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To Ship Or Not To Ship?
13 Questions To Help Find The Answer

Shipping your motorcycleSo you've got this great idea for a riding vacation, but unfortunately it's on the other side of the continent, and time is not on your side.

What to do?

Well, you could throw caution to the wind, quit your job and hope to pick up something when you return. Or maybe, and probably more realistically, you should consider shipping your motorcycle.

One of the premier shippers in the business is Federal Companies, an agent for Allied Worldwide that specializes in uncrated motorcycle shipping. Federal has been sending motorcycles around the U.S. for 12 years. And as the official AMA-endorsed shipper, Federal offers AMA members a special discount.

Andrea Pickford, motorcycle shipment coordinator with Federal, gave us answers to 13 common questions and concerns motorcyclists may have regarding shipping.

Here's what she had to say:

1. I'm thinking about shipping, will they come to my home to take the bike?
We can come to your home as long as it is tractor-trailer accessible.

2. Is there any prep work I'll need to do to my bike before they come?
All we ask is that you drain the bike's fuel down to reserve.

3. How do they handle the pick-up from my home?
We have a lift gate on the back of the truck. The driver will roll the bike onto the oak skid (or pallet), and then use tie-down straps to secure it.

4. How much is it to ship a bike from, say, New York to Los Angeles?
For a larger bike, over 950ccs, approximately $703, and that's with $5,000 worth of insurance. Obviously, different locations, bikes and insurance levels will have different fees. And it really doesn't matter if it's a touring bike or not.

5. Is there a different round-trip price?
There's really no round-trip discount. So, it'll be the same price coming back.
But if you're riding with some friends, and multiple bikes are going to and from the same locations, you can get a multiple bike discount for each friend.

Shipping your motorcycle6. What exactly is "uncrated motorcycle shipping?"
That's why we can go to a residence. We strap the bike to a pallet, which has some real advantages. Unlike with crated shipping, your bike's rideable right after it comes off the truck at your destination. There's no need to lower the handlebars, disconnect the battery or deal with any of the other problems associated with crated shipping. As long as the place is tractor-trailer accessible, we can pick it up.

7. What protection do I have against shipping damages?
First and foremost, the chance for damage is reduced significantly by the way that we ship them. There are no other boxes packed with them. They are on a pallet in a space all by themselves, so nothing can fall on them. And they are out of the weather.
Also, with your basic shipping charges, you automatically get $5,000 worth of insurance. Of course, you can buy more insurance for your bike if you wish.
Lastly, we ask that you make sure your insurance covers a catastrophic problem, like the truck going off the side of the road. Federal's insurance would be the primary coverage, and your insurance would pick up the rest.

8. What if I find a dent that wasn't there before I shipped?
When the tractor-trailer comes to pick up your bike, the driver will do a walk around to mark any previous conditions. If some damage occurred after transit, a claims form is sent out, and then the insurance will cover that damage, up to $5,000. Again, you can always purchase more insurance if you wish.

9. Say I've got this really used bike, and it leaks a bit here and there. Will you still ship it for me?
Yes. If it does leak, say oil, we ask that you take the oil out. Some people only ship parts. And we can give you a deduction on the insurance if it's not worth what's covered.

10. You know, I've never really cleaned that used bike. Do they care if it's a really greasy mess?
Hopefully, you would have washed it before you gave it to us. We would ask that you use a towel to wipe some of it off. But because the bikes are on a stand-alone pallet, they never touch each other. So there's no danger of it coming off one bike and going on another. Of course, the driver may ask to wash his hands at your place after he loads it.

11. How much time should I allow for shipping?
We just need two days notice for pick up, and generally, two weeks transit time for delivery.

12. What about shipping outside the United States?
We can ship to Canada and Alaska, and we can make arrangements to go to Hawaii. But at this time, we don't ship anywhere in Europe.

13. I have soft luggage attached to my bike. Will they still take it if I load them up?
That's fine, but we ask that you don't send anything in the luggage. We really ask that you don't ship anything you can't lose. Even if you have lockable hard luggage we ask that you leave them empty.

Interested? Visit Federal Companies' website or call (800) 747-4100 ext. 2217.