You've finally done it! You bought a motorcycle. Now - you have to move it!

Whether you are moving across the country because of your job or moving into the city because that's where all the fun is happening, moving a motorcycle can be a tricky business without proper planning and equipment.

As long as you have someone who will handle moving your helmet and leathers for you, moving your motorcycle is relatively easy. Here are a few tips to moving your Triumph, Harley, or other brands of motorcycle:

Tips to Move a Motorcycle

  1. Don't leave it outside for the movers to come and load unless you have had a serious discussion and have agreed to have them move it. Also, please don't leave your bike on its kickstand with the keys in the ignition. Instead of driving your motorcycle, the moving company will take it back to their storage lot, and you'll have to call them back out again.
  2. If you've just bought a used bike or a vintage bike, remove all personal information such as license plates so that they don't go missing. You don't want to lose these and spend the money to replace them. Also, remove any custom pieces on your bike that could be attached with screws or bolts to avoid getting lost during moving day.
  3. Remove both wheels if you plan on moving a motorcycle yourself. If you’re having professionals move it, leave the wheels on, it’s easier for moving companies than carrying them as well as lugging the handlebars and a frame separately.
  4. If you decide to partially or completely disassemble the bike, take pictures of all moving parts that go together so that you can put them back together without guessing how they go. A digital camera is the easiest way to do this because then you don't have to worry about moving the bike anywhere or getting it off the ground. Make sure you take pictures of anything that is complex - forks, shocks, and sprockets.
  5. Take pictures of any scratches or dents on your bike before moving it. This will help to avoid any hassles if the movers accidentally scratch or dent your beautiful motorcycle, and - be sure to insure it for the proper amount so if something does happen to it, you can get it repaired without having to pay for it yourself.
  6. If the moving company is going to do it, you have to make sure that they understand how complete - or disassembled - it is and make sure that they understand how to move it and are willing to do so. Spend the time to find out if they have the right kind of experience. If they carry it without properly securing all moving parts or end up moving it with the wheels off the ground (unless they have special moving equipment for this), they can damage it. So be sure to tell moving companies that you need to know exactly how they are going to transport your bike and what they feel is the most efficient method for transporting it - and that you agree. Make sure that you have the level of insurance coverage you feel most comfortable with BEFORE you sign a contract that includes the moving company being in charge of it.
  7. If you are doing a DIY move, consider that moving a motorcycle with only one wheel off the ground is an even better option than moving it with two wheels off the ground (unless you have special moving equipment for moving motorcycles). To move your bike, you need to have a special trailer OR have enough straps and attachment points to secure it solidly. When you drive up to a curb or loading ramp, use the kickstand to support moving forks in the moving position. Secure moving straps around in several locations and secure the handlebars to prevent parts from twisting or turning during the move.
  8. You can use moving dollies for moving your motorcycle if it’s not totally together or you don't have access to a loading ramp or curb. Moving dollies are available at large retailers that sell moving equipment.
  9. Remember moving a motorcycle includes dealing with components that can - and will - move - forks, shocks, and sprockets, so keep them secured to avoid any hassles during moving day.

Final Thoughts

Moving a motorcycle can be hard - and possibly expensive - depending on the moving location and time. It can be especially expensive to use a moving company unless you have a hard contract, so be sure to negotiate moving costs with moving companies before the moving day.

Also, different moving companies have different moving methods that they prefer for moving motorcycles, so it is essential to ask them ahead of time and make sure you’re comfortable with their process. 

If you’re planning to move your bike yourself, make sure that the forks, shocks, and sprocket are secure.

This article includes everything that is needed to know about moving a motorcycle. Please feel free to use it as knowledge and proceed with caution.

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