View Full Version : A lesson learned cheaply

07-19-2003, 03:16 PM
When I had my Rebel, my customary method of taking it in for servicing was to ride it up an 18" wide aluminum ramp into the back of my GMC pickup. Getting it back out was simply a matter of coasting backwards down the ramp, using my feet as stabilizers sliding along the edges to keep from tipping over.

Now, I can already hear the choruses of "idiot !!" as I'm sure you are all guessing what I'm getting at. And I roundly deserve the appellation.

Time came today to take the Capo in for its 600 mile checkup and installation of the panniers. I set the ramp up and rode it up into the back of my GMC just as handily as I had with the Rebel. No problem.

But when I got to the dealership and started backing it out, I realized too late that the Capo is in fact just about 18" wide. Leaving no way, sadly, for me to hang ten along the edges of the ramp for stability. I don't really remember much of the ensuing debacle. I remember the tilt starting, and the sudden realization that I was about to become a nice, soft pillow for 500-odd pounds of steel and plastic with lots of soft-tissue-hungry knobs and protrusions.

Then I was standing up about 10 feet from the scene, brushing dirt off my back and staring at the horizontal Capo hanging precariously off the side of the ramp, one handlebar just barely gripping the edge of the tailgate. The rear wheel was off the ramp completely, and the front had about a 1" wide grip on the ragged edge of it.

The shop kid who was helping me back the bike down the ramp looked at me in amazement and said "wow ! nice fall!" I'm sure what he meant was "wow ! I never dreamed a 51-year old fat white guy could move so fast !".

With some help from more shop guys we got the bike back upright and eased the front wheel on down the ramp. The only apparent damage ? A broken rear turn signal. If I had been a mere 2 or 3 inches farther back on the ramp, it would have been much, much worse. No doubt a broken windshield, cracked fairings, and lots of scuff marks.

I think I'm going to buy a trailer.

07-19-2003, 04:04 PM
John, I am relieved that you and the bike escaped serious injury. Thanks for sharing an embarassing moment - we have all had them. I have a friend who once forgot to put his feet down at a stop light....!...said that was when he realized that he had a drinking problem... :D