How to Transport a Dirt Bike

After buying your bike, the next challenge to solve is how to load and transport it over to the the track and trails you want to ride.  There are many different options for transporting dirt bikes but you will need to find the one that works best for you. Let’s start by exploring the basic bike loading tools and then move onto transport options.


Tie Downs

To keep the bike upright during transport you will need some kind of tiedown straps. The main two types used are cam buckle tie downs or ratchet straps.

Cam Buckle Tie Down Straps

 Cam buckle style tie downs use a special buckle to pinch the tie down strap and hold it in position.  They are usually a lighter-weight tie down and are very easy to use.  To tighten them, simply pull the strap to the desired position and the buckle will hold it in place. To release it, just push down on the back of the cam buckle.  The main downside of these straps is that depending on how you are loading the bike up it can sometimes be difficult to get in a position where you can reach the strap to pull it nice and tight.
cam buckle tie down

Ratchet Straps 

Ratchet straps are a very common tie down tool that many people are already familiar with.  There is a ratcheting mechanism which can be used to slowly and accurately tighten up the strap.  These can be a bit more time consuming to use while tieing down a dirt bike but do benefit from being easier to precisely adjust compared to the cam buckle style tie downs. 

Soft Loop Handle Bar Straps 

Soft loop straps are a great accessory to use with either style of tie down.  These straps loop around your handle bar instead of the tie down strap hooks.  Since these are soft straps they are much gentler on your handlebars and will not peel the paint off like the tie down hooks will. 


For most transport options you will need to get your dirt bike up onto a truck or trailer using a ramp.  There are many different types of ramps available but the main difference between them is usually how they fold for storage. Some ramps are one solid piece while others fold in 2 or even 3 pieces.  The nice thing about single piece ramps is that they are typically lighter since they don’t need any extra hardware for folding.  The folding ramps are typically heavier and can sometimes be a bit of pain to unfold however they do fold up into a smaller form factor which can be important if you have limited storage space.

Vehicle Options

Car and Small Trailer

For people without an existing truck or trailer setup,  the most cost effective way to transport a bike is usually to have a trailer hitch added to your car and purchase a small motorcycle trailer.  If you take a look around online you can find a trailer hitch attachment for almost any vehicle.   Although small cars may not be able to tow a lot of weight, the combined weight of a dirt bike and light motorcycle trailer usually comes in at less than 900lbs which should be within the capabilities of almost any vehicle.

Using a Truck

If you are lucky enough to have a truck available then that makes moving dirt bikes very easy.  Get a ramp and some tie down straps you are ready to go.  There are actually many different options for how to tie down a dirt bike in the back of the truck.  Here is a helpful video from the dirt bike Youtube channel which shows some of the different loading styles.

Truck/SUV and Enclosed Trailer

For people who travel with their bikes a lot upgrading to an enclosed trailer can be an ideal.  These are heavier trailers which will likely require a truck or SUV to tow them but they do bring a lot of benefits.  With an enclosed trailer, your bike is protected from the elements and can also be locked inside if you are parked somewhere over night.  Many trailers also have large drop down rear doors which makes loading and unloading bikes a breeze.  Some people also take their trailers to the next level and customize them to hold custom tool cabinets and work tables to make their on the go bike maintenance easier.

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