Vintage motorcycles are beautiful, fragile, and valuable, so they require special care and attention to ensure they are shipped safely. Whether you are moving a long distance, transporting your motorcycle to and from a show, or purchasing a vintage motorcycle online, there may come a time when you need to ship your classic motorcycle. When choosing a shipping company, you want to look for a service that will keep your vintage bike mechanically sound and safe from the elements. Here are a few things to consider if you are planning to ship a vintage motorcycle.
Research Shipping Companies
The first step in shipping your vintage motorcycle is to find a shipping company that is an expert in motorcycle transportation. While it may be tempting to choose a company with the lowest price, it could end being much more of a hassle in terms of shipping delays and potential damage. That’s why it is important to choose a company that has a strong reputation and plenty of experience shipping motorcycles. You also want to check with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to make sure that the motorcycle transported is officially licensed. Not only is licensing important, but shipping a motorcycle requires specialized equipment so you want to make sure that the company has the right equipment necessary to handle different models and designs of motorcycles.
Choose Your Shipping Method
Whenever you are shipping a vehicle, you will have the choice between using an open or enclosed carrier. The best way to ship a vintage motorcycle is to use an enclosed carrier. Although enclosed carriers are more expensive, they guarantee protection from inclement weather and road debris. Open carriers are cheaper, but they will not offer protection from outdoor elements. When you are shipping something as valuable as a vintage bike, you want to take extra precautions to ensure your motorcycle does not get damaged during transport.
Make Sure You Have Proper Insurance
Motorcycle transport companies should offer some type of insurance coverage, but it could be very basic and it might not be enough to cover a vintage bike. Be sure and inquire about insurance coverage with the shipping company and purchase additional coverage if needed. You can also check with your own insurance provider about what your current policy covers and whether or not you need to add additional coverage.
Choose a Delivery Option
Most shipping companies will give you the option to choose between door-to-door delivery or terminal-to-terminal delivery. While it may cost you a bit more, door-to-door delivery might be the most suitable option for a vintage motorcycle. Not only is it more convenient, but it will come straight to you instead of being held in a terminal for pick-up.
Prepare Your Motorcycle for Shipment
It is important to take a few important steps to make sure your vintage motorcycle is ready for shipment:
- Remove all accessories like hardshell cases and side bags
- Drain all fluids
- Unplug or remove the battery if possible
- Wash the motorcycle and take pictures of its condition
Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to Your Car Moving Questions
The hardest thing for people researching car moving companies to understand is that the prices they are getting are not hard and fast gaurantees, but rather ESTIMATES of what one company thinks it will take to get a vehicle moved promptly versus another company's opinion of what it will take. Don't be fooled, there are not carriers committed to take your vehicle at these quoted prices, the company you choose will still have to get to work getting a carrier to commit to move it at the price they quote you.
Your total price breaks down into two parts, the broker's fee (or 'deposit' as everyone calls it) and the carriers fee (your COD amount) Make no mistake about this, EVERYONE YOU ARE GETTING SALES CALLS FROM IS GOING TO BROKER YOUR MOVE. In this industry, there are brokers who try to fool you into thinking that they are the actual carriers and there are an equal amount of carriers who sell themselves on the fact that they have a truck or two but are not being honest about the fact that they broker out 90% of the orders they book. Here is a quick easy way to tell, if a company takes an up front fee, whether they call it a deposit or any other name, they are a broker. Carriers do not take any payment until the vehicle is delivered.
In our opinion, you are crazy to do so. Have you ever been paid up front for the work that you perform for your employer? Why would you pay a fee up front when there are reliable and trustworthy companies like ours that won't ask for it until we provide you with your carriers details?
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will be between one and two weeks. From there you can figure your transit time based on how far your vehicle is traveling, i.e. from either coast to the Midwest might average 3-7 days.