A dirt bike being tied down on a truck bed using a self-retracting ratchet strap.

Tie down a dirt bike with auto retractable ratchet straps

Heading out for a thrilling dirt bike experience is an adventure like no other, but let’s face it—transporting your bike to the destination securely would be a whole different challenge. It’s not just about crossing your fingers and hoping for the best; it’s about mastering the skill of securing your dirt bike for the journey ahead.

In this article, we provide a step-by-step guide on tying down your dirt bike with auto-retractable ratchet straps—a reliable and the fastest method that secures your dirt bike with ease. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, understanding how to use these retractable straps can be the game-changer between a smooth ride or a potential headache. Join us as we walk through the steps and share some essential tips to help you confidently strap down your dirt bike and hit the trails worry-free.

Dirt Bike Tie Downs

If you want to invest in one of the auto-retractable ratchet straps, you can consider the “retractable ratchet straps 1 in x 6 ft” or “retractable ratchet straps 1 in x 10 ft”, optionally paired with “soft loop straps”. These retractable straps are slightly heavier than the normal ratchet straps but they do make storing easier and the process smoother! With the features these straps have, I promise you that they are worth every penny you spend!


Retractable Ratchet Strap

1 in x 6 ft

Retractable Ratchet Strap

1 in x 10 ft

Soft loop tie down straps 

1.7 in x 17 in


1. Working Load Limit: 500LBS/227KG

2. Breaking Strength: 1,500LBS/680KG 

3. Rubber-coated steel handles, sturdy polyester webbings, and locks

1. Working Load Limit: 3,500lbs/1588 KG

2. Breaking Strength: 10,500lbs/4762 KG

If you are looking for some jet ski tie downs, here is an article you might find useful!

Why auto-retractable ratchet straps?

While traditional ratchet straps have their merits, auto-retractable ratchet straps with the advanced technology and added safety benefits make them a better choice as dirt bike tie downs. Below are the two features of auto-retractable ratchet straps that you don’t want to miss!

Auto Retract

Just like the name, auto-retractable ratchet straps retract automatically! Compared to other ratchet straps on the shelf, auto-retractable ratchet straps (also known as Retractable Ratchet Straps) are more efficient, convenient, and safer. They are designed with a built-in mechanism that automatically retracts the webbing without needing to worry about the extended leftovers. This feature not only saves valuable time during the loading and unloading process but also minimizes the risk of human error in tying down any items.

Lock and Unlock

Auto-retractable ratchet straps has a lock feature which prevents accidental release when moving. Their user-friendly design makes them an ideal choice for various applications, especially in situations where quick and reliable cargo tie-down is crucial.

What you should know about auto retractable ratchet straps

Ratchet straps

Thread the strap before use



Tighten the strap

Pull up and down with the lever

Pull up and down with the lever

Tie off the strap after tightening



Release the strap

Grab the webbing and start pulling

Auto retract

Store the strap manually



Time spent from setup to store

5-10 minutes

Less than 1 minute

If you own a ratchet strap, you’ll know the process of threading and tying off the excessive straps.  From releasing, storing, to tying off, auto-retractable ratchet straps automatically retract itself, and eliminate the need for manual effort.

6 steps to tie down a dirt bike with auto retractable ratchet straps

Dirt N Iron, 2022 Jul 23, How To Load and Tie Down a Dirt Bike. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlnQ5NmUo54

Step 1: Wrap the soft loops

Rather than locking a hook directly onto the handlebar, we recommend looping the soft straps around the handlebar and then hooking the strap onto itself. Simply wrap the soft loop around the handlebar, pass one end through the opposite side, and tighten it. Repeat the process for the other side of the handlebar.

Before tying down your dirt bike, you want to wrap the soft loops on the handlebars first for the self-retracting ratchet strap to hook on.

Step 2: Hook the straps on the truck bed

Hook one strap to the end of the truck bed and the other to the opposite corner at the front of the truck bed.

Hook one self-retracting ratchet strap to the end of the truck bed, and the other on the opposite corner at the front.
One self-retracting ratchet strap at the end of the truck bed, and the other one at the front.

Step 3: Pull the strap

Open the handle and pull the strap out for tying down the dirt bike later, and close the handle.

Pull the strap out by opening the ratchet handle.

Step 4: Load the bike

Park the bike diagonally with the front wheel at the front left corner and the rear wheel at the back right corner. Make sure both wheels are leaning against the truck bed to prevent the bike from moving back and forth.

Load the dirt bike on the truck bed and park diagonally.

Step 5: Hook and tighten the straps on the soft loops

Hook the straps on the soft loops. Pull up and down with the ratchet handle until it feels tight, and push the handle down to the lock position. You could try flicking the strap and enjoy the resilience!

Tie down a dirt bike by hooking the strap on the soft loop first and tightening the strap by pulling the handle up and down.
Tightening the retractable ratchet strap.

Step 6: Release

Start by unhooking the straps from the soft loops. What you want to do next is to open the ratchet handle, give the strap a gentle pull outward, and the strap will automatically retract.

How to tie down TWO dirt bikes in a truck

Say that you are going on a dirt bike trip with your family or friends, and you are bringing along two dirt bikes. Now, the question is — what about tying down two dirt bikes in a truck? We’ve got you. To save your time figuring it out on your own, we’ve put together a detailed guide on how to tie down TWO dirt bikes in a truck!

Step 1: Hook four straps

Hook two straps at the front left corner and another two at the front right corner.

Step 2: Load the first bike and hook the straps

Take one of the straps at the front left corner, and hook it on the soft loop on the left handlebar. Then, repeat the same process with the right handlebar.

Load the first bike on the truck bed and hook the strap on the left handlebar first.
Lock the strap on the soft loop on the right handlebar.

Step 3: Load the second bike

Load the second bike and lean it against the side of the truck. Make sure that the two front wheels are leaning against each other.

load the second bike and lean it against the  truck.
Two front wheels touching each other.

Step 6: Tighten the strap

Pull up and down with the ratchet handle until it feels tight, and push the handle down to the lock position.

Tighten the strap by pulling the ratchet handle up and down.

Step 7: Lock the hook on the second bike

Take another hook from the left corner and lock it on the left handlebar.

Hook the strap on the second bike.

Step 8: Tighten the strap

Pull up and down with the ratchet handle until it feels tight, and push the handle down to the lock position.

Tighten the strap by pulling the ratchet handle up and down.

Step 9: Take another hook on the opposite side and lock it

Take the hook from the right side of the corner and hook it on the right handlebar of the second bike.

Two dirt bikes are finally tied down securely on the truck bed.

Let’s Sum It Up!

Securing your dirt bike or bikes for transport doesn’t have to be a daunting task with frustration. With the advent and innovative retractable ratchet straps, the process becomes not only efficient but also safer and a lot more reliable than you would expect. These straps, designed with the auto-retracting mechanism, streamline your tie-down process to reduce the time and effort required. By following the steps above, from wrapping soft loops to securing your load(s) with Strapinno’s retractable ratchet straps, you can rest assured your dirt bike is worry-free and ready for transport, whether you’re loading one or two bikes. 

Remember, investing in the right equipment pays off in the long run in terms of convenience and a peace of mind. So, next time you’re gearing up for an off road adventure, make sure you’ve picked up your own retractable ratchet straps from Strapinno. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How tight should the ratchet straps be when securing loads?

The straps should be tight enough to hold the bike firmly without movement, but not too tight to a point where it causes damage to your bike or parts. A good test we often run is to flick the straps with your finger slightly. You should feel a bit taut and resilient! 

Are soft loops necessary?

While soft loops are not absolutely necessary, they are highly recommended. They provide an additional layer of protection for your dirt bike by preventing the hooks of the straps from scratching or damaging the handlebars, but mainly solves the problem if let’s say your handlebars are too thick for the hooks to clip on, or ones the hook clips on, it still slides to the end of the handlebar on your bike, therefore, soft loops are what we would recommend from the get go. 

Can the above methods be used for bikes of all sizes?

Yes, the methods described are versatile and can be used for most dirt bike sizes. However, always ensure the straps and loops are compatible with your bike’s dimensions and weight.

How many straps are required to securely tie down a dirt bike?

Generally, two straps works well for one dirt bike from our experience. If transporting more than one bike, ensure you have enough straps to secure each bike individually and make sure your bike doesn’t exceed the working load limit (WLL) depending on the retractable ratchet straps that you get! We offer varieties of ratchet straps (only retractables) with different WLL and breaking strength, just make sure you don’t go over it for security reasons!

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