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Motorbike shipping, the dos and don’ts

Motorbike Shipping

Whatever type of bike you own, regardless of whether it’s a classic Triumph or a Ducati superbike, you’ll expect a high level of service if you decide to ship the motorbike abroad.

As one of the UK’s leading international car shipping companies, we’re highly experienced at distributing four wheeled vehicles for clients, plus we’re just as knowledgeable about moving two-wheeled modes of transport as well.

We ships bikes to destinations around the globe, entrust your bike with us and you can relax, safe in the knowledge it’ll arrive at port out of harm’s way.

Before you ship a motorbike you might want to muse over some of these points to keep everything nice and simple.

Getting the bike to the port

How are you going to get your motorbike to the chosen port of departure? Think seriously. If you honestly don’t think you’d have the time to perform this function will the shipping company be in a position to collect and deliver the bike on time?

Most International shipping services offer a collection facility for motorbikes. This choice is yours though. One option is to make your own arrangements to have the bike delivered with the relevant paperwork. Better still, approach a shipping company and use their one-stop service to keep things simple.

Type of shipping service

One of the decisions you’ll have to make early on prior to contacting a shipping company is the type of service you require. Popular options include our groupage facilities, we will crate your motor bike at our warehouse where it will be sent as part of our container groupage service.

Wooden containerised solutions provide the bike with an extra level of protection and crates are purpose built to house the machine.

Packing considerations for wooden crates   

Choose to have your bike shipped via a containerised solution and a wooden crate is purpose built for the bike. This is more complicated than it sounds. Basically the crate is built around the machine to give it the highest levels of protection.

During this process a sturdy base is made for the bike. The stand will be made secure, straps will be used, protective packaging materials added to prevent paintwork scratches plus the sides and top of the crate added afterwards.


Once a bike is encased within a wooden crate it’ll be safe within its wooden cocoon until it gets unpacked at the end of its journey. Most owners prefer to let the shipping company pack their bike into a wooden container, it’s often quicker and at least this way they know the job is done right.

Brief checklist for shipping motorbikes

  • Choose a reputable shipping company
  • Decide on delivery method to port
  • Select service level – Ro-Ro or containerised
  • Check documentation – V5 etc
  •  Verify insurance cover – Does the carrier provide this?
  • Get the bike ready to ship – Leave the fuel tank as empty as possible, clean bike and make sure it’s well-protected.

Shipping a motorbike overseas is just as straightforward as transporting any other type of vehicle, contact us at First Base Freight if you require any additional details.

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