How To Ship a Vintage Motorcycle: Special Considerations for Popular Brands

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2 min to read

Motorcycle owners understand how important it is to protect their bikes. Even more so are those who own vintage bikes. With more years and miles under their belts, classic motorcycles are more susceptible to damage — and worse, harder to fix, considering not all repair shops have the knowledge, parts inventory and skill to restore such vehicles. 

With this in mind, if you’re planning to ship a vintage motorcycle across the country or overseas, there are special considerations you’ll need to make.

Popular vintage motorcycles

Motorcycle aficionados are very familiar with the most popular vintage brands and models. The following are just a few of the top manufacturers on that list:

  • Triumph
  • Honda
  • Indian
  • Kawasaki
  • Harley Davidson
  • Moto Guzzi
  • Ducati

Why ship a vintage motorcycle?

Those who own motorcycles typically purchase classic bikes so they can ride them. There are others who purchase classic motorcycles as collector items. Either way, owners cherish their bikes and always want to keep them safe, especially if their motorcycle ever needs to be transported. For instance, a person may be moving to a new home across the state or country where they need to transport their motorcycle along with all their other belongings. 

Some classic motorcycle enthusiasts purchase bikes from different parts of the country — or even the world. In these cases, the buyer and seller will need to arrange the bike to be shipped to its new owner; likewise if a person wins a vintage bike from a remote auction. And similarly, as mentioned above, not all mechanics are equipped to make repairs to vintage makes and models, so an owner may have to send their motorcycle away to a specialized shop to make any repairs or restorations. 

Finally, there could be other reasons someone wants to get their vintage motorcycle to another destination, including looking to minimize additional mileage or wear and tear.

Considerations for shipping your vintage motorcycle

Owners of any kind of motorcycle need to take preventative measures to protect their bikes. But owners of older, vintage bikes that may be more fragile and prone to incurring damage during transport, should take extra precautions. There are several things you can do to ensure your vintage motorcycle gets to its destination safely.

First and foremost, prepare your bike for the trip. Wash the motorcycle thoroughly and make note of any existing scratches or dents. Since crates and pallets used to ship the bike can be  flammable, drain all fluids if the carrier requires it. Remove accessories like side bags and hardshell cases and unplug, remove and store the battery.

To further protect the motorcycle while in transit, find a carrier who specializes in motorcycle transport. They will have the experience and effective solutions to take care of your vintage bike. 

Additionally, choose an enclosed trailer over an open-air option. Enclosed trailers have walls, a roof and other safeguards in place. Your bike will be properly secured to the trailer so it won’t move or tip over on the road.

Carriers are required to provide cargo insurance for all shipments, but check the policy to make sure it covers motorcycles. While rare, accidents unfortunately do happen, and if your vehicle is damaged during shipment, you need to have minimal coverage for proper reimbursement.

Don’t handle vintage motorcycle shipping on your own

Whether you need to get your vintage motorcycle across the state, country or world, you want to find a reputable company to handle the process for you. When beginning your search, you’ll soon find it can be overwhelming. Motorcycle transport brokers can help find the best option for your needs and manage all details of shipment.

Montway Auto Transport is a leading auto transport broker, with a network of thousands of carriers across the United States. We assist vintage motorcycle owners by connecting them with the best option for shipping their bikes. Contact us at 866-989-8526 or visit our motorcycle shipping page for additional information.


motorcycle shipping


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