How to Load a Motorcycle on a Trailer

Updated April 17, 2017

If you are travelling long distances with your motorcycle, or need to take your motorcycle in for service, you may wish to trailer your bike for the trip. Loading your motorcycle on a trailer for transport takes less than 15 minutes, and can be done with little to no help from friends.

Prepare the trailer for loading. Make sure the trailer is clear of debris and is in safe, operable condition. Test the trailer's lights to ensure that they are in proper working condition.

Place ramps at the back of the trailer. You can purchase metal loading ramps at any auto parts store. The bottom of the ramp should be placed flat on the ground, so that the top of the ramp will be level with the trailer. This will enable you to drive your motorcycle onto the trailer with little effort.

Carefully ride your motorcycle up the ramps and onto the trailer.

Position your motorcycle safely in the centre of the trailer, and lower the kickstand to the floor of the trailer.

Secure the motorcycle to the trailer using the tie-down straps. You should use a minimum of four tie-down straps to secure the motorcycle to each side of the trailer at the front and back of the bike. If you have more than four, you may wish to use them to ensure that the bike will be held in place in the event that one of the tie-downs breaks. You can purchase tie-down straps at any auto parts store or motorcycle dealership. While there are several different types of tie-down straps, the best type to use for this job are heavy-duty nylon tie-down straps with ratchets and metal anchors at each end. Simply attach one of the hooks at the end of the tie-down to the side of your trailer. Secure the other end of the tie-down to your motorcycle, and use the ratchet to tighten the tie-down as tight as you can get it.


Many people find the assistance of a friend to be helpful. Your friend can help support the bike as you tie it down to the trailer.


Ensure that you use heavy tie-down straps that will support the weight of your motorcycle on the trailer. Using the wrong tie-down straps can cause thousands of dollars in damage to your motorcycle if the bike falls, and could possibly damage your trailer as well.

Things You'll Need

  • Trailer
  • Motorcycle
  • Heavy tie-down straps
  • Ramps (optional)
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About the Author

Based in Oklahoma, Maggie O'Leary has been writing professionally since 2001. O'Leary has served in the United States military since 1997 and is a two-time OIF veteran. She has been published in several local military and civilian newspapers and national media outlets including "The Washington Post" and CNN. O'Leary has a Bachelor of Arts in history and legal studies.