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How to Prepare Your Motorcycle for Transport: A Checklist

If you need to move your prized (or newly purchased) motorcycle across the country but are unable to ride or transport it yourself, you’re in luck! Many companies specialize in motorcycle transport and can offer complete quotes for the shipment on sites like Here’s a quick guide to preparing your motorcycle for transport and preventing any problems along the way.

Before your motorcycle hauler arrives, be sure to check the entire bike for pre-existing damage. Documenting existing damage with your phone or camera can save a lot of hassle in case of an insurance claim. Be sure to check these tasks off your list as well:

       1.       Inflate the tires.
       2.       Fully charge the battery.
       3.       Fill the gas tank to ¼ to ½ full.
       4.       Check for and fix any fluid leaks.
       5.       Remove any loose items from the motorcycle.
This is an important step that is often forgotten by owners. Be sure to remove any personal items and travel accessories from the bike before it’s loaded for transport. Motorcycle transporters are not responsible for those items, and they won’t be covered by insurance if accessories are lost or damaged.
        6.       Thoroughly clean the motorcycle.
        7.       Take note of any scratches, chips, dings, or any other cosmetic damages.
        8.       Ride the motorcycle around the block and write down any mechanical issues or peculiarities.
        9.       Take photos of the cleaned bike from several angles, along with close-up shots of existing  
       10.   Date all your records, and mention them to your mover when they arrive.

Thankfully, there is no need to drain your gas tank or remove the battery unless you’re moving your motorcycle specifically as freight with a freight carrier. If your bike will be exposed to the cold or will be stationary for a long period of time at its destination, you may want to consider afew additional steps listed here to protect it during storage.
With the exception of freight carriers, you also shouldn’t need to crate or package your motorcycle prior to transport. Your transporter should arrive with all the necessary trailers, tie-downs and coverings needed to protect your bike during its journey. If you’re unsure about the service quality of a transporter during or prior to pick-up, you are well within your rights to cancel the service, as well.
If you have any questions about motorcycle transport or, reach us any time on Twitter at @uShip or on
Written by Collin Bass, Content Manager for 


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