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Things to Remember When Transporting a Motorcycle

When shipping your motorcycle, it is important to make sure of certain things. This is to avoid any problems after the shipment arrives and before making any claims for insurance. Although smaller in size, a motorcycle is actually more prone to damages (scratches and broken parts) than a 4-wheeler. A simple trip or fall can often result in broken indicators, headlights and lots of scratches. We strongly recommend that you check your vehicle for all pre-existing damages and keep a record of this.

Things to Keep in Mind Before You Ship The Motorcycle

  • Thoroughly clean the motorcycle – and do it yourself.
  • The reason why you have to do it yourself is because it would be easier to make notes of pre-existing damages.
  • Also, keep a close eye on any mechanical issues already present. It is highly unlikely that the motorcycle develops mechanical issues in transit but it is good to keep a note of everything.
  • Don’t forget to take ample pictures of the motorcycle from various different angles. This can serve as a proof of what the shape and the condition of the vehicle was before it was shipped.
  • Don’t forget to take separate pictures of the damaged areas.
  • Date stamp all your photos and other documents for future reference.

What to Do With Batteries, Accessories & Gas Tank?

It is usually not required by the transportation company or any other authority to remove the batteries and disassemble the fuel tank. This is because the motorcycle will not be packed or crated in transit. However, it is best to check with the local authorities and the transportation company for the latest updates on batteries and gas tank.

Accessories and other lose items on your bike should ideally be removed before shipping it. These things are more likely to get misplaced or stolen and are also not often covered by insurance.

Last But Not The Least…

The motorcycle being shipped will not be driven too far but it will be driven on and off the trailer ramp (sometimes even several times) during the transit. For this purpose, it is important to make sure that your vehicle is in working condition and doesn’t have any major mechanical faults. By major, we mean it should be easy to kick-start and driven on and off the ramp. In case it’s not, make sure that you report the problem to the transportation company beforehand, so that they can make special arrangements if required. Also, make sure to detail any special instructions required to start and drive your vehicle and keep some fuel in the tank.

Check for the following…

  • Make sure to inflate tires
  • Make sure that battery is charged and in working condition.
  • Check the fuel tank for fuel.
  • Make sure that there are no fluid leaks.
  • Keep the documents ready and handy.


The above are some common considerations and things to keep in mind before you ship your motorcycle. This is not an exhaustive list and we strongly recommend our readers to check with the local authorities and the shipping company for complete details and requirements.

Contact us at (919) 805-3344