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How to Load / Unload a Motorcycle Without a Ramp

Motorcycle ramps are a huge convenience, but if you recently bought a dirt bike you might not have that extra wiggle room in your budget. There are a variety of solutions you can try, and see what works best for you.

Use Nature’s Ramp

Sometimes nature (or your man-made surroundings) provide a ramp that you can use to load your dirt bike. If you have easy access to a hill, driveway, or loading dock, you’re in luck. You can use any of these as a ramp into the back of your pickup or trailer. Even if it does not reach to the height of your truck bed, the closer it gets you, the easier the rest of the job is.

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Do Some Heavy Lifting

There is a right way to lift your dirt bike into your truck, and a wrong way. Doing it the wrong way can easily result in personal injury or a damaged bike. As with a squat for exercise, it is important to get the right leverage, to keep your back straight (neither arched nor rounded), and to lift with the force generated by your hips, not your arms or back.

It is a three step process to get your bike safely and effectively into your truck.

  1. First, turn your handlebars to the left so that the bike does not roll out. Grab the right handle with one hand and the axle with the other, and lift the front of the bike onto the truck bed.
  2. Lift the bike up again until the engine plate is also resting in the truck bed.
  3. Grab the rear axle and pull the back tire into the truck.

If you ride a lightweight bike this method should not pose much of a problem, but if you have a high truck bed or a particularly heavy bike, this may be more difficult.

Make Your Own

There are a few ways you can make your own motorcycle ramp. ATV ramps can double as dirt bike ramps, so if you already have those handy feel free to use them to load your bike. 2 x 12 wooden planks are also a common option or a cheap, makeshift ramp. For added stability you can also use ramp ends.

If you find yourself wanting to get out and ride but without the budget to buy a new ramp, there’s no reason to worry. You can make an easy ramp either by finding something suitable in your natural surroundings, or with spare plywood if you have some lying around. If all else fails, manually lifting the dirt bike into your truck shouldn’t cause any problems as long as you make sure that you lift with proper form.

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