Heritage Motorcycle Shipping Blog
How to ship a Custom Bike
It is very clear shipping a motorcycle is a much easier task than shipping a car or a 3400 lb truck, it is easier to mount on carrier, strap down, and since usually it is shipped via enclosed carrier, less damages and problems occur during transit. All these points are very valid, however when it comes to custom bikes, different considerations have to be taken in order to ensure its proper transportation.
Shipping a Honda Shadow is not the same as shipping a Honda Shadow with monkey bars and 16 inch saddlebags on each side, the dimensions of the bike change, therefore it needs different security measures. These details are not considered by many people and when it comes time to ship, the hassle starts as they have to take care of last minute accommodations to avoid damages on their vehicles; don’t go through these unnecessary dilemmas, start of your transportation with the right foot, and we’ll tell you how!
It all comes down to the Details.
Details are the most important thing, not only when it comes to transportation but to almost everything in life, that’s why there is so much variety of so many things as each one fits a unique desire or need. It’s not the same to eat a dollar menu hamburger than to ask for the complete meal. Having an original designer purse, although it may cost a fortune is not the same as buying a replica, they may look the same but for the buyer, the detail of being an original or a replica makes the difference. Like these scenarios, there are thousands, that’s why when shipping two bikes, the requirements may not be the same, regardless if their same make and model.
There are some makes and models that require specific transportation needs, not only from carriers but custom requirements that come directly from the manufacturer. Before starting your transportation, check the type of model you have and make sure no extra accommodations are needed, if this is not taken care of prior to pickup, there is a possibility carriers might not even book you as they will not run the risk, or simply cannot take bikes without their required security measures. An example of this are Ducati models, these bikes cannot be transported “as is” as they need special cradles that are required by the manufacturer itself. When customer purchase one of these models and plan to transport them, the dealer has to prepare the bike for transportation on a custom cradle for the bike, only then will a carrier take the bike. This ensures the safety of the bike, and although it may have an extra fee, the vehicle is worth it.
Other bikes such as Harleys also require specific cradles depending on the model; most companies have them available already as part of the transportation, as they are the most common, but it is always important to double check with your booking agent before transporting in case you have to arrange any accommodations before the bike is shipped.
If it can be Removed, Take it off!
“Better safe than sorry”, is a phrase used worldwide and is so true when it comes to preventing headaches. Having the ability to prepare your bike for transportation before it occurs should be considered as a privilege, and should be used wisely, as some customers don’t have this opportunity and sometimes have to deal with surprises when the bike is delivered. Even if the carrier does its best to safeguard the bike, there will be cases where the bike can suffer damages due to little or no preparation. This scenario is very common for custom bikes, customers go all out in remodeling and modifying their bikes to make them unique and stand out within the crowds, there is nothing wrong with that, we promote the uniqueness and design, as a matter of fact we have been amazed with one of kind modifications that have been done to customer’s bikes. What customer’s don’t consider is the transportation, again transporting a bike within a 50-100 mile distance will not be as big of a deal as transporting it cross country, where more things need to be considered.
Custom bikes sometimes are modified to such an extent that they lose the complete original body and are left simply with the engine. Carriers cannot design a cradle for each and every one of the bikes that are transported; therefore these scenarios need to be planned for in advance. Most custom bikes have additions and modifications that can be detached and removed, if this is the case we recommend you do so to avoid any loose items moving around within the carrier, causing damage not only to your motorcycle but to the rest. Some items may not be able to be removed, but if you believe they can be easily damaged or scratched, protect them, cover them with plastic, and ensure their safety. Although carriers offer insurance for the vehicles, dealing with insurance claims is time consuming and a headache no one enjoys, plus the hard time you’ll have when you receive the bike with damages, if you can prevent these dilemmas, we encourage you to do so at all costs.
Shipping custom bikes is not an impossible task, but it does require more attention than regular models, provide as many details as possible to your booking agent, if you have pictures and measurements of the bike, provide them, this will make the preparation easier for you and the carrier. If it has items that can easily become lose along the way make sure you attach them properly or remove them completely to avoid any damages. Lastly check with the manufacturer, as some bikes like a Ducati, as mentioned before, need special cradles to be transported. Don’t be surprised at last minute, a hassle free service is possible; transportation dilemmas are 80% of time caused by the owner’s negligence, don’t let that percentage keep growing, plan ahead!
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With the increase in demand for bikes, motorcycle transport has become very popular nowadays all over the country. As you have probably figured out, motorcycle transport can’t be done through regular mail, or a cargo company. These companies are specialized to ship letters and packages, vehicles ask for more requirements that may not be met by these shipping services, therefore, you must look for the proper motorcycle transport company to do the job for you.
Motorcycle transportcan be an obstacle to someone who does not own a pickup truck, or has a car with no option to hook a trailer on the back. Sometimes the distance the bike needs to travel requires a couple of days and lodging and gas expenses cannot be met by the customer, or simply customers don’t want to go through the hassle of transporting and traveling. It is in moments like these that motorcycle transporters come in very handy.
In order to calculate the price to transport a motorcycle, before you start calling around for quotes and getting aggressive salesmen draining the battery of your cell with every call, you must determine the dates you are looking to ship in, the more flexible you are the better prices you can find, so it’s important you start planning for your transportation at least 1-2 weeks in advance. We understand some transportation occur on last minute notice, however if you have time on your hand, please use it wisely. Last minute bookings will have a higher fee as prices need to be attractively higher to the driver in order to consider taking a last minute job. If you are working with a limited budget, timing is the most important factor in order to get a good price.
Shipping motorcycles long distances overseas is a more complex subject than transporting by land from one point to the other. Other considerations need to be taken care of and transit times work differently than regular land transporters; however this hasn’t stopped motorcycle transportation from reaching these delivery points. Motorcycle transport overseas or through harsh snowfall has been overcome and possibilities of shipping in and out of Alaska or Hawaii are now as high as shipping within your own state. Make sure proper documentation is provided as bikes leaving the continental land need to file customs and other paperwork in order to be transported.
Choosing a certified motorcycle shipping company to serve your needs is the best option when transporting your bike. Don’t run the risk of having a poor delivery and horrible experience just to save some bucks. If you invested money in your motorcycle, invest money to safeguard and keep its well-being, we guarantee you will not regret it. Nationwide motorcycle transport is not to be taken lightly, if it is, don’t expect more than lightly handling and delivery.
Call now! Mary-Lou ready to help you transport your motorcycle – 800-614-3011 or fill our online quote.
The phrase motorcycle shipping is more than the simple act of transporting a motorcycle. There are many factors that play in order to service a motorcycle shipment; costs, preparations, routes, models, types of carriers, dates and transit time are very important points that need to be covered in order to enjoy the benefits of this great service.
When shipping a motorcycle, most customers take some details very lightly and assume they are all taken care of, however due to this assumption many transportation requests turn out to be a fiasco, not because of a faulty shipping company, but due to missing details from the customers during booking. It is important you discuss with your booking agent every single point in shipping your motorcycle, ask as many questions as you need, transporting your vehicle is not an impossible or dramatic experience, make sure you get that from the service.
To start off, it is important to know exactly what motorcycle shipping is. Motorcycle shipping is an acquired service that transports a motorcycle, while mounted on a carrier from one point to another in a given time. In order to provide a successful transportation the customer must provide make, model, and modifications on the vehicle, type of carrier to be used, dates of when the bike is expected, any other special request. In return the service provider accommodates these needs and transports the bike for a determined cost.
Main Points While Booking
Review. When you decide to have a motorcycle shipment, before you book with a company it is important that review every possible company before making a decision. Now with the advances in technology and internet access, it is very easy to review each company to ensure you’re working with a reliable carrier.
Gather Quotes. Part of the reviewing process is gathering quotes. You can eliminate a few companies just by getting a quote. Put all your quotes on a scale from lowest to highest. Scratch off prices that are amongst the lowest. Low prices come together with bad service and hidden fees. S mart way to see it is that you get what you pay for. Medium and high prices are usually guaranteed great services and reputable companies, however don’t only guide yourself by the price, many high quotes can belong to non-reputable companies.
Provide the Details. One of the most important things you have to remember is that your needs are not the same as your neighbors and your expectations may be similar however not equal. Even if you are shipping the exact same bikes, you might need the bike delivered 3 days sooner or perhaps via open carrier. It is very important you provide as much details possible regarding the make, model and modifications of your bike, dates for requires transport and type of carrier needed to your agent to help accommodate the transportation to your expectations accordingly.
Prep the Bike. Shipping companies will ship the bike wherever you may need it; however it is not their responsibility to watch over extra modifications added. Motorcycle shipping companies offer full insurance coverage in case of any damage, but it is 100% recommended avoiding these hassles at all costs. It is important you remove as much items from the bike as possible, such as antennas, saddlebags, or any other items. Check the gas tank, some carriers may require emptying it our up to ¾ to remove weight and avoid extra costs.
Sign off and Pay. Once all transportation details are taken care, payment procedures need to be taken care of before transportation takes in effect. Many companies may require you to pay an initial deposit to reserve your spot on the carrier and then pay the remaining balance upon delivery. Make sure this is taken care and arranged before pickup as payment issues can cause delays on delivery and/or pickups and even cause higher fees.
After these details have been taken care of, a hassle free motorcycle shipment is highly guaranteed. The most important thing to remember is: details. Details will help you smooth your service booking and even help you determine the price for your motorcycle shipment as well.
Determine the price
Determining the price of a shipment has a couple factors that are put together; these factors help determine the type of service you will need and cover the main points during booking.
Location. Where you are located and where you need the motorcycle shipped is one of the main factors that determines the price. Transit prices are determines by a certain percentage per mile. The longer the trip, the higher the cost, however, if the pickup or delivery location is off main routes, there will be a higher fee for the extra trip.
Gas Prices. Gas prices also determine the price. A carrier must be able to go and return and the prices paid must help cover for that. The location where a bike is headed may be the same distance, however if the gas price rises, the fee will go higher.
Make, Model and Modifications. Bikes that have extra modifications and significant changes to their factory models, imply a slight to great change of accommodation in the carrier in order to be strapped down during transit. In the event that bigger spaces are needed or extra equipment in order to safely strap your motorcycle, the price to ship will be higher.
Type of carrier. When it comes to the type of carrier you can choose the type of carrier you want, whether it is an open carrier or an enclosed. Because motorcycles are small vehicles and exposed to the environment, it is recommended to ship them via enclosed carrier, however these carriers have a higher cost than open carriers. Enclosed carriers require a higher maintenance cost and also offer more security and protection for your vehicle.
Once all these details are taken care of, all you have to do is finalize the booking and sit back and wait for your 2-wheeled beauty to be picked up or delivered as scheduled.
Ready to ship your bike?
Call Mary-Lou @ Heritage Motorcycle Shipping: (800) 615-3011. or fill our get a quote any time 24/7/365