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Motorcycle Ramp

I had a massive problem when I bought my new dirtbike in March 2009. I had a brand new 250 lb dirtbike, but could not get it loaded into the back of my pickup by myself. The tailgate of my pickup is exactly 34" off of the ground (stock F-150), if on a flat surface. I thought about this problem for about a month, and ended up finally deciding on a solution. Also keep in mind that I did not want to spend 300$+ on an aluminum ramp - I just bought the bike, I had (have) no money for ramps.

The solution was to run 8' 2x8s vertically up to the tailgate. Then, I reinforced the part which rested on the tailgate, because after all it takes all the load. Then, I put 15 36" cross members between the 2x8s, ensuring that the 2x4s were parrallel with the ground (like stairs). I screwed these in from either side, making sure to predrill the 2x8s first. I used 2 3.5" deck screws on each 2x4 for each side. The final result is as shown below. It isn't light, but I can get it in the box of the truck on my own without any issues.

The thing to remember as well is that the biggest issue in coming up with a design was making sure it was extremely safe, since if you are alone you do not want to be taking any risks. This ramp is very safe because:

1) The 2x8s running up along the side provide a railing to keep the tires on the ramp, so that when rolling backwards if the tire is trying to go over the ramp it is stopped.
2) The 2x4 steps are horizontal which means that while standing you do not slide backwards due to the incline.
3) The ramps are 8 feet long which provides a nice slope - about 20 degrees.
4) The ramp is tied to the trailer hitch, preventing it from sliding backwards.
5) The ramp has the weight to prevent sliding in either direction. (some people use two ramps and walk up one while pushing the bike up the other - not good for lateral sliding)

The ramp cost me about 30$ in total. This includes the 2 2x8s, the 8 2x4s, the steel plates, and the pound of deck screws. It was quite easy to make, here is a rough outline of how to go about building it:

1) Cut 15 36" lenghts of 2x4.
2) Cut the bottom most corner of the 2x8 at an angle so that the part of the 2x8 that touches the ground has more contact surface than just a sharp corner.
3) Cut a square on one end of the 2x8 so that it hugs the tailgate (as in the images)
4) Screw on steel plates with 1.25" screws, for extra reinforcement.
5) Use a piece of cardboard to determine the location of the 2 screws for each 2x4 - mark each screw hole with this template. (easier than measuring each hole).
6) Predrill the entire 2x8.
7) Use the same template to mark the location of each 2x4 to ensure they are in the correct position when you screw then in.

That should be about it. The ramp weighs about 50 lbs, maybe more. It can be manhandled by one person for sure.

Anyway, for any questions or comments do not hesitate to contact me: lucgallant@gmail.com