Originally Posted by noob
plywood, no. 2x, yes.
+1 3/4" plywood would not help much. Wood is more elastic than the steel cables, so the cables would take most of the load.
I'd go with a 2x12. If you have both the front wheel and rear on it it should keep the tailgate load under spec, and if you nail a 2x4 on either side to form a U channel it would be quite a lot stronger and stiffer and it would probably be easier to keep the bike on it.
My truck manual says 200 lbs on the tailgate.
That still leaves the problem of getting the bike up there without putting all 750 lbs onto the tailgate while the bike is on the ramp.
I don't know how strong the utilitrack is, but I doubt it's rated for large loads pulling it away from it's mounted surface (it's aluminum). My impression is that it's designed to keep things from sliding, but it does not look to me like it's going to handle hundreds of pounds of tensile loading.
A 2 foot lever on a 5 foot bed still leaves 300 lbs at the end of the board at the cab end of the bed. That's a lot of tensile loading and I don't think I'd trust those aluminum tracks.
If you can find a ramp or loading dock that would allow the bike to roll straight into the bed it would work because it would be a lot easier to share the loading between the external ramp and the truck bed/tailgate.
I used to live in a house that had a drainage ditch in the front yard. When I backed the truck into the ditch I could drive my motorcycle right into the back of the truck.
Originally Posted by cigars01
I am not all that well versed in lumber. What is 2X?
It's two inch thick lumber (only 1.5" thick nowdays). I recommended using a 2x12 which is 11" wide and 1.5" thick. Avoid having knots over the gap between the bed and the tailgate.