I could probably write the book, “Motorcycle Transporting for Dummies.” Maybe someday I will. Here’s how it all began: Hubby really wanted his motorcycle in Florida. Having wintered in the Sunshine State for the past two years, Hubby knew how much we’d use and enjoy the motorcycle there. Florida’s perfect winter temperatures and few days of rain make for optimal riding conditions. Besides, sightseeing via motorcycle is easier on our fuel budget than driving our Ford 350 here and there! The only problem was how to get the motorcycle from our home in Missouri to the RV camp where we stay in Florida, 1000+ miles away.
A road too far
We use our big, beefy truck to tow our 38-foot fifth-wheel RV. Neither Hubby nor I feel comfortable towing an additional motorcycle trailer behind our rig. Hubby didn’t fancy actually driving the motorcycle to Florida, either. Especially in January! Even with proper winter-weather cycle gear, the trip would be long… really long! So, our problem remained: How to get our motorcycle from here to there?
Specialists in motorcycle moving
Determined to make it happen somehow, I searched Google for “Motorcycle Shipping Companies.” Wow! Was I surprised at the number of national movers! There are lots. And lots and lots! So, I narrowed my search to “Motorcycle Shipping Companies in Missouri.” Again, I was amazed at how many companies were available. Maybe transporting our motorcycle was actually doable, after all.
What to look for in transporters
So, I began what I call “due diligence.” I researched several of the highest-rated companies. Then I compared them, using these guidelines:
- Licensed and insured. Reputable companies are fully insured and also certified by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration). Companies often have this information posted on their websites. You can also request a copy of their operating authority. Most companies will gladly provide it.
- Specialized movers. Some transport companies are willing to “add” a motorcycle onto their regular load, but be careful! A motorcycle’s unique features mean special care is needed to secure it for a long haul. Companies that specialize in moving motorcycles understand the unique challenges of securing a cycle. They use motorcycle-specific tie downs to fasten your ride to a skid or pallet. Motorcycle-only transporters have perfected safe transport and use an air-ride suspension to move your cycle.
- Enclosed or open truck. Obviously, an enclosed truck will prevent your cycle from potential road or weather damage. Often the enclosed option costs more, but also offers better security.
- Loading equipment. An oversized lift gate is required to boost a motorcycle onto a transport truck. This ensures that the underside of your ride will not be damaged.
- Daily order transport. Ask for all applicable discounts and considerations. Reliable companies can provide a written price quote that includes all costs within a day or less. Transporters can usually accept your order via their website or over the phone and can give you a date and approximate time for pickup and delivery of your bike. Be sure you can track your motorcycle as it ships.
- Coverage. Hire a company that offers coverage on the valuation of your ride without a deductible. Some companies will offer this for an additional charge, and it may well be worth it. Ask if the company has a claims department that can help you should damage occur.
- Customer Service. Check reviews, of course, along with the company’s ranking within the industry.
With all of this information, we feel confident in choosing the motorcycle transport company that best fits our needs. Maybe the information can help you, too.