Why would you want to ship your motorcycle or scooter either domestically or internationally? There are many reasons for it but a few common ones only.
The first is if you are selling the motorbike, more so if it is being sent abroad. You have to be aware of many logistics issues and international shipping rules. The best way out is to contact a reputed motorcycle shipping company that will take care of everything, from packing at your doorstep to doorstep delivery abroad.
Next is if you are going on a cruising holiday and want to start from a point that is at a distance from your residence. It makes sense to ship the vehicle there rather than riding to that point. This is more so if it is another country altogether.
Finally, if you are settling abroad, you will want to ship your bike there. Most people do not want to sell their favorite bike while relocating and shipping is the best option in this case.
Do not try to do the whole shipping exercise yourself. There is a lot more to just transportation of the motorcycle like packing, insurance and preparing the bike for shipping that you might not be aware of. It is always advisable to entrust this responsibility to experts in this field.
Preparing your motorcycle for shipping
Before shipping the bike there are a number of steps that you should take to make sure that your bike arrives in good condition. Once you follow these tips, it will be easier for you to claim insurance if there is any damage to your vehicle during transport.
Thoroughly clean your motorcycle – Smudges, dirt, grease, and dust on your motorcycle should be cleaned thoroughly. Do not leave it to the shipping company as you will be charged for this service. Do this first as it will make subsequent steps for preparing your bike for shipping that much easier.
Document all physical damage – Closely examine the bike for any damages, even the smallest of scratches and keep a record if any. It will help you in making an insurance claim should there be any damage during transportation.
Document all mechanical issues – As in the physical examination, keep a record of any mechanical issues too. It will similarly help you in submitting a claim.
Take pictures of your motorcycle – This point is critical for the same reason – it will help in the submission of claims. Photograph your bike from every angle and focus especially on the physical damages like scratches and dents. Have the photographs date-stamped for later reference and authenticity.
All accessories and spare parts should be removed – All accessories, decorative items, and motorcycle bags that are attached to the bike should be removed. Look for loose items on your bike and take them out. Accessories should be packed separately and sent with the bike to prevent damage.
Drain the tank – You should drain the tank but not completely. After the bike is delivered to you at the destination there should be enough fuel in it to ride to the nearest gas station.
Check the existing insurance
Before motorcycle shipping, check the provisions in the existing insurance. Does it cover for any loss or damage during transportation? Does the insurance cover the accessories too? If not, contact the shipping company and get add-on packages for your bike to make up this gap. You should ensure that every aspect is covered with insurance before shipping.
Decide the mode of transport
You can avail one of the two methods of transportation.
Direct shipment – Trucks specially meant for transporting motorcycles and scooters ply on fixed routes and crisscross the country. These trucks have strategically placed eye-bolts on the floor of the truck to which the bike can be strapped down. The benefit here is that the trucks ply on pre-designated routes and hence if your destination falls on their route, the bike will be delivered quickly at the destination.
Shipments in pallets – Pallets are available in various dimensions and if your motorcycle fits in one, you can strap it inside and send as freight on a flatbed. Some pallets are specially made for bikes and have exclusive cutouts for securing the wheels. If it is an ordinary pallet, strap down the wheels securely so that the bike will not move during transportation. You can get straps particularly made for motorbikes which will not cause scratches on the machine.
Pack the accessories separately in a cardboard box with bubble wrap or plenty of newspapers to cushion the impact of the ride and send it with the bike. The shipping company will send the pallet as freight on an air ride trailer to negate the possibility of damage to the cargo.
If you are transporting your bike abroad, it will be either air-lifted or sent by ship. Get in touch with a motorcycle shipping company with wide experience in this field as there will be a lot of formalities and statutory regulations that need to be followed in such cases.