Tips for Shipping your Motorcycle
buying a new bike, taking your bike with you to a new home, or going to a rally
too far to ride to, shipping your motorcycle may be necessary in many
situations. It can be very hard to find a good, trustworthy carrier if you do
not know what you are looking for or where to start. Here are some helpful tips
to safely and successfully transport your bike:
There is a good chance that one
of your friends has needed a similar service in the past and used someone they
would recommend to you. This may be the best place to start when looking for
motorcycle transporters since you know that someone you trust had a good
experience with them. You can also try asking local motorcycle clubs or posting
on forums to find recommendations.
Many motorcycles have a lot of
monetary and sentimental value to their riders, so you would not want to send
them with a carrier you do not trust. Most companies should be able to provide
multiple positive references. Make sure these references are specific to
motorcycles so you know the company has experience with bikes and a good
reputation. This is especially important for bikes since they require special
shipping needs and most carriers should have specific experience to know how to
safely transport motorcycles.
Motorcycles are shipped on either
open or enclosed trailers. Enclosed trailers are best when the motorcycle is
very valuable, will be travelling a long distance or through extreme weather
conditions, or if you have a very flexible timeline. Booking an enclosed
trailer can be difficult since they often hold more than one bike, so you may have
to work around the driver’s previously scheduled deliveries. Open trailers are safe if your bike is
not going very far since it will not be subjected to prolonged
exposure to the elements or thieves.
They also provide you with more flexibility when scheduling the transport since
most open trailer carriers do not carry a large number of motorcycles.
Door to Door Shipping
Most motorcycle shipping is door-to-door.
This does not always mean that the carrier will come straight to your door
as some large companies have trucks that are too big to fit on residential
streets. You may have to meet them in a nearby parking lot that can accommodate
large trucks. If they will be picking up or dropping off the bike at night, make
sure there is enough light available to thoroughly inspect the bike for damage.
Your personal policy will not
cover your bike when it is being shipped. Your carrier should offer a minimum
amount of coverage, but this will most likely not cover the full value of the
bike. If your bike is very valuable, you may want to purchase additional
insurance. Your carrier may be able to provide this or refer you to a
third-party insurance company. You can verify the insurance your carrier offers
by asking for a copy of their insurance certificate. Double-check the coverage with
the insurance company listed on the certificate or with the Department of
Transportation at www.safersys.org.
Preparing Your Bike
Carriers are not responsible for
lost or stolen accessories, so make sure to remove everything before the
carrier arrives, including anything you may have been storing in the bike.
Also, check the company’s policies since some require a drained or empty
fuel tank and disconnected battery before transport. Inspect
the bike thoroughly at pick-up and drop off, and take inventory of any
scratches or dings. Taking pictures of your bike from several angles will help
document the existing damage and prevent claims that damage incurred during
shipping was already there.
When riding your bike to your
destination is not a feasible option, shipping your motorcycle can really come
in handy. With gas prices so high and still rising now, it can also save you
money! Good luck and safe riding!
Written by Alyssa
Moskowitz of uShip.com, an online
marketplace for Motorcycle Shipping.
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