March 12, 2021 5 min read
Any sport involving high-power motorcycles is going to involve its fair share of lifting. The last thing you want to do when you've finished a day of riding is hefting that big metal beast into the back of your truck, but it's a necessary part of the fun. So what do you do when you're on your own and don't have help to lift it in the bed?
To load a dirt bike in a truck by yourself, use a foldable ramp and a step stool or second ramp for height. Then walk along side the bike and get enough speed so that the momentum carries you both up into the truck-bed. Finally lock it into a dirt bike transport system like the Lock-N-Load Pro.
As you might expect, there's a little bit more to it than just popping your bike up onto the tailgate of your truck. To understand more about this process and the best equipment to make loading your dirt bike as easy as possible, read on!
The best way to ensure that you're prepared with everything you need to load your dirt bike into the bed of your truck is to know the gear you'll need. Four items will help more than anything else with this process: the right vehicle, a foldable ramp, a bike stand, and a mounting plate system. To make things as easy as possible, we've got the best tools for the job listed below.
While this may seem obvious to some, your dirt bike is an expensive piece of machinery. You will want to ensure that you're loading it into a vehicle that can carry it appropriately. Thankfully, most dirt bikes are reasonably light and shouldn't overburden any truck or van with their weight. That being said, however, it is a terrible idea to try to load a dirt bike into or onto most sedans. Roof racks are not designed with this kind of weight in mind and can compromise the safety of your bike, your vehicle, and yourself.
The only real criteria for a foldable ramp are to ensure that it is lightweight, sturdy, and can be compacted into a manageable transporting size. Most decent foldable ramps will be made of aluminum to fit those criteria, and as long as you can get one in good shape, it should be sufficient.
The Adjustable Top Stand (A.T.S.) by Risk Racing is one of the best things you can have for your dirt bike, even when you're not transporting it, but its versatility is what makes it ideal for this kind of job. Since you will likely keep your A.T.S. handy when you go for rides in case your bike needs any maintenance or upkeep, using it for the process of loading your bike into the bed of your truck can save you from carrying an extra stand or equipment.
Riders can sometimes be hard-pressed for space when going on excursions, so let the A.T.S. do double-duty by working as a step stool to help you walk your bike up the ramp. Place the A.T.S. near the tailgate of your truck beside the ramp, and as you wheel your bike up into the bed of the truck, use the A.T.S. to give yourself a bit of extra height to help with the last bit of distance.
The most crucial piece of equipment is less about your bike's loading and more about keeping it safe and sound when you get it in the truck bed. The Lock-N-Load PRO and its smaller version, the Lock-N-Load Mini PRO, are a bike mounting system that can be easily installed and removed and can take an enormous amount of pressure off the fork seals of your bike during transport.
The system is designed to work efficiently and quickly by merely wheeling your bike up between the adjustable ratchet arms and using the rubberized jaws to keep your bike in place while moving. The transport system includes a switch release which allows you to lock or release the ratchet arm system by flipping the switch up or down to allow the jaws to tighten or release, respectively.
The most significant benefit of the Lock-N-Load Pro comes from its ability to resize to fit nearly any bike and that two Lock-N-Load Pros can easily fit side by side in the bed of a truck. By keeping up to two dirt bikes in place and fully upright, you leave so much space in the bed of the truck for additional equipment or anything else you might need while you're on the trail.
As you can see, it doesn't take much to make loading a dirt bike into the bed of a truck by yourself an easy task. One person can accomplish a lot as long as they have the right tools, and these three items will be enough to make loading and unloading your bike as easy as walking it into place and tightening the lock system.
As mentioned above, the inclusion of a foldable ramp is mostly one of preference. However, suppose you don't have a foldable ramp, there needs to be an alternate option available. The best trick you can do for this type of situation is to use the terrain around you to your advantage.
Many dirt biking tracks end up being pretty far off the beaten trail and sometimes require driving a significant distance. The advantage of these trails for loading your bike comes from the generally hilly terrain that they offer. If you don't have a ramp available, try backing your truck up to the edge of a low hill. Ideally, suppose you can back your vehicle up far enough that the tailgate can lower down to contact the hillside or even just get close enough to it. In that case, that can make loading the bike as simple as just popping the front wheel a few inches and loading it into the truck bed from there.
Fortunately, most dirt bikes are relatively light, at least compared to their street variant cousins. Even though you might be tired after a day of riding, the little bit of extra help that you can get from using a hill or a ramp can be enough to make loading and unloading your bike a simple task.
If you own a dirt bike, the chances are that you like to get out and ride as often as possible, with or without others. Taking the time to get the right equipment and learning how to do the job yourself will make things much easier for yourself in the long run. The fact of the matter is that you've got to load and unload your bike at least twice on every trip, so make sure that you learn how to load your motorcycle efficiently so that you get to spend as much time riding as possible.
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