Loading and unloading motorcycles from a truck or trailer is a bit of a voodoo science, wherein experience brings knowledge and knowledge brings smooth, safe results. Another benefit of experience is knowing what kind of ramp to use for different bikes, trucks, trailer, and conditions. In general, though, the longer and wider the ramp, the easier the loading job will be. Youth and exuberance, together with a short lightweight ramp, can load dirt bikes into a jacked-up 4x4. But this dog won’t hunt getting a 900-pound hog into the same truck with the same ramp and same kids. See? It’s all got to work together. The best thing, if you have the money and storage space, is a long, articulated, multi-piece aluminum ramp system that lets you walk alongside your bike during loading or unloading. Bottom line: Examine your needs and choose a ramp to suit. Winner.
This basic ramp is a throwback to the 1970s. Made of 6061 extruded aluminum, with dimple-formed traction holes in the channel, the 6-inch wide ramp features a 6-foot working surface and is 6.3 feet long overall including the steel tongue. The carrying capacity is 400 pounds—sufficient for dirt bikes but not big ADVs or sport-tourers. As well, the large rear tires on big road burners won't fit inside the channel. Thus, this ramp's target buyer is the off-road rider whose lightweight bike has adequate ground clearance to clear the breakover angle where ramp and truck bed meet.
Measuring 7.4 feet long and 12 inches wide, this aluminum articulated ramp folds to 44.5 inches long for easy storage. Weighing just 17 pounds, it is therefore a lightweight solution to loading motorcycles up to 750 pounds. The ramp's gentle "S" curve reduces the breakover angle where the ramp meets truck or trailer bed. Translation: Low-slung bikes like cruisers or sportbikes are less prone to dragging their engines, pipes, or fairings, causing damage or the machine to get stuck. And in sun or snow, mud or rain, the mesh surface helps idealize traction.
A wide ramp is another great option for those who are loading larger cruisers or baggers and need to walk up with the ride. Its 1,750-pound weight capacity can easily support you and your 500-plus pound machine. Not only does this ramp have the weight capacity but it is also compact. Its trifold design shrinks it down to size for storage or easy transport. It measures 70 inches in length and 50 in width (17.5-inch width when folded down). Security-wise, straps are included so you can hunker things down prior to loading. Rubber feet also protect your truck or trailer from scratches.