Essential Tips for Shipping Motorcycles Without a Scratch

Shipping a motorcycle, whether across the state or across the globe, demands meticulous planning and execution to ensure it arrives without a scratch. The process can be daunting for first-timers or even for those with some experience. Here we will delve into essential tips to ensure your motorcycle is shipped safely, securely, and without a single scratch. From choosing the right transport method to packing and insurance, we’ll cover all the bases to help you navigate the complexities of motorcycle shipping.

Choosing the Right Shipping Company

The first step in ensuring your motorcycle’s safe delivery is selecting a reputable shipping company. Look for companies with extensive experience in motorcycle shipping, positive customer reviews, and a robust insurance policy. It’s crucial to compare quotes and services from multiple shippers to find the best deal that doesn’t compromise on safety or reliability. A valuable resource for this step is, which can offer a range of options and quotes for your specific shipping needs.

Opt for Enclosed Transport

Motorcycles are vulnerable to damage from the elements, road debris, and vibrations during transport. Enclosed transport offers the highest level of protection from these risks. While it may come at a higher cost compared to open transport, the added security and peace of mind are worth the investment, especially for high-value bikes.

Pre-Ship Preparation

Before handing your motorcycle over to the shipping company, perform a thorough cleaning. This not only helps in identifying any pre-existing damage but also ensures that your motorcycle looks its best upon arrival. Document the motorcycle’s condition with detailed photos and notes. This will be invaluable in case any dispute arises about the condition of your bike pre and post-shipping.

Drain Fluids and Disconnect the Battery

To reduce the risk of leaks and fire hazards during transport, drain your motorcycle’s fuel to the lowest level recommended by the shipper, usually less than a quarter tank. Also, disconnect the battery and secure the terminals to prevent any electrical issues.

Proper Crating and Padding

If your shipping method involves crating, invest in a sturdy, custom-fit crate for your motorcycle. The crate should be strong enough to protect the bike from external impacts and spacious enough to allow for adequate padding. Use high-quality materials to wrap and pad the motorcycle, focusing on protecting fragile parts such as mirrors, lights, and the instrument panel. Foam padding and bubble wrap are excellent choices for absorbing shocks and vibrations during transit.

Secure the Motorcycle Firmly

Within the crate or on the transport platform, the motorcycle needs to be secured firmly in place to prevent any movement. Use soft straps to tie down the bike, attaching them to solid parts of the frame or handlebars. Avoid over-tightening, which can damage the suspension or other components. It’s essential to balance the motorcycle securely to prevent tipping, which could cause scratches or more severe damage.

Inspect Upon Arrival

Upon delivery, inspect your motorcycle thoroughly in the presence of the delivery person. Compare the condition of the bike against the photos and notes you took before shipping. Any discrepancies or damages should be noted and reported to the shipping company immediately to facilitate a claim against their insurance.

Insurance for Peace of Mind

While most shipping companies offer some form of liability coverage, it’s often limited. Consider purchasing additional insurance to cover the full value of your motorcycle. This ensures that you’re fully compensated in the unlikely event of damage or loss during transit.

Communication is Key

Maintain open lines of communication with the shipping company throughout the process. A reliable shipper should provide tracking information and updates on your motorcycle’s status. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or raise concerns; a reputable company will be transparent and responsive.

Plan for Delays

Transporting a motorcycle can be unpredictable due to weather, traffic, and logistical challenges. It’s wise to allow for some flexibility in your timeline to accommodate any unforeseen delays. This reduces stress and ensures that you’re not caught off guard.


Shipping a motorcycle without a scratch is achievable with careful planning, the right precautions, and a trustworthy shipping partner. By following these essential tips, you can ensure that your motorcycle arrives safely and in the same condition as when it left. Remember, the effort and cost involved in proper shipping preparation pale in comparison to the joy of riding your motorcycle in a new location, scratch-free and ready for adventure.

Leave a Reply