Over the years I have owned a number of trailers with which to haul bikes. Sometimes it was taking dirt bikes to the trailhead, or maybe taking a bike with me on holiday. At this stage of my life, I found that the benefits of having a trailer were being outweighed by the hassle of a trailer.
The last trailer I owned was a one-bike trailer which could be stored on its end. It ‘broke’ at the neck and could then be stood up. This was a nice feature, as it partly solved one of the main hassles that I refer to, and that is where do you store the trailer that you only use a few times a year? Even when folded, this trailer took up significant room in my already crowded garage. It also necessitated moving my garage around when I did want to put it to use, as it was logically put at the back of the garage where it would not impede access to other things (usually bikes) in my garage. So, by and large, it stood outside my townhouse, a constant source of irritation to my wife.
Then I learned of XRAMP. To understand how an XRAMP works, it is easiest to just look at the pictures. In essence, it is a ramp which slides into two bespoke mounting brackets bolted to the chassis of your vehicle, not the towbar as some people tend to think. The XRAMP has a mounting ramp as part which allows you to roll the bike onto the carrying ramp which then positions your bike parallel to the back and in the slipstream of your vehicle. Four anchor points as well as recesses for the wheels in the carrying ramp keep the bike securely in position. The bike rides far enough behind the vehicle for there not to be issues with handlebars or other bike hardware clearing the back of the vehicle.
The XRAMP probably works best on load-bearing vehicles like single and double-cab bakkies or vans. I drive a Suzuki Grand Vitara 4×4 2.4, the last of the Vitara’s to be equipped with a low-range transfer case. It is a medium-sized vehicle with permanent 4-wheel drive. It is ideal for what I want from a 4×4.
The problem from an XRAMP perspective is that the car has coil spring-independent suspension all around. After fitting the XRAMP I found that the weight of my bike behind the Vitara caused too much sag in the rear ride height of my vehicle. In truth, it has been an issue when loading my car with all my camping gear as well.
My problem was solved by fitting Firestone air assist ‘springs’ at the back. These are heavy-duty airbags which fit inside the rear coil springs. There are valves which allow you to pump them up to maintain rear-ride height when carrying a load. Perfect for my XRAMP too. Bakkies, obviously don’t have any issues and ride better with a bit of a load to temper what can be overly hard rear suspension.
I have now used my XRAMP several times and find it a pleasure. I load my bikes single-handedly without hassle and find it makes life much simpler than a trailer. I now also only have 4 wheels to worry about as opposed to those on a trailer as well. I am an XRAMP convert.
Your XRAMP also comes with a wall mount which allows you to store it in your garage without taking up useable space. So, if you need to solve your bike-hauling issues, take a serious look at XRAMP. There are some interesting developments in the pipeline at XRAMP allowing you to adapt your XRAMP for hauling bicycles as well.
If you think that an XRAMP could just be the answer to your problems, give Marthin MacKillican at XRAMP a ring at 0794496002. He is more than qualified to help. An XRAMP like mine will set you back R6950 (excluding delivery & fitment).
For more information visit: www.xramp.co.za