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DIRTBIKE HAULER | 2024 FORD F-150 | Bike Reviews | Features

We jump in the official 2024 Ford F-150 to see how it goes as a dirtbike hauler. Ford claimed it could fit two dirtbikes in, tailgate up!

The popularity of American pick-ups in Australia exploded in 2017 when American Specialised Vehicles brought in the Ram range. We fell in love with the over-sized, brute power of the Yank tank and dirtbike enthusiasts seemed among the most interested. At every race meet and trailride I attended, there were more and more American pick-ups rearing their large heads and the 2024 Ford F-150 looks set to follow suit.

The Ram 1500 initially entered the market as an affordable alternative to a 79 Series Toyota Land Cruiser dual cab ute but the price of the Ram 1500 quickly climbed and now you’ll need almost $50,000 more than the coin required to get a Cruiser. Chevrolet also entered the market with their Silverado but they were also asking a lot more than Toyota. Sure, you get a lot more vehicle when it comes to features but the price was starting to get away from regular Aussie dirtbike riders.

Enter the 2024 Ford F-150. Ford was a little slower getting to the Aussie market than the Ram and Chevrolet but that’s because they’re doing things very different. The Ram and Chev are essentially tarted up right-hand drive vehicles with the DNA of the car still leaning left (the way the steering system works for example). But Ford has completely altered the DNA of the F-150 to be more right wing than ever.


The 2024 Ford F-150 is officially being brought in by Ford Australia meaning they have a standard and reputation to uphold. Every 2024 Ford F-150 that is brought into Australia is taken to a RMA Automotive factory on the outskirts of Melbourne and pulled apart, right down to the frame.

Originally manufactured in Detroit, United States, the F-150s undergo major surgery. The rigorous process requires around 500 new parts and recalibration of key systems to suit Australian needs, including the steering, climate control, lighting systems, as well as the instrument panel and software upgrades.

Located in the same precinct as Ford Australia’s new parts distribution centre, the 21,000 sqm RMA Automotive facility sees engineers from Ford and RMA Automotive collaborate to ensure the F-150s are re-manufactured to exacting ‘Built Ford Tough’ standards, that they roll into the country with. Standing in the assembly line I was blown away at the size of the project to essentially rebuild an entire vehicle. If you were questioning how serious Ford is taking the Aussie appetite for F-trucks, simply take a tour of the RMA facility. Seeing the process firsthand gave me some assurance that the vehicle will be more reliable than any other American import.


Ford will be bringing in two different variations of the F-150 in two different sizes: The XLT and the LARIAT in a long wheel base (LWB) and short wheel base (SWB). Both the XLT and LARIAT F-150 models will feature a 3.5-Litre EcoBoost Twin-Turbo V6 petrol engine paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission in the 4×4 Crew Cab configuration. It pumps out 298kW and torque reaching 678Nm across the range. It also utilises clever technology such as Ford’s port-fuel and direct-injection (PFDI) system and twin-intercooled turbochargers for better power and minimal lag.

The SWB has a length of 3683mm and 1676mm tub while the LWB has an extended wheelbase of 3987mm and a tub measuring 1981mm. All F-150 models in Australia can tow up to 4.5 tonnes.

The XLT is the base-spec machine but still comes standard with 20-inch, machined-aluminum wheels, chrome front and rear bumpers, black platform running boards, a tailgate with a flexible step and work surface, and a Tough Bed spray-in bedliner.

The F-150 XLT SWB is priced at $106,950, while the XLT LWB is priced at $107,945.

As the flagship model in Australia, the F-150 LARIAT is more luxurious. It comes with additional features over the XLT variant, like a fancy mesh insert grille, chrome appearance package, powered twin-panel moonroof, and LED headlights, fog lights, bigger screen and different dash and taillamps.

The F-150 LARIAT SWB is priced at $139,950, and the LWB LARIAT is priced at $140,945.

With the support of a nationwide dealer network (the benefit of being officially imported by Ford Australia) the F-150 comes with a factory-backed five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty.


We drive our beat-up Mitsubishi Triton into the bush at least once a week to test bikes. We’re always in a rush so the poor lil’ Triton gets a hammering on the dirt roads. And when loading everything into the tray, things are just thrown in and tied down however we can make it work so the vehicle isn’t given a plush life which has set us up with a good eye for testing dirtbike haulers.

There are several reasons why the Ford F-150 is the best dirtbike hauler on the market, starting with the tub size. If you purchase the LWB you can fit two dirtbikes in the tub with the tailgate closed. We tested this theory with two Yamaha YZ250Fs (overall length 2180mm) and with the wheels turned and jammed into the corners we squeezed the tailgate shut. Most other American pick-ups in the 1500 range can run just one bike on an angle to get the tailgate closed.

But the LWB tub isn’t the only dirtbike specific addition. The tailgate is the other nifty feature. For starters, the tailgate is hydraulically operated so you don’t have to open and close the big heavy piece of metal under your own strength. While that is handy, the best part about it is the step that extends out of the tailgate to help climbing into the tub.

I’ve seen so many riders have to position a bike stand at the back to step onto to get up into the tub but this handy little step that’s hidden in the tailgate means you can leave the bike stand at home!

The tub is the main talking point for us dirtbike riders which also has a plethora of tiedown points but there’s more to like as a ute or pick-up enthusiast than just the tub. The V6 twin turbo petrol motor had me initially worried about the capability as not only a tow vehicle but also a good highway commuter and of course fuel efficiency. But as soon as I turned the F-150 on it roared to life like a V8. In fact, when you I planted my foot it sounded more V8-like than V6 and it absolutely hammered. The motor is an absolute screamer.

While slowly cruising around town and on the highway we had the F-150 down to 11.2L/100km with an empty tray! That’s only one litre worse than the Triton. And on the highway the F-150 drives like a private jet, it’s quiet, comfortable and isn’t exhausting.

The interior is comfortable and massive. UHF radios are needed to communicate with those in the back. I love how big and spacious the cab is because it makes those long highway stretches we do on a weekly basis, so much more enjoyable.

We had limited time towing with it so I will need to get more seat time before commenting on its towing capability but it does come with a very cool system that allows you to control the vehicle from a dial knob on the dash when reversing up to hook up a trailer. I can elaborate more on that if I get a chance to do some more tow testing.

The popularity of American pick-ups is at an all-time high and it’s easy to see why. They’re more comfortable to drive, have more space for your dirtbike and are much better at towing than the regular four-cylinder diesel ute. But they do come with a hefty price tag, something Ford is trying to rectify with this well-priced, value for money F-150.

2024 Ford F-150 XLT

  • 20-inch alloy wheels
  • Chrome front and rear bumpers
  • Black platform running boards
  • Tailgate with flexible step and work surface
  • Tough Bed spray-in bedliner
  • Boxlink cargo management locking cleats
  • Underbody skidplates
  • Power adjustable cloth seats
  • Column mounted gear shifter
  • SYNC 44 with eight-inch centre touchscreen
  • Satellite Navigation system
  • Seven-speaker sound system
  • FordPass Connect5
  • Dual zone automatic climate control
  • Power adjustable foot pedals
  • Foldout office workspace
  • Rear view camera
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Ford Pro-Trailer Back-Up Assist
  • Cruise control
  • Pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking (AEB)
  • BLIS with cross-traffic alert and trailer tow coverage
  • Lane-keeping aid and driver alert system6

2024 Ford F-150 LARIAT (in addition to XLT)

  • Premium mesh insert grille with chrome surround
  • Chrome appearance package
  • Powered twin-panel moonroof
  • LED headlights, fog lights and taillamps
  • Power release and close tailgate
  • Power sliding rear window
  • Leather-accented seats
  • Heated and cooled front seats
  • Heated rear seats (excluding middle seat)
  • Power adjustable seats
  • Floor console mounted shifter
  • 12-inch centre touchscreen
  • B&O unleashed sound system by Bang & Olufsen
  • Power adjustable foot pedals with memory settings
  • Front parking sensors
  • 360-degree camera
  • Intelligent adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go
  • Lane centreing
  • Speed sign recognition
  • Evasive steering assist
  • Intersection assist
  • Wireless phone charging

Sausage factory

RMA Automotive can re-manufacture up to 20 F-150s each day, using an assembly line with 65 individual stations. The re-manufacturing process takes around 22 working hours over three days to complete each vehicle.

Words | Mitch Lees