Motorcycle shipping is a must when one doesn’t have the opportunity to ride it themselves but needs to get it to a certain location. Whether you’re moving, buying or selling a bike, or just need to relocate it, there are motorcycle shipping and transport services available for you.
However, moving a motorcycle is different than shipping a standard vehicle. As motorcycles are smaller and constructed differently, different methods of shipping must be used.
We’ll explain more about how shipping a motorcycle works as well as what you can expect when shipping yours. Let’s get started!
How Motorcycle Shipping Works
On the surface, shipping a motorcycle isn’t much different from shipping a regular-sized vehicle. You determine what kind of services you need, how much it will cost, and find a company that is able to complete the task.
But after that, the processes diverge. When shipping a standard car, truck, or SUV, a standard open auto transportation truck is usually used. But when you ship a motorcycle, that kind of carrier is not available. Open transport trucks are meant to haul vehicles with four wheels, and motorcycles do not have four wheels. As such, they won’t be able to sit securely on an open transport truck, which means different methods are going to be used.
The most common way a motorcycle is shipped is actually on an enclosed carrier after it has been crated. Another option is via a flatbed truck, strapped down to the bed and exposed to the elements.
Most of the time, crating a motorcycle will be at least as cheap as, if not cheaper than, shipping with a flatbed. Most motorcycle-only shippers operate enclosed trucks that are designed to haul motorcycles. As such, their prices reflect that. Flatbed haulers aren’t as common, and aren’t usually used to transport smaller vehicles like motorcycles. You can speak to a representative to see which method would be better for your shipment.
All of that said, it’s not hard to find a motorcycle transport company at a great rate. More importantly, shipping a motorcycle tends to be cheaper than shipping a car due to the lower weight.
Preparing the Motorcycle for Transport
Preparing your bike for shipping is much the same as preparing any other vehicle for transport. You should only have a quarter tank of fuel when it is shipped. Also make sure that the motorcycle is operational, and if it is not, to let your representative know it does not run. You should check for any loose connections, particularly with the wheels and with the handlebars. It’s rare, but we’ve seen customers’ bikes fall apart during the loading or unloading process before!
Make sure you know what method of transport you’re signing up for. If your motorcycle is being crated, make sure that it is easily accessible in an area that a crate can be assembled in. There should be enough room for the truck as well. If you can’t do this, speak to an agent to discuss alternative pickup locations.
When the carrier arrives, the process will be the same as when you transport a car. You’ll need to do an inspection of the motorcycle to note any existing damage and you’ll need to sign the Bill of Lading with your driver as proof of the inspection. Most drivers will not need help assembling the crate that the motorcycle will be transported in. However, you should be ready to render assistance if it’s needed.
Getting the most out of your shipment
Make sure to compare prices and services before you actually book a shipment. Motorcycles can be more difficult for shippers to price, especially if they are not a motorcycle-only company. So comparing prices is important.
You should definitely talk to your representative about other things you can do to make the shipment easier for them, the carrier, and yourself. Don’t be afraid to call different companies and ask them the same questions, as they may end up giving different answers.
Always check reviews of any prospective shipper before you book your order. Most companies that you find online nowadays are top-rated, with the low-rated companies either not sticking around long or being buried in online search results. This helps, but you should always verify the authority and accountability of any and every shipper.
You should start your search as soon as you know you’ll need to ship your motorcycle. Ask companies if crating a motorcycle costs extra – it shouldn’t, but not all shippers include crating in their price. Cross the “T’s,” dot the “I’s,” and get the most out of your shipment.
Ship your motorcycle today!
Let American Auto Shipping help you ship your motorcycle! We’ve been in business for 20 years, and have the experience customers rely on. You can get a free quote to ship your bike any time via our online quote form, or you can contact one of our representatives to get a quote over the phone. If you call, you can also ask questions, get advice, learn more about how motorcycle transport works, and more. So no matter what you need, let American Auto Shipping help you get it done.