Entrusting your two-wheeled pride and joy to a transport company and shipping it across the country can be a harrowing experience. But, if you need to transport your bike interstate, then you need to find a transport company you can rely on.
Packing up and moving a motorcycle isn’t as simple as moving a car. It requires preparation and some specialised equipment to ensure your bike reaches its destination without fuss and hassle.
To ensure trouble-free interstate bike transport, we’ve pulled together a handy interstate motorcycle transport checklist.
In it, we run you through how to prepare your bike for transport and what you should be asking your transport company to make sure that your bike is in the best possible hands.
Find a reputable transporter
If you’re looking to transport a motorbike interstate, the first, and perhaps most important, thing you need to do is find a reputable and reliable transport company. Not all transport companies are experienced or equipped to deal with moving a bike.
Before you engage a transport company, here are some questions you should be asking.
- What kind of transport vehicles and trailers do you use?
Unlike cars, motorcycles should be transported in enclosed trailers for safety and security. Motorcycles are easier to steal than cars, so an enclosed and locked trailer provides extra protection and security from thieves. Enclosed trailers are also important to protect the bike and other road users in case the bike comes free from its straps during transport (although this is extremely unlikely if your transport company is using the appropriate transport restraints and equipment).
- Do you have appropriate motorcycle cradles and straps?
To safely secure a bike during transport, special equipment is required. Motorcycle transport cradles are used to secure the bike’s front wheel without risking damage to the struts and forks. Straps are then used to secure the rear end of the bike. Car restraints should not be used to secure a bike. When properly secured, the bike should not be at risk of moving or falling over, but should also not be so tightly secured as to risk being damaged.
- Do you provide door-to-door transport or depot-to-depot?
Some companies will only provide depot-to-depot motorcycle transport. When it comes to interstate transport, this is generally much more cost effective. However, it does mean that you may need to organise last-mile transport from the depot. A good transport company should be able to help you with this.
- Is crating required? If so, does the transport company providing crating services?
Some transport companies require motorcycles to be protected in custom crates or palletised for transport. Crating can provide additional protection from a range of shipping hazards including shock, vibration, moisture, and movement of other shipping materials. Not all transport companies will provide crating; however, they should be able to recommend expert packing and crating companies, if necessary.
Check the insurance
When transporting something as valuable as a motorcycle, top-quality insurance is essential. Before you engage a transport company, you should always find out what kind of insurance coverage they provide. Take the time to read through the terms and conditions of your transporter’s insurance to see what your bike is and isn’t covered for. Some policies will only cover total loss and not damage. For full peace of mind, you should look into getting your own motorcycle transport insurance for the duration of the shipping period.
Prepare your bike for transport
Before your bike can be packaged, loaded and shipped you will need to ensure that it is properly prepared for interstate shipping. Depending on where you are shipping to and from, requirements may differ slightly. Preparation requirements can also differ depending on your transport company.
Regardless of the state you’re shipping to or from or company requirements, you should always:
- Document the condition of your bike
Take detailed pictures and ensure you have copies of all relevant documentation readily available. Document the bike’s working condition, including any faults or defects. You could also consider a documented inspection from a mechanic.
- Thoroughly clean your bike
It’s important to wash your bike to ensure it’s free from any mud and plant matter. This is particularly important if your bike is being transported to a state or territory with strict quarantine laws, like Western Australia. Cleaning your bike will also make it easier to fully document its condition.
- Other requirements
Make sure that:
- Tyres are inflated and battery is charged
- Petrol tank is around ¼ full
- There are no fluid leaks
- All alarms and security systems are disabled
- Steering is operational and wheels can roll (for roll-on, roll-off loading)
- Transporters are aware of any mechanical issues with the bike
Your transporter will be able to supply you with all the specific preparation requirements before shipping your bike.