Loading a scooter in a pick-up truck
I didn't really have a section that this would fit under so I posted it here.
It is always nice to drive your bike around but living in the States means that the distances between two points would be a killer without a truck. You may also need to get the broken down barn fresh bike you just bought home with a minimum of fuss. This page will show how to securely haul your scoot without causing any damage to the paint work.
The first step is to buy 2 hold downs from an auto parts store. These are only about $20 but are worth every penny compared to trying to do this with only ropes. They also come with back pack type heavy duty spring loaded clamps that allow you to tighten them up easily.
When loading up a bike it helps to have a second person to steady the bike or to even help lift it in. Some people use a ramp but I find it a little worrying to drive the bike at a slow speed without my feet being able to hit the ground plus I have nowhere to store the ramp when I am not using it. Here's what has worked for me:
Drop the tailgate of the truck and line up the bike behind it. Lift the front wheel up onto the tailgate (if you have two people it helps) and let the back wheel remain on the ground. Usually my girlfriend jumps up into the rear of the truck and holds onto the handlebars to steady the bike at this point. I get around to the back of the bike and lift it so the bike is level as she runs it forwards until the rear wheel hits the tailgate. Do not put the stand down as this will only bend it once we get to the next step.
Using the tie downs hook one into each front tie down point on your truck. Make sure the adjuster is closest to the truck end rather than the scooter end. Just leave them loosely in place for now.
The idea behind this is to totally compress the front suspension and create tension which will hold the bike in place. Different trucks have different bed heights. I once did this in a Ford Ranger and the front mudguard did not hit the top of the bed. In my Toyota the bed wall is too high so the front of the bike needs to be spaced away from the bed wall so the front fender doesn't hit when the suspension is compressed. I got a block of wood and added two edges to it to space the bike back but also not allow it to slip away from the wheel
I loop the tie down ends around each other around the headset. DO NOT be tempted to attach to the handle bar grips. Lambretta headsets are cast aluminum and have only three small bolts connecting them to the fork tube bracket. The amount of stress on the handlebars of either a Vespa or Lambretta is enough to possible break part of the headset which could potentially let the bike fall over and mess up a decent paint job. The bike above is a bit of a beater (until I get it painted) so I don't bother with protecting it where the tie downs loop around the fork head. You can protect this easily by using an old towel in between the paintwork and the bike.
Now it is time to tighten the hold downs. To compress the suspension I usually sit on the bike and pull the tail end of the strap towards me. As it passes through the adjuster it gets tighter and the adjuster stops it from loosening. Do each side enough so the bike remains upright in relation to the truck. If it the bike is leaning a little just readjust until it is straight.
The rear of the bike is not that necessary to secure but you can if you want to. All it needs is to be secured so it can't move from left to right pivoting on the forks. You could simply attach a rope to the rear tie down point, loop it around the seat lock bolt a few times and then secure it to the second rear tie down point. There is no need to compress the rear suspension as well. That's about it. I haven't tried two bikes in my truck yet but it looks like they would fit as long as the floorboards are higher than the wheel wells. This should be no problem in a full size truck.