Are you moving your entire household and thinking about taking your bike with you? If you are a passionate biker and don’t want to part with your favorite machine, it is crucial that you learn how to move a motorcycle.
With proper loading and storing, and eventually, getting professional moving services, this whole process will go smoothly. Follow this handy guide to learn how to properly relocate your bike.
How to Move a Motorcycle – Preliminary Moving Steps
Whether you are planning to move your bike on your own or with the help of professional movers, you should properly prepare it for transport first. Before sending it off, you should inspect your machine for any pre-existing damage. Here are some tips on how to do it right:
- Clean your motorcycle
- Note any cosmetic damage
- Write down any problems
- Make several photos of all scratches and dents
- Show all records to your movers
You should also remove all accessories from your vehicle since your transporter will not be responsible for them.
Drain Any Flammable Fluids
The next step is to drain any flammable fluids such as gas or oil. You can either do this yourself by following the instructions manual or by taking it to a specialized bike shop. Whatever you decide to do, just remember to replace the fluids once you reach your final destination so that you can explore the new environment on your favorite two-wheeler.
New or Not – Cover It
Clean the machine thoroughly and use a motorcycle cover made for your model. You can also use moving blankets with stretch wrap as protection. Cover all spare parts and the body of the motorbike in order to protect them from dirt, rain, or scratches.
Secure Your Motorcycle Before Shipping
The final step is to secure it with wheel straps and a wheel chock, which should be placed under the front tire to stop any movement. Holding straps are a useful tool to keep your motorbike in a vertical position and prevent it from falling over.
There Are Three Ways to Ship a Bike
Depending on your needs and budget, you can relocate your motorcycle using three different approaches:
- In a moving truck. Maybe you have your own truck, or perhaps you can borrow one from a friend or even rent a van. Whichever option you choose, make sure you get all the necessary information on how to load your vehicle and secure it thoroughly.
- On a trailer. After loading and securing the bike, you can attach the trailer onto the rear of your car and relocate your motorbike to the desired location.
- Using the services of a professional transporter. This might seem like the most expensive option, but getting auto transport services will save you a lot of time and provide you with much-needed peace of mind.
There’s a fourth way, too. You can just ride it to the next home. Still, that isn’t recommended unless you are relocating locally.
Transporting in a Moving Truck or on a Trailer – Do It Yourself Method
If you choose one of the first two options, here are the things you should keep in mind:
- Maybe it looks like an unnecessary observation, but your bike should be on a firm surface before loading.
- Fix the loading ramp in place by using ratchet straps.
- Ask a friend to help you out, put the vehicle in neutral gear, push it up the ramp. When half of it is inside, pull the lever brake and hold it so you and friend can pull it all the way up.
- To secure it, you will need some specialized equipment that can be bought at large retail shops or specialized ones. This includes wheel chocks, ratchet straps, and soft loops. Always bear in mind the weight of bikes when putting them up.
- Use wheel chocks if your motorbike is heavy, ratchet straps to secure handlebars, and a soft loop to secure its backside.
- You should tighten all the ratchet straps and then check if everything is stable. There shouldn’t be any movement.
- Don’t forget to put the vehicle into first gear for extra safety.
Once the time comes to put your two-wheeler into a shipping container or onto a moving trailer, there are two ways to go about it:
- Load it and place it in the center. This is the right method if you’re only transporting the vehicle and nothing else.
- Place it among other household goods, but make sure they are stable and secured well during the travel to avoid falling over.
In both cases, tie the motorcycle down to keep it in position during the trip, and use the ramp to load it. We know the affection people feel for their motorcycles, and transport is always risky. A service truck can have a bumpy ride, and you want your ride to be safe all to the endpoint. With our tips, you’ll be able to ensure that.
Drive the Motorcycle Yourself to Your New Home
This is a good option if you’re planning to move somewhere not so far away, but don’t forget to calculate the extra cost of fuel into your moving budget. Also, make sure to travel during sunny and nice weather, and avoid rain and bad weather conditions. If you’re moving long-distance, however, think twice before choosing this option.
You’ll need to take into account all possibilities that can happen along the ride. First, think about your experience, and know whether you’ll be able to pull it off to the endpoint. Then check the tires, front and rear, as well as brake, and service them if there’s any flaw. A long-distance trip might push both you and your bike to the breaking point. Know your limits. Buying a policy to additionally insure a vehicle is also a sound option.
If you are not convinced that you are able to push it through to the end, then feel free to hire a professional service.
Use the Services of a Shipping Company
Hiring auto transport services is by far the most convenient and the safest way to carry out this task. But before deciding on a professional shipping company, don’t forget to take the following steps:
- Ask several companies for price quotes
- Research each transporter thoroughly
- Read customer reviews and testimonials
- Check claim records
- Determine your insurance coverage and demand to read the insurance contract
Once you have chosen the carrier that fits your budget and requirements, check the condition of your vehicle and inform your movers about it. Fix all mechanical problems and do the preliminary preparations:
- Blow up tires
- Charge the battery
- Fill the gas tank to ¼ full
- Check fluids
- Service the brake
- Measure the weight of the motorcycle
Why is Hiring Professionals the Best Way for Shipping a Bike Cross Country?
With a skillful and reliable transporter, you will avoid many difficulties that are almost certain when going through the process on your own. Some of the most obvious benefits to hiring professionals are:
- Easy loading
- Tie-down points
- Fast transit times
- Flexible space
A motorcycle transporting company will provide the best equipment and a shorter frame time even when shipping motorcycles cross-country.
Choose Between Enclosed and an Open Trailer
Choosing between an open and enclosed transport mainly depends on the type of vehicle you own. In general, enclosed carriers are reserved for expensive, luxury bikes and they cost much more. Open carriers are a more common and much more affordable option.
How Much Does Hiring a Transport Company Cost?
The cost to ship your bike depends on the carrier and the following factors:
- Make and model of the motorbike
- The distance of the shipment
- Accelerating the shipment
- Residential fees
- Additional coverage
Request price quotes from at least three motorcycle transporting companies and strike a balance between reliability and affordability. For example, the average shipment costs from $350 to $700 for a distance of approximately 1,000 miles. Shipments under 1,000 miles usually cost between $180 to $300.