2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: Motorcycle Transport
June 11, 2014
I used the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel to haul my motorcycle to a track day at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Pahrump, Nevada recently. I've said before how much I enjoy driving this truck, with its almost ridiculously smooth ride, sweet diesel engine and comfy cabin.
But, as with our long-term 2014 Chevrolet Silverado, I wish our Ram's bed was longer.
This time I actually have a legitimate reason for it. It even involves some Harley-Davidson-riding dirtbags, just to make the story more interesting.
As usual with dumb old Monticello, time got away from me on Saturday while prepping my bike for the Sunday track event, and I started the four-hour trip to Pahrump much later than originally planned. When I rolled into the local Best Western hotel at 1:00 a.m., all I wanted was to hit the sack.
I pulled around the hotel to find a parking spot near my room and noticed the lot was strewn with Harleys. Which wouldn't bother me in the least, except that these idiots were still wide awake and chugging beers outside their rooms in the parking lot.
As I looked for a spot, one of the Harley dudes started urgently motioning to me. Stupidly, I drove over to him and rolled down my window. "Hey, you want to give $20 bucks to our club," he asked?
"Um, no, sorry."
"So you're saying you aren't going to give our club any money?"
"No, I can't, man."
"Well then I can't guarantee your stuff won't get stolen overnight."
"Are you kidding me? Are you seriously threatening me right now?"
At this point one of his biker friends started calling the guy away from me, and he wandered back, leaving me alone.
How serious was he about damaging my bike, or breaking into the Ram? Not sure, but it's hard to judge what a bunch of guys will do when drunk.
I didn't want anything to happen to my bike, but the Ram's tiny little bed forces the tailgate to be down when the moto is in the back. Then I remembered the Ram's tailgate locks along with the door locks. If I could just angle the bike into the bed motocross-bike-style, then I could lock the tailgate and at least make it much harder for anyone to mess with it.
So I undid the tie-downs and repositioned the motorcycle. Eventually, I got the bike fully into the bed, tailgate up, tie-downs back on, doors locked. Now it's like 1:30 in the morning, and as I walked back to my room a younger Harley drinker approached me. "Hey, you wanna buy one of our club t-shirts?"
"No, I don't want to buy one of your shirts, thanks."
So then I started thinking. Even with the Ram's tailgate up and locked, it would only take like three of these guys to pick up my Honda CBR600RR and throw it out of the truck and do whatever it is guys like this do to things and people they don't like.
Not taking any chances, I figured I would just drive the Ram back to the well-lit front of the hotel for safekeeping. What I forgot in my sleep-deprived state was that my quick tie-down job was meant to be temporary, and as I drove the Ram slowly over a speed bump, the bike fell over. I think the front tire wasn't flush with the bed.
Luckily there wasn't much room for it to fall, and the only damage was a minor fairing scrape from one of the tie-downs. Of course it was totally my fault, but this wouldn't have been an issue if our Ram had a man's-sized bed to begin with.
How did the night end? With me trying to drown out the belligerent bikers via my room's A/C and earplugs. They were up partying until 3:00 a.m., F-bombs flowing like the cheap canned beer they were swilling.
On the bright side, the Ram and my bike were left untouched overnight. And the track day at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch's new bike track was fantastic.
Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 4,024 miles