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Understanding the Motorcycle Shipping Process: Step-by-Step Guide

Motorcycle shipping, unlike car transport, is a specialized service focusing on the unique needs of motorcycle enthusiasts. Motorcycle Shipping is a specialized service that not all transporters can provide. Why bother searching for “Motorcycle Shipping” if you aren’t going to hire an actual motorcycle shipper? Let us show you how you can find a service that will help you with your valuable bike. In this post you will learn about tailored options like door-to-door delivery and terminal-to-terminal transport, each with its own set of advantages, handling requirements, cost implications, and recommendations for different types of motorcycles. The following sections will explore these aspects in detail.

Whether you are relocating, buying or selling remotely, or attending distant events. Our guide will delve into the details, helping you understand why choosing a reliable company is essential. Learn about service types, get an instant quote, and discover the benefits of shipping your motorcycle with professionals.

What is Motorcycle Shipping?

Motorcycle shipping is a specialized service designed to transport motorcycles from one location to another safely and securely. Unlike standard vehicle transport, motorcycle shipping requires specific handling, equipment, and expertise to accommodate the unique size, shape, and needs of motorcycles. This service caters to a variety of situations, such as relocating across states, buying or selling motorcycles remotely, or attending events and rallies far from home.

With options ranging from door-to-door delivery for convenience to terminal-to-terminal for cost efficiency, motorcycle shipping offers tailored solutions to meet the diverse needs of motorcycle owners and enthusiasts. Whether it’s for a vintage collector’s piece or a daily ride, motorcycle shipping ensures that every bike reaches its destination in pristine condition.

Why Ship a Motorcycle?

Choosing to ship a motorcycle is driven by various compelling reasons, each highlighting the service’s flexibility and necessity. For individuals relocating across states or even the country, motorcycle shipping presents a secure method to move their prized possession without the hassle of long-distance riding.

Motorcycle secured on skid in enclosed trailer.
The motorcycle is secured on a skid in an enclosed trailer.

Similarly, the buying and selling of motorcycles has transcended local markets, with buyers and sellers relying on shipping services to safely exchange motorcycles from remote locations.

Furthermore, motorcycle enthusiasts often attend events or rallies that are far from home, necessitating a reliable way to transport their motorcycles to these destinations. In each of these scenarios, motorcycle shipping offers a solution that is not only convenient but ensures the motorcycle arrives in the same condition it was sent, eliminating the risks associated with alternative transportation methods.


Relocation across states

Relocating can be a daunting task, especially when it involves moving a motorcycle over long distances. Shipping your motorcycle becomes a practical choice, offering a hassle-free solution to transport your bike safely across states. This option ensures that your motorcycle arrives at your new location without the wear and tear of a long road trip.


Buying/Selling motorcycles remotely

The digital age has expanded the marketplace for buying and selling motorcycles beyond local boundaries. Whether you’ve found the perfect bike across the country or you’re selling to a buyer in another state, motorcycle shipping provides a secure and efficient way to handle the transaction. It bridges the gap between buyer and seller, making long-distance sales smooth and worry-free.


Attending Events/Rallies far from home

For motorcycle enthusiasts, attending events or rallies is an integral part of the riding experience. However, when these events are located far from home, transporting your motorcycle can become a challenge. Motorcycle shipping offers a convenient solution, allowing riders to ship their bikes to the event location.

This ensures that you can enjoy the ride on your own bike, no matter where the road takes you.

What to look for in a Motorcycle Shipping Company?

Selecting the right motorcycle shipping company is crucial for ensuring your motorcycle is transported safely and arrives in the same condition it was sent.

Research and Reviews for Reliability

Before choosing a motorcycle shipping company, it’s essential to conduct thorough research and read reviews from past customers on platforms like Trustpilot, Google Reviews, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Look for reviews that mention timely delivery, condition of the motorcycle upon arrival, customer service interaction, and how disputes were handled. High ratings and positive feedback are indicators of reliability.

Some motorcycle shippers boast high ratings and positive customer feedback on platforms like Trustpilot, reflecting their commitment to timely delivery, excellent condition of the motorcycle upon arrival, and outstanding customer service.

How are Motorcycles Transported?

 

Some motorcycle shippers offer various service types to cater to diverse needs and preferences, ensuring the best care for your motorcycle.

Service Type Description Best For
Enclosed Transport Motorcycle is shipped in a fully enclosed trailer, protecting it from the elements and road debris. High-value, vintage, or delicate motorcycles.
Door-to-Door The shipping company picks up and delivers the motorcycle directly to specified locations. Convenience and those unable to transport the motorcycle to a terminal.
Terminal-to-Terminal Motorcycle is dropped off at and picked up from the shipping company’s terminals. Cost savings for those transporting the motorcycle to and from the terminal.
Skidded Moving Companies use forklift and pallet-jack-friendly skids to safely and securely transport their clients’ motorcycles. Skids accommodate most motorcycles and provide additional anchor points and protection ensuring safe shipping.
Non-skidded A motorcycle is secured directly to the shipping company’s enclosed trailer. Cost savings for motorcycle shipping to the final destination.
Motorcycle shipping truck at residence
Door-to-Door Motorcycle Shipping

Door-to-Door for Convenience

Door-to-door service offers maximum convenience with direct pickup and delivery. This service is ideal for those seeking hassle-free shipping.

Terminal-to-Terminal for Cost-Efficiency

For those looking to save on shipping costs, terminal-to-terminal service can reduce expenses significantly, making it a budget-friendly option.

Aspect Door-to-Door Terminal-to-Terminal
Cost Higher due to direct service. Lower, as it requires less handling and logistics.
Convenience Maximum, with customer-specified locations. Less convenient, requiring transport to/from the terminal.
Availability Widely available, with some residential restrictions. Dependent on terminal locations.

By choosing the right motorcycle shipping company, you can ensure a smooth and secure shipping experience for your motorcycle. Learn more and get an instant quote today.

Booking Your Motorcycle Shipment

Booking your motorcycle shipment involves a few key steps to ensure a smooth and secure transport process. Initially, request a quote and review service and prices. This is crucial in finding a balance between cost and the quality of service offered.

Next, focus on what is offered in terms of insurance, delivery options, and handling procedures. Once you’ve selected the most suitable option, confirm the details and dates. This includes verifying pickup and delivery dates, motorcycle insurance coverage, and any specific requirements related to the shipping process.

Taking these steps meticulously ensures that your motorcycle will be transported safely to its destination.

Details to Confirm

Verify the dates provided and familiarize yourself with the company’s policy on delays or cancellations. Confirming these details helps avoid any surprises or misunderstandings during the shipping process.

Detail to Confirm Company Selected
Pickup Date Confirmed (Date)
Delivery Date Confirmed (Date)
Insurance Coverage Confirmed (Details)
Cancellation Policy Confirmed (Details)
Delay Policy Confirmed (Details)

This detailed approach to booking your motorcycle shipment ensures that you make an informed decision tailored to your specific needs and circumstances.

How to Prepare a Motorcycle for Shipment?

Preparing your motorcycle for shipping is critical to ensure its safety and maintain its condition throughout the transport process. Begin by cleaning your motorcycle thoroughly to identify any existing damage or scratches that need to be documented. Inspect and document the condition of your motorcycle carefully, taking photos from various angles as a record. If your motorcycle is equipped with an alarm, be sure to put it in transport mode or disable it.

Remove personal items and accessories that could be lost or damaged during shipping, and secure loose parts and fragile items to prevent any movement or harm. Proper preparation not only protects your motorcycle but also aids in a smooth and efficient shipping experience, giving you peace of mind as your bike is transported to its new destination.

Clean the Motorcycle Thoroughly

A thorough cleaning of your motorcycle is the first step in preparing it for shipping. This not only highlights its current condition but also makes it easier to spot any pre-existing damage or scratches. A clean motorcycle ensures that every detail is visible for accurate documentation.

Recommended cleaning products include:


  • Mild Soap: Safe for all motorcycle surfaces.

  • Microfiber Cloths: Prevent scratching while cleaning.

  • Motorcycle-Specific Cleaner: For tougher stains and grease.

  • Protectant Spray: To give a finishing shine.

Inspect and Document Condition Carefully

Carefully inspect your motorcycle and document its condition. Take detailed photographs from multiple angles to create a comprehensive record. This documentation is crucial for comparison purposes in case of any disputes or claims upon delivery.

Use a high-resolution camera or smartphone and ensure good lighting to capture:

Aspect Details
Overall Condition From each side, top, and bottom.
Specific Areas Close-ups of any existing damage, scratches, or unique features.
Odometer To record the mileage before shipping.

Remove Personal Items and Accessories

Before shipping, remove all personal items and accessories from your motorcycle. These items can become loose during transport, leading to potential loss or damage. Removing them also helps to prevent any personal loss and ensures that only the motorcycle itself is being shipped.

Common items to remove include:

  • Saddlebags
  • GPS Units
  • Toll Tags
  • Removable Luggage

During the Shipping Process

During the shipping process, staying informed and engaged is crucial for a smooth experience. Communication with the shipper is essential. Keeping an open line of communication ensures that you receive timely updates and can address any concerns immediately.

Communication with the Shipper for Updates

Regular contact ensures that you are informed regarding your motorcycle’s shipment. Effective communication with the shipper also reinforces the trust and reliability of the shipping service, ensuring a transparent process.

Communication Method Expected Frequency Notes
Online Tracking Use as frequently as necessary for real-time insights Check to gather critical data about the shipment
Email As needed, or at key shipment milestones Check your spam folder to ensure you’re not missing updates.
Phone Calls For significant updates or at your request Ensure the shipper has your correct contact number.
Online Chat/Portal 24/7 access for self-service updates Useful for non-urgent questions or after-hours inquiries.

Post-Delivery Motorcycle Inspection

Upon your motorcycle’s arrival, a thorough inspection is essential to ensure it was delivered in the same condition as it was shipped. Carefully check for any signs of damage or discrepancies from its documented pre-shipment state. This step is vital for identifying any transport-related issues.

If you discover any damage, report it to the shipping company immediately. Prompt reporting allows for the timely filing of necessary claims and facilitates quicker resolutions. This proactive approach protects your investment and ensures accountability and satisfaction with the shipping service.

Inspect Upon Arrival for Any Damage

After examining the motorcycle against the pre-shipment documentation and photographs, notify the shipping company right away if you find any discrepancies or new damages.

Immediate Steps if Damage is Noticed:

  1. Document the Damage: Take clear photos or videos of the damage from multiple angles.
  2. Do Not Use the Motorcycle: Avoid using the motorcycle until the issue is resolved to prevent disputes about when the damage occurred.
  3. Report Any Issues Immediately to the Company: Reporting issues as soon as they are discovered reinforces your rights as a customer.
Step Action Description Deadline Documentation Required
1 Contact the Shipping Company Notify the company immediately upon discovery of the damage. As soon as damage is discovered, ideally within 24 hours of delivery. Your contract or shipping agreement number, and your contact information.
2 Submit Documentation Provide detailed photographs or videos of the damage, along with any pre-shipment photos for comparison. Within the company’s specified timeframe, often 48-72 hours after reporting. Photographs or videos of the damage, pre-shipment condition documentation, and any relevant correspondence.
3 Fill Out a Claim Form Complete any required claim forms provided by the shipping company. According to the company’s policy, usually within 5-7 days of the incident. Completed claim form, detailed description of the damage, and any repair estimates.
4 Follow Up Keep in contact with the shipping company for updates on your claim. Regular intervals until resolution. Notes from conversations, including names, dates, and any promises or resolutions offered.

Other Post-Shipping Considerations

After your motorcycle has been successfully shipped and received, there are a few post-shipping considerations to ensure a seamless transition back to use.

Maintenance Check Before Riding for Safety

A maintenance check before riding is essential for safety. Even if your motorcycle appears to be in the same condition as before shipping, it’s important to conduct a thorough inspection and maintenance check to ensure everything is functioning correctly. This proactive approach not only ensures your motorcycle’s longevity but also safeguards your riding experience.

This includes checking the battery, fluids, tires, brakes, and any mechanical components that could have been affected during transport. Even if your motorcycle was secured and protected during shipping, vibrations, and shifts could still impact its condition.

Detailed Maintenance Checklist:

Item to Check What to Look For Action Required
Battery Charge level, corrosion on terminals Charge if low, clean terminals
Fluids Levels of oil, coolant, brake fluid Top up any low fluids
Tires Air pressure, tread wear, any damage Inflate to correct pressure, replace if worn or damaged
Brakes Pad wear, fluid level, responsiveness Replace worn pads, top up fluid, bleed if necessary
Lights Functionality of headlights, brake lights, indicators Replace any non-working bulbs
Chain/Belt Tension, wear, lubrication Adjust tension, replace if worn, lubricate
Controls Clutch and throttle operation, brake and clutch lever condition Adjust for smooth operation, replace any damaged parts
Frame & Suspension Any signs of damage or unusual wear Inspect for cracks, ensure suspension is properly adjusted
Exhaust System Damage or leaks Repair or replace damaged parts

Performing this maintenance check ensures that your motorcycle is in top condition and safe to ride after shipping, providing peace of mind for your upcoming journeys.

Reviewing the Shipping Experience Online

After receiving your motorcycle, taking the time to review the shipping experience online is a valuable step for the broader riding and shipping community. Your insights on the service’s reliability, communication, handling, and overall satisfaction can guide future customers in making informed choices. Positive feedback can highlight strengths, while constructive criticism can point out areas for improvement, contributing to higher service standards in the motorcycle shipping industry.

Suggested Platforms for Review:

  • Trustpilot
  • Yelp
  • Facebook
  • Better Business Bureau

Information to Include in Your Review:

  • Shipping company name and contact information
  • Details about the service you received (e.g., door-to-door, terminal-to-terminal)
  • Your overall satisfaction rating
  • Any issues encountered and how they were resolved
  • Recommendations for future customers

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Posted By

Clint Lawrence

Clint Lawrence, founder of Motorcycle Shippers. Helping give riders more freedom to enjoy the bikes they love.