Motorcycle Towing Tips
Towing a motorcycle is definitely not the same as towing a car or boat. In fact motorcycle towing usually proves harder than towing a car for various reasons. That’s why sometimes better is to use a specialist motorcycle shipper than a car shipper that offers motorcycle towing as an extra service.
There are some other specific considerations you should know about when hiring a towing company to move your motorcycle.
Pick Reputable Towing Company
If you care for your motorcycle, you may pay a bit more but you will have the experience and guarantee of a safe motorcycle towing. Ask family and friends that own motorcycles if there is a good towing company they’ve used and can recommend to you.
Read the shipping policies and motorcycle insurance for the travel very carefully. Once you are happy with all the clauses, you can trust your motorcycle to the towing company and hope for the best.
Make Sure You Are Properly Insured
Your motorcycle should be insured against damage and theft by your motorcycle towing company. Make sure you request a copy of the motorcycle towing company's insurance coverage before you finalize towing and check to see if there is any deductible you will be required to pay if damage should occur. It is likely that your personal motorcycle insurance policy may cover your vehicle in transit; and we recommend that you contact your insurance company to verify this coverage.
How Expensive is Motorcycle Towing?
You might think that motorcycle towing would be cheaper because of the difference in size of vehicles, but this is rarely the case. Since motorcycles are not as stable as cars, they need extra care and protection. While a car has four wheels for extra stability a motorcycle is quite different by design and has only two wheels with nothing to keep the bike stationery apart from the stand.
The carriers use either the palettes specially designed for the purpose of motorcycle towing or specially fitted tracks. It means that a motorcycle basically takes up the same room as a car when it needs to be shipped anywhere.
The further you are traveling and the more services you require the higher the price is likely to be, but you will receive a discount from the right company if you are towing more than one motorcycle so do shop around and check any quotes you receive carefully.
While some motorcycle towing companies may not require payment in advance, others require a deposit (10-25% of the total cost) prior to shipping. If a deposit is given, the balance remaining is always required at time of delivery. You will need to have a Cashiers Check or Cash ready when the truck arrives. Some motorcycle towing companies may allow you to pay with a credit card upon delivery, but this is not common.
Open or Enclosed?
The vast majority of motorcycle towing is done using enclosed trailers. This is done for several reasons. Motorcycle towing companies can fit dozens and dozens of bikes in an enclosed trailer that may only hold eight cars.
Motorcycles are also a little more sensitive to the elements; many people don't want their brand new Harley Davidson getting snowed on. Finally, motorcycles are more of a security risk on open trailers. For this reason, experts strongly suggest using open motorcycle towing only for shorter distances (under 500 miles).
Crated or Uncrated?
Most of the towing companies do not crate your motorcycle during shipping, as they use specialized trailers which are designed to carry motorcycles specifically. Some companies use a pallet or "pop-up crate" system to secure your bike to in the back of a semi trailer. This can be a cost saving option, but it also can mean a lot more work for you. You may have to buy or build an approved crate yourself.
Also, it is common when you ship your motorcycle crated to be required to remove the gas and battery from your bike. While not a huge undertaking, this can be time consuming, because you’ll not be able to ride as soon as it rolls of the trailer.
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