Whether you own a classic big-twin or a new Sportster, the last thing you want is your bike to be damaged during a transport, so it’s always a good idea to prepare your cycle before handing it over to a shipping company. The following process is quick, easy, and will minimize the possibility of your bike getting damaged during shipment. Also, if an accident does occur these steps will help you collect compensation.
Begin prepping the hog for shipment by washing it down. As you clean it note any existing scratches, dents, dings or other imperfections and document them with pictures and in writing. Don’t rush, as this evidence of the bike’s condition will be the basis of your argument should you need to file a claim.
Following the wash, remove any customizations and loose items that could possibly be lost while on the haul. A shipping company’s insurance will not cover any missing or damaged accessories, so make sure that you’ve got everything.
The final step is a quick mechanical evaluation. Even though the shipper won’t be joyriding around, they may have to fire up your hog to get it on or off the trailer so it is important that it is in running condition. Check the tire pressure, fluid levels, charge the battery and make sure it has some gas. If you have been experiencing any reoccurring problems or the bike requires any unique procedures be sure to notify the carrier ahead of time.
Another thing to keep in mind: If your Harley is antique, rare or extremely customized you may want to go with a shipping company that specializes in that area. They will be accustomed to going the extra mile to protect your investment.