Rev Up Your Engines: The Ultimate Guide to Motorcycle Shipping for a Smooth and Secure Ride

Posted by Jerald

Title: Rev Up Your Engines: The Ultimate Guide to Motorcycle Shipping for a Smooth and Secure Ride


Ahhh, the open road! There’s nothing quite like the feeling of riding your motorcycle with the wind in your hair and the thrum of the powerful engine beneath you. But we can’t always ride where our heart desires — sometimes, our trusty steeds need to be transported to new destinations. That’s where motorcycle shipping comes into play. Whether you’re moving cross-country, planning an epic road trip, or finally making that track day dream come true, this ultimate guide to motorcycle shipping has got you covered. We’ll take you through everything you need to know to ensure that your ride arrives safe, sound, and ready for action.

1. Choosing the Right Motorcycle Shipping Company

The first step in shipping your motorcycle is to choose a reputable and reliable logistics company that specializes in motorcycle shipping. You’ll want to research several different options, taking into consideration factors such as price, insurance coverage, experience, and reputation. Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals from friends and online forums, as word of mouth can often be a great indicator of a company’s trustworthiness. Ideally, you should choose a company that is a member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has a reputation for excellent customer service.

2. Preparing Your Motorcycle for Shipping

Before handing over your motorcycle to the shipping company, you’ll need to follow some crucial steps to make sure that your ride is ready for transport:

a. Remove Loose Items and Accessories

Motorcycle shipping involves significant movement and vibrations. To prevent damage to your motorcycle, remove any loose items and accessories, such as saddlebags, tank bags, windshields, or GPS units.

b. Clean Your Motorcycle

It’s essential to clean your motorcycle before shipping it. A clean bike makes it easier for both you and the shipping company to inspect it and note any pre-existing scratches or damage.

c. Drain the Fuel and Check Fluids

Shipping companies require that motorcycles have a low fuel level, usually only a quarter tank, for safety purposes. Additionally, check your oil, coolant, and brake fluid levels, and fix any leaks.

d. Document Pre-Existing Damage

Take photographs of your motorcycle from all angles, and especially any pre-existing damage, as this will prove invaluable in the unlikely event that you need to file a claim with the shipping company.

e. Check Tire Pressure

Ensure that your tires are inflated to the recommended pressure, as this will help to keep the bike stable during transportation.

f. Securely Mount the License Plate

If your motorcycle’s license plate is loose, ensure that it is securely fastened to prevent it from falling off during transit.

3. Types of Motorcycle Shipping Options

There are several options when it comes to shipping your motorcycle:

a. Door-to-Door Service

Door-to-door service means that the shipping company will pick up your motorcycle at your specified location and deliver it to your chosen destination. This is the most convenient option for many people, as it eliminates the need for you to worry about getting your motorcycle to and from terminals or depots.

b. Terminal-to-Terminal Service

If you prefer a more cost-effective option, you can choose terminal-to-terminal shipping. This means that you will have to bring your motorcycle to a designated terminal, and it will be delivered to another terminal nearest your destination. You’ll need to make arrangements for pick-up and drop-off, either by yourself or with the help of a friend or family member.

c. Open Carrier vs. Enclosed Carrier

Motorcycles can be shipped using either open or enclosed carriers. Open carriers are more economical, but your bike will be exposed to the elements such as rain, dust, and potential debris. Enclosed carriers provide better protection, shielding your motorcycle from the elements and other external factors, but can be more expensive.

4. Insurance Coverage

It’s essential to ensure that your chosen shipping company provides insurance coverage for your motorcycle during transit. Ask for a copy of the shipper’s proof of insurance, and familiarize yourself with the details of the policy. Some shipping companies may offer additional insurance coverage for an added fee, and it’s worth considering if you are shipping a particularly valuable or sentimental motorcycle.

5. Be Prepared for Pickup and Delivery

Before your motorcycle is picked up, be sure to have all keys, extra parts, and necessary paperwork available. When choosing a pickup location, consider whether it’s accessible for a large trailer if the shipper is using door-to-door service. Keep in touch with the shipping company, and make sure that they have your current contact information.

Upon delivery, inspect your motorcycle closely for any signs of damage, comparing it to the photographs that you took before shipping. If there is any damage, note it on the driver’s bill of lading and take photographs for evidence.

6. Patience is a Virtue

Shipping a motorcycle can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks, depending on the distance, shipping method, and other factors. Be patient, and remember that your motorcycle’s safe and secure arrival is worth the wait.


Motorcycle shipping might seem daunting, but with the right logistics company and proper preparation, your pride and joy will be in good hands. By following this ultimate guide to motorcycle shipping, you can have peace of mind knowing that your ride is on its way to your desired destination, safe and sound. So, rev up your engines, and prepare for an adventure as you and your motorcycle explore new territory together!

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