How to Transport a Dirt Bike?

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You can transport a dirt bike in a variety of ways, whether it is just in town or long distance. In all the methods, you need to follow some guidelines to maintain the integrity of your bike. In this post, we examine various ways of moving your precious motorcycle.


How to Transport a Dirt Bike? – Ildar Sagdejev (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Transport a Dirt Bike with Truck

The steps below will guide your efforts of transporting a dirt bike with a truck:

Loading the Bike

A loading ramp is necessary to load the dirt bike. It should be rated for the weight of your bike and should be sufficiently long to accommodate the bike’s wheelbase and ground clearance.

Park the truck on flat ground. You can also back the tailgate up to an incline to reduce the ramp’s angle. The back of the truck should be cleared to prevent tipping.

Unfold the ramp and lay it on the edge of the tailgate. Using a tie-down strap, secure the ramp onto a metal attachment point underneath the tailgate.

Ensure your bike is on neutral as you align it some feet out from the ramp’s foot. Grab the bike by the handlebars while on one side while another person grabs a stable area at the bike’s end.

Co-ordinate together to push the bike forward and up the ramp to as far as it can go.

Apply the brake once you reach a stand-still and let the other individual climb on the truck bed and pull the bike into the truck.

Tying it Down

Once the bike is on the truck, the next step is to secure it properly. Start by fastening the front end as it ensures that the bike maintains a ninety degrees angle on the bed wall.

The crash bars and the frame present good attachment options. Using handlebars is not advised as they can easily bend under the bike’s full weight. The suspension fork is another strong attachment point.

Wrap soft loops around every side of the fork and link them to the other ends of the tie-downs you used to connect to the anchor points of the truck.

Remove the kickstand when checking if your bike is at a slant. Pull the tie-down straps to get rid of any slack. The key is to create even tension. Tie-downs can generate a substantial level of force while under tension.

You can use wood blocks placed between the fender and the top of the tire to save the basket seals. This action will prevent the concerns of rebound pressure and over tensioning on the strap system triggered by suspension travel when in transit. Ensure everything is snug before moving to the rear end.

Securing the rear end will ensure that the rear tire does not move from side to side. Link the soft loops on a secure point on the bike and tighten them on the strap ends.

Give the bike a shake test while checking every strap for even tension. You are ready to go if everything stays put.

Transport a Dirt Bike with a Trailer

You can opt to purchase a standard trailer and configure it to carry dirt bikes. A dedicated dirt bike trailer is quite pricey, but it will be more adapted to the job.

Trailers will typically have several anchor points while some will also include uprights to strap your bike into. If your trailer is short on anchor points, or you are configuring your own, you can purchase heavy duty tie-downs on Amazon that bolt on.

To secure the bike’s front end, place the tie-down straps around the bike’s handlebars pulling both away and down from the motorcycle in both directions.

While attaching the rear end, link the straps to each side of the anchor points of the trailer and up over the bike’s seat. The strap should not necessarily be tight, but it should sufficiently prevent the rear of the bike from jumping off the trailer.

Your seat cover can also be damaged by an over-tight strap. Secure the motorcycle to an upright post if the trailer has one.

Plan for a little extra space when you are selecting a trailer to transport an extra bike or store gear.

Transport a Bike with a Car

Before transporting your dirt bike with a car, evaluate the bike’s engine power and weight. You will need these measurements to select a suitable trailer for transportation. A closed trailer should generally be 5 to 10 cm larger in size when compared to the motorcycle for easy placement.

Examine the strength and dimensions of the floor of an open trailer so that the dirt bike stands securely. Add several nuts and bolts to the trailer for added security.

The type of car will also matter. A minimum engine power of 2000L should be adequate for a smooth journey.

A quality toe-hitch (preferably stainless steel) will accommodate the trailer’s weight. Connect the toe-hitch to the trailer and go for a trial run to see how the trailer will react to turns.

You can also use a rack to transport a dirt bike with a car. The rack is connected to the hitch receiver with one pin.

The carrier can be fitted on any vehicle and can even come with a loading ramp to make work easier. You can make a rack of your own although they are quite cheap in the market.

You will require quality tie-down straps to ensure that the bike is secure. Your car’s number plate, direction indicators, and lights may, however, be obscured by the bike if you use this method.

You can use a kind of lighting board on the bike to rectify this situation.

You can alternatively fix the bike on the car’s trunk and fix it with cables. The front tire will land on the roof in this position while the rear tire remains on the trunk.

Always evaluate the bike’s size before using a car for transportation.

Required Equipment for Transporting a Dirt Bike

You will have to equip yourself with specific equipment to transport a dirt bike.

Motorcycle ramps will make it easier to load the bike on a truck or a trailer. It is not advisable to pick up the dirt bike because you and the bike will likely topple over. The longer the ramp of your selection, the less the incline and it will be easier for you to haul the bike.

The load capacity is also essential, and it typically ranges between 600 pounds to 1500 pounds. Some ramps have extruded surface grooves to offer added traction.

You will find yourself improvising on elements to secure your bike if you do not have tie-downs. These improvisations will, however, not be as efficient as quality tie-downs. The straps will typically have hooks to be attached on the bike.

A secured bike makes transportation worry-free, as it will remain in place if you swerve suddenly or hit a pothole. Loose bikes present a hazard to you and other drivers.

Wheel chocks offer further security by preventing any backward or forward movement of tires and also anchors them to prevent side-to-side movement from the bike’s handlebars.

Look for chocks that easily attach and detach from the tires and which have duty-free construction.

Can you Transport your Bike on the Side?

Transporting a dirt bike while it is in the upright position is the best way to move a motorcycle. The tires and suspension can absorb vibrations during travel, and as long as your bike is secure, its integrity will be maintained.

If you have to move the bike on its side, drain all the gas. Check if the cooling system and the battery are sealed. You can also lay the motorcycle on a padded surface to prevent any scratches on it.

Can you Drive the Dirt Bike on the Public Road?

Dirt bikes are recognized as recreational vehicles, and most states do not even need riders to have licenses. Dirt bikes are further designed for off-road terrains.

You can ride them on private land where you do not stand to pay any riding fees. You can also seek trail systems in forest and mountainous areas and deserts.

Even with all these available trails, dirt bikes still find themselves on public roads. Most states have been trying to counter the popularity of street stunting where dirt bike riders perform a range of stunts on the streets.

Riding a dirt bike on public roads is illegal, and it will violate a couple of laws, including operating an unregistered vehicle and operating a vehicle without the necessary safety requirements.

A dirt bike presents many hazards to the rider and other road users on public roads, mainly because of their design. You can make the vehicle street legal by implementing many reconfigurations.

If you want to make your dirt bike street legal, please check out my guide, where I show you how to modify your dirt bike to comply with the low on public roads.

You will, therefore, need to use a car, trailer, or truck to transport the dirt bike to a trail or motocross track. As long as it is secured well, this should not be a problem.


Now that you have a dirt bike, you will have to figure out how to move it from your garage to the track.

Not to worry, however, as a handful of devices used on a truck, trailer, or your car will do the job. You will need a ramp, tie-downs, and a wheel chock.

Riding a dirt bike on any public roads is prohibited, which is why you need a reliable transportation system.

Josh Berry - MotoShark Editor
Josh Berry
I'm a off-road enthusiast, extreme sport fan and the editor of MotoShark. If you have any questions or suggestions regarding this article, please leave a comment or contact me.

2 Responses

  1. Brendan Shelton says:

    Your article does a great job of explaining how to properly transport our new dirtbikes. My son is looking for some new hobbies and mentioned dirtbikes as a possibility but my wife and I aren’t sure how to properly transport them. It’s good to know that you can customize a trailer specifically for bikes.

  2. Tristan Stewart says:

    My brother and I are starting to get into the idea of buying some dirt bikes and riding them around the outskirts of town. I think it would be really fun, but I don’t have a trailer to transport them so it’s helpful to learn about tying them down in a truck bed. I’ll be sure to make sure they are secure, but not tie them down so tight that it’s impossible to get them out.

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