How To Load A Motorcycle Without A Ramp

How To -

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If you own a dirt bike, you’re going to need to be proficient at loading and unloading your bike into a truck. Here’s how to load a motorcycle those times you don’t have a ramp handy.

The Easy Method (works on pretty much any motorcycle)
The easiest way to get your dirt bike into the back of a truck without a ramp is to find a hill/driveway/grocery store loading dock that you can back your truck up to and then ride your bike onto your make shift ramp and then load it into your truck.

If you can’t find something to back up to that is the same height as your truck bed, anything that helps decrease the height your going to have to lift will be helpful. There’s an abandoned Blockbuster a block from my place with a wheelchair ramp up to a walkway that brings the deck height up to about nine inches below most truck beds and we’ve used it countless times for loading all kinds of bikes when our ramp is MIA.

The Hard Method (works on dirtbikes unless you’re a body builder)
Start by standing on the right side of the bike and turning the handlebars to the left, this way the tire will be easier to get into the truck bed and won’t roll out once in and the front brake lever will be easier to grab should you need it. Then, with your left hand on the right grip, use your right hand to grab the axle and lift the front end of the tire into the bed, using your legs like you would when doing squats.

From there, lift the bike up again until both your engine case/skid plate and front tire are resting in the truck bed. Then, reach and lift from the rear axle or swingarm, bringing the back tire onto the truck bed, at which time you should be able to push the bike and guide the front tire into a corner of the bed which, in conjunction with your holding the rear of the bike, should keep it stable while you jump into the bed. Then re-position as desired, strap the bike down as we’ve shown you here, and you’re set.

Obviously, this is all predicted on either having a hill/dock nearby or a lot of extra lifting; so we recommend buying a proper ramp if you’re going to be loading and unloading bikes often.

The Wrong Method

What tips can you share about loading a dirt bike without a ramp? What ramps would you recommend to people that are currently considering a ramp purchase?

Related Links:
How To: Load a Motorcycle into a Pickup Truck
How To: Ford Deep Water On A Dirt Bike
Tips: 10 Motorcycle Riding Tricks You Don’t Know, Yet

  • kevin

    Watching the last video (the fails collection) it amazes me that in 90% of the clips there’s two or three or four or ten other people standing around watching or filming. The best advice there is for loading a bike is get as many people to help as you have available. I bet half those crashes wouldn’t have happened had they guy been like “hey give me a hand with the bike” instead of “hey, film me loading my bike”

    • Dave Minella

      I scrolled down just to leave the exact same comment. “Thanks for the help, guys.”

      • ThruTheDunes

        I could not agree more.

  • Joe Bar

    2X12s are pretty cheap, you know.

    • Jack Meoph

      Real, purpose built ramps are cheap. I think I paid $60 for a tri-fold that I’ve had for years. I don’t think I’d try to load a bike by myself. I’ve always had help. One person on the ground to get the bike up, and one person in the bed of the truck to receive it. I can, and have, put my scooter into the pick-up by myself, but never a street bike.

      • Piglet2010

        I dropped the F4i I used to own off the ramp on a hitch carrier, by running the back wheel over the edge lip while unloading in the dark. Fixed the problem by getting a 4×8 utility trailer at the local farm supply store – a better solution for a bike that weighs over 300 pounds, as long as you have enough garage/shed space to keep the trailer.

  • runnermatt

    I just saw the fails video for the first time a couple days ago.

  • Rob

    That fails compilation was hilarious, never ride a bike into a truck bed. Also, I’d like to see that guy in the first video toss a literbike down from a truck bed the way he tossed that dirtbike down without cracking any fairings. That thing’d be toast.

  • Lee Scuppers

    Nah, you just jump it in like Vanilla Ice.

  • Riedl

    I’ve always backed my truck into the ditch and used a home made ramp, always by myself and never had a problem. Fail video is effin hilarious.