How to Load a Motorcycle into a Truck

When loading your motorcycle into a truck, make sure both you and your bike are safe. With the right gear and some helpful guidelines, you can load your bike quickly and easily while reducing risks.

Gear

Don’t chance damaging your expensive motorcycle or injuring yourself by using cheap, makeshift ramps.

A few items will help you have an optimal loading experience.

  • The Right Ramp
    • Make sure the ramp you choose is the correct length and weight capacity.
    • Do you prefer a single runner or a full-width ramp? Single runners can be sufficient for dirt bikes or lighter motorcycles. With a heavier bike, a full-width ramp provides extra stability and allows you to drive up your bike.
    • Is clearance an issue? Consider an arched ramp.
    • Always use safety straps with a loading ramp.
  • Tie-Down Straps – Four straps are needed for proper securing; soft loops are great for creating scratch-free tie-down points on your bike. Check out our selection of straps and tie-down systems.
  • Wheel Chock – Loading your bike into a wheel chock in your truck bed will keep the bike stable and easy to tie down.
  • Helper/Spotter – It’s always a good idea to have a helper, but with a single runner, it’s essential.
  • Hitch Step – A hitch step makes it easier to walk your bike up into your truck bed when using a single runner.
  • Tailgate Support – When loading a heavy bike, make sure your tailgate can support the weight. It may need to be reinforced or even removed depending on the capacity.

Setup

Once your equipment is ready, set up everything up for easy and safe loading.
  • Loading from a Hill or Incline – If you happen to be loading where there is a hill or incline nearby, position your truck towards the bottom of the incline and set the ramp up a bit on the incline to reduce the ramp slope. This will make it easier to push the motorcycle up the ramp. Just make sure you are able to safely maneuver your bike and the surface is stable.
  • Reinforce or Remove the Tailgate if Necessary – Make sure your tailgate can support the weight of your bike, the person loading the bike, and the ramps being used. If not, it is better to remove it than damage your truck or risk dumping your bike!
  • Lock Your Truck in Place – Make sure your truck is stable and secure with the parking brake engaged.
  • Declutter – Remove any debris and unnecessary items out of your truck bed that may cause an obstruction when loading. Make sure the ramps and motorcycle tires are clean and free of debris to prevent slipping.
  • Set Up Chock, Ramp, and Hitch Step – Install the wheel chock and set up the ramp, making sure it is aligned to the chock. Always use the ramp safety strap(s), attaching it to the midpoint of the ramp and to a solid metal part of the truck. If using a hitch step, install that as well.
  • Set Up Your Tie Downs – Get your straps ready by securing one end to a tie-down point on the truck and laying them out of the way of the motorcycle. This will allow you to quickly tie down your bike after it is loaded.

Loading

With your gear set up and ready to go, it’s time to load your motorcycle!
  • Single Runners – Make sure your bike is off/in neutral. It’s recommended to always use a partner when loading up a single runner, with one person steering and the other pushing. Once the bike is in the truck bed, the person pushing can jump into the truck bed to help stabilize the bike. When using a hitch step, it’s possible to load the bike with one person, however, make sure you can handle the weight of the bike, and have a spotter just in case.
  • Full Width Ramps – Full width ramps allow you to push, walk, or ride your bike into your truck bed. When driving, use slow, smooth, and constant speed up the center of the ramp. Be ready to put your feet on the ramp in case of a stall.

Securing Your Motorcycle to the Truck

With your motorcycle safely loaded into the truck bed, it’s time to make sure it’s stable and secure.
  • Wheel Chock – Simply push or drive your bike into the wheel chock to help stabilize your bike.
  • Tie-Down Straps – Tie down both the front and rear of your bike (using two straps on both sides of the front and two straps on both sides of the rear), attaching the straps to secure, stable points on both the truck bed and the motorcycle.
    • Soft loops are an affordable and practical addition that can be looped around handlebars and frames for scratch-free tie down points.
    • Make sure the bike is secured evenly, but don’t over-compress the suspension.
    • Tie up any loose ends of the straps.
  • Kickstand - Put up the kickstand before traveling to prevent it from digging into your truck bed during travel.
  • Test Drive – A quick test drive can help you spot any problems before a longer drive. Make sure everything is safe and secure, including the ramp.

Unloading

When you’ve reached your destination, set up the ramp as described above, untie your bike, and carefully unload.
  • Single Runner – With the bike off/in neutral, slowly walk the bike down the ramp. Hold onto the handlebars and use a helper.
  • Full-Width Ramps – With the bike off/in neutral, slowly back down in a walking motion, feathering the brake.