How to Transport a Motorcycle on a Trailer Safely and Securely

Rochdi Rais Rochdi Rais · Updated July 1, 2024

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If you drive a motorcycle, you know how much it means to you. You may have spent years customizing and perfecting the performance of your bike; it’s no surprise that you can’t bear the thought of leaving it behind when you’re traveling or relocating. If you want to transport a motorcycle easily, there’s no better idea than choosing a motorcycle hauling company.

With so many motorcycle shipping companies, hiring someone and getting your bike transported without worrying about the details is easy. However, if you’re like most motorcycle enthusiasts, you want to transport a motorcycle by yourself to ensure it’s safe and secure.

This guide will provide you with everything you need to know about how to transport a motorcycle on a trailer. It’s a comprehensive guide that covers everything from prepping your bike, choosing the right trailer, loading, and unloading, and ensuring the motorcycle’s safety during transport.

How To Transport a Motorcycle Safely

Before you transport a motorcycle on a trailer, it’s important to prep your motorcycle. Proper preparation will ensure that your bike is transported safely and securely. Follow these steps to prepare your motorcycle:

Step 1: Clean Your Motorcycle

Ensure that your motorcycle is clean and free of dirt, grime, and debris. Cleaning your motorcycle will remove any dirt or dust that may scratch the paint or cause rusting.

Step 2: Check for Damage

Inspect your motorcycle for any visible damage or problems. If you notice any signs of damage or need repairs, you should have them fixed before transporting a motorcycle.

Step 3: Remove Accessories

Remove any loose accessories, saddlebags, mirrors, or other detachable items from your motorcycle. You don’t want anything to fall off during transport.

Choosing the Right Trailer

Choosing the right trailer to transport a motorcycle is crucial. Different types of trailers are on the market, each with pros and cons. Here are the different types of trailers you can choose from:

1. Enclosed Trailers

Enclosed trailers offer the most protection for your motorcycle, shielding it from the elements and other hazards on the road. If you want to transport a motorcycle over long distances, an enclosed trailer is your best bet.

2. Open Trailers

Open trailers are less expensive than enclosed trailers but offer less protection for your motorcycle. While they’re excellent for short distances, they’re not recommended for long hauls.

3. Flatbed Trailers

Flatbed trailers are suitable for carrying multiple motorcycles at a time, making them an excellent choice for motorcycle dealerships. They’re also more cost-effective than enclosed trailers but offer little protection from the elements.

Loading and Unloading

Loading and unloading your motorcycle onto the trailer is where most accidents occur. Therefore, it’s essential to take the right steps to ensure your motorcycle’s safety:

Step 1: Use Ramps

Use ramps to load your motorcycle onto the trailer. Ensure that the ramps are sturdy and that you’ve chosen the right ramps for your motorcycle’s weight.

Step 2: Use Tie-Downs

Secure your motorcycle using tie-downs. You want to ensure that it’s secured to the trailer tightly, preventing it from moving during transport. Use soft ties to protect your bike’s finish, and ensure the ratchet straps are tight.

What To Do During Transport

Once your motorcycle is loaded and secured onto the trailer, it’s time to embark on your journey. Here are a few things you should keep in mind during transport:

Step 1: Regular Check-Ups

Regularly check on your motorcycle during transport to ensure it’s still secure and has not sustained any damage. Check your tie-downs every 50-100 miles and adjust them if necessary.

Step 2: Weather Watch

Watch the weather forecast for the days you’ll transport a motorcycle. If you’re using an open trailer, you should check for weather updates and plan accordingly.

How to Transport a Motorcycle on a Trailer

If you’re thinking about transporting a motorcycle and are relocating, selling your motorcycle, or going on a road trip, transporting your bike on a trailer can save you time and effort. Here are the steps you should follow to transport a motorcycle on a trailer:

Choose the Right Trailer

Select a trailer that is specifically designed for transporting motorcycles. The trailer should be sturdy and equipped with the necessary features to fasten your motorcycle securely. Ensure that the trailer is wide enough to accommodate your bike and has a ramp for easy loading and unloading.

Prepare To Transport a Motorcycle

Before loading your bike onto the trailer, ensure it is clean and free from debris or dirt. This will prevent damage to the bike’s exterior during transport. Remove any loose items such as saddlebags or mirrors, and ensure that the gas tank is not full.

Load Your Motorcycle

Use a ramp to load your bike onto the trailer, taking care to position it securely in the center. Attach the motorcycle to the trailer using tie-downs that are appropriately rated for the weight of your bike. Ensure that the tie-downs are secured tightly and that the bike is stable.

Check Your Load

Before embarking on your journey, double-check that the motorcycle is securely fastened to the trailer. Check that the tie-downs are tight and that the bike is centered. You should also check the trailer’s tires, brakes, and lights before driving.

Drive Carefully

When driving with a motorcycle on a trailer, take extra care to ensure that you don’t damage the bike or the trailer. Avoid sudden stops or starts, and drive at a steady speed. Make wide turns, and check your mirrors frequently to ensure that your load is secure.

Using a Shipping Company To Transport Motorcycles

If you decide to use a shipping company to transport a motorcycle, you can rest assured that they will handle most of the responsibilities and precautions to ensure the safe and secure delivery of your bike.

Aspects to Consider

  1. Professional handling: Shipping companies have trained professionals who are experienced in handling motorcycles for transport. They know the best practices for loading, unloading, and securing your bike.
  2. Appropriate equipment: They have proper equipment, including enclosed trailers, ramps, and straps.
  3. Insurance coverage: A professional shipping company offers insurance coverage for your motorcycle during transport.
  4. Weather protection: If you choose to use an enclosed trailer, your motorcycle will be protected from the elements, such as rain, snow, and debris.
  5. Route planning: Shipping companies have experience in planning the most efficient routes for transport, taking into consideration factors such as traffic, road conditions, and weather. This helps to minimize any potential delays or complications during the shipping process.
  6. Tracking and communication: Many shipping companies offer tracking services, allowing you to monitor the progress of your motorcycle shipment. They also maintain communication with you throughout the process, ensuring you are informed of any changes or updates.
  7. Time-saving: By entrusting your motorcycle shipping to a professional company, you can save time and effort. The shipping company will take care of all the necessary preparations, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your move or trip.
  8. Peace of mind: Hiring a shipping company to transport a motorcycle gives you peace of mind, knowing that your bike is in the hands of professionals who have the expertise and equipment to ensure its safe arrival at the destination.

When choosing a shipping company to transport a motorcycle, it’s essential to do thorough research and select a reputable, experienced company. Read customer reviews, ask for recommendations from fellow motorcycle enthusiasts, and compare quotes from different companies to make an informed decision.

FAQs: Transport a Motorcycle

How Much Does It Cost to Transport a Motorcycle?

The cost to transport a motorcycle varies depending on factors such as the distance, shipping method, and the shipping company you choose. Generally, prices can range from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars. Requesting quotes from multiple shipping companies to compare costs and services is essential.

How Long Does It Take to Transport a Motorcycle?

The shipping time for a motorcycle depends on the distance between the pickup and delivery locations and the shipping company’s schedule. Typically, it may take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Most shipping companies will provide you with an estimated delivery window.

Is My Motorcycle Insured During Shipping?

Reputable shipping companies will have insurance coverage for the motorcycles they transport. It’s crucial to verify the coverage details, limits, and any deductibles before hiring a shipping company. You may also want to consider purchasing additional insurance if the provided coverage is not sufficient for your motorcycle’s value.

What Type of Trailer Should I Choose To Transport a  Motorcycle?

Three main types of trailers are used for motorcycle shipping: open trailers, enclosed trailers, and crated shipping. Open trailers are the most affordable option but provide the least protection. Enclosed trailers offer better protection from the elements and potential damage but are more expensive. Crated shipping offers the highest level of protection but is the most costly option.

Do I Need To Prepare To Transport a Motorcycle?

Yes, preparing your motorcycle for shipping is essential to ensure its safety during transport. This includes cleaning the bike, removing any loose accessories or personal belongings, documenting existing damages, draining fluids, and disabling the alarm system.

Can I Ship My Motorcycle Internationally?

Yes, many shipping companies offer international motorcycle shipping services. Keep in mind that to transport a motorcycle internationally, you’ll have additional paperwork, customs clearance, and potentially higher costs.

How Do I Choose the Right Motorcycle Shipping Company?

To choose the right motorcycle shipping company, research different companies that specialize in motorcycle transport, read customer reviews, and compare quotes. Ensure the company has a good track record, has been in business for a reasonable period, and offers adequate insurance coverage for your motorcycle.

Bottom Line: Transport a Motorcycle

To transport a motorcycle on a trailer might seem daunting, but it’s easier than you think. With the right preparation, choosing the right trailer, and taking the right steps for loading and unloading, you can ensure your motorcycle is transported safely and securely. By following the tips mentioned above, you’ll have peace of mind when transporting your motorcycle to its destination. Remember to take your time, double-check everything, and enjoy the ride!

By now, you’ve learned almost everything there is to know about motorcycle shipping. Are you ready to transport a motorcycle? Make sure to check out CitizenShipper for all your transportation needs! CitizenShipper connects people who need things shipped with drivers who are heading in that direction. It’s a reliable and affordable way to ship your motorcycle!