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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Andy Goldfine wouldn't approve, but I haul the bike in a truck when I do a trackday. That way, if anything bad happens, I am not stuck with no way home and no way to get the bike home. When my TT600's engine blew, I was very glad to be able to put it in the back of a truck instead of trying to figure out a whole lot of logistics.

So, when my brother sold his pickup, I was left without a good trackday hauler. Enter the el cheapo Craigslist van. It isn't so cheap now, but it is still a whole lot cheaper than a lot of alternatives. It has detatchable wheel chocks and removable tiedown points. They came from Pit Posse. The tiedown straps are garden variety motorcycle tiedown straps you can get nearly anywhere. The bar harness is likewise pretty much standard fare. I also added hooks around the top of the van to hang leathers and other clothing and hanging items. The hooks also allow curtains over the windows to prevent the bikes from being scoped out while the van is parked. After this picture was taken, I put bedliner on the floor and sidewalls up to a bit below the window sills, and wood rub rails on each side of the back of the van.

Once it has a trailer hitch on it, it will be able to take four riders and four bikes to trackdays. Splitting fuel costs makes a beast like this a whole lot more economical. Eventually, I plan to insulate the roof and put in a headliner. I already wired up some LED interior lighting. It is switched at the back, back seat, and front seats, so each part of the lighting can be independently turned on and off. Because it has functioning door locks, bikes, tools, and gear are a whole lot more secure inside the van than in the back of a pickup. Right now, it swallows two trackbikes, four helmets, four sets of leathers, a couple tool boxes, fuel cans, a couple of coolers, front and rear stands, and duffel bags. I don't really know how much stuff it can eventually haul once we all figure out how to be organized.

Someday, it might even get new paint on the outside, but for now, it is function over style. It's just an old van, after all.
 

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Will, good job. security is an issue with the tools, leather and bikes. the van makes more sense than a pickup and not everybody can afford an enclosed trailer with a garage in back.


mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Check on Craigslist- vans are dirt cheap!
 

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Y'know, I had been looking at trailers, but in the last few weeks I've gone toward looking for a new van. I have a GMC Safariy that'll hold the Speed Triple, but I'd have to disassemble the fairing on the TT to get it inside, so a full-size van is what I need. I also haul stuff for the band in it, so I can actually use it as a tax write-off :-D

Now all I gotta do is figure out what to get. I'd like to get one of those Dodge Sprinters (the weird, ugly, tall things). But I'm thinking GMC Savana.

You never mentioned what kind of van that is, Will.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It doesn't really matter what kind of van it is, the are all big, hollow breadboxes. Mine is a 1973 Chevy that I got for $300. Spending a little more initially would probably have been a far better idea, since I have replaced the brakes, the thermostat, both engine heads and head gaskets, and some other things to get it to work. It still needs shocks and some front end work, but for less than $5K, I will have a reliable, useful, and unique hauler. I have a bad tendency to start from next to nothing (ie the cheapest van on Craigslist) and trying to make a silk purse out of it. I usually succeed, but it is always a lot more work and a lot more expensive than starting with slightly better raw material! I have a good time doing it, so the entertainment part is worth it. If you don't want to do all that work, then start with a newer one. A brand new Sprinter would be my ideal new van, but for $30K, it won't happen.

Here it is, before some of the more recent modifications:

Once it gets a little farther along, I will probably take a few more pictures of it and put them in the photo album. Doing things to the van is way more fun than I ever expected, so it gets more attention from me than it deserves.

[ This message was edited by: Will on 2007-03-09 10:48 ]
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I can't believe how cheap a full sized American van is these days. There was a pristine 1988 Chevy with less than 100K on it for sale locally for $1400 or best offer. I would have ditched the '73 and bought it, but I am already too far along with the hauler modifications, including the mandatory squid sticker layer in lieu of window tint on the rear side windows. Stickers on the bike are worth at least 5 hp, so the van is extremely powerful now. :-D
 
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