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I have a bike for sale in Cycletrader and need to see about shipping it to a potential buyer. I have only shipped a motorcycle one other time. The buyer set up that transaction and it worked extremely well, unfortunately that shipping company only services the east side of the country and I need to get the bike from TN to ID. I liked that particular transaction because when the shipping company showed up to collect the bike they presented me with a certified check and left with the bike and title, I would like to do something similar in this case. Thanks for any suggestions
 

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thumbs down

A lot of members gave a thumbs up to Motorcyclershippers.com, but my recent experience with them handling my 999R (sorry to mention it again -- but you non 999R lovers & you know who you are may like this #%&*) was sour. While pristine when it left Kansas it arrived in Cal. with a cracked front fender and large chips on the bottom of the side fairings. Major bummer!! Due to this I would have to give them a thumbs down. Do not do any transfer/shipping without adequate insurance.
 

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A friend of mine used HaulBikes to move his bike from my house down to his new home in Arizona. Once they got him in the system it seemed to go smoothly: they said pick up 22-24 December with a call 24 hrs prior and the driver did just that. We liaised on pick up location and he notified me when he was en route. He was a good guy, we chatted for a while. The bike was delivered earlier than expected and without any damage. I believe it was USD 540 for the trip.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, I have checked into both companies you guys mentioned. The potential buyer seems to have fizzled out, oh well.

Thanks agin, RAT
 

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jratbut - I know your deal fell through, but for the next person looking for advice...

I think shipping a motorcycle is often a total crap shoot. All of the bike transport companies - from the unknowns to the highly regarded big guys - have their fair share of nightmare horror stories on yelp and other review sites.

I personally have used HaulBikes (aka Daily Direct) to ship two motorcycles. One in 2010 from Souderton, Pennsylvania to the Chicago 'burbs and another in 2017 from Monterey, California to the same location. My 2010 shipment went perfectly as it was in the off season (January). There was good communication from HaulBikes with both parties. They picked up my bike from the seller in PA on time and had it to me and on my driveway ahead of schedule. Again - off season. My most recent experience was in July 2017 and it was the exact opposite. Once they got my signature on the contract along with my credit card information, I had a hell of a time getting updates from HaulBikes. They were late picking up my bike in California, which had the shop storing my bike calling me wondering "when is this guy gonna get here?" and assessing me additional storage fees. I had to repeatedly call and email HaulBikes acting as the mediator between their home office in Wisconsin (who actually hung up on me once), the shop storing my bike in California, and the driver who was hundreds of miles away from Monterey on the last day of their 5 day pick up window.

The bikes arrived in the same condition they were shipped each time, so I can't complain there, but I think you'll get much better treatment if you're shipping during the off season.

I looked into Motorcycleshippers.com, for my July shipment but was turned off because I wanted to opt for their "VIP Express Service" - a $200 option that they advertise as a "premium motorcycle shipping service gives you the flexibility to define your own pick up and delivery dates." Only when I went to book my shipment with their VIP Express Service the agent basically told me "Yeah, no. You can't pick a specific pick-up date. You'll get a 5 to 7 day window," which to me completely negated the entire point of the $200 upgrade and stank of false advertisement.

I looked into U-Ship... I was getting insanely high quotes. Many hundreds of dollars higher than HaulBikes and Motorcycleshippers.com - in one case, even DOUBLE! After creating an account on U-Ship, I wound up getting bombarded with phone calls and emails from companies using U-Ship for sales leads and have been struggling to get off their call lists and email lists since. At least with the big companies, you're dealing directly with them. I got the distinct impression that companies partnering with U-Ship sub-contract out the shipments to third parties and there would likely be many layers of corporate bureaucracy and finger-pointing to deal with were something to go wrong.

A few other things to consider...

Your delivery time and customer service experience will likely depend on where you are in the country and the origination and destination locations. A lot of these transport companies concentrate on specific regions and drive regular routes. You may be right along Company A's usual route, but for Company B you may way out of their usual turf. Something to keep in mind if pick-up and delivery dates are critical for you.

Another is that your bike may be off-loaded and on-loaded a few times along its journey, transitioning between regions, and may even be waylaid at a hub mid-shipment while the shipper tries to maximize their truck's capacity. No sense in them driving one or two bikes cross-country when they could have the trailer packed with a dozen or more.

Also - make sure your shipper has experience transporting motorcycles and uses enclosed trailers! I've read some horror stories about shippers doing damage because they didn't know how to properly tie down a bike or used an open bed truck and bikes arrive with hail damage or rock chips.

Lastly - hope for the best, but expect the worst. Document everything you can, take detailed photos of the bike BEFORE any delivery company takes possession of your ride. And know this - whatever grandiose claims they make about insurance coverage and customer service - these companies will do whatever they can to get out of paying your damage claim.
 

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I've used haulbikes, and recently I just used 1AA. Both got the job done, both were late on their pick up dates. Both got my bikes to me unscathed. 1AA was cheaper by aboot a $100, and let's you track the shipment. I would use either again. I guess you just have to realize shipping companies don't use the same scheduling models as the German trains.
 

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I have used the Federal Co., a couple of times, good service.
Thier cost?
Don’t know how they compare to others. I just used them for what I needed.
I don’t think I would switch. Perhaps if something went wrong I’d consider looking elsewhere.

My 0.02
 

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Patriot Shipping

Good fully enclosed, definitely know how to ship bikes, extremely accurate meeting schedules. All at a great price.
 

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Patriot Shipping

Good fully enclosed, definitely know how to ship bikes, extremely accurate meeting schedules. All at a great price.
Do you mean patriot express out of Texas, they use a pickup truck with a big trailer?

I used them a few months back, an absolute NIGHTMARE. Good thing I was only shipping a supermotard, if it was a bike with a fairing the bike would have been damaged for sure, driver had no idea how to safely strap a bike with out scratching delicate parts.

Also

The driver called the day before they delivered the bike and demanded more money from me. Thank god I got in touch with the boss who straightened the driver out. It was obvious he was trying to make something extra for himself.
 

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I'm looking to ship 3 bikes from Toronto to Denver. Want to see the Pike's Peak race, then ride home.
Having a hard time figuring this out. Company called TFX International might be an option, currently waiting on a price. Anyone know of other options?
 

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+1 on Haulbikes. They have very good communication externally from shipping point as well as receipt. Also the drivers know what the hell they are doing.

only used 3 times though...
 

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I used 3x " keyboard " and loved them every time, they transport motorcycles and pianos only, white glove treatment.
 

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This was a low bid via U-Ship. The driver had NO clue and in hindsight I never should have let the bike go with him. It rode 1000 miles like this. DO NOT shop for a shipper by price. I too have heard great things about Keyboard Shippers.

 

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I've used U-ship twice, (on bikes I've sold cross country) but I've watched the guy load it and strap it, and I've done a video of the loading and strapping process, and a video (in ultra hi def) walkaround of the bikes with the shipper present right before the bike goes.

Both times the key was to insure the the shipper had shipped bikes before, and, this is key - had wheel chocks firmly bolted into the floor of the trailer. And I mean GOOD wheel chocks. Not the cheap steel rod Harbor Freight shown below:

Garbage that wrecks your brake rotors:

So one shipper showed up with a couple of these wheel chocks bolted to the trailer. I immediate pointed them out as garbage. He said "I've been using them for years, they're great" but I had to explain - if the bike tilts off center more than a 5 degree angle, those steel rods contact the rotors. I made him agree on video that if that happens to this bike, he's responsible for replacing a couple Brembo rotors at $500 each, and if he doesn't agree he's fired right now. He agreed, triple checked the straps, and I went inside and made him a copy of my most recent brake rotor runout test. Before he left I made some recommendations of better chocks to use on his trailer and he thanked me.

I guess the bottom line is make sure the shipper has wheel chocks on their trailer. It shows they are a motorcycle "regular" and then make sure you video everything with a walkaround of the bike including the loading process.
 

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There are a lot of companies out there that does this type of shipping. Like it was said before there are a few aspect to safe motorcycle shipping because a lot of couriers have no idea how expensive bike parts really are. I've been shipping motorcycles cross-country for a while (about 3) and yeah I've tried a few different companies. I used U-ship and they damaged the bike that one time I used them, so I was not happy with their performance. And yes always ship the key out before the bike. Haul bikes were better but still I was not impressed with them. And they charged me a ton. I'm currently looking into other companies that does motorcycle shipping, so advise is welcome.
 

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I used FSP Deliveries FSP Deliveries to ship my Streetfighter from ID to IL. Husband and wife team that answered the phone every time I called. He even has 2 phones on different carriers when service is spotty out west. He texted me updates every day. It was few hundred more that the big co's above but it was 100% worth it.
 
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