyota in quality, fit and finish and comfort. best truck i have ever owned.




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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 09:42 AM
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The worse part about owning a pickup truck is people either ask to borrow it or they ask you to haul stuff for them. I'm one of those people.

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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 09:48 AM
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I would go a decent trailer over pickup bed anytime..so much easier


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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHeYeNNe
I would go a decent trailer over pickup bed anytime..so much easier
if its just for hauling bikes, the bed makes life so much easirer for every sday life. I am hauling stuff every weekend in mine. and only haul my bike maybe once a year. Which I may still buy a small trailer for, only becasue the harley is so heavy and awkward, I used to load my sportbikes into my lifted ram 2500 HD by myself with no problems, they are so lite its easy.




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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 09:57 AM
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I'd still go a trailer


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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHeYeNNe
I'd still go a trailer
And tow it with a 90 5 series with a coolant problem?

thats you, you have a truck to tow with, we are talking about this dude. he needs a truck.

but yes a trailer is the easiest of the two to load a bike onto.




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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 11:59 AM
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You live downtown Milwaukee right?

In that case, I'd suggest a very used, typical college kid car. The MSOE parking areas are patrolled by lazy rentacops. Hell, my POS 1987 Escort got busted into, along with 5 other cars in a row, on one night. A buddy of mine got his car broken into so they could steal a freakin' CB! If your vehicle stands out as new, it's prime for getting busted into.

Unless you are really close to graduation and parking in a secure lot, I'd get a late 90s car or truck.

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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 12:44 PM
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i would rather have it in the back of the truck..

one: get hit by some a-hole driver.. your bike is still good.

two: no trailer to worry about back there, or lights that dont work, tire to blow out.

three: if the straps come undone and you have an open trailer... bye bye bike. in a truck or enclosed trailer, you still got it

four: no trailer storage needed

i got a 92 Ram 4, door 8foot bed.. holds 2 bikes perfectly and gear for 3 people

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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grover
You live downtown Milwaukee right?

In that case, I'd suggest a very used, typical college kid car. The MSOE parking areas are patrolled by lazy rentacops. Hell, my POS 1987 Escort got busted into, along with 5 other cars in a row, on one night. A buddy of mine got his car broken into so they could steal a freakin' CB! If your vehicle stands out as new, it's prime for getting busted into.

Unless you are really close to graduation and parking in a secure lot, I'd get a late 90s car or truck.
Most of the time I'm in Milwaukee, yes.

My 5er is the very used car...

I don't know where you guys parked in your day, student lot has changed since last year so I'd imagine it might have been different for you guys. Student lot now is very low key ground parking under another level at the Schlitz Park hospital area so we have TWO sets of two and a halfs patrolling the area.

If it were me I'd probably be selling the 5er and buying a used pickup outright, I know even the older tacos have like zero problems and I'm not afraid of doing any work that pops up... unless it's something time consuming as is right now with my 5, going to check it out later today or tomorrow finally and see what all needs replacing. My ma though is totally against anything used really and it's impossible to change her mind about that at all, she likes her warranties and zero doubts and for that I don't know if I can blame her.

Anyway I'm going to be driving anything that strikes my fancy between now and whenever we might be buying, which would probably be within a couple months or so. Trying to decide whether I should just get a basic pickup which strikes my fancy but will be pretty much zero fun on the road (not something I'm totally against) or get something car-like (thinking in terms of wagons and things with hatches) with a little more fun and think about a trailer in the future?

The taco has the reliability, I'll have no urges to autoX it, track it, or mod it, or even speed in it, and I can start a collection of door dings without even batting an eye. I really like the idea of a vehicle I can just drive, maintain, and love for what it is.

On the other hand, I'm off to the Subaru stealer to drive a WRX wagon.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 01:35 PM
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+1 for trailer! even if the bike fits in the truck, the truck gets all f*ed up with a bike in it.

I saw a guy on the side of the road the other day and his bike had fallen in the truck.. sucks!
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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 01:55 PM
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Another big +1 on the trailer.

Unless you don't have the room to keep a trailer then a massive +1 on the Tacoma! My friend has a forest green 1993 Tacoma with some 200,000 miles on it. My friend is crap with maintenance so I can guarantee in the 10 years he's had it it's never had plugs or an air filter and maybe only 4 or 5 oil changes! This thing never sits to warm up or even gets a garage or more than a yearly wash. It fires right up and doesn't creak or bog or puff any smoke. You can't go wrong with a Toyota. Great resale and they take all the abuse you can give! I'm waiting for the 2007 Tundra! SWEET!!!!!!!


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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 02:00 PM
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The big deal with a trailer is GEAR.

Stay at a hotel ? Bike locks up..... what about your stands, gas cans and all that other stuff ?

Unprotected in the truck bed.

At least need a place to lock that stuff up.

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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLARNEY
The big deal with a trailer is GEAR.

Stay at a hotel ? Bike locks up..... what about your stands, gas cans and all that other stuff ?

Unprotected in the truck bed.

At least need a place to lock that stuff up.

Tom
get a small pickup, install a tool box. but bike in unenclosed trailer behind. that will be good enough for the majority of the trips.

stay at a hotel? stay first floor, outside entry, roll bike inside to sleep with you
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
 
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Well OK first off still haven't even driven a Tacoma with anywhere near the options I'm looking for, got to drive a 4x4 v6 auto crew cab which is like the exact polar opposite of what I'm looking at getting but it was OK I guess.

Went to a few different stealers... VW - drove an '06 GTi which was pretty nice I must say, very VERY neutral and couldn't even really get it to understeer (not that I was really trying). Drove a black 6 speed that stickered at $22k, considering I've been hearing a lot of complaints that the GTi is too much money I was pretty surprised this one was cheap and with the options I probably would've ordered. Only thing is it's still FWD and I have no idea how it would do towing a trailer, I'm guessing not well.

Nissan... what a bunch of pricks. Went to Star Nissan or whatever it's called on Touhy and Lehigh looking to check out a Frontier. I swear in the ten minutes I was there it went from a handshake to the dude bringing in his sales manager and trying to cut me a "deal" on some black auto 4 cyl when I made it VERY CLEAR multiple times I was just looking and I wanted to see how the Frontier stacked up against the Tacoma. Fucking pricks they were, I refused their offer and the sales manager told me good day, I will never go back there for any reason again.

Grossinger Toyota said they will be getting in some base model Tacomas later this week so I guess that's my best hope at the moment... just wanna check one out really.

Oh and my car is somehow driving normally again? I seriously don't know what's wrong with it, with all the coolant it was leaking yesterday it reminded me of a ruptured main hose I experienced before, but it's not leaking AT ALL today. SO frustrating. :headbang:
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 07:01 PM
 
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I gotta say that the Tacomas are awesome trucks. I've never heard anything bad about them. If some of you have ever seen Top Gear they named the old Tacoma the most understructible production car/truck. My buddy towed his Talon TSI and trailer with a 4 banger Tacoma over 400 miles for a Rally. The car plus trailer was like 6000 pounds. I don't know how the truck did it. I'm starting to believe that some of those Tacoma commercials are actually real .

My dad has an 05 Colorado. I've used it several times for track days. It's okay, but like everyone says loading and unloading is a pain. Once I got the bike and the ramps on the bed, there's not much room for anything else. Plus the truck is only a year and half old and it's squeeking all over the place. I wouldn't recommend it unless you have a lot of money on a GM card like my dad did.

Good Luck!
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post #21 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTony
And tow it with a 90 5 series with a coolant problem?

thats you, you have a truck to tow with, we are talking about this dude. he needs a truck.

but yes a trailer is the easiest of the two to load a bike onto.
Fix the coolant problem and buy a cheap foldable trailer.. Cheaper then buying a new truck and puts more money in pocket


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post #22 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 07:37 PM
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BMW's of that era are WELL know for warping their heads after overheating.
Look into this possibility/probabilty soon...
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post #23 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandman
BMW's of that era are WELL know for warping their heads after overheating.
Look into this possibility/probabilty soon...
Thing is the engine runs fine or better than when I bought it from the PO, although he wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed when it came to cars so that's not really a big surprise.

Got some advice today to just forego the thermostat entirely, when we were unbolting the thermo housing and taking it off there was a WHOLE lot of coolant pressure because the damn stuff shot out like a geyser.

Already been driving around the car for a while since taking out the thermostat and the water temp needle hovers a tad below the half-way mark... theorizing at this point that the thermostat wasn't opening all the way, coolant wasn't making a full loop, when the engine got hot enough and everything started flowing at a higher rate there was more of a backup which led to coolant flowing out of its remote reservoir and spilling out onto the engine block and then burning up... sounds plausible I think.

I guess we'll have to wait and see but it looks like for now this issue has been solved.
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post #24 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 08:47 PM
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Takin the thermostat out completely, is a very bad idea coming into warmer weather.. Thermostat keeps the coolant in the radiator long enough to cool off, and actually do it's job. I bet you will be stuck on the side of the road in no time flat. The longer you drive, the hotter the coolant gets, and it'll never get a chance to cool down, unless you shut the car off..

I just went thru this on my beater car before winter. Except, my problem was no heat unless the car sat and idled for 10 minutes.. Then, as soon as i got over 40mph, the temp would drop back down, and i'd have no heat again, since the coolant wasn't in the engine long enough to heat up suffeciently..

Ask Mopar, he'll tell ya too.
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post #25 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-15-2006, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAlfredPrufrock
Nissan... what a bunch of pricks. Went to Star Nissan or whatever it's called on Touhy and Lehigh looking to check out a Frontier. I swear in the ten minutes I was there it went from a handshake to the dude bringing in his sales manager and trying to cut me a "deal" on some black auto 4 cyl when I made it VERY CLEAR multiple times I was just looking and I wanted to see how the Frontier stacked up against the Tacoma. Fucking pricks they were, I refused their offer and the sales manager told me good day, I will never go back there for any reason again.
Really, never really had a problem lookin' and buyin' there. Know the general manager, truck sales manager and the service manager well. Bought my 2005 Pathfinder and Shane's 2004 Titan there. Also have had my mom-in-law buy a car there as well within the past 12 months and always excellent service.

Hell they were so great that Shane got a job there as a service tech . Any hoots, lemme know who you talked to. I maybe able to straighten it out for you, that is if you still want a comparison.

I'll let Shane do the comparison between the toyotas and the nissan pick ups since he's owned both.

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post #26 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-16-2006, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyDemona
Any hoots, lemme know who you talked to. I maybe able to straighten it out for you, that is if you still want a comparison.
My salesholes' name was Sean I think, I don't really even know if that's correct because he sat me down in his office right away and just started playing numbers. Kind of older guy, said he went to military school in WI, has a sister that's an EE from Marquette... or he could've just been lying about all that.

Even if I did want a comparison, I'd never go back there again after telling them I wanted a base model manual Frontier and having them push automatics on me that they had on the lot like they were going out of style. Worst business practices ever, and I will make sure to let everyone know that is even thinking of cross-shopping Nissan to never go there because they want you to sign on the dotted line in under 15 minutes or the coffee's not free.
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