I know, I shouldn’t have to go over this topic, but some people just don’t use common sense sometimes… When you load a bike, it’s suppose to go up and stay there until you’re taking it out again.
One of the worst things to do is haul your bike in a lifted truck. I see people do it, and it just makes me chuckle inside. The higher up the truck bed is, the more difficult and strength it will take to load your bike in it; naturally. So, you want to drive a pick-up with a low bed, or a trailer to make loading easier, especially if it’s just you.
The way I’ve always done it is: me and my dad each stand next to a side of the bike. We both lift on our side of the forks and handlebars to get the front wheel on the tailgate of the truck. We then lift up the rear of the bike by the swing-arm. Once both wheels of the dirt bike are in the bed of the truck, I hop up in it to hold the bike before it tips over. Also, before loading the bike, we set the tie-straps out and put the hooks on the loops in the front of the bed so they are ready when we get the bike up. We then put a tie-strap on one side of the handlebars, then lean the bike over and put the other strap on. Then it’s just tightening it down far enough so that the dirt bike won’t move.
For those of you that can’t, or plain just don’t want to get help, there are ways to load a dirt bike by yourself. The first way to do is putting a dirt bike ramp on the tailgate of your truck, and placing a solid bike stand along side of the ramp about a foot or two away from the tailgate. Push your dirt bike on the handlebars with a running start up the ramp, stepping on the stand as you push it up, and then stepping onto the tailgate once you get the bike up. This can be difficult at first for smaller people, but if you get enough momentum it is fairly easy.
Another way of how to load a dirt bike by yourself is similar to the first, but this time you aren’t using as much strength. Instead, start the bike and put it into first gear. You will still need some momentum, but you can let the bike do most of the work by slipping the clutch and giving it a little gas to get up the ramp. This does require some practice and technique, so if you aren’t confident then I wouldn’t try it by yourself.
The third way to load a dirt bike by yourself is the way that I do it if I have no help, but it cannot always be done. If there is a hill or slope, back your truck up to it as close as possible. Put a ramp on the tailgate, then push your bike slowly down the hill and onto the ramp. Make sure the tires stay in the middle of the ramp so it stays in one spot. If the hill is steep or big enough, you should be able to just walk onto the bed of the truck with your bike and strap it down. Remember that if there is no hill then you won’t be able to do this, so be prepared to improvise if you’re alone.
Since we have a regular or short bed truck, we cannot shut the tailgate with a full size motocross bike. Some people try to half-way shut it and strap it… I don’t worry about it. I just make sure the two straps are good and tight on the handlebars, and haven’t had any problems with that. You can add another strap or two to the pegs, frame, swing-arm, or rear wheel of the bike if you are that worried.
Good luck, and try not to look like a goon when you load your dirt bike!