Vintage motorcycles are incredible machines and should always be handled with care. While they may look like a beast, they are actually fragile and extremely beautiful so they require special care and attention. This is especially true if you are planning to ship your vintage motorcycle. Whether you are moving, traveling, or purchasing a vintage motorcycle across the country, you may find yourself in need of shipping services. You want to be sure you work with a reliable shipping company and take the necessary steps to properly prepare your motorcycle for shipment. Here are a few important things you should know about shipping your vintage motorcycle.
Research Shipping Companies
You should start by researching shipping companies that are best suited for your needs. Not all auto transport companies are created equal, so you want to find a company that has a great reputation and is experienced with shipping classic motorcycles. Be sure and check reviews, compare pricing, and check for proper licensing and registration requirements prior to choosing a shipping company.
Choose Your Method of Transport
You will have the option of choosing between an open and enclosed carrier. While open carriers are cheaper, an enclosed carrier offers more protection and is a safer option for a vintage bike. Open carriers leave vehicles vulnerable to bad weather, dirt, rocks, and other debris and this can cause damage to your bike during transit. Enclosed carriers have sides and a roof to provide maximum protection against these outdoor elements.
Prepare Your Motorcycle for Shipment
When shipping any vehicle, there are certain steps that should be taken to prepare the vehicle for shipment and a motorcycle is no exception. To streamline the shipping process, follow these steps before loading your motorcycle onto a truck:
- Clean your motorcycle and wipe away all dirt on the bike or tires.
- Remove any and all side bags, hardshell cases, and other removable accessories.
- Drain all fluids prior to shipment and do not leave more than ¼ tank of fuel. Shipping a motorcycle with a full tank of gas is a significant safety hazard.
- Reduce tire pressure by letting some of the air out of your tires before shipment.
- Remove the battery.
- Disable any alarms.
- Take photographs of every angle of your motorcycle and document its condition prior to shipment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Honest Answers to Your Car Shipping Questions
Yes, we always ask for your specific pickup and delivery addresses, if the carrier can get right to the addresses you provide, they will. If the addresses that you give us are not safely accessible for a Multi-car carrier, however, you will need to make arrangements with the driver to meet at a nearby location where the carrier can safely get in and out.
People do it all the time (rarely for free) but the official answer is no.
Not what you wanted to hear, we know, but that is the honest answer.
We are not licensed to broker the shipment of household goods and, likewise, no car carrier that operates in the USA is licensed to transport them from state to state either. Despite what you might be being told by other car shipping companies you may speak with.
Remember, at the end of the day we're all salespeople, and the true answer to this question is not a great selling point.
You will hear a lot of companies tell you that you can put up to 100 pounds of items in the trunk, but that is not entirely true. That fact is that items of that amount are fairly common and the department of transportation is probably not going to split hairs and fine the trucker over items of that amount, provided they are not over their weight limit. They could fine them, however, if they see a vehicle stuffed full of personal items so the car carrier will most likely try to negotiate something with you to cover themselves against any costs they could incur. It's not something we can build into your contract though.
We have a short and helpful video on this topic in our user videos.
Only in rare cases and car carriers will usually charge a premium to make it happen.
All dates given by car carriers are typically estimates and projections.
For this reason (and to keep your cost down) we ask that you build in some flexibility and give us the earliest possible date you would be WILLING to release the vehicle, even though it may not be your preferred date.
We'll put you in direct contact with your car carrier and the driver will also typically call you the afternoon or evening before your pick up and delivery (they won't just show up unannounced, and if they do we want to hear about it). However, car carriers are out on the road battling traffic, weather and any number of other factors that can and do throw them off of their pickup and delivery projections from time to time.
If the projected dates we give you come and you are unable to make contact with your carrier, please call our office immediately so that we may help resolve the situation.
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will average 7 to 10 days. From there you can figure your transit time based on how far your vehicle is traveling, i.e. from either coast to the Midwest might average 3-7 days.
Even better, we do not even ask for payment until we have you confirmed for pickup by a safe, reliable, fully insured, direct car carrier. If for any reason you do not ship your car with the carrier that we arrange for you, there is no fee.
The fees paid directly to the carrier however, (in most cases, their fees are not paid until your vehicle is delivered) are not directly controlled by us, so any requests for a refund of the carrier's portion would need to be addressed with the carrier directly.
Of course! And you are always backed by our Damage Free Guarantee policy.
Part of what you pay us for is to verify that the car carrier that we put you on is covered by the proper amount of insurance and that everything is up to date.
There is never any additional cost to you for this coverage, and their insurance is always primary.