I've been shopping for a bike for a while now, and have about settled on a Yamaha V Star 1100 (though the V Star 650 still catches my eye too). We live and travel fulltime in a motorhome (an MCI bus conversion) and tow a Toyota pickup with camper shell behind us.
We have been talking abourt replacing the Toyota with a 3/4 ton Ford cargo van that would have nothing inside but the driver and passenger seats. No seats in the back. My thought was to carry the V Star in the back of the van, using a ramp and electric winch of the type used to load ATVs to get it inside the van, rather than to use the type of rack that mounts on the back of the motorhome. This would keep the bike inside out of the weather and more secure. We would, of course, use tiedowns inside the van to hold it securely.
There are several reasons not to use the traditional rack used to carry a bike on an RV, including that all old MCI buses spit oil terribly. At the end of a 500 mile trip the first order of business is to wash the truck. I don't wany my bike getting all nasty. Also, like a lot of fulltime RVers, we sometimes find ourselves spending nights in truck stops, roadside rest areas, etc. and I would prefer to have the bike safe inside a van, not outside subject to vandalism or weather. Also, I have seen three cases where racks failed and dumped very nice bikes on the highway. That would just break my heart!
I was at a motorcycle shop today looking at a V STar and the owner said there is no way to carry anything but a small dirt bike in a van. He said it would be too high (the bike is 43 1/2 inches high) and too wide to fit inside. Has anyone here carried a bike in the V Star/Vulcan/Shadow class in a van?
Any input would be very much appreciated.