It’s funny that you should be interested in how to move a motorcycle across country when motorcycles are, in fact, excellent methods of transport. Can’t you just ride your bike to reach your end destination?
Well, it’s never that simple, is it? When it’s time to move to another home, driving a motorcycle cross country is seldom a good idea, and for many people, that is just not a viable option. Once you add the extra costs for fuel and tear-and-wear, plus the extraordinary amount of time you will lose and the genuine risks of crossing unknown lands on two wheels, you will quickly realize that it’s time to find a better way to transport your motorcycle across the country.
Let’s take a closer look at the three most common options to move a motorcycle to another part of the country. 1) transporting your motorcycle with a truck, 2) moving your motorcycle on a trailer, and 3) hiring the services of a motorcycle carrier.
What’s the best way to move a motorcycle cross country?
As mentioned above, a quick moving costs assessment will tell you what you already know: it cannot possibly be worth it to drive your motorcycle to a new home located hundreds of miles away from your starting point. In this case, the move distance becomes the most important factor that will determine how you go about transporting your motorcycle when it’s time to move to another home.
- Moving a motorcycle in a moving truck. Maybe you own a pickup truck, or you can borrow one from a good friend. Or maybe you’ve already decided to rent a moving van from a reputable truck rental company for your household items and prized motorized two-wheel vehicle. Whichever way you choose to go, you’ll need to know how to first load your motorcycle into the truck, and then how to secure it to the flatbed of that truck.
- Moving your motorcycle on a trailer. Another motorcycle transportation approach is to rent a trailer to move your motorcycle across the country. Once you load and secure your bike on that motorcycle trailer, you can attach the latter onto that back of your car and haul your motorbike to its end destination.
- Using the services of a motorcycle transport company. Without a doubt, this transportation method is the easiest way to move a motorcycle long distance. Understandably, it won’t be the cheapest way to move your motorbike between two homes.
How to move a motorcycle in a truck or on a trailer
Here are the steps to transporting your motorcycle with a truck or on a trailer:
- Step 1. Make sure both the bike and the truck (trailer) are on a level and firm surface before trying to load the two-wheeler into the four-wheeler. Uneven or soft ground may cause all types of trouble while you’re loading the motorcycle – you tripping over and falling down or the heavy bike dropping over on you as you try to walk it into the moving vehicle.
- Step 2. Disengage the loading ramp. Ideally, the ramp will be specifically designed for loading motorcycles – that is, it will be able to withstand their weight. The unfolded ramp should also rest firmly on the ground to avoid possible damage to the tires of your bike and to prevent any undesirable movements while you’re pushing up the load along its surface.
- Step 3. Secure the ramp to the truck or trailer with the help of a ratchet tie-down. The majority of loading ramps will be equipped with a hook – use that ratchet strap through that hook and secure it to the hook in the bed of the truck. Make sure the strap is tightened well so that the loading ramp remains firmly in place.
- Step 4. Put your bike in neutral gear and start pushing it up the ramp. Don’t undertake that risky job all by yourself but have a friend to help you push it from the back. Together with your helper, roll slowly the bike up the ramp and be sure to use the front brake lever periodically to avoid the heavy motorcycle from rolling backwards. Be extra careful the moment your friend is about to climb into the bed of the truck or the trailer.
- Step 5. Once loaded successfully, your motorcycle will need to be secured well to the bed of the truck (trailer). To do that, you will need some specialized equipment such as a couple of wheel chocks, soft loops and ratchet straps. All of these equipment pieces can be purchased at large retail shops, motorcycle stores or auto parts stores.
- Step 6. If your motorcycle is particularly heavy, then the usage of wheel chocks around the rear tire is highly recommended. Place one chock in front of the rear wheel and one chock behind the same wheel to minimize the motorcycle movement during transport and decrease the pressure placed on the ratchet straps.
- Step 7. Next, fasten two ratchet straps to the handle bars (one on each side) and secure their other ends to loops or hooks on the truck or trailer, then tighten the straps until they are taut enough to keep the motorcycle immobilized during the haul.
- Step 8. Attach a soft loop strap to a ratchet strap, then run that loop through the back side of the motorcycle, preferably around the rear swing arm. Finally, secure the end of the strap to a hook at the front section of the truck bed or trailer to provide a high level of immobilization for your bike.
- Step 9. Together with your helper, tighten all the ratchet straps once more. When you’re done, the three straps should keep your motorcycle perfectly secured, without any potentially damaging movements forward, backward, or sideways.
- Step 10. Finally, engage the motorcycle into first gear for extra safety during the relocation process.
Useful info: What size of a moving truck do I need?
How to ship your bike with a motorcycle transport company
Shipping a motorcycle with a motorcycle carrier is pretty straightforward:
- Step 1. Get in touch with top-rated motorcycle shipping companies and request price quotes. Make sure you get at least three motorcycle shipping quotes.
- Step 2. How much does it cost to move a motorcycle? The average cost to move a motorcycle cross country is between $400 and $600 for a move distance of about 1000 miles.
- Step 3. An enclosed trailer or an open trailer? Do consider opting for the enclosed shipping option – it is more expensive than the open shipping one, but your motorcycle will be protected from any harmful effects of the elements.
- Step 4. Research each motorcycle transport company that has given you an estimate. Read customer reviews and check claim records to make sure you’re dealing with reputable businesses.
- Step 5. Assess your insurance coverage and request to read the insurance agreement of the motorcycle shipping company.
- Step 6. Pick a motorcycle transporter that fits your budget and needs.
- Step 7. Check your motorcycle for any signs of pre-existing damage. Document well its condition – note any mechanical issues or problems and take hi-res photos of your motorcycle from different angles.
- Step 8. Remove any loose items from your motorbike – anything that may get lost during the haul.
See also: How to ship a car to another state