If you're moving internationally and you'd like to bring your motorcycle with you, don't fret, it's possible to continue enjoying the open road after your international move. Follow these guidelines to make sure that when you ship your motorcycle, it arrives in the best condition.
Just as when you're getting ready to move, planning as much ahead of time is beneficial. If you begin as soon as you know you'll need to have your motorcycle shipped there's more likely a chance that it will arrive in the time frame you expect and less delays.
What Kind of Service Are You Looking For?
When shipping vehicles, there are different options for getting it from one place to another which include, containerized shipping, roll-on roll-off service and conventional on-deck shipping. Each option has its pros and cons, so it's important to know the differences of each method for shipping and choosing the one that best suits your needs.
Containerized shipping: If you're shipping more than one motorcycle internationally, it might be less expensive to ship them this way as opposed to a roll-on roll-off service. When choosing containerized shipping, you may be sharing the space with other items including motorcycles. When the motorcycles are loaded and unloaded, they'll likely be moved by forklift.
Roll-on Roll-off: A roll-on roll-off service will drive or roll your vehicle onto the ship and is protected under the deck.
Prepare your Motorcycle for Shipment
Depending on the service and company you choose when shipping your motorcycle internationally, you may be required to prepare your motorcycle for shipment differently. Some general points to consider when preparing to ship your motorcycle internationally are:
- Disconnect the motorcycle's battery to prevent draining it during shipment and damage to the electrical system.
- Drain your fuel tank down to a few ounces of fuel to prevent vapor build up and ensure that the gas cap is sealed tightly.
- DO NOT leave the key in the ignition, it will be very easy for the key to fall out during shipment and get lost.
- DO NOT ship your motorcycle with the kickstand down. When the kickstand is down, the motorcycle can't utilize its suspension system.
Crating the Motorcycle for Safe Shipping
When shipping a motorcycle internationally, you may be required to crate it to further ensure its safe arrival. Shipping professionals create a custom crate for your motorcycle including chocks, foam pading and straps. The wooden chocks will keep the motorcycle from rolling and the foam blocks are placed anywhere the vehicle might come into contact with the sides of the crate. The motorcycle must be secured to the crate with the straps running parallel to the shock mounts to prevent damage to the frame and seal blow outs. The straps should be tightened enough to allow the bike to be immobile, but still allows the shocks and suspension to absorb motion during transit.
Sometimes international shipping will require the motorcycle to be packed in a flat crate manner. The vehicle is packed on its side between two slats and then wrapped in plastic. It makes it easier for customs officers to find the VIN without tearing apart a full crate.
When shipping your motorcycle internationally, be sure to choose a reputable company to handle your move.