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dan_plus_o

Permanent storage in a cargo van?

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Posted (edited)

I'm getting a 2020 KTM XC300 soon and parking/storage is not cheap in my area (Vancouver). I also need a way to transport the bike so I'm wondering how viable it would be to get a cargo van to permanently store the dirt bike while also using the van as a daily driver. Are there any major negatives that I may be over looking?

My biggest concern would be moisture in the winter (Vancouver gets lots of rain but little snow) although if it's a daily driver, I'd have the heater running 5 days a week driving to and from work. I'm not sure how well cargo vans heat the cargo area though. 1) Would heating the cargo bay and keeping moisture out be an issue with the partitioning wall? Would getting a cargo van without the wall be better, then I can just throw a curtain up to keeps prying eyes off the bike?

My next concern would be the bike's suspension. 2) If I'm daily driving the van to work, would having the bike's suspension bouncing up and down every day be an issue with causing unnecessary wear? Would putting it on a stand and strapping it down really well be a viable option? I imagine I would have to bolt the stand to the floor to prevent it from moving around then strap the bike down really well. Not sure if the cargo van would have the ceiling height for this though.

3) Are there any other things I should be considering? I do not have a cargo van yet and am trying to decide if I should sell my car to get one or not. I'm looking at smaller vans that wouldn't be too bad for daily driving in the city. Mercedes Metris is what I really want but I'm also considering a Nissan NV200, Ram Promaster City, or Ford Transit. I also need to move in a few months (depends on when I return to working from the office) so I'm not sure where I'll be staying and if I'll have street parking or underground parking. Underground parking could have issues with clearance on a high-roof cargo van and street parking would have higher chance of theft. I will have theft insurance on the bike though so theft isn't a huge concern for me.

Edited by dan_plus_o

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Posted (edited)

besides the things you have mentioned , I would say fuel smell. if the bike has gas in it your going to smell it in the van . I used to live in a really bad neighborhood as a college student, I had yamaha xs1100 that I kept in the apartment at night, the fuel really  stunk up the place. 

Edited by rocco61

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Storing the bike full time in the van could work but it’s not ideal long term. For reasons mentioned; smell, theft, strapping it down etc it would be a pain. I suggest you rent a small storage unit instead. 

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Not sure if its still available but there was dirtbike storage and wrenching space being rented out really close to the trail head of Blue Mountain/ Mcnutt. Might be worth looking into. Maybe some one else can chime in....

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, rocco61 said:

besides the things you have mentioned , I would say fuel smell. if the bike has gas in it your going to smell it in the van . I used to live in a really bad neighborhood as a college student, I had yamaha xs1100 that I kept in the apartment at night, the fuel really  stunk up the place. 

That is a good point I didn't consider too much. I didn't think it would be an issue since it's a newer TPI fuel-injected two stroke. Would fuel smell still be an issue with fuel injected bikes? I thought with fuel injection, they were fairly sealed off. My last bike had a carb and you could definitely smell the gas off that thing but it did have a lot of vent hoses and tipping the bike over would have fuel spilling out so not a sealed system at all. If the smell was an issue, I think a sealed partitioning wall and a dedicated heater for the cargo area may work well to solve the issue.

1 hour ago, Into the sunset said:

Storing the bike full time in the van could work but it’s not ideal long term. For reasons mentioned; smell, theft, strapping it down etc it would be a pain. I suggest you rent a small storage unit instead. 

Would strapping it down really by a pain if you have to strap it down to transport it anyways? Wouldn't it actually cut the strapping down by half since I wouldn't have to unload/load it at the house? A storage unit would be nice if I could find a secured and heated unit for a decent price. Everything I have seen so far is around $100-$150 CAD a month which is a pretty steep expense to add onto the cost of owning a bike. Those were full-size parking spots though.

53 minutes ago, Coccyx said:

Not sure if its still available but there was dirtbike storage and wrenching space being rented out really close to the trail head of Blue Mountain/ Mcnutt. Might be worth looking into. Maybe some one else can chime in....

Oh, that would be nice to find a dedicated unit for dirt bikes that wasn't super expensive. I haven't looked too hard to find units that would work good for a bike and most of what I have been seeing is for full-sized vehicles. That is also the area I would primarily be riding around. Might be a pain if I wanted to ride Squamish though, since I'd have to go out of the way to pick up the bike.

Edited by dan_plus_o

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I knew a dude that did this with his street bike. The van had no windows and he built a bulkhead between the cab and cargo area so no one could see what was in the back when it was parked. It surprisingly worked well. The van was a beater though. Looked like it was used to lure hookers and chop them into chum as opposed to moto transport. Pretty sure it scared off any thieves on looks alone.

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Gas smell will always be there especially once it's hot out, the tank will expand and force fumes out vent.

Building a solid bulkhead as mentioned with no vents to cab area would do it but gotta have a vent somewhere to outside to cut down on a possible explosion.

I wouldn't worry about moisture. Only time moisture really becomes a problem is when cold metal gets heated quick and it sweats. When my bikes are in garage in winter and I turn the fuel heater on full blast the metal parts will start driping water, slowly heat um and it's fine. 

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I put fuel fragrance in my gas can and the gas smell isn’t bad. Smells good actually. I was farting around at a local shop and bought a vanilla and a pina colada flavored additive just to try a few years ago. Now I throw it in regularly . It’s kind of more for watercraft but dirt bike guys use it too. Guys riding behind me come up and say “What is that stuff? Smells good! It smells like I want to eat a desert or something “. In my  van the gas smell is much better with the additive too. They sell this stuff all over. If not can get on ebay.

https://pitstopusa.com/c-132349-oil-fluids-chemicals-fuel-additive-fragrences-lubes-alcohol-fuel-fragrance.html

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Never heard of such a thing 👍

Still though even if it smelled good, getting high on gas fumes wouldn't be good LOL

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 I've been driving a cargo van (not the same one) for the last 35years, and I find it a great way to transport and keep a motorcycle. My bike would stay in the van for days after a ride, especially if I got injured. As far as securing it, I load the bike leaning against the passenger side wall with the handlebar cut to the left. I use a piece of carpet for the right hand side grip to rest on, I have always had barkbusters so never any damage to the throttle tube. I installed a few eye-hooks to the framing members of the wall to strap the bike against it, has been a good set-up for me for many years

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fuel injection would definitely reduce the smell of vapors, that would only leave the tank vent at the cap and you could plumb a hose through the floor of the van to take care of that.  

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The only time fuel smell is an issue in when temperatures get over 85 degrees.   My Chevy express cargo van is my 4th moto- van .... the only way to go.

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14 hours ago, Into the sunset said:

Storing the bike full time in the van could work but it’s not ideal long term. For reasons mentioned; smell, theft, strapping it down etc it would be a pain. I suggest you rent a small storage unit instead. 

Which will provide a place to do maintenance also. Look for one with an standard overhead light that is not flourescent. Remove the bulb, install a combo adapter that allows cord plug ins and the bulb. Turn it into a small, cheap shop.

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Good advice in here.

1. Get the bike insured (this is a very rare circumstance I would recommend that)

2. Make sure the van doesn’t look like a work van, try to make it look like a bum lives in there or something. Maybe a “beware of guard

Where I’m at work vans / trucks get broken into all the damn time, thieves looking for tools. 

 

21 hours ago, Grimlock said:

I knew a dude that did this with his street bike. The van had no windows and he built a bulkhead between the cab and cargo area so no one could see what was in the back when it was parked. It surprisingly worked well. The van was a beater though. Looked like it was used to lure hookers and chop them into chum as opposed to moto transport. Pretty sure it scared off any thieves on looks alone.

Basically like this, that’s what I’d do.

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Another thing that isn’t mentioned here. Is that 
leaving your forks compressed for extended periods of time will cause issues. To make this work you would need to tie your bike down before you drive anywhere then make sure the straps are loose whenever your done driving.

it isn’t a huge issue, but something to remember.

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6 hours ago, rural_jump said:

Another thing that isn’t mentioned here. Is that 
leaving your forks compressed for extended periods of time will cause issues.

 

On 5/31/2020 at 9:01 AM, Dmouse said:

I load the bike leaning against the passenger side wall with the handlebar cut to the left.

This method doesn't compress the forks

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FI bikes vent fumes as well. you dont want to plug it either as the gas will need to expand/contract with the weather. another thing to keep in mind is when you wash the bike i would think, not sure what van people usually do. put away dirty? clean the van later?

i would try to avoid compressing the forks all the time myself.

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