How to Move a Motorcycle – All You Need to Know

December 18, 2017Car Shipping Essentials
Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

Bikes are on their own great means of transportation, they are small, very mobile, and fast. However, transporting them across the country might be a bit trickier than it seems. That’s why when figuring out how to move a motorcycle, consider different options.

Before moving a motorcycle across the country from point A to point B, you should decide whether you should drive it on your own or hire an auto transport company to do it for you. To make your decision easier, we answered some questions like What is the cheapest way to transport a motorcycle? And What is the best way to transport a motorcycle?

There are Different Ways of Shipping Bikes

There are around 8.3 million bikes in the US, and even though there are not as many ways of shipping, you still have plenty of options to choose from. That might make you wonder how to transport a motorcycle in a way that will be stress-free and smooth? To figure out the answer to this question, you have to go over your budget first. Then you should consider your free time, the distance, and the ability to stay on a highway for long hours.  

From embarking on a road trip on your own to hiring a car shipping company, When you put it all down on paper, it will be easy to make an educated decision that will save you the money and the time.

bike on the street during the day
Before choosing the best option you should learn about all of them.

You Can Transport The Bike Yourself

Suppose you are an experienced driver that has been on the road for many years, and you want to move your vehicle yourself. Driving it to your future home can be a good thing if you are relocating locally. However, if you are moving long-distance, maybe you should consider other types of vehicle shipping.

Driving long hours can be tiresome and it can create an unnecessary dip in your budget. While on the road, you have to pay for gas, road fees, food, maybe even a hotel, depending on the mileage you are crossing. Also, there are unpredictable weather conditions that you will be faced with. Driving at night also is tiresome, can cause anxiety, and can be overall dangerous. Furthermore, spending so much time on your own can cause road rage.

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There Are Some the Downsides of “Do It Yourself” Method

When deciding how to ship your vehicle you might think about DIYing the whole thing but remember that relocating by yourself can be stressful. While you get the freedom to pack and organize however you want, there are many downsides to tackling the move on your own:

  • It involves heavy lifting – you have to move ramps, supplies, and your chopper all by yourself. This can lead to some unfortunate injuries.
  • Planning and coordinating many things at once can be a challenge.
  • Unexpected problems – the list of things that can go wrong during long-distance moves is extensive, but some of those can be avoided by hiring a company.
girl driving a motorcycle on a highway
DIY is not recommended because it is more trouble than it is worth

Figure Out How To Move a Motorcycle With a Pickup Truck

You might drive one of the best import cars or even a family vehicle. However, if that is not the case and you are an owner of a pickup, you can use it to transport the two-wheeler on it.  This way, you’ll get to bring the bike with you and drive the car at the same time. Although before you get to the shipping part, make sure you have a loading ramp because lifting a motorcycle can’t be easy. Secure your two-wheeler correctly so as to ensure there are no damages to it. Use straps to secure it and prevent it from falling during the trip. If you want to protect it additionally from the weather conditions, don’t forget to cover it up with a blanket.

The pickup option is a great way to kill two birds with one stone. Granted, it is a chapter if you already own a car, and you don’t have to rent one. However, as with every other option that includes you driving across the country, you should consider expenses like gas, toll, and food.

motorcycle in a pickup truck
Pickup is an option where you can ship a bike while driving the car.

Shipping the Bike With a Trailer Is Also an Option

For those that own a car and a bike and want to bring both along for the ride to a new place, one solution could be to rent a trailer. They are designed for loading, unloading, and securing your vehicle in the easiest way possible. Keep in mind that even though the trailers seem like a simple solution to your bike problems, they are not as cheap as you might think. If you don’t have a trailer you have to rent or buy a new one and that can be an unnecessary expense on your budget.

Furthermore, you should be extra careful when strapping the vehicle to the trailer. Check all the ropes to see if they are secure and tight before putting a cover above your bike.

Load Your Bike on the Trailer the Right Way

Since you decided to move the two-wheeler yourself and opted for trailers there are few things you should know before actually shipping the machine. The first thing, since you are doing everything on your own is to know how to load the two-wheeler without hurting yourself or damaging it.

Start by making sure that the platform on the trailer is long enough for your machine. Then remove all the objects from it. Next, you need a ramp to load your vehicle. Most of the bikes are pretty heavy, so be careful not to injure yourself or damage the machine. The safest ramps you can use are made of metal, but if you can’t obtain one of those, a wooden plank can be a valid substitute.

During the drive, your two-wheeler shouldn’t move on the trailer. That’s why it is advised to use wheel chocks to stabilize it. Use wheel chocks to strap the machine and then tie it down with straps that are made from durable materials. When you are done, check once again that the machine is not moving and then you are good to go.

dirtbike on a trailer
Be careful when loading the machine on the trailer.

Hire the Best USA Auto Transport Company To Handle Your Bike

Last, but not least way you can choose to ship your chopper is by hiring a trustworthy moving company. Having an experienced car shipping company as your partner will make the move easy and stress-free. Movers that offer door-to-door auto transport and terminal to terminal car shipping also offer those services for motorcycles.  Meaning you can have the machine delivered to your doorsteps or you can pick it up in a designated location.

Furthermore, you’ll get to choose between open trailers and enclosed auto transport options. This way you can save up and opt for open haulers or add another protection level to your two-wheeler by shipping it with an enclosed trailer.  No matter what option you opt for your two-wheeler will be in the safe hands of professionals.

Hiring a Moving Company Might be the Best Way to Ship a Motorcycle

Are you wondering what makes hiring a moving company the best method for moving motorcycles? If you are thinking about cutting down expenses, this might not seem like a perfect solution, however, there are many benefits to letting professionals ship your vehicle:

  • Heavy lifting – hiring movers means you won have to lift a finger. The transport company brings its trained and skilled crew to do everything for you.
  • Effectiveness – Hiring professionals means you have a team of experienced movers at your side. This increases the efficiency of the process and reduces the chance of any damage. Having experts assist you is both time-saving and cost-efficient.
  • Low-stress levels – not worrying about things like preparing your machine for transport, lifting, loading, and tracking can lower your stress levels.

Don’t Forget to Ask for a Motorcycle Shipping Quote

Deciding to move, ship your car and your bike, then organize everything else is stressful enough. That’s why it is essential to find the right company that can transport your motorcycle or any vehicle involves. To do so you will have to do a lot of research. If you are relocating across the town, it is going to be easy for you to drive your machine, but if you are planning a long-distance move, hiring an auto shipping company would be a better solution.

After you read through reviews, narrow down your search and call a few companies then ask for a free quote. This way you will quickly establish the best price and pick the most suitable option that won’t make a dent in your budget.

harley davidson motorcycle
Professional auto transport company will safely ship your bike to a designated location.

Prepare Your Bike Before Shipping It

Whether you are moving it by yourself or hiring a company to do it for you, your bike should be ready for the long trip ahead. Keep in mind that not all motorcycles are identical, so the process of preparing won’t be the same for all of them. But some things apply to all.

Start by washing your machine. This might not seem like that big of a deal. However, it is an essential stem if you want to check the machine for some scratches, bumps, and dents. When it is completely clean you can also take pictures of it so that you can compare the condition in which it arrives at your new location. If you are hiring movers, remember to write down any mechanical problems your chopper has, and notify them about them.

The next thing should be checking the fluids. See if there is gas leaking or oil, and make sure you fix the problem before shipping. Having a leaking bike on a trailer for a long time can be dangerous since liquids such as oil and gas are highly flammable.

After you are done with the checkup, empty out your bike from all of your personal belongings. Leave a 1/3 of a tank filled with gas in case the bike needs to be turned on. Then all that’s left is to prepare one set of the keys you will give to your movers.

guy cleaning a motorcycle
Prepare your bike for a smooth transportation.

Shipping Your Bike Is Worth All the Trouble

Figuring out your budget, finding the most cost-efficient and safe way of transporting, might seem like more trouble than it is worth. However, don’t let a bit of planning discourage you from shipping your favorite two-wheeler to a new place. With the right auto transport company as your partner, this task won’t be tedious nor nerve-wracking no matter if you want the bike shipped to Portland or you want it transported to Los Angeles. You can even ship your car and have both at your service in a new city.

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