Motorcycles are a passion for many riders in the US. While a fun bike makes the daily rides more joyous, their large size and weight presents challenges whenever one has to relocate far away. Shipping a motorcycle across the vast distances between coasts requires proper planning and know-how to ensure safe delivery. This article provides a comprehensive guide on shipping a bike cross country – from getting it ready, choosing reliable carriers and services, acquiring necessary documents to estimating costs and timelines. Following the steps outlined here will help navigate the process seamlessly.

Getting Your Motorcycle Ready

Preparing Your Bike

  • Drain all fluids like fuel, oil, coolant, etc. to minimize chances of leaks
  • Remove or secure loose parts like mirrors, license plate, handlebar weights etc.
  • Clean and lubricate chain. Tighten all nuts and bolts.
  • Inflate tires to the correct pressure.
  • Disconnect battery and secure it properly.
  • Cover electronics and other exposed parts with plastic or towels for protection.

Packing Your Bike

  • Wrap frame, forks and other painted surfaces tightly with protective wrapping like foam, moving blankets or even newspapers for protection from scratches.
  • Secure bike with ratchet straps or ropes to a pallet, cargo base or custom fit shipping container depending on shipping method.
  • Use foam wedges, padding or wooden braces to secure movable parts like handlebars, footpegs to prevent movement during transit.
  • Seal critical parts like electrical connectors properly with plastic bags, tape or waterproofing before wrapping.

Choosing a Shipping Method

Motorcycle Shipping Companies

Most reliable options are major motorcycle shipping companies like UShip, BikeFlights, RideMigrant etc. They use enclosed trailers and experienced drivers ensuring safe delivery. Pricing depends on distance, bike size, services required.

DIY Truck Rental

For cost savings, one can rent a truck/trailer and drive it themselves. Trucks need proper loading ramps, experience driving long distances with a heavy bike. Risks of damage during loading/unloading are higher.

Auto Transport Carriers

Large carriers like Montway Auto Transport, Sheriff Auto Transport etc. also ship bikes while transporting cars. But bike may get less attention, so risks are slightly higher than motorcycle specific services.

Paperwork and Insurance

Shipping Documents

Confirm that the company provides all required documents – Bill of Lading (BOL), cargo insurance docs. Pack Signed BOL copy, pictures/videos of bike condition for claims.

Insurance Options

  • Cargo insurance policy from the shipping company covering loss/damage during transit.
  • Comprehensive bike insurance policy providing coverage for transport as well as at origin/destination.
  • Declared value above blue book helps get adequate payout in case of total loss during shipment.

Estimating Time and Costs

Time in Transit

Allow 2-3 weeks coast-to-coast for truck shipping. Transit time depends on distance, routes, stops/charges by the carrier.

Cost Factors

  • Distance – cross country shipments average $1000-2000
  • Bike size – heavier/bigger bikes are more expensive to transport
  • Time of year – peak season rates apply during summer
  • Value-added services like delivery/pickup, enclosed trailer, insurance affect pricing

Getting Quotes

Get binding quotes from 3-4 companies mentioning services required, loading/unloading specifics to compare prices and policies.

In conclusion, proper preparation, choosing a reputed carrier, buying right insurance and clear expectations help ship a motorcycle across the country safely. With diligent planning and execution, one can enjoy a hassle-free bike relocation experience.