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How to Prepare a Motorcycle for Shipping

Lisbon, Portugal - October 16, 2016: Old Royal Enfield black motorcycle parked close to a wharf during a day of autumn.

There are many ways of shipping a motorcycle. By ship takes weeks, but it’s cost-effective. By air is remarkably swift, but will cost a little more. Beyond this, you need to do a few things to prepare your motorcycle for transport:

  1. Clean your motorcycle. The more dirt and grit that’s present, the more can get kicked up during transit. Be thorough. Even dirt on the wheels will shift during transport and could scratch your motorcycle’s finish or even get into mechanical parts.
  1. Note any damage that exists. This ranges from obvious damage to scratches. A good idea is to photograph or video the motorcycle directly prior to transport. This gives you a visual record of its condition. Chances are extremely good your motorcycle will get to its destination without any damage, but this is a step that protects you in case of the unexpected. You may also want to purchase a freight insurance policy to help protect your bike.
  1. Check the bike’s fluids, battery, and tire pressure. Make sure they’re in a good state.
  1. Anything that’s loose should be removed. This includes accessories on the bike. Loose and attached items can be lost, or can create scratches during transit.
  1. This includes alarms. We have to stress this. This isn’t so much for you as it is for the personnel who transport your motorcycle. You don’t want to have to cope with a bike alarm going off in a container. If it can’t be removed for any reason, include instructions with the bike on how to disable it – even if you already have disabled it yourself.
  1. Your gas tank should be at about one-quarter tank during shipping. This allows you to drive the bike from wherever it arrives at to someplace where you can get gas, but avoids fuller tanks from leaking, building up fumes, or creating other problems.

If you have any other questions about how to prepare your motorcycle for transport, feel free to ask us. We’re happy to help you feel prepared and safe when shipping your motorcycle.

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