All these posts and not one comment on the type of loader we use. Folks who claim they'd never load an 850 motorcycle in a pickup bed simply are not aware of various SAFE ways of doing it. The one we use is called the Rampage motorcycle lift/carrier. We have been using it for over 10 years and two different Wings. No accidents, not even close. The truck we have is a 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Extended Cab 4x4. NO, IT'S NOT A LIFTED piece of junk like so many would assume. It sits at bone stock height.
Now, here's the scenario, I did the install for the Rampage several years ago when we purchased the truck and the ramp. One has to realize the geometry and physical aspects of this type of install and operation. And then build and install accordingly. Now, first off, my bed in that truck is a 6 1/2' bed. Second, the tail gate IS NOT USED when the lift is installed and being used. To put an excess of as much as 1,100 to 1,200 lbs on the edge of that tail gate is pure psyho to me. The average Wing (Gen 5 and down) weighs around 900 lbs, plus or minus. Then, there's the weight of the ramp and the rider.
With the Rampage, it does ALL the work while I stand back and push a button. Since the tail gate is of no use in the Rampage operations, it's removed and stored. I attached a Mount plate, made of 2" x 2" x 1/4" thick angle iron under the front edge of the bed that is permanently attached. There are two 1/2" x 13 nuts welded to that mount plate. There are also (3) 3/8" nut serts permenently installed in the rear section of the bed, in the middle.
Worrying about "drilling" a pickup bed is not worth worrying about! Geeeze, it's a PICKUP BED, not your wifes diamond earrings! Sooooo many people over think and over worry stuff. Annnnyway, that Rampage lift hovers around 250+ lbs so, knowing that I don't want that Rampage in my truck 24/7/365, I made a cart for it. It lives on that cart 'till it's needed.
When it comes time for me to load the Wing, the first thing I do is discard the tail gate and store it someplace safe. The second thing I do is, remove the 3/8" thick rubber bed mat I have in there. Then, I place the truck on the side yard concrete and then I roll the cart with the Rampage on it, right up to the back of the truck. Since I built that cart to hold that Rampage 1" above the bed height, I can roll the cart up right till it hits the bumper of the truck and the Rampage is almost half way into the bed but not touching it.
Then, I lift the over hanging part of it and the wife rolls the cart out of the way. I line the holes in the front of the Rampage up with the holes in the front of the bed where the welded nuts on the plate under the bed are and, insert the 1/2" bolts. I then insert the three 3/8" bolts in the rear section. I then plug the Winch line into the already existing 50 amp connector that is stored in the corner of the bed. I then plug the Winch control cable in and I'm ready to load the Wing. The Rampage has three sections to it. The mounted main section. The transcending middle section and the trolly section.
If any of you have seen what's called a Roll-back wrecker for retrieving cars and carrying them to a destination, the Rampage is the exact same type of scenario. The middle or transcending section is pulled back and tipped towards the ground. The trolly is then lowered 'till it hits the ground. I then ease the Wing up to the trolly which is a captive chock type scenario. I then install two tie-downs from the Wing to the trolly. A note here. I presently have a 2018 Tour DCT Airbag. I can't and wouldn't use those Goldstrike bolt on tie downs. They wouldn't and can't work for my scenario.
I made my own soft ties with a single loop at one end and off-set double loops at the other. Those two soft ties are wrapped around the steering head and inserted right through one of the loops on the other end. The preliminary tie downs are then inserted into one of those loop ends. Once that's done, I push a button on the Winch control and the bike starts ascending until the trolly tops out at the top of the second or mid section. Then I lock it in place with two pins.
Then, I push the button again and the secondary section climbs until it reaches a point that it literally changes to horizontal movement, just like the wreckers do with cars. Then at that point, the bike and the secondary section finishes traveling forward 'till it hits the stops. I then lock that section in place. When that's done, SIX MORE TIE DOWNS are then applied at various points. Yep, when I'm done, there are EIGHT tie downs holding that Wing in place.
Folks, it takes me a lot less time to do all of that then it does to write it all down on here. But, we have transported that Wing, and the Wing before it, probably around 50,000 miles all over the U.S. on our vacations with our motorhome towing the truck and carrying the Wing. When it comes time to off load the Wing, I don't need LOADING DOCKS, or piles of dirt, or an up hill drive way or anything. I push a button and the Wing lowers itself to the ground, DONE! And, when we return home, I off load the wing, un bolt the Rampage and it gets placed on its cart, the bed mat is re-installed and the tail gate is re-installed, all in about 10 minutes or so. That Rampage cost us about $1,500 over 10 years ago and has been worth every dime ever since. I wouldn't even THINK of loading my $26K, 840 lb. 2018 Wing in the back of our truck ANY OTHER WAY!