How to Strap Down a Motorcycle in a Pickup Bed

by Kyle McBride

When your motorcycle breaks down, you might need to transport it upright in the bed of a pickup truck. To keep the bike from moving around and being damaged, you need to know how to strap it down. One-inch ratchet straps are indispensable for doing this. They provide the requisite strength and mechanical advantage needed to secure a heavy machine. Trucks must have cargo hooks (or eyes) mounted either at the top of each corner of the bed or bolted through the bed bottom as close to the corners as is practicable.


Roll the bike into the truck bed, then have your assistant straddle and control the bike, holding it in a straight and upright position.


Wrap the fork sections between the triple-clamp with a clean shop rag to protect the forks from the ratchet straps.


Wrap a hook end of the strap around the fork and the rag on each side. Engage the hook onto its own strap after the wrap. Hook the other hook end on the truck's cargo hook.


Roll the bike forward until the front tire is against the forward side of the bed. Insure that the tire is centered in the bed and not on a rib, but in the valley part of the bed floor. Operate the ratchet straps evenly and compress the front forks firmly a few inches. Do not bottom out the front forks with the straps or damage may occur to the forks in transit.


Pad a convenient spot for strapping the rear of the bike. Remove the seat and strap the frame on top of the bike or simply go to a safe place on the swingarm. Strap both sides of the bike and lead the straps to their cargo hooks in the corners. Tighten the straps enough to barely compress the rear shocks.


Tie a safety knot on each strap. Place the ratchet handles in the collapsed position. Wrap the loose end coming out of the ratchet around the ratchet handle a few turns and tuck the tail under the last turn to ensure that the ratchet cannot suddenly release due to vibration or wind while in transit.

Items you will need

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.

More Articles

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Jupiterimages/ Images