The Ultimate Guide to Shipping Motorcycle by Air

The Ultimate Guide to Shipping Motorcycle by Air ​

You’ve planned a motorcycle adventure across the country and want to relocate your vehicle as soon as possible. The fastest way to ship your bike is to hire an air carrier. It’s a reliable means of transport, but you’ll still need to prepare for the service to ensure a seamless experience.

This article will help you do so. We’ll tell you all you need to know about motorcycle air transport.

What’s the Cost of Shipping Motorcycle by Air?

The price of transporting your bike by air varies by company, but most carriers base your rate on the vehicle’s volume.

In other words, they estimate the cost by calculating the width, height, and length of the air freight crate that stores your vehicle. Consequently, the crate size determines the price, making it more important than the weight of your motorcycle.

Most bikes have a fixed width and length. However, you might be able to reduce the height by detaching the screen, if your two-wheeler has one.

Some companies may also allow you to remove your front wheel, reducing the dimensions of your vehicle. The only downside is that you might need to reassemble your motorcycle on your own once it arrives at its destination. Note that you shouldn’t do this unless you’re mechanically experienced.

How Long Does It Take to Transport Motorcycle by Plane?

It normally takes motorcycle air freight companies less than 24 hours to transport your bike once they pick it up. They can deliver it faster or slower, depending on the following factors.


The distance is the most important consideration. The farther your bike is from its destination, the longer it’ll take your motorcycle air transport carrier to ship it.

Time of the Year

Shipping your motorcycle during peak seasons raises the cost of the service, but it also shortens transit time. There’s massive demand for bike transport carriers from late spring to early fall. Getting your vehicle picked up in this period expedites your transport.

By contrast, it usually takes longer to arrange bike pickups and delivery in winter because the demand is lower. Many pilots and motorcycle air freight companies take breaks during the holiday season. Therefore, fewer teams are willing to accommodate you.

Inclement Weather

Getting home from work on a snowy or rainy day takes longer than doing so when it’s sunny. The same holds for motorcycle air transport. Bad weather can delay shipping. The risk of turbulence is higher, and some shippers want to avoid the hazard. These conditions can also affect visibility and may even prevent the transporter from taking off until the weather clears up.

Although many factors can extend your shipping time, you can help shorten the duration with a few simple steps:

  • Don’t plan your shipment at the eleventh hour – Scheduling your bike for transport at the last moment is ill-advised. The preferred carrier might be too busy, so you may need to hire a disreputable provider. Instead, book your order at least three to four months before the desired pickup date. This gives you and your motorcycle air transport shipper more time to prepare.
  • Do your due diligence – Not every company takes its customers seriously. They often have delays, and it can take them months before they collect your motorcycle. Avoid these firms by checking customer reviews. Consult previous clients to see if the provider is prone to hold-ups. If so, turn to a different carrier.
  • Check their delivery records – Contact your prospects’ customer service and inquire about their delivery records. Ask if they’ve obtained the necessary certifications since these often guarantee speedy services.

How to Find Dependable Forward Air Shipping Motorcycle Companies?

How to Find Dependable Forward Air Shipping Motorcycle Companies?

You don’t want your motorcycle to get damaged during transit. Unfortunately, this happens regularly when working with dishonest providers.

You can prevent the need for costly repairs by streamlining your selection.

Only Consider Registered Companies

Many people wonder: “Can you ship a motorcycle by plane safely if the carrier is unregistered?” In most cases, the answer is no.

You should only book registered motorcycle air transport providers since they offer peace of mind. They follow the highest safety practices, meaning they crate and secure your bike appropriately. Only the highest-quality materials are used to prevent damage caused by turbulence and other factors.

Check Their Payment Methods

Legitimate bike transport providers demand payments by check or credit card. Disreputable carriers often request payment via wire transfer.

Analyze the Costs

After shortlisting a few carriers, you can visit their website or call them to find out more about the price. As previously discussed, the rates of most companies should have a few things in common:

  • The bulkier your crate, the higher your shipping cost
  • If you’re transporting your motorcycle a short distance, the service should be relatively affordable and the opposite applies over longer journeys
  • Speedy services cost extra

Furthermore, keep in mind that small providers may charge more for shipping your bike across the country. This is because they rarely carry perform long routes. It also means you should stick to larger, more experienced carriers to haul your vehicle safely.

Also, you might not be able to pay the full price immediately. Ask your provider if they accept installments and if they offer special discounts.

Go Through Cancelation Policies

Canceling your motorcycle air transport is unlikely, but who knows – you might need to postpone your service due to various emergencies. It’s essential to find a company with reasonable cancelation policies. More specifically, ask if you’d need to pay extra charges when opting out of your shipment.

Be Wary of Bargains

You want to ship your motorcycle without paying a fortune for the service. At the same time, you shouldn’t accept the lowest offer without careful consideration. It could be too good to be true.

Prices much lower than normal rates typically indicate poor services. Moreover, these companies may have hidden fees or underlying costs. But instead of being transparent, the carriers try to lure you with bargains. Double-check their legitimacy before signing the contract.

Check Companies’ Track Records

Search the web to find reviews of previous customers. You can also consult your friends and family. Ask them if they’ve worked with motorcycle air freight companies and if they’re happy with their service. This should tell you whether your prospects are trustworthy or not.

Don’t take a chance with carriers that provide poor services. A few critical comments can be fine, but if the reviews are overwhelmingly negative, don’t expect the company to improve with your shipping.

How Do You Prepare Your Motorcycle for Shipping by Air?

How Do You Prepare Your Motorcycle for Shipping by Air?

Another critical aspect of motorcycle air transport is preparing your vehicle. Here’s what it involves.

Addressing Leaks

You should first check your bike for leaks. There are many parts you should focus on, but the fork seals might be the most important components. They can easily leak during transit when they get clamped down. To avoid this, take your motorcycle to a mechanic before the transport. If your fork seals are on their last legs, replace them to help ensure your vehicle is in great shape once the carrier delivers it.

Drain the Tank to About a Quarter Full

Few motorcycle air freight companies require you to drain your tank completely. They generally recommend leaving around a quarter of your tank full. Check this with your provider and make sure your bike doesn’t leak gasoline, oil, or other fluids.

Disconnect the Electronics

The journey may take a while, so consider disconnecting your electronics:

  • Battery
  • Alarm systems
  • Radio equipment

You can protect USB ports and other connections with duct tape to minimize the risk of dust intrusion and oxidation.

Clean the Vehicle

Be sure your bike is spick and span, even if it’s only a short-distance trip. Spray WD40 on the metal components to prevent corrosion and wash your bike thoroughly with a hose. Finally, take pictures of your motorcycle before the carrier collects it and note any dents or scratches. You can use the images to check whether vehicle arrives at its destination in the same condition.

Address Loose Parts

Prior to handing over your bike, examine it closely to ensure there are no loose parts. Fasteners and other components can come off during the trip and be lost on the plane. If you’re hauling your vehicle with tools, tuck them away safely and secure your toolbox.

Remove Valuables

Some companies may permit you to leave panniers, riding gear, and camping equipment on your motorcycle, while others don’t. As a result, you might need to remove all personal belongings from your bike, including any GPS systems, high windshields, and luggage.

This can be annoying, but it lets you reduce the weight of your bike and get a better deal.

Consider the Keys

Some haulers may need you to leave your keys with them if they want to start your vehicle and drive it up the ramp. Most motorcycle air transport companies require you to zip-tie the keys to your handlebars. If your carrier does the same, hold onto your spare set in case the provider loses the original.

Do You Need Insurance When Shipping Motorcycle by Air?

Do You Need Insurance When Shipping Motorcycle by Air?

Accidents can happen, even if you book the leading motorcycle carrier. The only way to avoid paying for repairs is to obtain insurance.

Few companies offer transit insurance automatically. It’s an extra you can buy through your shipping agency. It should cover vehicle damage or loss during the transport, and most policies apply to permanent fixtures of your vehicle, such as tires. However, riding gear and other accessories typically aren’t covered.

If your freight company doesn’t provide a transit policy, consider purchasing one from a licensed insurer. Alternatively, look for another carrier that offers robust coverage. It gives you peace of mind, knowing you won’t be liable in the event of accidents.

If you find a carrier with transit insurance, you can make the most of your policy with these steps.

Review Your Policy

Before agreeing to any insurance, you should review your policy in-depth. Your company may provide coverage, but the amount varies. It seems fine on paper, but when you need to realize the policy, it doesn’t meet your expectations.

This usually happens when insurance doesn’t cover the total value of your motorcycle. Rather, it only applies to certain parts.

Also, your policy might have some limitations, such as tornadoes and other acts of god. That’s why you should inquire about your insurance specifics by asking the following questions:

  • What damages does my insurance cover?
  • Does my policy come with a deductible?
  • Are there any limitations to the policy?
  • Are specialty add-ons included (e.g., spoilers)?
  • Do I need to buy extra coverage?

Obtain Proof

Any reputable motorcycle air transport provider should offer proof of insurance that verifies coverage dates and levels. This helps you determine whether it covers the total price of replacing or fixing your bike if it gets stolen or totaled.

Once your hauler provides proof, you should also ask them if there are exclusions during the pickup, loading, transport, and unloading. Hesitant or vague answers are a major red flag.

Don’t Agree to Verbal Offers

You can get basic information about your insurance by phone, but this should only be a starting point. Make sure your company has comprehensive paperwork of your agreement, including delivery information and coverage.

Consult an Insurance Specialist

This step isn’t necessary, but you shouldn’t skip it for several reasons. Primarily, insurance experts are well-versed in all types of coverage, including motorcycle air transit policies. They can accurately tell you whether your insurance has issues, which prevents unpleasant surprises.

Show Up for Inspections

Motorcycle air freight companies schedule inspections when picking up your bike. Be there to take notes and pictures. This way, you’ll document the condition of your ride, enabling you to make claims.

Transport Motorcycle by Plane: Complex Process Simplified

There are numerous aspects of motorcycle air transport. Understanding them helps ensure seamless transport.

If you’re also concerned about your budget, contacting an affordable carrier is your best bet. Cheap Motorcycle Shipping offers all types of transit at low rates. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services.