Loading the Motorcycle in the Truck the Right Way
There’s still some time to get out for a fun adventure before the snow starts to fall. What better way to celebrate the quickly fading warm weather than with your bike? But how are you going to load it up and bring it along? Sure, you can ride your bike up a 2×4 into your truck bed. However, you could also cause some serious damage to your bike or your pickup truck if things go wrong. So let’s talk about the best way there is for how to load your motorcycle into a truck bed.
What Do I Need for Safe Loading and Unloading?
There are a lot of ways that you could load your bike up, but we want to talk about the safe way to do it. When it comes to figuring out how to load a motorcycle into a truck, you want to make sure you’re being as safe as possible!
What You’ll Need to Load your Motorcycle into the Truck
- Two arched ramps with safety straps – The ramps are the safe version of your 2×4. A good set of ramps are going to be made of sturdy, dependable metal. The arched ramps, in particular, are best because they reduce the incline your motorcycle needs to tackle. This will make the job a whole lot easier. And remember, the wider the better. Narrow ramps present a wider margin of error. Go with the fool-proof plan and go as wide as possible.
- A good quality wheel chock – This is some more money that you’ll need to spend. But if you know someone who has ever relied solely on tie-downs and then made the switch, you’d know it’s worth the money.
A wheel chock is going to keep your bike from moving and shifting around. End of story. Without it, you’re going to be white-knuckled all the way down the highway. Checking the straps, checking again, making sure that the bike’s not moving. If you’ve been in this situation, you already know. It’s worth it.
- Tie-down straps/ratchet straps – Of course after you get your front wheel into the chock, you’re going to want to be sure you’ve entirely secured the bike. Investing in a good set of tie-down and ratchet straps is never a bad idea. They’re great for loading the bike, moving, and so much more. Definitely worth spending a little more for the good stuff.
Getting the Bikes up the Ramp
Okay, so now we’ve got our equipment and we’re ready to get the bike into the truck bed. Here are some step-by-step instructions for loading your motorcycle into the truck.
Park the Truck at the Bottom of an Incline
The easiest way to understanding how to load a motorcycle into a truck is to reduce the distance between your tailgate and the ground. If you can, the best way to do this is to park your truck at the bottom of a hill. Even if you can’t get the bed level (or close to level) with the ground, it’s going to make pushing the bike a whole lot easier.
Set up Your Arched Ramps
So the reason you really want arched ramps is that it gives your bike an extra bit of clearance when getting it into the truck. The arch gives your bike the extra clearance over the breakover angle. This means the bike will clear the ramp without bottoming out.
Make sure you securely fasten the ramps to your bed. If you’re just resting them, it’s a recipe for disaster. The weight of the bike is going to push down on your suspension and you can have a springboard effect on your hands.
Set up and Strap Down Your Wheel Chock
Right in the center of the bed pushed all the way to the cab is usually the best bet. If you’re trying to load more than one bike, just split the difference. Once you have the wheel chock strapped down securely you won’t need to worry about it shifting during the loading process. Strapping down your wheel chock is a critical part of learning how to load a motorcycle into a truck.
Loading the Bike
Loading the bike is a crucial piece of how to load a motorcycle into a truck! Now we’ve got everything set up. Now comes the real question: push the bike or use some horsepower? Well, it depends on your bike.
Lighter weight bikes like sportbikes are lightweight, and you’re better off just giving them a push up the ramp. Heavier bikes like cruisers and tour bikes will greatly benefit from a little horsepower.
We would definitely advise walking your cruiser up using the throttle and clutch for assistance. The reason for this is you’re really reducing your chance of a dangerous mishap. If your bike stalls halfway up the ramp and you’re riding, you’re in a bad spot. You could easily injure yourself or cause damage to both your bike and truck.
Strap That Sucker Down
If you have a wheel chock, you’ve got the majority of your security in place. Just make sure that you securely strap down the rear wheel and you should be good to go. However, it’s a good rule of thumb to anticipate equipment failure and double down. So an additional tie or strap in the front isn’t a bad idea.
If your bike has a single-piece solid bar, that’s the best place to tie it down. If you’ve got clip-on bars, secure the bike at the fork. Secure the front straps until the suspension is at its halfway point. This will keep it secure but give your bike some wiggle room when you hit a (literal) bump in the road.
There’s no truly wrong way to secure the back. Just make sure that it’s as secure as possible. It also might be a good idea to have some cloth or towels handy. The clamps of your tie-downs might come in contact with your bike, so you can use the cloth to save from scratches.
Now You Know How to Load a Motorcycle into a Truck: You’re Ready to Hit the Road
So now you’ve got your bike secured, strapped down, and ready to go! We hope this was helpful. This is something you can do on your own, but for the love of all that’s holy, if you’ve got a spare set of hands, USE THEM! The internet needs it’s “epic fail videos” but you don’t have to be the star. So tell your friends to put down the cell phone and pick up a tie-down.