Dirtbike Loaded Backwards in Pickup?

I recently downsized my truck.  Now I'm in a 2017 Colorado Crew SB... which is a foot shorter and a bunch narrower than my old full size Dodge Ram 1500 Crew.  

99% of the time, I'm alone in my truck, even when riding in a group, so that is no big deal.  But when I want to take my daughter riding with me and need to load up her bike too, man that small bed is really small.  I transferred the CCR Sport Bed Buddy from my Dodge to the Colorado, so I have something solid to anchor the bikes to in the front of the bed.   

My experience has been that bikes come loose when not standing straight up and wheels straight, so while I can make it work going in at angles etc with both bikes facing forward... I'm not confident they will stay put.  If I was just going to the track and driving on paved roads, I'd probably be okay, but I'm a trail rider and the forest service roads I need to go on to get to a trailhead can be pretty long and rough.  That's when I have experienced and seen bikes come loose.

I thought about the strapless options (Risk Racking Lock N Load for example) as a last resort, and thought I was going to do that, but I checked where I'd have to access the bolts under the bed, and sure enough they will end up being where it is impossible or damned near impossible to get at.  I have a Colodaro with the Mini Max Diesel... there is a ton of crap under there I'd have to take apart to get a clear shot at the underside of the bed and I still think it probably won't work... 

... so I came up with this.  See pics.  My kid's YZ125 is in backwards with rear tire in the CCR Sport wheel chock and I have 2 straps from frame and another 2 straps from h-bars pulling everything forward and keeping wheel straight too.  Seems solid but I've only driven around the neighborhood.  My YZ250X is loaded as I normally do and haven't ever had a problem.

Bad Idea?










I don't understand why they can't both point forward and still be in straight.  I have an F-150 and I can fit 3 bikes in facing forward.  It isn't easy but it works so you should be able to get two in there.

Should take a look @ getting a small trailer. You'd be surprised how much more room you would have everywhere especially in that small be for your gear bags, boots, coolers, etc.

You can fit both of them forward. You turn both bikes front wheels in towards each other. The handle bars wont bang into each other, and its stable. I do it with my KTM 250 and my bros KTM 200. Works good.

Lhams... I tried turning them in and out and I wasn't comfortable with either.  And when turned in... the bars hit. What truck do you have where this works and are you heading into the back country over 10 miles of rough, jack-up , pot holed and washboarded roads?  Do you have hand guards?

I will go try that again though and play around a little more with the location of the CCR Sport Bed Buddy chocks.  I have the version where those are movable and I can't remember how much I messed with varying their location when trying that configuration.   

I will say that I am super skeptical of having anything loaded with the bars not straight forward.  Any time I've had bikes come loose, it seems like it was when loaded with the bars turned and/or the bikes leaning to one side or the other to some degree and not straight up.  This is only an issue when travelling on rough roads, not pavement.

dfesmire99... On the trailer option... I'm trying to not buy a trailer for the 1% of the time when I have more than 1 bike to carry.  Seems like an expense and hassle with storage I'd like to avoid if possible.   I've also been there done that before... I used to haul 6 bikes on a trailer behind a motorhome.  I'm now down to 2 riders in my household.. me and my kid who is in college and isn't around to ride more often.  If she was here full-time... I'd have already purchased a trailer :) 

.. anyone else?

I know what I've shown is really unorthodox and I was surprised that it actually seems like a viable option.  But I am skeptical and thus my post.  I have to believe I'm not the only person to think outside the box like this. 



I’m with lahms, I did that in my s10 for years. Now with a full size truck I can put in two bikes, all the gear, ramp and gas cans and still shut the tailgate. The trick is to turn the wheels into each other to the stops on the fork and frame, and then I cinch down the outside tie down on each bike just a little more so they don’t tilt on turns. 


obviously you won’t be able to close the tailgate, but here is this. 

Edited by kmanryder

I have an older colorado. Standard bed. 2 fulls size bikes fit fine tail gate down. Is yours a short bed?

what lahms said. the front wheels pushing against each other help keep the bikes in place.  bars should not touch.

I think you are completely fine with this setup. Bit of a pain to push a bike uphill backwards but your good. I have loaded three bikes into a full-size the sameish way. Middle bike backwards. If you are still nervous about it you can do a strap at the back of the truck going across the tires at say 3 o'clock down to the tiedown location on the box. 


Also 1%? Hopefully that grows to a higher percentage for you!

Turn the front wheels and tie the handle bars together I find it's actually the safest way to travel with bikes they literally can't fall over or out. Who cares if the handle bars rub slightly tie them together and they move in unison

Use fork savers to keep rhe bikes stable. I use them in truck and toy hauler. Otherwise they bikes bounce out of the straps.

We used to load two bikes forwards in the back of a Chevy Luv. I don't see how the Colorado is more difficult. Front tires pushed into the front corners of the box. Did plenty of trips, including rocky roads in the Pac NW to the trail head. No problems.

Thanks guys, but I've tried all of the typical options.  This isn't my 1st rodeo dealing with bikes in a truck bed.

I'm going to not try and spark a debate on this because I know this topic in general has been covered so much over the years, both here on ThumperTalk and elsewhere.

I was just hoping to get some feedback on the abnormal configuration I came up with yesterday after trying everything else.

Anyhow, what I'm going to do is simply go back to reloading bikes in different ways to show what I've tried.  I'll take some pictures and show anyone who cares what the situation is.   I'll get that done and post em up over the next few days... weather permiting.   

Maybe doing that will help someone else in a similar situation down the road so they don't waste their time.  

Footnote:  The 2017 Chevy Colorado Crew Cab Short Bed is only 5 ft long and about 4 1/2 ft wide.  It's that narrow width that is the biggest limiting factor.   The short short bed just means you can't close the gate... ever... no matter what... even with a single bike.  That is not the problem I'm trying to solve... in fact for me, that's not even a problem.


Lahms.   Standard operating procedure. Both tie downs on both bikes should be on cleats all the way to the corners of the bed as in kmanryder's photo. I think if your bikes are coming loose in this configuration then maybe it's the tie downs (???)

I agree, that is a small bed.  I don't know if it will work, but could you possibly load them both forward with both the bars turned to the left?  You would need a block in the middle to hold the bike on the rights front tire.  In your side pic it kind of looks like the 2 bikes got your truck saggin'.  What about the small, cheap harbor freight trailer?  Just install a motorcycle rail and you could put a bike in the truck and one on the small trailer.

1 hour ago, 2FlatsandBent said:

Lahms.   Standard operating procedure. Both tie downs on both bikes should be on cleats all the way to the corners of the bed as in kmanryder's photo. I think if your bikes are coming loose in this configuration then maybe it's the tie downs (???)

This This This !!! Your tie downs are holding the bikes forward but not down. And the backwards thing is part of the problem. And finally, slow down a little.

I do not like the bike in backwards because there is no compression of the suspension holding it in place. The rear wheel will contact the bed but will not be pulled down and into it. Try putting a 6" spacer between the second bikes front wheel and the front of the bed. This will move the bike rearward and the bars should clear each other. You may not need all of 6" to get the bars to clear.

You could always get a hitch rack. it doesn't take up much storage space when not used and will free up room in the bed for gear and fuel cans.

As an old Fart that has been hauling different things in pickups for 50 years or so, I would suggest looking up "DG Tailgate-ex Supports"
The cables holding up all tailgates nowadays are very weak. They also will corrode inside the plastic covering and fail at the most inopportune moment.
$59 or so is cheap insurance.

6ft bed? If so i have one and can haul 2 bikes facing forward with tailgate open. Instead of using the sport bed things, knock those cutouts out in the plastic along the top of the bed and use those as tie down points instead

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