How to make a motorcycle ramp

Updated November 21, 2016

You need a way of getting your motorcycle on and off a trailer or into the back of your van or truck whether you need to transport your dirt bike to competition sites or you want to travel and take your motorcycle along. The solution is a motorcycle ramp. You can choose to purchase a ready-made ramp, a ramp kit or make your own loading ramp. If you design your own ramp, you can customise the size to meet your individual needs.

Determine whether you need a ramp that is 4 feet wide or smaller. If you want a lighter ramp, you could use two 20-inch sections instead of a 4-foot piece and use thinner plywood such as 1/2-inch plywood. That way, the ramp would be easier to manage.

Prepare the materials for assembly. Lay out your two pieces of pine on a flat surface. Using two boards will allow you to take it apart and stow in your truck bed beside the motorcycle until you reach your destination. Untreated pine weighs less than treated lumber; however, 5/8 inch is thick enough to provide sturdiness. Bolt the centre of the ramp together using two 2-by-4-inch studs. Glue the two boards together, using a construction adhesive, such as Liquid Nails. Screw in deck screws that are 1 1/2 or 2 inches long anywhere you want to reinforce the two boards so that they remain together securely.

Flip the ramp on to its long edge facing the tailgate. Attach tailgate horns on each side of the ramp and position the ramp so that the tailgate horns rest snugly on the tailgate in a secure fashion.

Use one or two ratchet straps to wrap around the tailgate and the truck bed while passing through the 1-by-2-inch space in the ramp section. You need to secure the ramp to the tailgate with the ratchet straps to load and unload your motorcycle on the ramp.

Paint the ramp with one coat of urethane garage floor paint and sprinkle sandbox sand on the ramp while the paint is still wet. You want to apply a nonskid surface to the ramp. Once completely dry, sweep off any excess sand and apply another coat of urethane on the ramp. The ramp will then have a nonskid grip even if it gets wet.


You can add four 2-by-4-inch support rails to the edges of the ramp to ensure that your motorcycle cannot slip off the ramp as you are loading or unloading it into a vehicle.


When backing the motorcycle down the ramp, don't use your rear brake. Your front brake is not helpful either because most of the weight will be on the back end of the bike. Control the unloading by keeping the motorcycle in first gear and by using your clutch as a rear brake to slow down its descent. Go slowly and take it easy because your are handling a machine that weighs several hundreds of pounds that you want to be able to control in that position.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 untreated white pine boards 2-by-8-feet
  • 2 2-by-4-inch studs
  • Bolt
  • Construction adhesive
  • 2-inch Deck screws
  • 1 gallon urethane garage floor paint
  • 1 bag of sandbox sand
  • 2 tailgate horns
  • 1 to 2 ratchet straps
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About the Author

Dawn Sutton began her writing career in 2004 with an article on Internet counseling for a psychology journal. She writes numerous Internet articles on a variety of subjects including health, travel, education, crafts and much more. Sutton has published the books "The Manual" and "God's Girl" and numerous feature film scripts. She has a master's degree in social work from the University of Toronto.