How to Load a Motorcycle Onto a Pickup Truck


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are nearly 4 million motorcycles on the road in the United States. If one of them is yours, and you're headed to the track or local repair shop, you want a painless way to make sure your bike will reach its destination in the same condition as before it was loaded onto a truck.

Things You'll Need

  • Motorcycle Ramp(s)
  • Tie-Downs

Loading a Motorcycle into a Truck

  • The placement of your truck can either help or hinder your experience. If on an incline, back the truck up to a point where the ramp will be at the lowest angle. If on flat ground, be sure to park in an area free of cracks, pot-holes, rocks or other obstacles.

  • The ramp is a crucial part of loading the motorcycle onto the truck. There are a variety of ramps to choose from, but the most important element when selecting a ramp is to be sure that it can handle the weight and tire size of your motorcycle. From there, you can buy 8 or 10 foot ramps as well as folding ramps, ramps that will cover the entire bed of the truck, a part of the truck bed or a variety of other ramps to fit your needs.

  • The easiest way to load your motorcycle into the truck is to ride it up the ramp. If you're uncomfortable doing this step alone, the motorcycle can also be pushed up. You may need a second person to help stabilize the bike once it is in the truck. Or, just put down the kickstand when the bike is in the truck bed.

  • Next you'll use the tie-downs to secure the motorcycle to the truck and eliminate any movement. Use passenger grab rails, luggage racks, or other stable areas on the rear of the bike and attach a tie-down to each side of the motorcycle and to the truck bed. Moving to the front of the motorcycle, use tie-downs on the forks above the fender mounts to prevent the motorcycle from moving from side to side. Lastly, use a tie-down on the handle bars, closest to the cockpit, and compress the forks slightly to eliminate any up and down movement.

Tips & Warnings

  • Using a 10-foot ramp can make it easier to ride your motorcycle into the truck bed A wider ramp may be a good choice for heavy bikes and those new at loading. There are various tie-down weights available, so be sure yours are rated for the weight of your motorcycle.
  • Make sure the ramp is well attached to the truck so it won't move while you're loading your motorcycle. Be sure to turn the fuel-supply valve off during transportation. Do not over-tighten tie-downs that rest on any plastic fairings -- they may crack under the pressure. Use a "spotter" if unsure of your abilities to load the motorcycle successfully or if using a single-wide ramp.

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