While we’re the biggest and best motorcycle dealership in Austin, many of our customers live out of state. Since we’ve had to ship so many bikes all over the country, we’ve got lots of experience with motorcycle shipping. We wanted to post some information to help our out-of-state customers understand the process, but the info isn’t just for buyers. There are several other situations where you’d need to ship your bike – you might be moving to a new city, or you might be traveling to a bike rally that’s too far away to ride to. Regardless of why you’re shipping your motorcycle, it’s helpful to understand the process, so we wanted to share these tips for safe and successful transport.
Riders are a close-knit group – chances are pretty good that someone you know has had to ship their bike sometime in the past. If you don’t know anyone who’s used a shipping company, check with your local bike stores or motorcycle clubs. We’ve got excellent connections and can hook you up with bonded and insured shippers who will do the job right – call us if you need more info.
You know how much you love your bike, and there’s also a substantial monetary value. You’ve got to make sure you’re shipping your motorcycle with a company you can trust. Again, it’s helpful to ask your friends or a local bike shop, since experience is the best criteria. The shipping company should also be able to provide multiple references.
Open or Closed Container Shipping
If you’ve got a valuable bike, if you’re shipping it over a long distance, or if it will be shipped through extreme weather conditions, you should use an enclosed trailer. Your motorcycle will be completely enclosed in the trailer and protected from the elements. Enclosed shipping is more complicated to arrange, since multiple bikes are shipped at once – you’ve got to work around other scheduled deliveries. Open trailer shipping is recommended when you’re not shipping the motorcycle very far. You’ve got a lot more flexibility in scheduling your delivery since open trailers don’t hold as many bikes.
Door to Door Shipping
Many people are surprised to learn that most motorcycle shipping is door to door service. Realize that most companies don’t drop the bike off right at your front door, since the big trucks are sometimes too large to fit on residential streets. At the worse, you’ll have to meet the truck in a nearby parking lot. Make sure that if you’re picking up your bike at night that you’ve got enough light to inspect the motorcycle for damage.
Your motorcycle insurance policy doesn’t cover your bike while it’s being shipped. Almost every motorcycle shipper offers a minimum amount of coverage, but if you’ve got an expensive bike, the basic coverage might not equal the full value of your motorcycle. In those cases, you’ll want to purchase additional coverage – your shipping company should offer the additional insurance, but if they don’t, they’ll be able to refer you to a third-party carrier. ALWAYS ask to see a copy of the shipping company’s insurance certificate – double-check and make sure you’re covered!
Prepping Your Motorcycle For Shipping
The shipping company isn’t responsible for any lost or stolen accessories, so make sure that you remove everything before you ship your bike. Check with the shipper and see if you’re required to ship the bike with a drained or empty fuel tank. Some shippers require that you disconnect your battery before shipping. Do a thorough inspection before the company picks up your bike and/or when it’s dropped off. We also recommend taking several pictures of your motorcycle from several angles before shipping. That way, in the unlikely event that damage occurs, you’ve got evidence of the condition of the bike when it was packed up for shipping.
Whenever you can’t ride your motorcycle to your destination, shipping your bike is always the best option. You’ll also save money, since gas prices have become so expensive. Keep these tips in mind whenever you’re shipping your bike and you’ll feel much more comfortable with the process. Remember – Dream Machines of Austin can ship your bike anywhere in the U.S., so if you need a shipping company for any reason, give us a call at 512-735-5151 for more information.