If you need to ship a motorcycle, you may be wondering what the best way is to keep your bike safe and secure while it’s being shipped. Crating your motorcycle is a great option. Using a purpose-built crate, you can strap down your motorcycle and secure it tightly, keeping it safe from debris, moisture, vibration, and a variety of other issues that could otherwise put your motorcycle at risk.
Got questions about crating a motorcycle, or not sure if it’s a good option for you? Let’s explore the basics of crating motorcycles, and answer a few common questions that you may have about the process.
Why Should I Use A Crate To Ship My Motorcycle?
Choosing to use a crate to ship your motorcycle has a few different benefits. To name just a few, these include enhanced security, the ability to ship more gear with your bike, and even lower shipping costs, in some cases. Let’s take a deeper look at these benefits now.
- Enhanced safety & security – The most obvious benefit of a motorcycle crate is that it completely encloses your vehicle and protects it from damage during the shipping process. Not only that, but it also hides your bike from view – which may be desirable if you’re shipping a very valuable motorcycle and you’re worried that it could be subject to theft or vandalism in transit.
- Ship your bike gear with your motorcycle – Most motorcycle crates have additional tie-down points that allow you to ship extra bike gear with your motorcycle. If you have spare parts, riding gear, maintenance supplies, or aftermarket accessories that you need to ship, you can often send them in the same container as your motorcycle.
- Benefit from lower shipping costs – Because crated motorcycles can be more easily shipped alongside other types of freight, you may be able to save some money on motorcycle transportation. This depends on your carrier, however, so inquire about cost savings from crating a motorcycle when you get a quote for motorcycle transportation.
It’s important to note that not all motorcycle shipping companies will be equipped to handle crated bikes, since a forklift and a loading dock will be required to move a crated motorcycle. It’s best to do some research and find a reputable motorcycle shipping company near you that has experience shipping crated bikes.
Where Do I Get A Motorcycle Crate?
Motorcycle crates are sold online, and can also be provided by some motorcycle transportation companies. You may also be able to get motorcycle crates from a motorcycle dealership for a low cost, since most new motorcycles are shipped to dealers using crates.
If you’re shopping for a motorcycle crate, you’ll need to make sure you pick the right crate for your bike. Consider factors such as:
- Your bike’s dimensions
- The weight of your motorcycle
- Whether or not you want to ship additional gear in the crate
- Your desired material. Motorcycle crates are usually made out of wood, but some are available that are made of metal
- The crush strength of the crate (how much weight it can bear before collapsing)
The cost of a motorcycle crate can vary quite a bit, depending on the type of crate you choose and where you purchase it from. The average cost is around $200-$500. This may seem a bit steep, but investing in a motorcycle crate will provide better protection for your motorcycle – and you can reuse it in the future if you think you may need to ship your bike again.
Can I Build My Own Motorcycle Crate?
Yes. It’s possible to build your own motorcycle crate using a few basic tools, which may be a less expensive option if you are handy. You don’t need much special equipment – just a table saw, hammer and nails, a drill, and some additional hardware. The video guide below is a great resource, and can help you build your own custom crate to save some money.
How Should I Prepare My Motorcycle For Crate Shipping?
You should document its condition, disconnect the battery, drain most of the fuel, secure any gear or loose items, and make sure that your bike is properly tied down.
- Document the condition of your motorcycle – We highly recommend that you use a camera or smartphone to take pictures of your motorcycle before you ship it, even in a crate. Taking photos of your bike ensures that you will have proof about its condition. And in the event that it’s somehow damaged during the transit process, you can use these photos to get the appropriate compensation.
- Disconnect battery & drain fluids – Most motorcycle shipping companies will require you to disconnect your battery and drain most of the fuel from your tank. Most motorcycle shippers won’t require you to drain other fluids like oil and brake fluid, though.
- Tie down your bike – Using ratchet straps and tie-downs, make sure that your motorcycle is secured and fastened in an upright position, and will not move or shift during the transit process. Once you’ve tied it down, do your best to wiggle and shake it out of place – if it doesn’t move, it’s properly secured.
- Secure loose items – If you are shipping additional gear and equipment with your motorcycle, such as riding gear or spare parts, make sure they are properly secured and tied down, and will not shift or move during the transit process. This is particularly important for heavy items.
Need To Ship A Motorcycle? A-1 Auto Transport Can Help!
At A-1 Auto Transport, we can help you ship vehicles of any type both domestically and internationally, thanks to our large network of freight specialists. If you need to move a motorcycle and you would like to crate it for transport, we can help you find the right shipping partner. Contact us online or give us a call at (800) 452-2880 for more information, and get started right away.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.