How to Protect Your Motorcycle from Damage During Shipping

How to Protect Your Motorcycle from Damage During Shipping

3 minutes, 10 seconds Read

Shipping your motorcycle can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially when considering the potential risks of damage during transit. Whether you’re moving across the country, selling your bike, or sending it to a show, it’s crucial to take steps to ensure your motorcycle arrives in the same condition it left. Here is a detailed guide on how to protect your motorcycle from damage during shipping.

1. Choose the Right Transport Company

The first step in ensuring the safe arrival of your motorcycle is choosing a reputable transport company. Look for providers who specialize in motorcycle shipping and have positive reviews from other bike owners. Check their insurance coverage to ensure it is adequate for your motorcycle’s value. Ask about their experience with bikes similar to yours, and ensure they use motorcycle-specific equipment.

2. Prepare Your Motorcycle

Cleaning and Inspection

Start by thoroughly cleaning your motorcycle. This will not only make it easier to inspect but also ensures that you can clearly identify any marks or damage in the pre-shipment condition report. Take photos from multiple angles and document any existing scratches or issues.

Maintenance Check

Reduce the risk of leaks by draining most of the fuel from the tank. The battery should be disconnected to avoid any electrical shorts. Check the tire pressure, as tires that are too soft or too hard can cause issues during transport.

Remove Accessories

To avoid losing any custom accessories or having them damaged, remove items such as saddlebags, mirrors, and any aftermarket additions. Pack them separately and if possible, ship them separately or carry them with you.

3. Secure Packaging

Choosing a Crate

The safest way to ship a motorcycle is in a crate. You can either purchase a commercial crate or build one. Ensure the crate is sturdy and has ample room around the motorcycle. Secure the bike within the crate using straps and wheel chocks to prevent any movement. The crate should be clearly labeled as fragile.

Pallets and Soft Ties

If crating is not an option, the next best thing is to use a shipping pallet. Secure your motorcycle onto the pallet with soft ties and cargo straps. Make sure the bike is upright and firmly in place. Padding around the bike can help prevent scratches or dents.

4. Insurance and Paperwork

Before shipping, ensure that you have adequate insurance coverage for your motorcycle. This should cover any damage during transit. Complete all necessary paperwork and keep copies for your records. This includes shipping receipts, a bill of lading, and the condition report.

5. During Transit

Tracking and Communication

Opt for a shipping company that offers tracking services. This will allow you to monitor your motorcycle’s location and be updated on the delivery status. Stay in communication with the transporter throughout the journey to address any issues that may arise immediately.

6. On Arrival

Inspection Upon Delivery

Once your motorcycle arrives, inspect it thoroughly before signing off on the delivery. Compare the condition of the bike against the photos and documentation you prepared before shipping. If there are discrepancies or damage, note them on the bill of lading and take photographs as proof.

Follow Up

If any damage has occurred, contact the shipping company immediately to report the issue and file an insurance claim. Provide all necessary documentation and photographs as evidence of the damage.


Shipping your motorcycle doesn’t have to be a stressful ordeal. By choosing the right transport company, preparing your motorcycle correctly, ensuring it is securely packaged, and having the proper insurance in place, you can significantly reduce the risk of damage. Always inspect your motorcycle both before it leaves and when it arrives to ensure any damage is accounted for and handled promptly. With careful planning and attention to detail, your motorcycle can travel safely and arrive in perfect condition, ready for your next adventure.

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