Thursday, September 22, 2011

THE ONGOING RAMP PROBLEMS

Yes, The ramp problems continued.  Despite the previous ability to back the bike out and ride it in when I was at one site in Birch Bay, when I moved to another site I guess the slope was different and the bike skidded most of the way out.  Don’t know how, but I did manage to keep it upright. And since then I have lost my confidence and have only taken the bike out when there was someone around.

I had spoken with so many people regarding this and everybody agreed this ramp is far too steep and therefore dangerous getting a large and very heavy bike backed down the ramp. The main problem being is that there is a point when your feet do not touch the bottom any longer and you have to let the bike go backwards and still maintain your balance !! Riding up the ramp, while still hair raising, was not as difficult as you have ‘control’ via the throttle and brake. 

One suggestion was to set up some type of winch system that would actually lift the bike up and turn it around, so that then I would be riding it down the ramp…….NOT a pleasant option in my opinion.

Another suggestion was putting training wheels on the bike.  I loved the simplicity of this one but this would have to be something custom made and obviously something that could pop on and come off the bike frame quite easily.  I actually laughed when this guy suggested it and on a lark one evening I decided to google ‘training wheels for motorcycles’ and much to my surprise there were tons of websites.

I contacted Kevin, my HERO who installed the winch for me to see what kind of ideas he had.  He said he could make custom ramp extensions so that the slope and length would be far more manageable…….and most importantly, my feet would be touching at all times !!  This is the final product:

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He made three separate ramps, each exactly 8’ long and 16” wide.

First order of business was to take the existing ‘flap’ part off the door.

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Then place the ramps on the door to determine where he was going to drill the holes.  You see he even added something to each ramp that inserts into the door to ensure the ramps would not slip off.

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Then measure the height distance to determine how many ‘blocks’ he needed.  These blocks of wood raise the door by 15” !!  Yes, That is how much that was needed in order to get a ‘safe’ slope.

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And finally the BIG TEST RUN…….

 

He did it back and forth several times to ensure everything was safe.  And then I gave it a try – sorry, no video of that.

No, It’s not ideal and by no means the ‘perfect’ solution.  However, I am now able to, safely and with a reasonable amount of confidence, back the bike out of the garage.  AND my feet are touching bottom the whole time !!

Each ramp is heavier than Kevin had wanted – he figures about 30 – 35 lbs. each – but he said they could not be made any lighter without compromising the strength.

Yes, It’s going to be a PITA getting these out and set up for when I want to take the bike out but I remembered Paul's set-up.  So even with his fancy smanchy hydraulic doo jigger he doesn’t put his bike back in every night.  So therefore, whenever I get settled somewhere for an extended period of time and take the bike out, well it will stay out until I move.

Let’s hope this is the end of the ramp saga……

4 comments:

  1. Looks like a good, if not perfect, solution.

    Kim

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  2. Definitely better than what you had. Do you have a cover for the bike for when you do leave it out?

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  3. One thing comes to mind with ramps, do you have air suspension? If so dropping the back and raising the front would help but another would be parking the rear wheels in a low spot temporarily to unload. That would be my solution as I'm sure any place you stop should have terrain features that would allow this.
    I can't stand taking along extra items when space is limited.
    Mickey

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