Difference Between Bicycle and Motorcycle Shipping

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Difference Between Bicycle and Motorcycle Shipping

While bikes and motorcycles may look similar, the process by which they are transported is much different.

But what does it take to ship a bike or a motorcycle, and what are the major differences?

In this article, we’ll go in-depth into the intricacies of bike and motorcycle shipping, and what to expect from both.

If you’re ready to learn more, read on down below.

How to Ship a Bicycle 

While it may not seem necessary, there are times when bicycles need to be shipped. When moving countries, as well as when professionals have a race to catch, shipping a bicycle is a necessity under niche circumstances. 

Not all bicycles are equal, and a high-end racing bike can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $14,000. If you have a high-end bicycle, then it’s necessary to take out enough insurance to cover the cost of the bike. 

Shipping companies lose packages every day, and under the unfortunate circumstance they lose a high-value item, you’ll want to be compensated for it. Below we will cover the conventional method of shipping a bicycle in a box, via a shipping company like UPS or FedEx.

1. Disassemble the bike

The first step is to disassemble the bike completely. You’ll want to remove the pedals, front wheel, handlebars, and any accessories that may be on the handlebars. Take any small parts that are left like screws, and place them in a bag. Instead of leaving them inside of the box unsecured, you can tape the bag to the bike itself or take it with you.

2. Package the bike and parts

If you don’t have a box that will fit your bike, you can order one in advance so that you know it will fit. The best method of packaging your bike will involve securing the bottom first, so ensure the bottom of the box is taped as well as you can to avoid it opening during shipping.

You can place packaging materials inside the box to lessen the chance that your bike will be moving around inside the box. It’s recommended to use air pillows or peanuts to ensure safe handling. Once the bike parts are secured within the box, close the box and push it around a little bit to hear if any parts are moving within the box. If so, continue to add packaging material until the parts stay motionless while the box is moved.

3. Seal the box

The last step is to seal the box. Secure all sides of the box with the best tape that you can find that is also waterproof. You want a tape that’s between 1.9 and 3.1 mm thick. Once that’s all done just drop it off at your local shipping provider and purchase insurance for the entirety of the bike.

How to Ship a Motorcycle

One of the biggest differences when it comes to shipping a motorcycle vs a bicycle is that you’re going to need to work with a company that can ship motorcycles. Doing it yourself is possible, but considering the amount of red tape required, it’s never worth it.

1. Find a reliable transport company

The first step in shipping a motorcycle is finding a reputable motorcycle shipping company. You can call around for motorcycle shipping quotes and find yourself the best one. However, don’t be fooled by enticing quotes, as transport companies do have a bad rap for bait-and-switch pricing.

To avoid any predicaments, it’s a good idea to thoroughly vet any motorcycle transport company you are considering working with. You don’t want to deal with any unforeseen delays, and vetting your transport company will avoid any problems that can arise from poorly organized companies.

2. Decide on an open or enclosed trailer

You can ship your motorcycle in the open air, or you can purchase an enclosed trailer to haul your motorcycle. The enclosed trailer is a great fit for anyone who wants to avoid having their motorcycle out in the open during shipping.

The downside for enclosed trailers is that they cost more than the open trailers. You can also opt to have your motorcycle crated which is a typical option when it comes to motorcycle shipping.

3. Clean the motorcycle

Cleaning your motorcycle may seem unnecessary, but you do want to get it clean so you can take pictures of it before handing it off. This way, you have proper records should the motorcycle be damaged during shipping.

4. Disable any alarms and give the motorcycle a quick check-up

Disable any alarms that may go off during shipping. You want to check the fluids, tire pressure, and battery to ensure that nothing is leaking and the tires are filled to the right amount.

5. Get the gas tank to 1/4th capacity

If you don’t know how to remove gas from your gas tank, then you can have your transport company help you before you hand off the motorcycle. Some companies require less or more than 1/4th of capacity, so it’s a good idea to check ahead of time.

6. Document any damages before handing off the motorcycle

Before the motorcycle is handed off, you want to document any pre-existing damages and sign it off with the transport company. You want to be on the same page, so verify any documents that they bring over once they do the inspection.

Once the inspection is finished, you don’t have anything else left to do and can wait until your motorcycle arrives at the destination of your choice.

Final Thoughts

While bicycle and motorcycle shipping processes vary, what’s important is that you verify the company you are working with is legitimate. The next step is to get as much insurance as needed for your bike or motorcycle so if any problems arise during shipping, it’ll be covered. 

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