Vintage motorcycles are beautiful, fragile, and valuable, so they require special care and attention to ensure they are shipped safely. Whether you are moving a long distance, transporting your motorcycle to and from a show, or purchasing a vintage motorcycle online, there may come a time when you need to ship your classic motorcycle. When choosing a shipping company, you want to look for a service that will keep your vintage bike mechanically sound and safe from the elements. Here are a few things to consider if you are planning to ship a vintage motorcycle.
Research Shipping Companies
The first step in shipping your vintage motorcycle is to find a shipping company that is an expert in motorcycle transportation. While it may be tempting to choose a company with the lowest price, it could end being much more of a hassle in terms of shipping delays and potential damage. That’s why it is important to choose a company that has a strong reputation and plenty of experience shipping motorcycles. You also want to check with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to make sure that the motorcycle transported is officially licensed. Not only is licensing important, but shipping a motorcycle requires specialized equipment so you want to make sure that the company has the right equipment necessary to handle different models and designs of motorcycles.
Choose Your Shipping Method
Whenever you are shipping a vehicle, you will have the choice between using an open or enclosed carrier. The best way to ship a vintage motorcycle is to use an enclosed carrier. Although enclosed carriers are more expensive, they guarantee protection from inclement weather and road debris. Open carriers are cheaper, but they will not offer protection from outdoor elements. When you are shipping something as valuable as a vintage bike, you want to take extra precautions to ensure your motorcycle does not get damaged during transport.
Make Sure You Have Proper Insurance
Motorcycle transport companies should offer some type of insurance coverage, but it could be very basic and it might not be enough to cover a vintage bike. Be sure and inquire about insurance coverage with the shipping company and purchase additional coverage if needed. You can also check with your own insurance provider about what your current policy covers and whether or not you need to add additional coverage.
Choose a Delivery Option
Most shipping companies will give you the option to choose between door-to-door delivery or terminal-to-terminal delivery. While it may cost you a bit more, door-to-door delivery might be the most suitable option for a vintage motorcycle. Not only is it more convenient, but it will come straight to you instead of being held in a terminal for pick-up.
Prepare Your Motorcycle for Shipment
It is important to take a few important steps to make sure your vintage motorcycle is ready for shipment:
- Remove all accessories like hardshell cases and side bags
- Drain all fluids
- Unplug or remove the battery if possible
- Wash the motorcycle and take pictures of its condition
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.