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Boutdone

Boondocking, Do I Want A Trailbike?

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just purchased my 2019 Promaster and am half way thru the conversion. my plan is to boondock 80-90% of the time in two weeks stints. was wondering about the boon docking places and the "legal" ability to ride around where I am camped. Thought a 250cc Yamaha would fit the bill not only to site see without hiking (I have physical limitations) and also a way to run get supplies without breaking camp. I have found the hitch and ramp that would do the job, the only question now, is it worth it. my schedule is to leave the Atlanta area in may and head to the west asap and follow the weather. Thanking you in advance. 😎

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Yes, your plan would work.  However, you can't just go off the road and tool around anywhere that you want.  Check out where you can ride with every move if you want to do trails.  Don't create your own trail.  Good luck!

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yes, I was thinking it the best tool to scout out a good location before committing too early for a good spot. maybe the 250cc is too much but I just came off of a r1200 gs, so.......😎

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small older bikes ( think 60’s air cooled) are great for this. but too small and you can get into trouble if you have to ride down the hwy some distance.

and like here in ca. all dirt roads in the public forests are now closed —unless posted open. 

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We currently have Kymco Spade 150, Honda XR650R, and Yamaha TW200 trailbikes.  They have all been sprocketed up a notch or two to make them more useful on the street.  The TW200 has been universally great as it is quiet, can ride two up if necessary, and there are so many options that can be added (racks, etc).   I, too, came from larger bikes (Buell Ulysses XB1200X and Yamaha FJR1300), but have found that I really enjoy riding the lightweight trailbikes on short runs (<40 miles).  All of ours are under 300 lbs and easy to load and unload in the trailer or on the truck.  We just do not make any of the long, multi day rides since we went on the road full time.  The smaller bikes have been great for exploring trails, smaller roads, and even towns, but have still been just fast enough (55-65mph) to go down the highway for a few miles.

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Take a look at the Kawasaki Super Sherpa.  Like a baby KLR.  My wife had one and I really liked it.  Sorta little for a big guy though.

If you had a GS, you know what you like, and don't like.  The Yamaha has a lot going for it too.

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these are very helpful replies. now I know to stick with the plan and get a trail riding bike, now the question is which one. I appreciate the leads and am "on it". I am needing to stay at 300# or less. the only problem to resolve now is getting the bike up the ramp solo, may have to add some personal "engineering" to do it safely.

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I've seen these small moto bikes carried on a rack on the front bumper and camper rear bumpers.  I would think that would make it easy to load?  My wife can't ride a bike or I would look into those but alas, she can't.  Believe me, I've tried.  This is why I want a toy hauler to I can bring along a utv.  Some states like ND, you can drive them on a road posted below 50mph, some municipalities allow them to be driven in town but from what I read, a lot of states forbid this.

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If you ride a GS off road you can run the clutch 🤣. So depending how high in the air you will carry the bike you can walk your bike up under power. A front tire stop chock that is 1/2” round rod kinda high that grips the front tire at about 10 o’clock really helps to steady the bike. Or a platform your side to lean it on the side stand while you organize the tie down. You could use a milk crate or whatever you can step up on with one (1) step along side to keep a hand on each control.

A small ATV winch will work, connecting at the foot pegs. You want to be comfortable keeping the bike in balance one handed while you winch.

The less rigging to get the bike into use and reloaded the better. 


 

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yea, I was already mentally placing a atv winch to help up the ramp,  along with a piece of plywood to both steer the front wheel and keep the bike upright. the ramp I have chosen already has the front tire stop chock.  I like the milk crate idea, just recovering from a knee replacement so that should help a  lot. when it comes to securing and the possibility of theft, that is a "work in progress". 

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You should put a lot of thought into loading and unloading and be realistic about your abilities. If the bike is a pain to get up and down the ramp it won’t get used much. I haul my 850 lb Electra Glide on a trailer and don’t use nearly it as much as I would like.

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A long time ago, I had a rack on the front of my John Deere planting tractor to haul the KLR.  I had a pivot built into it, so no ramp needed.  It was a channel, wider where the rear tire rested, chock in the front.  I could easily power it up, and when it reached the chock, hit the kill switch, and let go of the bike.  I wish I had a picture.......

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I'm a long-time motorcycle guy both street and dirt but I'm 73 years old now and don't ride as much as I used to. I'm a solo full timer and I boondock most of the time. I have a fifth wheel and had a motorcycle rack welded to the back of the fifth wheel and for a couple of years carried a Yamaha 2016 WR450 that is a street legal dirtbike. The Yamaha weighed 279 pounds and to me it ended up being too heavy, and actually way too powerful to deal with and still have fun.

My motorcycle carry rack is about 2 feet off the ground and the ramp that I roll it up on is about 6 1/2 feet long. I rolled it up and down that ramp dozens of times and I always had to use a running start, or idle it up the ramp, if it had weighed 300 pounds I'm not sure if I could've made it. I eventually figured out that the difficulty of loading and unloading was causing me not to use it very much. As a rule of thumb if something is difficult I will avoid doing it.

I sold the Yamaha 450 and bought a little Beta 250 trials bike that weighs 159 pounds, I put a seat on it because trials bikes don't come with a seat believe it or not. It's a dirtbike only which is okay with me because I didn't ride the Yamaha on the street very much anymore feeling it was just getting more and more dangerous to be sharing the road with 5000 pound cars.

The little Beta 250 has been great, it's lightweight which means I can easily push it up the ramp without a running start, and always have control of it because it's light enough for me to manhandle. If you visit my blog and poke around long enough you will find things I've written about living with motorcycles while boondocking, it's at  theboondork.com

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theboondork, what a refreshing reply, gives me more confidence in deciding on taking a bike. I am 74 and have a r1200gs for sale in Croatia if you are interested.  ;}. I was looking at the Yamaha xt 250, street legal for make a run to the store and a trail bike too. it comes in just under 300# and my main concern this entire time is the onloading aspect. I do not want to wrestle this thing into the barn, too old now. I'll look into the beta you speak of and cruise your link too. thank you very much for the help. I too will be a solo traveler. if you see a promaster with "Sweetwarer II" on it, stop and say hello. my best friend and rider had to quit riding last year so I have ben solo on that too. maybe we can do a trail one day.

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I appreciate the offer of the r1200gs it's a beautiful and incredibly engineered motorcycle but I'm afraid I might have a little trouble pushing it up the ramp onto the back of my Arctic Fox fifth wheel.

And speaking of pushing a motorcycle up a ramp I didn't mentioned it before because my comment was getting too long, but just before I sold my Yamaha WR450 I rigged up a winch to pull it up the ramp. I made an attachment point at the front of the ramp so the winch could be quickly and easily put on or removed, and made a Y-shaped harness that attached to the handlebars and the winch cable. The little 2000 pound pull weight winch I used I bought from Harbor Freight tools on sale for about 50 bucks.

The key to the whole concept working was the winch came with a remote control so I was able to walk beside the motorcycle holding it up right and steering holding onto one handlebar, although it didn't take much steering because the Y-shaped harness kept it going straight all the time. This worked great the two or three times I used it but shortly thereafter I bought the little Beta 250 and no longer had a need for the winch.

And speaking of the Beta, I bought that brand because they have a factory kit you can buy for a couple hundred bucks that has a seat, a little gas tank, and a higher gear ratio rear sprocket that bolts right on  the Beta and makes it look like a real motorcycle instead of trials motorcycle. It's not Street legal of course but I think it might only take a lighting kit to make it so.

theboondork.com

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I would recommend a Rad E-bike. I would also recommend a Step Through, back in the day we called it a Girls bike. And I was reluctant at first but once I found my voice didn't change riding it! At 72 I have found it was a very good choice. Rad has a very nice site with very economical bikes of all flavors. Good look in your choice.....

Edited by homelesshartshorns

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Boutdone- If you scout the u tubes there was a video of a nice simple 4 link and winch lift that picked the bike and carrier off the ground and pinned it nice and high on the back of a 5th wheel I think it was... self designed and built. It didn’t weigh 1000 eleven teen pounds...

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I'm liking the "lift" idea, I think I can work with that, custom of course but not too hard to do. down the ramp, up on the lift. what a great suggestion, thank you sir

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On 1/7/2020 at 12:07 PM, Tcwndsr said:

You should put a lot of thought into loading and unloading and be realistic about your abilities. If the bike is a pain to get up and down the ramp it won’t get used much. I haul my 850 lb Electra Glide on a trailer and don’t use nearly it as much as I would like.

There are really great bike lifts out there.  The one I'm considering is probably overkill for a trail bike, but my Harley will love it.  The Hyrdolift carrier.

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On 1/8/2020 at 2:32 PM, Boutdone said:

I'm liking the "lift" idea, I think I can work with that, custom of course but not too hard to do. down the ramp, up on the lift. what a great suggestion, thank you sir

You’re welcome. A bit of a cover on the bike will keep wet road slime from coating the bike. There isn’t a pile of wind right in behind a trailer, but the vacuum swirls a grubby mist up that gets all over everthin on the back.

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