Loading a motorcycle into the back of the truck can go horribly wrong, if you don’t follow some simple safety rules.

    1. Tie the ramps to the truck. Use a strap from the mid-point of the ramp to the rear bumper of the truck.  This keeps the ramps from kicking backwards due to the torque of the powered rear wheel
    2. Don’t charge up the ramps with a lot of momentum. Making a high speed run at the ramps will only cause the ramps to skid forward.
    3. Don’t put 2 narrow ramps side-by-side in order to make 1 wide ramp, unless you mechanically fasten them together. If you don’t, they’ll separate under the load and the front wheel will drop between the ramps.
    4. Unless the ramp is really wide, you’re better off to use 2 separate narrow ramps: 1 for you (offset slightly to the left), 1 for the motorcycle (centered in the truck bed).  Space them 18″ apart.  
    5. Check the undercarriage clearance of the bike BEFORE you load. If the angle of the ramp causes the belly of the bike to hit the tailgate then you need to change your plans. 
    6. Riding your bike up the ramp is a high-risk method of loading. You’re better off to walk it up, under power.  Proper clutch/throttle control makes this possible.
    7. Use spotters on both sides of the motorcycle.  They should wear gloves to protect against hot pipes.  If you only have 1 spotter, put them on the right side (you’re on the left side on the 2nd ramp).
    8. If the rear wheel starts to spin on metal of the ramp, you’re screwed. Stop immediately, back down the ramp, and rethink your approach. 
    9. If you’re going too fast when you finally do get into the truck bed, you’re in trouble. Easy does it. Don’t be going so fast that you dent the front of the truck bed.
  1. When unloading, keep a close eye on the line that the rear wheel is taking.  It’s usually going on a path that you don’t intend, and it’ll fall off the ramp.
  2. If you’re loading by yourself using only 1 ramp, you’re taking chances.  But if you insist on using this method put a large box on the left side of the ramp so you have a sturdy intermediate stepping point between the ground and tailgate.  As the bike goes up the ramp, step onto the box then step into the truck bed.  We have a friend who uses this technique all the time.

Other loading tips:


  1. Truckbed tie-down points should be in the lower front corners of the truckbed, so that when the straps are tightened they pull the bike forward and downward.  
  2. Have your tie-down straps ready to go BEFORE you start loading the bike. Attach one end of the straps to the truck’s tie-down hooks, and lay the other ends of the strap along the top edges of the truck bed. 
  3. Attach your tie-down loops to the forks or bars of the motorcycle before you start loading, as long as they won’t get in the way of the loading process. We use some simple loops made from tubular webbing.
  4. When selecting suitable tie-down points on the motorcycle, think in terms of a large TRIANGLE.  The truckbed is the base of the triangle, the straps are the upper legs of the triangle.  The straps should meet near the steering column of the motorcycle.
  5. We prefer attaching the straps to the upper fork legs.
  6. Avoid using the handgrips as your tie-down points.  You can damage heated grips (if so equipped).  When you attach to the grips you’re not creating the perfect TRIANGLE tie-down method; instead you’re creating a trapezoid which isn’t as secure.
  7. Once you get the bike up the ramps and into the truckbed, leave the transmission in 1st gear.  This helps stabilize the rear end of the bike.
  8. Don’t use the sidestand as a 3rd point of contact in the truck bed (2 wheels and sidestand). The rolling motion of the truck will cause the sidestand to eat thru the truck’s bed liner.  Instead, let the bike stand on its own 2 wheels, and keep the sidestand retracted.
  9. Tighten the tie-down straps so that the front forks are gently compressed.  Too much compression can damage the fork seals.  To prevent damage put a wooden spacer between the top of the front wheel and the underside of the fender (assuming you have a high mounted fender).
  10. A second set of tie-down straps can be attached mid-way along the truckbed and the motorcycle.  Make sure those straps also pull the motorcycle forward, like the first set of straps.
  11. Don’t try loading the bike under power when the ramps are wet or covered in mud.  The rear wheel will spin and the bike will fall.  On top of you.
  12. If you’re not 100% comfortable with loading the bike under power, get a bunch of your friends to help you PUSH the bike up the ramp.  It’s safer and easier.
  13. Park the truck so that the distance between the ground and the tailgate is minimized.  Even a few inches makes a big difference.
  14. When unloading, keep the bike in gear.  Use the clutch to control the rear wheel, use the front brake to control the front wheel.