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Complete Guide to Transporting an Adventure Bike

Adventure Bike Moving

Adventure riders want to spend as much time as possible in the saddle, but what happens when you need to transport a bike? 

It may be when you’re buying or selling, or perhaps you are finally journeying to that out of state adventure riding weekend with mates, which has been months in the planning, and want to save time and bike wear by linking part of the route without riding. 

For whatever reason, there are sound principles that apply to save your frustration and cost. To assist in making the most informed decision, we’ve compiled a guide to aid you in securing stress-free bike transportation. 

We’ll take you through the advantages and potential disadvantages of the various options, whether you are doing it yourself or using a specialist moving company. With this guide you can avoid common mistakes, confidently prepare your motorcycle for transport and save money at the end of it all.

Do it yourself or use a transport company?

These are your two options, and below, we’ll break down each. 


Do it yourself

If you own a ute, van or a vehicle with a tow hitch, you can transport a bike yourself. This can be an excellent solution for shorter-distance trips if you have experience securing a motorcycle and driving with the extra weight. Remember that you may also have limited visibility at the rear as the bike may obstruct your view.

If you’re using a ute, rigging your bike into the tub is easier with a single-cab, with adequate space and tie-down points to rig and secure a bike without opening the tailgate flap. But on a dual-cab ute, you might be tight on space, having to rig your motorcycle with an open tailgate.

If you’re not confident getting the bike up a ramp and into position, ensure you have a few extra pairs of hands to support. This may seem excessive, but the motorcycle suddenly gets unbalanced when you’re at an awkward angle. 

Moving a bike yourself may seem like a cheaper option, and it can often be for shorter distances. However, if the move is interstate or a long distance, a motorcycle transport company will usually work out more cost-effective as they’re moving multiple bikes simultaneously.

Adventure Bike Moving

Using a transport company

The good news is that there are several motorcycle moving companies across Aus; however, ensuring you use a reputable and reliable one is more challenging. 

There are a few things to help you make a decision and watch out for: 

  • Read their reviews, both on the website and on Google
  • Get multiple quotes to make sure you’re getting a fair price
  • Check they have insurance

Tip: If all this feels a little daunting, you can use a website that can source multiple quotes from vetted and trusted motorcycle transport providers in one request; it’s called Upmove.

When moving a bike over a long distance, outsourcing the move usually makes sense cost-wise as it saves you fuel and multiple days on the road going there and back. 


Preparing your bike for transport

Routine cleaning and mechanical hygiene apply to your pre-transport preparations, but there are a few additional things you need to do. 

Once you’ve washed and dried your bike, thoroughly survey any damage or scratches, document these, and take images with your phone as corroborating evidence. Adventure bikes are prone to cosmetic damage, therefore, it’s essential to verify the condition of your bike before it is transported. 

All those bolt-on accessories that adventure bikers value, need to be removed for transport. Get out the tools and remove all non-OEM accessories, categorising bolts with their mounting accessories into marked plastic bags or containers to prevent frustration when reattaching them. 

Be mindful of how much fuel you’ll need at the delivery point. If you are transporting for an adventure ride or event, make sure the tank is adequately full to ride on arrival. 


Do you need additional insurance?

Even the most reputable bike transport companies can suffer an unfortunate event or issue en route. The cost of escalating your insurance coverage for the few days involved in bike transport is negligible, especially compared to the payment for uncovered damage. 

Before any bike is loaded, ensure that your coverage has been comprehensively updated for any eventuality. It’s always best to be over-insured for transport damages instead of having to quibble when something has gone awry after the fact.


What to avoid when transporting yourself

Ratchets and looping points can be tricky for the inexperienced, and although rubbing or vibration issues are never present when loading a bike, that doesn’t mean they won’t happen once you get moving. At cruising speeds, a few hours into the journey, you could suffer a flailing ratchet strap end, creating a lot of avoidable cosmetic damage to your bike.

Don’t use covers if your bike travels on the back of a ute or is exposed to the elements on a trailer. Most bike covers are designed for static protection when your bike is parked. Bike covers will suffer wind buffeting, make a noise, and potentially scuff your bike at highway cruising speeds; therefore, avoid using them.

Dropping your bike is a nightmare for all riders, and no matter how confident you feel, don’t overestimate your ability to control a bike for loading or rigging if it’s something you do irregularly. When in doubt, wait for a mate or someone else to assist. This is especially important when loading onto a high surface. 


In conclusion

Distance and personal experience will influence your motorcycle transport choice. For closer destinations, it can be cheaper to do it yourself. But the benefit of using a motorcycle transport specialist becomes real when your motorcycle needs to journey out of state, or vast distances within a state.  

Discovering a reliable motorcycle transport company to partner with your requirements is easier than ever before.


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