Great Tips for Shipping Your Motorcycle

by Jun 23, 2016

Great Tips for Shipping Your Motorcycle

by Jun 23, 2016

As an avid motorcycle rider, I always dread the times that I need to have my motorcycle shipped. My bike is very much like an extension of my very body and to be away from it, even when it may only be a few days, is a very stressful time period for me. I tend to worry excessively even when I know I’ll soon be reunited and cruising down the highway with the sun on my shoulders and the wind in my hair. As a female rider, I often find it much easier to have my motorcycle shipped when I take extensive cross country or international trips and for many years, I would scour the internet, often for many hours in search of a company to handle the shipment for me. Along the way, I’ve found a great deal of valuable information about motorcycle transport that I feel is very beneficial and can really help others when they too, need to have their own motorcycle shipped.

I ride my motorcycle practically every day of the year aside from the days that it I, and the bike, are in transit to a new area of the globe. Since I first started riding I’ve found nothing that can bring me the sheer joy that a motorcycle ride brings me. It’s just such a powerful feeling to be able to fly down the road without the restrictive confines that a car or other form of transportation can bring. The bike moves with my every move and I can literally feel the ground beneath me as I travel one mile after the next. It’s a beautiful feeling and I simply could not imagine life without riding. Now that you know how much my motorcycle means to my daily life, I’d like to point out a few things about having your own bike shipped when you need to do so that may help you save time as well as money. I’m pretty frugal at times so saving money while also maintaining a safe environment for my prized possession is something that is very important to me.

Some of the most important things that I have found about motorcycle shipping are the following:

Getting a Good Quote

Since almost everything in life can now be found online, it’s fairly easy to get a quote for motorcycle shipping from virtually hundreds of companies all at once. If you are like me and don’t want your email filled up with spam from hundreds of companies, it is best to locate companies online and get an individual quote from their website rather than entering your information into a site that promises many quotes at once. I used to make the mistake of doing that and would receive messages for weeks offering me services that I really did not need. When you go to individual motorcycle transport websites, be sure to check out several companies and get quotes from no less than three or four before you decide on the one to hire. This will let you compare prices between the companies to not only see who has the best rate, but most importantly, who has the highest quality services and practices that will keep your motorcycle safe and secure during transport. Safety for my motorcycle is always of the utmost importance and I am sure it is for you as well. After all, the whole reason for hiring a company to transport the bike is to keep it safe and have it arrive in perfect shape for riding at the new location. I have found that when you choose a company based on a low price, you basically get exactly what you pay for. I made a few mistakes several years ago by choosing a company that outbid the others only to find that my motorcycle arrived with bad scratches and once, I even had a fuel gauge that had to be replaced because the glass was cracked when it was delivered. Since then I have learned the hard way that saving a few bucks really is not worth it in the long run because not having to take spend the time as well as the frustration of having to file a damage claim is much more important to me.

When you call or submit an online quote form with a motorcycle transport company, you need to know how you want to have your motorcycle shipped. I found out early on that there are two individual ways to transport a bike. Depending on the one you choose, your quote will either be pretty low or fairly high. You can usually choose between terminal shipping or door to door and both are widely used and considered safe for all types of transport.

Terminal Shipping.

I have used terminal to terminal shipping for my motorcycle on several occasions and have never had an issue at all. It is the least expensive option and works quite well but you need to ask the company upfront if they have a terminal in your city or state for pickup as well as for delivery. Sometimes, the terminals can be quite a way from town and you may need to drive to drop the bike off. If this is not going to be an issue and you really need to save a little money, then terminal shipping may be right for you.

Door to Door Shipping.

I have not yet found a company that doesn’t offer door to door services and I try to utilize this service as often as possible. Yes, it does cost more than terminal shipping but it is so convenient to be able to stay home and have the driver pick the bike up instead of having to drive it or even haul it on a trailer to a terminal. I also like the fact that when I use door to door services I don’t need to sit and worry about my motorcycle being left unattended in a dark terminal parking lot. Whichever way you choose is a personal choice, but for me personally, I prefer door to door services whenever possible.

Open, Or Enclosed?

Once you determine whether you want to use a terminal or have a driver come right to your home, you’re also going to need to decide on open or enclosed shipping methods. When it comes to shipping a motorcycle I will tell you now, my motorcycle has never shipped on an open air carrier because I prefer enclosed, but this is something that is up to the individual motorcycle owner and both methods are safe when it comes to shipping. Something that you will need to take into account when shipping your motorcycle is the distance it will be transported, the value of the bike and the kind of motorcycle you own. These elements alone will help you determine which mode of transport will be best for your own motorcycle.

Most motorcycles are shipped with enclosed transport because they are smaller than automobiles and quite frankly, a little more susceptible to the elements during transport including road debris and other factors that can affect the bike parts including, and most importantly, the engine. If the motorcycle is shipping locally or even within just a few hundred miles, open carriers are great and will work just fine. It is also fine for motorcycles that may not need to be protected to prevent scratches or if it has been crated for the journey. Crating a bike is great when using open air carriers because it helps keep it safe for flatbed transport. For longer trips, especially cross country or internationally, I personally would suggest having them hauled inside of crate if using an open air carrier or inside of an enclosed carrier just to be on the safe side.

Something you may want to take note of is that when it comes to motorcycle shipping, it is going to be pretty easy to locate an open air carrier and most companies can schedule this type of transport pretty fast because there are so many open air carriers on the roads. Chances are that it will also cost significantly less than shipping with an enclosed carrier. Using a crate is highly suggested and is also the most common way that motorcycles are shipped worldwide. You can usually get a crate from a local motorcycle dealer or even from the manufacturer is you bought the bike new. Some people that I have spoken to have even built their own crates, but I don’t know many people that have the spare time to spend building a crate so obtaining one from a dealer or trying to locate one online to buy is going to be the best choice to find a crate.

Overall Safety of Motorcycle Shipping

In more than eleven years of riding I have found that hiring a professional motorcycle shipping company has not only been able to save me quite a bit of money but also has saved me lots of wear and tear on my bike and plenty of time when I need to have the motorcycle arrive on time so I can enjoy it while on vacation or during other traveling that I do. Yes, I had a fuel gauge crack once several years ago, but since that time I have learned a lot about the shipping process and how to make sure that my motorcycle stays safe while it is being transported.

One of the most important things that you can do when you are considering hiring someone to transport your motorcycle is going to be to ask questions. Ask as many questions as possible when you contact a company so you can get a good feel for how they will treat you, how professional they are and how experienced they really are. It is very important to make sure the company is licensed and insured as well as registered with the DOT. All carriers are required to have a DOT and a Motor Carrier number and this is something you can easily check on your own by visiting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website. On this site you can also see if the company is insured, has a safe driving record, how long they have been in business and lots of other great info that you may want to check into before you hire anyone.

While there are several things to keep in mind when you need to have your motorcycle shipped, choosing the best motorcycle shipping company will be the most important decision that you make. Once you know who you are going to hire, the rest will fall into place as you speak to the customer service agent and start getting everything planned to help ensure an efficient and safe voyage for your bike. One of the best things about having a motorcycle shipped when you are traveling is the great feeling you will have when the delivery truck arrives and you are finally able to hop on, start it up and take off cruising down the road. As for me, I do believe it is time for me to get out and take a ride and enjoy the scenery from the seat of my own motorcycle. Happy, and safe riding to everyone!

Article by:

Angela Caito

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How to Ship a Motorcycle

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