How to secure a dirt bike in your truck PROPERLY

secure a dirt bike

So you have a dirt bike, but aren’t sure how to secure a dirt bike during transport.  Lucky for you this is a pretty easy task.  It just involves ratchet straps and an optional fork support brace.

Let’s get down to it and look at how to secure a dirt bike.

2 Straps or 4 Straps to Secure a Dirt Bike?

When I first started strapping down my dirt bike in my truck bed, I used 4 straps every time.  Two going from the handle bars down the the loops in my truck bed.  The other two went from the rear part of the frame, by the foot pegs down to the loops in my truck bed.

I did this every time because I wanted to make sure my bike didn’t move around at all during transport.  I would push my dirt bike all the way to the front of the truck bed (against the glass) and strap the handlebars down first.  Then I would move around to the back and strap the rear of the frame down.

Now, I just use the front two ratchet straps.  I feel that when I use a fork support in conjunction with the two front ratchet straps, I am able to cinch the bike down tight enough that there is absolutely no movement side to side or front to back.  Also, it is just way easier for me to use two straps instead of messing with the back two.

Fork Support Brace

A fork support brace is a device that sits in-between your front tire and the front fender.  It acts as a brace that keeps your bike from bouncing up and down turn travel.  The reason that this is important is because it is not very good for your forks to be compressed a lot during travel.  

If you load your dirt bike up and ratchet it down without a fork support brace, one of two things is going to happen.  You will either ratchet the bike down too hard, compressing the forks, which isn’t great, or you will ratchet your bike down a little too softly against the forks and your dirt bike forks will load and unload while you are going down the road.  A repetitive load/unload condition is never good and will wear out your straps, eventually causing them too fail.

So, someone invented the support brace which gives you something to ratchet down on with plenty of force, without compressing your forks.  This is an optional piece of equipment, but they are really pretty cheap and you might as well grab one.

How to Secure a Dirt Bike down

First, roll your bike into the middle of your truck bed, and push it all the way against the back glass of your truck bed.  Then, tilt your bike slowly over to the side and hook your ratchet strap to the dirt bike handle bars.  

You may need to pre-lengthen your ratchet straps to where they are pretty close to the right size.  After you have done this a couple of times, the straps will pretty much stay the right size.  Especially on the side that you start the securing with.

Next, push your bike towards the opposite side and repeat the process.  The only difference is that you will actually start ratcheting this strap down to make sure the bike is secured.

If you are using a support brace, insert that before tightening down the second side.

Handlebar protectors

Some ratchet strap kits will come with small loops that are designed to wrap around your handle bars and provide a place for you to put the hook on your ratchet strap.  Using these is completely up to you.  When I had the stock handlebars on my bike I never used them. 

However, when I upgraded my handlebars, I started using them.  The only purpose they serve is to keep your handle bars from being scratched up by the metal hooks.  So, up to you whether you want to use them or not.

Wrap Up

When it comes time to secure a dirt bike in your truck bed, it is really pretty easy.  The first time you do it, you might wish you had a couple of more arms, but once you get your ratchet straps close to where they need to be you can easily to this job alone.  I load and unload my bike by myself all the time and it’s pretty easy to do.  The only extra piece of advice I would give is to really consider a fork support brace because they make the job a lot easier.  Good luck, and stay safe out there!

Additional Reading

Dirt Bike Ramps