Got a motocross bike but nowhere to ride? Want to attend a cruise in another city and need a way to haul a motorcycle?
A good used truck makes hauling motorbikes easy, especially if you have a nearby hill/mound to back up to, or a plank/ramp, for easy loading.
You’ll also want some tie down straps to haul a motorbike in the bed of most pickups.
Most of the time, compact pickups and short bed equipped trucks, won’t accommodate a full size motorbike with the tailgate closed, even trying diagonally.
In Canada, any time you are carrying a load where there’s more than 59 inches of protrusion from the tail lights, you should attach a clearly visible red/yellow/orange marker/flag that is no less than 40cm square.
If you are driving in the US you should know that you can only have a load protruding up to 48 inches past the rear of the truck body.
If you are hauling a half hour before sunset, or within a half hour after sunrise, or at other times of poor light conditions, you will need the overhang marker to be illuminated.
What about 2 bikes side by side?
It’s more fun with friends, and it’s common to see more than one bike loaded in a pickup bed, but it’s not without extra risk and hassle.
Not only do you risk rubbing the bikes together, it’s also much harder to get the 2nd bike on/off the truck. In most cases you can get better weight balance by loading the largest bike first, facing forward, and then load the second bike backwards to avoid handlebars touching.
A truck box adapter or a custom trailer really helps with hauling multiple bikes and all your equipment!
Precautions for Hauling Motorcycles in a Truck
Watch for fender rub on the back of the truck box. There’s lots of aftermarket wheel chocks for protecting the truck box and keeping the front wheel spaced off the back of the truck box.
Clean your bikes as much as possible prior to loading for both road safety and easy maintenance. Even a short drive can dry up mud and make removal/cleaning later on much more difficult.
Stay away from the urge to cover your bikes. Even a secure fitting cover/tarp will move around as you drive and this will wear on your paint, decals, and the cover/tarp.
Avoid excessive tie-down force on the handlebars. Bouncing along a dirt road can repeatedly hammer away at the handlebars adding unwanted wear and tear.
Don’t Bungie The Spokes!
Putting a cable lock through the wheels is generally fine because it doesn’t put much stress on the spokes, but using your wheel spokes as an attachment point for tie-downs or bungee cords is not recommended.
Your spokes aren’t that strong to start with! Spokes are installed in a criss-cross pattern because half your spokes are angled to cope with acceleration, and the other half are angled for support while braking.
Damaging or breaking a few spokes can lead to wheel wear and failure/accidents. Be kind to your spokes!
Do I need a 4×4 Truck?
A lot of motorcycle owners get by with a 2WD truck, but if you’re interested in trail riding, motocross tracks, trials, or other off-road motorcycle riding, a 4×4 truck makes a lot of sense!
The 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4×4 w/extended cab above would be an incredible used truck for hauling bikes, gear, and riders to the various tracks and trails around Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
With unbeatable prices on a massive selection of used trucks, easy automotive financing (starting at 4.45% APR), and the best trade in offers, Galaxy Motors makes it easy to get out and have fun with your motorbike(s)!