How to Haul a Harley in the Bed of a Truck

by Russell Wood

Harley-Davidson motorcycles are fun to drive anywhere you want to be, but there comes a time when you need to move the bike without driving it. Maybe it broke down and you need to take it to the shop, or you want to load it up for a long distance trip. Either way, if you have to load it up into the bed of a truck, there's a safe way to do it that ensures that your bike and your truck will arrive at the destination safely.

Drop the tailgate on the truck and place the ramp onto the tailgate. With the help of your assistants, push the Harley up the ramp then slowly roll it forward until the front wheel is against the back wall of the bed. Have one assistant sit on the motorcycle and hold it in place for the next few steps.

Wrap a microfiber towel over one of the forks on the front of the bike on the fork that is closest to the driver's side. Connect one of the hooks on the ratcheting tie-down straps to a factory tie-down on the bed, then run the other hook to the fork and hook it around the microfiber towel so you don't scratch the fork. Hold the towel and hook in place with one hand and ratchet the tie-down into place. Don't tighten it all the way, just enough to have tension on the line while your assistant hold the handlebars to keep the wheel straight.

Repeat Step 2 on the passenger side of the truck with the right side of the motorcycle and tighten it down all the way. Once it's tight, go back to the other side and tighten down the other tie-down. The goal is to have very tight connections on the tie down and the wheel centered.

Wrap a microfiber towel around the rear driver's side frame of the motorcycle, right next to the axle and the wheel, and use the tie-down in the same manner as in the previous steps, ratcheting down the strap with one hook on the bed tie-down and another on the microfiber towel around the frame. Repeat this process on the other side then tighten down both straps until they're extremely tight.

Have your assistant get off of the motorcycle then push the bed side to side to make sure the motorcycle doesn't move. Drive around the block at a slow speed, and watch the bike to make sure it doesn't lean one way or another. Come back and tighten down the straps again if necessary.


  • check The key is to make your Harley and the bed of the truck one unit so when the bike moves, so does the truck and vice versa. Make sure those tie-downs are 100 percent secure before you go on the road; and if you have any doubt, add more straps to other stable points, using a microfiber towel to protect the paint.

Items you will need

About the Author

Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.

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