Transporting your dirt bike, especially for the first time, can be stressful, specifically if you aren't sure your means of transport can even hold your bike. Can you even fit your dirt bike in the back of your truck?
Rest assured, we'll get everything figured out, so transporting your dirt bike can be a stress-less experience.
The average adult dirt bike length is 82 inches or 6.8 feet. With the diagonal length of a five and a half foot truck bed coming in at 84 inches long, you should be able to fit an average dirt bike in a truck bed that's five and a half feet long, or longer.
Now, obviously depending on the kind of truck you own, and the kind of dirt bike you've bought, there will be variables you need to consider that may alter your chances of being able to fit your dirt bike into your truck.
Let's go over some of the things you may need to know, and some tips for making things work so you can get your bike where you need to go.
Truck Bed Sizes Determine the Fit
With the many different kinds of trucks, come many different sizes of (you guessed it), truck beds! The difference in truck bed sizes has the potential to make or break your trip if you are planning on transporting your dirt bike in the back of your truck, especially if you were planning on transporting more than one bike in your truck.
Luckily for us, most truck beds come standardized to certain specifications, and most people know what KIND of bed their truck has, even if they don't know the exact measurements and dimensions of the bed.
A typical adult dirt bike will NOT be able to fit in the bed of a compact truck with the tailgate up.
Compact trucks, which generally come with four doors and extra space inside the cab, on average will generally have truck beds around 5 feet long or less.
Compact trucks usually have one of two different kinds of "looks". There are the small, two-door trucks with no seating in the back (with the occasional exception of "suicide seats"), and a short bed, giving you just an overall small truck.
There are also the compact trucks that look as though they have the same overall length as an average truck, but sacrifice bed space for cab space, leaving you with more legroom, but less room for your dirt bike.
The use of the word "compact" in this instance refers to the compact size of the bed, as opposed to the compact size of the overall truck, like the first example.
If this is the kind of truck that you have, your adult dirt bike will not fit inside the truck bed with the tailgate up. You will have to leave the tailgate down or find a different means for transporting your bike.
An average adult dirt bike will be able to fit in SOME standard short bed trucks with the tailgate up.
Standard short beds come in a range of sizes, generally from five feet long to six and a half feet long. This means there is good news and bad news. A truck bed won't fit an average adult dirt bike, even diagonally, unless the bed of the truck is at least five and a half feet long. Even then, it will ONLY fit diagonally.
Standard short bed trucks are typically the most common kind of truck people own, so chances are this is what you own. If you aren't sure how long the bed of your truck is, take a tape measure and measure from the inside of the tailgate to the inside of the bulkhead to get an accurate measurement.
If you're specifically wondering if your truck will fit your dirt bike though, and you know you have a standard short bed, don't bother measuring from the front to the back, as that won't likely be the way that you are going to be able to fit your bike.
Take your tape measure and measure from the back left corner to the front right corner in order to get a good measurement of the maximum amount of length available in the bed of your truck. Putting your bike diagonally into the bed of your truck is going to be your best bet for fitting your bike into a standard short bed.
Standard Long Beds
A typical dirt bike WILL be able able to fit into an average truck with the tailgate up in a truck with a standard long bed.
Do you have a truck with a standard long bed? Well, all I have for you is good news. While there are some bikes with an average length longer than eighty-two inches (6.8 feet), standard long beds typically start at seven feet long. Stretching all the way to eight feet in length, the chances of you being able to fit your dirt bike into the bed of this truck is pretty high.
Whereas with the standard short bed you would more than likely have to put the bike in diagonally (limiting you to transporting just one adult bike), when it comes to a standard long bed, depending on the length of your bike of course, chances are good that you'll be able to fit several adult dirt bikes next to each other, given the long length of the bed.
Measuring the Dirt Bike
I've been throwing around the phrase "average adult dirt bike size" quite a bit, and that's fine and dandy, but when it comes to transporting your dirt bike, you're going to need to know how long YOUR dirt bike is, not how long an average adult dirt bike measures.
Depending on the kind of person you are, you either
A) Already know the length of your dirt bike,
B) Are about to go measure your dirt bike to see if it will fit in your truck, or
C) You don't really want to go measure it, because you could probably google your bike and find the length of your bike online without digging through your shed that you keep promising to organize for a tape measure you haven't used for years.
If you relate pretty well with option C, googling the length of your bike isn't a horrible idea, but make sure you're looking up the right year for your bike, and make sure you are finding the overall length of the bike, not the wheelbase measurements.
The wheelbase is the measurement from the middle of the front tire to the middle of the back tire. While this does give a very stable point of reference, it doesn't give you the actual length of your bike, and you may find yourself wondering why the measurements you found online don't add up when you try loading your dirt bike into the back of your truck.
To add one last bit of uncertainty to the realm of googling things about your dirt bike, when the length of your bike is listed, it isn't often specified whether or not the length listed is the wheelbase measurement or the actual "tip of the back tire to the tip of the front tire" length.
When it's all said and done, it's probably safer to go outside, dig through your tool shed, find the tape measure, and actually measure your bike yourself.
You just can't believe everything you read on the internet.
Final Tips and Tricks
When you load your bike, use a fork support brace. This will absolutely save your suspension, which, in turn, will save you money.
When you store your bike in the back of your truck, give it some support, secure it, and don't just use the kickstand. If you go over a bump too quickly and you're only using your kickstand to keep the bike up, the bike could either fall over, or your kickstand could break. You don't want that. Nobody wants that.
Last but most certainly not least, BE CAREFUL when you load and unload the bike.
If you need help, ask for it.