Our Thoughts On & How To Use The Rampage Motorcycle Lift
If you have read our story about us getting started in the full-time RV lifestyle you would know one of our biggest roadblocks was how were we going to take our motorcycle with us. Enter the Rampage Motorcycle lift.
Long story short we were told about the Rampage (and other truck lifts) by an RV dealer during a random conversation. At the time we didn’t even realize that something like that even existed. After leaving that dealership we started doing alot of research and decided on a lift called the Rampage.
The Rampage motorcycle lift is a lift system that makes it possible to use your pick up truck bed to carry your motorcycle, trike, or even a snowmobile and leave your truck free to tow a boat, camper, or any other kind of trailer.
It utilizes a metal ramp and electric winch. We watched a ton of videos on how to use this lift. Our bike is about 900lbs so we wanted to make sure the lift would be able to handle it. After reviewing the specs and watching videos of people loading full dressed Harleys and Goldwings we were convinced this would work for us.
- Lifting Capacity=1000 Pounds
- Weight Of Lift= Approx 350 Pounds
- Winch Capacity= 4000 Pounds
- Winch Cable Capacity= 4200 Pounds
- Length= 95.5 Inches
- Width= 23.5 Inches
- Winch Remote Length– 12 Foot Detachable Cable
We ordered the lift and had it shipped to a friend’s shop. We dropped the truck off in the morning and picked it up later that day completely installed. Of course, the day we picked it up was snowing… lol
Although we thought we had a pretty good grasp on how it worked the first few times almost resulted in disaster. The bike even has a battle scar from the early days of using the lift. I am not sure at what point it finally hit us but one day we were loading it up on the truck and after it went up we looked at each other and said that was easy!!!
Now we can pick up and drop off the bike on just about any type of road surface including sand. We found the trick to be in the pin sequence which we were horrible at in the beginning. I have even loaded it by myself while Chris food shopped in the supermarket the day before we were to hit the road.
Ok, so how does it work? This next section will walk you through loading and unloading your motorcycle. We will give you the ins and outs and some pros and cons of the lift. We will also give you some tips so you don’t wind up having some of the heart-pounding moments we had when we first got it. We will also include a video that explains how we do it. Ok, let’s get to it!
The procedures will differ a little depending on whether you have a 6 or 8-foot bed. We have an 8-foot bed so that’s what we will outline. With the 8 foot bed, you will need to remove the tailgate and a hitch if you have one on your truck. With a 6 foot bed, the Rampage lift will be longer than the bed so you will need to have your tailgate permanently removed.
We like to have all the ratchet straps, soft ties, pins, a pair of pliers, the remote, and some wood laid out before we begin. Time to plug in the remote. We then set up the soft ties through the steering forks.
While you hit the release button on the remote you will need to pull back on the frame of the lift. Once the lift is out as far as it can go, let go of the button on the remote and put the end of the lift on the ground.
You will now need to install one of the pins into the aluminum rod in the center of the lift. Once installed you can now remove the frame pin at the head of the lift. You might need to use the remote to move the lift slightly to ease the tension on the headpin for removal. Remember if you are using the supplied pins there is a clip on the inside to hold it in. Don’t forget (like I did) to remove that inside clip.
Now using the remote hit the release button to allow the tire cup to go all the way to the bottom of the frame/ground. Once the tire cup is at the ground you will need to release a latch at the top of the cup while loosening the winch cable with the remote. This will allow the cup to stand up and be in the ready position to accept the tire.
Probably one of the most important things to remember at this point is to insert the pin in the side of the frame at the bottom of the lift. Remembering to do this will save you a lot of grief.
Here is where it gets a little tricky. Bring the bike around and roll the front tire into the cup. Try and keep the bike in a straight line with the lift and back of the truck. Trust me on this one. This one step will make your life so much easier. Ask me how I know…lol
Once you roll the bike’s front tire into the cup, let it rest on the kickstand. Attach the ratchet straps to the soft ties on one end and the eyelet hooks on the side of the wheel cup. One strap on each side.
Two things to keep in mind here. Don’t do what we did and buy super long straps. They will only get in your way. You only need short ratchet straps. Second, do not make the straps tight!!! This was the biggest mistake we would make when hooking our bike up. They only need to be snug.
When you winch the bike up a little the straps will tighten on their own as the wheel cup comes forward and latches back into the lift. Once the wheel cup is back in the latch, the bike should be straight up and down and off the side stand. If it’s not perfectly straight, don’t panic. At this point you can play with the straps a little until the bike is perfectly straight. We highly recommend you do that at this point.
Nice!!! You have just completed the hardest steps!!! The rest is easy. Using the remote, back up on the winch a little so you can now remove the bottom pin. Once that pin is removed it’s time to winch the bike up.
Depending on the angle of the lift (which depends on the height of the back of your truck) this is where you might need a few pieces of wood. You will know when the bike is about halfway up if your exhaust is going to scrape the ground. If it looks like it will, no worries, just use a few pieces of wood under the tire as the bike is going up. Works every time!!!
Ok, now the bike is completely on the lift and ready to be pulled into the back of the truck. This will be your last pin switch. Place a pin back in the side frame of the head of the lift and remove the pin in the center aluminum tube. You may have to use the remote to get the pressure off the pin for removal.
You’re almost there. Once those pins are set, use the remote to winch the lift (and bike) into the back of the truck. You’re done!!! Once in the back of the truck we like to use a couple of more ratchet straps to secure the bike. We use one and wrap it around the frame (above the gas tank) and come back to the same side of the truck attaching it to the front corner tiedown of the truck.
We do the same on the other side. This will provide opposing pull which keeps the bike upright. It has never failed us and I trust this set-up more than just relying on the Rampage straps. In the back, we just run a ratchet strap through the tire rim from one side to the other using the rear truck bed tie-downs.
- Well Built Lift
- Once The Pin Sequence Is Learned, It can Be Done By One Person
- Much Easier Than Trying To Ride Up A Set Of Ramps
- Remote Unplugs And Can Be Removed For Easy Storage
- A Little Awkward, Sometimes Difficult, To Get The Lift Pulled Back When Taking Off The Truck
- Can Cause Major Grief If You Forget A Pin Sequence Step
- If Straps Not Set Up Correctly, Damage Can Occur To The Bike Such As Scratches (Ask Me How I Know)
The Rampage motorcycle lift has made it possible for us to full-time RV in a travel trailer and be able to take our motorcycle with us. At the time of this writing, we have owned it about 4 years.
For whatever reason it took us some time to get a really good grasp on the procedures and pin sequences to work this lift properly. It could be because when we first bought it we were weekend warriors and did not use it all that much.
We usually stay in an area for a while before moving on but we seem to always remember the sequence now. I guess once learned it stays with you…lol. yes, we forget little things here and there but nothing like at the beginning.
Overall we feel we made a great choice buying this lift. As an added piece of mind we feel like if we ever broke down and couldn’t get a tow truck for whatever reason, Chris could always Uber back to the campsite and get the truck so we could tow it back ourselves.
We also used it in Colorado when we stayed at the KOA in Ouray. We had noticed at those of the previous stops that it was time to get tires. The treads were actually ripped and I was afraid to ride it the hour down the mountains to the shop for new tires. We were able to throw it up on the back of the truck and drive it to the shop which was a much safer way to do it.
This video was shot when we were leaving Arizona after 6 months. We know the bike was filthy…lol. We did finally clean it in Colorado…lol. We tried to show the steps in real-time to help you decide if this lift will work for you.
We also wanted to show you how to use this lift in a real-world situation not at a shop under the perfect conditions like so many of the other videos are shot at. You will not always be on level ground, on pavement, or loading/unloading in a wide-open space on a sunny day.
Enjoy the video. We hope it helps. If you have any questions on the Rampage Motorcycle Lift, feel free to ask them below in the comments.
If you have or have ever owned this lift, let us know any of your loading tricks or stories you have.
Ride Often/Ride Safe