Top Tips for Preparing Your Motorcycle for Transport

Transporting your motorcycle requires careful preparation to ensure it arrives at its destination in the same condition it left. Whether you’re moving, selling your bike, or heading to a rally, following these top tips will help you get your motorcycle ready for transport safely and securely.

1. Clean Your Motorcycle

Before handing it over to the motorcycle transport service, give your motorcycle a thorough wash. Cleaning your bike allows you to inspect it closely and document its current condition. Dirt and grime can hide scratches and dents, making it harder to identify any damage that might occur during transport.

2. Document the Condition

After cleaning, take detailed photographs of your motorcycle from all angles. Make sure to capture close-up shots of any existing damage, such as scratches, dents, or paint chips. This documentation will serve as a reference in case you need to file an insurance claim for any new damage incurred during transport. Note down the odometer reading as well.

3. Remove Personal Items and Accessories

Remove any personal items, accessories, or loose parts from your motorcycle. Items such as saddlebags, GPS units, and custom mirrors can be damaged or cause damage during transit. If possible, also remove or secure any custom parts that could be easily damaged. Transport companies typically are not responsible for personal items left on the motorcycle.

4. Check for Leaks

Inspect your motorcycle for any fluid leaks. Transport companies may refuse to ship bikes that are leaking oil, fuel, or other fluids, as these can pose a hazard. Fix any leaks before the transport date to avoid delays.

5. Reduce Fuel Level

Most transport companies require that your motorcycle’s fuel tank be no more than a quarter full. This is to reduce the risk of fire during transport. A nearly empty tank also reduces the weight of the bike, which can make loading and unloading easier and safer.

6. Inspect Tire Pressure

Ensure your motorcycle’s tires are properly inflated. Under-inflated or over-inflated tires can be problematic during loading and unloading. Properly inflated tires also help absorb shocks during transit, protecting your bike from potential damage.

7. Disable the Alarm

If your motorcycle is equipped with an alarm system, make sure to disable it before transport. An active alarm can be triggered by the vibrations and movements during transit, leading to unnecessary disruptions and possibly draining the battery.

8. Secure Loose Parts

Check for any loose parts and secure them. Items such as mirrors, windshields, and luggage racks should be firmly attached or removed if possible. Loose parts can vibrate during transport and cause damage to your motorcycle or other bikes being transported.

9. Prepare the Keys

Ensure you have a set of keys ready for the transport company. They may need the keys to move your motorcycle on and off the transport vehicle. Keep an additional set of keys with you just in case.

10. Review and Confirm Details with the Transport Company

Before the transport date, review all details with the transport company. Confirm the pick-up and delivery addresses, dates, and times. Make sure you understand the company’s policies and procedures, including insurance coverage and what to do in case of any issues.


Proper preparation is essential to ensure your motorcycle is transported safely and arrives in perfect condition. By cleaning your bike, documenting its condition, removing personal items, checking for leaks, and following the other tips outlined above, you can minimize the risk of damage and ensure a smooth transport process. Taking these steps will give you peace of mind and help you avoid any unexpected surprises upon delivery.