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Why an Arched Ramp is Important for Safe Motorcycle Loading


Loading a motorcycle into a pickup truck isn’t easy, but it should always be safe. If you have the option to use a ramp with or without an arch, the one with the arch should be your top choice every time. But why an arch? I hear you say. What makes an arched ramp so special? My motorcycle has pretty high clearance, I could probably load it just fine with a straight ramp.

In some cases, yes, you’ll be ok. Dirt bikes are a particularly good candidate for straight ramp loading because they tend to be so dang lifted. However, when it comes to longer motorcycles like baggers, choppers, cruisers and touring bikes, an arch is almost a necessity to prevent the motorcycle from high-centering at the peak. Those beasts are built to be low, built to be comfortable, and built to be treated with the respect.

You try to load one of those babies using a straight ramp and you can expect to hear two sounds – the sound of you revving the throttle to get up the ramp, and the sickening crunch of the body scraping the top of the ramp before you and your bike get launched sideways where injury and damage is more than likely.

Arched ramp options

Before investing in an arched ramp, consider your bike and your loading situation. Is your bike small or large? How heavy is it? Will you have a friend to help you load it, or will you be loading by yourself (not recommended, by the way!). The answers to those questions will determine how wide and how long your arched ramp should be. The width separates out arched ramps into two distinct categories:

Single Runners

7' 6" Arched Folding Single Runner Motorcycle Ramp

At around 12”, these ramps are slightly wider than a tire and are best for dirt bikes and lighter bikes that can be guided up the ramp without a rider. They are best used with a spotter/helper because the bike will be less balanced without no one riding it.

Full-width Ramps

7' 10" L Full-width Arched Folding Motorcycle Ramp

As wide as 48”, these ramps span your trailer or tailgate and are built so that you can slowly ride your bike up the ramp and guide it with your feet.

No arched ramp? How to make do with a straight ramp

Maybe you don’t have an arched ramp, or you’re loading up somewhere new and your ramp is at home in your garage. Short of having you and five mates pick your bike up and place it in your truck, there are a few ways to get a motorcycle loaded without that sweet, sweet arch.

  1. Back up to a hill and bridge the gap with a short straight ramp
  2. Use the longest straight ramp on hand and load your bike very carefully with a spotter/helper to assist getting over the top of the ramp

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