A few tips on shipping your motorcycle

Well there are probably numerous tips, suggestions and pointers folks can contribute to this but here are basics for those considering shipping bikes but are a little worried about the process

Firstly – stop worrying.  Hundreds (thousands??) of people regularly ship their motorcycles to destinations around the world.  In some places it can be confusing and having someone local to help you deal with stuff helps immensely. Often you think that you can save money by doing it all yourself but the headache is sometimes not worth it.  So considering going through an agent.

Next – ship the bike ready to ride. Don’t plan on buying and installing major farkles once you reach the destination, especially if you are limited on time.

Finally – don’t let your wife force you into leaving behind some important tools just so she can carry more shoes :)

Ok so now the bike prep

The first thing you need to do is disconnect the battery. I also recommend taping the ends of the cables. Also the tape the nuts that hold onto the screws  so they do not fall off. From departure to destination, there is going to be a ton of vibrations and the nut can wiggle out.


When we got off the ferry in Dover, a few miles down the road we were notified by a fellow rider that our sleeping bags had flown off.  The vibrations during the ferry ride had loosened some of the straps and we made the rookie mistake of not checking. Furthermore, probably due to some earlier carelessness, even the battery terminals had come loose and the gave us a heart attack when the bike would not start after recovery of the sleeping bags.

Don’t fill-er-up a day or two before shipping, as the gas tank needs to be on reserve at drop-off. Some companies will require it be lower than quarter tank.

The side mirrors and windshield will need to be removed. Bubble wrap them and stick the screws onto them – otherwise you are probably going to loose the screws. Make sure to pack the tools required to put everything back on.  It would not hurt to practice putting all the stuff back on so you are not confused at the pickup terminal.

That is pretty much it. I would recommend sending all the heavy stuff along with the bike and stuffing the panniers to the max.

More help here:



Sinbad - on arrival