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Thread: Motorcycle Shipping

  1. #1

    Motorcycle Shipping

    I just wondered if anyone else out there has had any experience shipping a motorcycle across country. I recently bought an old airhead with sidecar off ebay and am trying to get it shipped. At this point I am not sure I picked the right shipper. Any info, insight or related stories are welcome. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    State of Confusion
    I used Fun Transport (, they were very good and fast and professional. It came out to be about the same amount of money as I would have paid for gas, meals, hotels. They work with Allied and Federal also. Very fast and very good for me

    It isn't what you ride, it is if you ride

  3. #3
    On the Road
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Traverse City, MI
    I used Federal/Allied when I shipped a bike from Idaho to Michigan. Good experience. Not the cheapest but competetive. They came recommended...

  4. #4
    I hit the web for motorcycle shippers and had a few quotes. I picked one company that shipps thru Allied and their website sounded good and I talked to the shipper and he assured me they ship Urals with sidecars all the time. Him and their website describe in detail how they pull up with a liftgate truck, pick the bike up off the ground into the truck and tie it securely to a pallet. From there it may be off loaded and loaded as needed by a forktruck and when it gets to the destination a reverse process. There rate was a little higher then some of the other ones that just roll the bike into and enclosed trailer and tie it down.

    I chose them...although higher rate as Allied is a big name and all sounded good.

    Now reality..... They send a truck out to the pick up point that is barely wide enuff for the bike and side car and way too small a liftgate to pick it up with. In order to get it loaded and shipped I had to have the seller call a flatbed tow truck ($100+) to pick it up so they could load it in thie truck. I had to reimburse him for that. OK that ordeal is over.

    A couple weeks later and to be fair, a week earlier than estimated, the driver calls and says he will deliver on Monday if he can fit it on the next load. Great!! I have access to a forktruck or loading dock to off load as it will not fit on his lift we go again. The good side is I am in a rural area and a neighbor about 1/2 mile away has an agri-busness and a pole barn with a loading dock. The were able to roll my "un-palleted" bike off the truck and into his barn where it stayed for a few days. Of course the battery is dead and the bike would not start and I am out of town untill the weekend.

    My wife...the brave soul she is....drove our lawn tractor the 1/2 mile over there with a neighbors kid. They used our horses lead rope and towed the sidecar rig home for me so it was there when I got home.

    If I ever have to go through that again...I will lean toward the company with the enclosed trailer!


  5. #5
    BMW MOA co-founder bmwdean's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Tucson, AZ, & Madison, WI
    I have used Federal/Allied numerous times to ship motorcycles around the U.S., including, most recently, one with an attached sidecar.

    I have always been satisfied and will use it again.
    Jeff Dean − BMW MOA Co-founder (1972)
    Tucson, Arizona, and Madison, Wisconsin
    Co-founder, 1972, of BMW MOA
    '17 R1200RT, '15 R1200RT, '67 R60/2, '69 R60US, '55 R67/3, '49 R24

  6. #6
    I can only add to the positive comments about Federall/Allied. I just had a K1200LT shipped from NJ to WI and the service was great, affordable and fast.
    I would use them anytime again.

  7. #7
    Allied, not cheap, but good. Would use them again.

  8. #8
    Here's a tip on Federal/Allied. They generally charge more ($60 IIRC) to pick up and drop off at a residence. If a dealer on either end is amenable, you can use them or, even better, I found you can make arrangements to drop off or pick up at a warehouse, if there is one in your area. Not one here in Las Vegas unfortunately, but I once went to the warehouse in Denver to pick up my Triumph.

    I'm a bit of a worrier. So it was great that this not only saves some money, but allows YOU to load/off-load your own bike. At least it did me in Denver.

  9. #9
    Rally Rat bigdelta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Punta Gorda,Fla

    Thumbs up I've used Keyboard twice

    once from Max BMW and from Salt Lake City to Orlando.Best price and excellent service.BMW uses them.

  10. #10


    Go to u-bid off of e-bay, you basically enter where the bike is and its destination then bidders quote for teh job. Workd pretty good

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    When I took Lee Parks's course this company was mentioned as a good shipper:

    A year later I had to ship an R1150RS from Houston to Delaware, so I chose them. They did an excellent job at reasonable rates.

  12. #12
    I used Yellow Freight to ship a dualsport 650 from South Bend,Indiana to Anchorage, Alaska. The bike was crated and the cost was $.90 per pound. One advantage the LTL truck lines offer is scheduling. If you use Federal/Allied Van Lines, the bike may sit for a while at a terminal before a truck is available to take it. Yellow was 2 weeks and you could track the shipment progress daily. I shipped it freight collect to their terminal in Anchorage and paid the freight bill when I picked it up.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by swall View Post
    If you use Federal/Allied Van Lines, the bike may sit for a while at a terminal before a truck is available to take it. Yellow was 2 weeks and you could track the shipment progress daily.
    In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they're not.

    I've used Federal/Allied four or five times and never had it take longer than week. Most times it's 3-4 days. (Admittedly, mostly west coast stuff)

  14. #14
    Rally Rat PAULBACH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Ballston Spa, NY; South of the Adirondacks, North of the Catskills and West of The Berkshires and Green Mountains

    Check out Forward Air

    Have used Forward Air and found them responsible and fairly priced.

    Forward Air

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