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Simple Instructions for Tying Down a Dirt Bike

08/12/2021

A common method of transportation for getting a dirt bike out to the track is to haul it in the bed of your truck. To do this safely, it's imperative to properly and securely tie down the bike, otherwise it could fall, jump or jostle, leading to damage to your bike or your truck.

Sounds simple enough, right? It is — but it’s still important you know the exact steps you need to follow so you don’t damage your bike or create a safety risk.

You’ll need soft loops, tie-down straps, a loading ramp, a wheel chock and, optionally, a fork saver or support brace.

Here’s an overview of what you should know about the process.

How to do it

Generally it’s recommended that you tie down the bike diagonally in the truck bed, putting your front and rear tires on opposite sides. The point of this is to reduce the amount of pressure placed on the suspension. The front forks get more suppressed when you tie the bike down straight than when you tie it diagonally. A diagonal tie-down helps to spread out that pressure.

This also takes up less vertical space in the truck bed, meaning you won’t have to worry about not being able to close the tailgate.

Loading the bike

Before you can tie the bike down, you’ll need to first load it into the truck bed. Make sure you park the truck on flat ground—this will make the process a whole lot easier.

Before you start loading, have your soft loops and tie-down straps ready to go. Attach the soft loops to the handlebars and the strap S-hooks to the soft loops so they stay with your bike as you load it into the bed. You can then put the bike in neutral and push it up the ramp into the truck bed. If you’re loading from a loading dock, push the bike into the truck from the dock. Without either a ramp or a loading dock, you will have to lift the bike up, and depending on the bike you have that could be a big challenge.

If you have a wheel chock, this is the time to use it. Push the front tire up to the chock. If you don’t have a chock, push the front tire into the front-left corner of the truck bed, with the back tire going toward the back right corner of the bed.

Securing the bike

Once you’ve got the bike loaded into the truck bed, you can get to work tying it down. Here’s the series of steps you’ll need to go through.

Tying up your Dirt Bike to Pickup Truck Infographic
  1. Use the tie-down forks: Take the right tie down (which you already put on your handlebars) and attach it to the front right truck bed ring. Then, stepping over the bike, take the left side tie down and attach it to the back left truck bed ring.
  2. Close it up: Once you’re certain your dirt bike is fully in and that you’ve strapped on the tie downs, you can close the tailgate. Both tires should be in line with each other and pointed straight, with the front tire in the front left corner.
  3. Tighten: With the tie downs attached, get them snug and tight. However, you shouldn’t wrench too hard on the straps—you don’t need to get them as tight as possible, just to the point where the bike is no longer moving. If you go too hard, this could damage the bike or the truck bed. Once the straps are tug, tie off any excess portions of the strap so they don’t flap around while you’re driving.
  4. Rear tire: You don’t necessarily have to take this step, but you might want to depending on the position of the bike. If there’s a chance your rear tire will bounce around in the truck bed while driving, you can tie it down, running a strap through the rear wheel and looping it around the tire before attaching either end of the strap to the sides of the truck bed. If nothing else, this provides you with some extra security while you’re out on the road, which is never a bad idea.

Get the equipment you need to safely transport your dirt bike, and make sure you follow all the proper steps for tying it down before transportation!

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