2009 Dodge Ram 1500: Two-wheel hauler
August 03, 2009
We've got a long-term truck again? Hallelujah, it means a dirt-bike shuttle has returned. Headed out into the Mojave today (early, before the Sun's Anvil gets warmed up), the Ram gets tagged to haul a pair of dirtbikes for some wide-open-throttle therapy. How's it fare as a bike burro?
Well, we've the four-wheel-drive model, which ups ride height but puts the tailgate farther from the pavement. This means using the curb trick (backing the rear wheels right up to the curb at the driveway's mouth), to get the lip of the tailgate close enough to earth for solo flights up the ReadyRamp. We'll have to find a curve of the earth to mock this out in the Mojave, otherwise you end up with rocket-launch ramp angles.
Once the bikes are in, Ford's mocked step and handle would make the climb into the bed easier, but on the upside, the ReadyRamp from my dearly departed 2005 F-150 fits about perfectly on the Ram, locking into the tailgate's latches as a secure bed-extender. The plastic extender that came with our Ram will spend the day in the garage, as it's not designed to pull double duty as a ramp.
Our Ram is the Crew 5'7" with RamBox, a 5-foot 7-inch bed with the optional tool box in each side, which narrows the width of the bed by 15.7 inches (66.7 vs. 51 inches), making two bikes about as cozy as they would be in my Ridgeline (49.5 inches). They slide in with a slight bar maneuver, and unlike the Ridgeline, with the tailgate down you can use a bed extender, as even the rangy KTM 450 ends before the dropped gate.
The adjustable rail-side tie-down points work a treat, easily moving up to provide cinching points, and the welded loops in the floor up at each corner makes getting the two bikes latched down easy enough given the limited space. Once in and hopping out for a pic, you realize how much of these extended crew cabs pickups trucks are dedicated to crew, but the flip up seats makes for tons of room in back for two ridiculous gear bags.
Paul Seredynski, Executive Editor @ 4025 miles