Expert care is required when shipping your motorcycle

John Roehll Executive Vice President and Co-owner Dependable Auto Shippers

Whether you are purchasing a new motorcycle, attending a motorcycle rally or relocating to another state, motorcycle shipping is an efficient alternative to driving your bike long distances.

As expert care is required to ensure your motorcycle arrives in good condition, you should be prudent when selecting a shipping company to handle your motorcycle during transit. Before you begin preparing your bike for transport, there are 10 things to consider when shipping your motorcycle.


Do find out if your shipping company will insure your bike

Most shipping companies offer insurance to cover your motorcycle in case it is damaged while in transit. In the event that your shipping company does not have enough insurance to cover it, consider looking for supplementary insurance or a different shipping company.

Do document the condition of your motorcycle

Take note of any pre-existing scratches or nicks on your bike through close examination and dated photographs, in order to determine whether or not the motorcycle incurs damage in the shipping process.

Do prepare your motorcycle for shipping

To prepare your bike for transit, fold back the mirrors, disable the alarm system, charge the battery and secure or remove any loose parts on the motorcycle. Additionally, ask ahead of time if your shipping company has any specific requirements for shipping.

Do consider transporting your motorcycle with an enclosed trailer

As motorcycles tend to be sensitive to the elements such as snow, dirt, rain or road hazards, it is a smart choice to request an enclosed trailer for your bike’s transit. Especially if you are shipping your motorcycle a long distance, an enclosed trailer is recommended.

Do have realistic expectations about delivery timing

While the shipping company can offer an estimated time of arrival, it is important to remember that your bike isn’t guaranteed to be delivered on time. If you’re on a tight schedule, make sure the shipping company knows ahead of time when you need your bike so they can meet your needs.


Do not mistake a cheap quote for a good deal

Though it is tempting to jump at the lowest price you find, remember that you receive the service you pay for. Shipping companies with oddly low prices could be ignoring important steps necessary to take care of your bike. In any case, ask around for customer recommendations and ask the company about its experience shipping motorcycles.

Do not be afraid to ask questions

Considering the value of your motorcycle, you have the right to know how your bike will be handled while in transit. For example, will the bike be strapped down? Will the bike be transferred between trailers throughout the trip? If so, how does the auto-transport company prevent damage? Be sure to ask any questions you have before scheduling your shipment.

Do not forget to check tire pressure

Ensure your tires are inflated properly, as the motorcycle will likely be rolled on and off a trailer or truck. Deflated tires could cause long-term damage to your bike.

Do not neglect your motorcycle’s fluid leaks

It’s sometimes necessary to drain your bike’s fluid before shipping, especially if it is being shipped with other motorcycles. By transporting a leaky motorcycle, you risk damaging other motorcycles in transit, which could lead to hefty fines and liabilities.

Do not leave your keys at home

Imagine arriving in the city of an anticipated motorcycle rally and realizing you left the keys at home. Be sure to bring your keys with you to your destination in order to avoid a slip up that could potentially ruin your trip. In most cases, the shipping company will not need your keys to ship your bike.

Jumping cartoon

While transporting your motorcycle yourself may seem like an easy task, don’t leave anything to chance and instead hire a shipping company that can take care of your bike. It is important to consider the experience a company has with motorcycles in particular, as a damage-free delivery requires expert care.

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Photo Credits: Doug Law, Ontario, Canada. Courtesy of Douglas Law; Check Man, Cross Man and Jump Man © ioannis kounadeas -

John RoehllExecutive Vice President and Co-owner

John Roehll serves as executive vice president and part owner for Dependable Auto Shippers, one of the largest vehicle relocation companies in the U.S. representing corporate and retail clients since 1954. Roehll manages the company’s corporate ...

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