There are many reasons to consider using a motorcycle shipping company to transport your motorcycle to or from an event or group ride. If you are contemplating having a shipping company transport your motorcycle you will need to plan ahead and prepare your motorcycle for shipping.
The first thing to do is to check with the motorcycle transport company you are working with to determine the lead time requirements to make sure you have your motorcycle when you need it for the event or group ride. Many riders ship their motorcycles round-trip to and from an event or group ride. Other riders ship their motorcycles to an event or group ride and ride them back to their home state. If you are only shipping your motorcycle one way it is always better to ride your motorcycle to the event or group ride and ship it home rather than vice versa. If you ride the motorcycle to the event or group ride, you will have your motorcycle the entire time you need it. If you ship your motorcycle to an event or group ride and the motorcycle transport company has a breakdown or some other schedule delay, it could cause your motorcycle to be delivered late.
The next thing to do is to prepare your motorcycle for shipping. You should plan to drain the fuel in your gas tank to a low level. You should remove personal items from all storage compartments. You should also do a mechanical inspection on the motorcycle to make sure it is mechanically sound for your ride. Also, check with the motorcycle movers to determine if they need the keys or not.
The motorcycle transport company will probably need a place to deliver the motorcycle prior to your arrival at an event or group ride. The delivery location can either be a business or residence. Many riders coordinate with a motorcycle dealership in the delivery area where the motorcycle can be delivered prior to their arrival and/or picked up from after their departure. Some dealers charge a service and storage fee to assist with your motorcycle. A good way to possibly avoid such fees is to have the dealer do some light maintenance on your motorcycle, such as change the oil. There is usually a minimal charge for such maintenance which might be significantly less than dealer service and storage fees.
Some motorcycle movers stage their trucks at some of the large events. If that is the case with your motorcycle shipper, they usually will allow you to pick up and drop off your motorcycle at the location they have their truck staged at for no extra charge. Some bike mover companies will also transport riding gear, tools, spare parts, etc. for no extra charge. Some transporters will also pick you up and/or drop you off at a local airport for no extra charge.
We always recommend doing your homework before going on a motorcycle tour or to a motorcycle related event. You can research local attractions and local restaurants that you might want to visit while you are in the area. There are many resources online with consumer reviews for attractions and restaurants. We also recommend that you research local motorcycle shops in the areas you will be visiting in case you need parts or service for your bike while you are on your trip. Additionally, it is a good idea to map out medical service providers in the areas you will be visiting as well in case someone gets sick or injured. Be sure to keep your health insurance cards with you while you travel should you need medical services. By doing some basic research and being prepared it should help reduce stress and allow you to enjoy your trip that much more.