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How to Trailer or Truck your Motorcycle

Going on a trip? Want to take your motorcycle but circumstances wonít let you ride it there? With a truck or trailer you can load up your motorcycle and head out fairly easily. Here are some tips for transporting your motorcycle safely:

If transporting it in a truck, the hardest part is loading and unloading it. The most common way to get into the truck bed is a ramp. Use a ramp designed for loading motorcycles. Regular wooden or metal planks could bend or snap while loading causing damage to your truck and/or motorcycle and hurt the people loading it. Motorcycle ramps should have a slight bend to them. This is so the front of the engine on street motorcycles does not scrape when it gets to the top of the ramp. You should use two people at a minimum to load a motorcycle into a truck, one on each side, three will save you a lot of effort. The easiest way to load it is at a loading dock. This offers a stable and relatively effortless way to get the motorcycle into the bed. Just back up the truck to the loading dock, remember to leave room for the tailgate, and roll the motorcycle into the truck so the front tire butts up to the front of the bed.

Once the motorcycle is in the back of the truck, strap down the handlebars to the truck tie-downs. Compress the fork suspension halfway down but not all the way down. This will keep the motorcycle secure, without causing unnecessary stress on the motorcycle. Then strap down the rear end. Secure the straps to each side of the frame so the rear end does not move laterally. Sometimes you have to secure it diagonally in the bed so the tailgate will close. Some motorcycles wonít even fit diagonally but driving with the tailgate down is not a problem if the motorcycle is secured properly.

Trailers are easier to get a motorcycle onto because you donít have to lift it as high. Securing the motorcycle is much the same as securing it in a truck. But the problem with trailers is since the motorcycle will be sitting lower and be riding in the turbulent area behind your vehicle, pebbles and road debris will hit the motorcycle more frequently than in the bed of the truck. Protect it with a plastic shield or cover the motorcycle to deflect these projectiles.

All passenger vehicles should be able to tow a trailer and single motorcycle without much strain, but check your manual for more information.

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You say strap down the handle bars. Where do you grab the handle bars with the strap. Also, do you need three straps? 2 for the rear to strap down each side of the frame?
Bill C

I put the straps through the risers under the handlebars. And I use 4 straps, most trucks have tie-downs at each corner so that limits the way you can strap it down. 2 in front, 2 in back through the swingarm or frame.
James - Whybike.com

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