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Discovering the best way to transport a motorcycle from one place to another can be a challenge. While some boast about riding their bikes everywhere, there are times when hauling is necessary – be it a friend stranded in the rain, getting a dirt bike to an off-road event, or picking up a project bike for a flip. Over the years, various options have been explored, from rear hitch mounts to cargo vans, but one platform that consistently proves its worth is the four-cylinder mini truck.
A mini truck refers to compact pickups like the Ford Ranger, Toyota Pickup, Mazda Mighty Max, and Chevy S-10. These affordable and efficient vehicles are popular among motorcycle enthusiasts who need a reliable hauling solution without breaking the bank. The author, a proud owner of a 1993 S-10, shares how a few simple modifications have transformed the truck into a bike-hauling champion while still serving as a daily driver.
Enhancing the S-10 for Bike-Hauling Duty:
- Wheel Chock: A wheel chock was added to the middle of the truck bed, allowing for easy bike loading and removal. For a weld-free alternative, one can drill holes and use bolts, though it might not be as convenient.
- Aluminum Folding Ramp: The Trackside Aluminum Folding Ramp is securely strapped to the tailgate using ratchet straps and a lock, ensuring it stays in place during transportation.
- Tie-Down Straps Storage: An ammo box is attached to the bed, keeping tie-down straps dry and organized. The ammo box is painted to blend in and avoid drawing attention.
- Drop Kit: The truck was lowered by two inches in the front and three in the rear, making loading bikes easier without the need for additional steps.
While some modifications were more for aesthetics, such as the eye-catching chrome chain steering wheel with a suicide knob, the focus remains on practicality and ease of motorcycle hauling.
Is a Mini Truck the Right Choice for You?
A mini truck might not be the ideal solution for everyone, but it suits those who frequently need to transport motorcycles, lack space for a trailer, and are considering a spare beater four-wheeler for weekend adventures. These compact trucks are still accessible in the used market, with prices ranging around $3,000 or even less. Although they may have high mileage, regular maintenance can keep them running efficiently for hundreds of thousands of miles.
In a market where trucks are growing larger, making loading more challenging, a mini truck offers a budget-friendly and practical alternative. It might be time to explore the options outside of the modern auto industry and find your own unique and efficient bike-hauling solution.