Frequently Asked Questions
What is the basic process of shipping a Motorcycle in 2023?
The simplest way to describe the process is this...we do all the documents for you, provide you with all the information and everything is done electronically. We assist you with selecting the flight to ship on that is best for you. Between 24 and 8 hours prior to departure, you drop your motorcycle off at the warehouse, disconnect and tape the battery, have less than a gallon of fuel and give the warehouse your documents. Voilà. We watch over your shipment from drop off to pick up and and when you are ready to return you let us know your preferred route. We provide support for you throughout drop-off to pick up. See our shipping terms page to read more about requirements when dropping off and picking up your motorcycle.
How do I even start this process of shipping my motorcycle?
Please take the time to read this page. It is a general overview that will walk you through the basic process of getting started. GETTING STARTED OVERVIEW
What are helpful budgeting tips?
Understand that different expenses for a trip like this are a la carte. You will need to purchase the following:
Your Motorcycle Shipment Cost with Motorcycle Express.
Your passenger airline ticket is not included.
Any necessary Import or Export Agent Fees are a separate cost that you pay directly to the agent. We assist by connecting you to them and acting as a liaison with making an introduction and sending documents to them as a courtesy gesture.(This depends upon the country whose port you are using.)
Temporary Insurance while riding
What are the differences between airline cargo carriers in regards to shipping?
Each carrier has its own unique advantages. Sometimes it is a special rate, sometimes it is what you are permitted to include with your motorcycle and sometimes it is the port you are able to get in or out of. Each year rules vary and each carrier follows rules governed by (IATA) the International Airlines Transport Association.
What is the difference between reserving pallet space fee and a reserve pallet application fee?
Reserving pallet space in 2022 was different than what is coming in 2023.
Reserve pallet application fee:
In 2022, due to the unknown of the post pandemic situation, we only offered the application fee (75.USD) which was used to hold your place in line as first come first serve for limited space available and to have your booking details in place - ready to reserve as soon as the availability came up. If you ship with us, the application fee will go towards your flight cost. If you do not choose to ship with us it is non-refundable.
Reserve pallet fee:
Reserving a Pallet in 2023 is different than the application because we will actually collect a fee of $600.USD that will go toward your cost of the shipment and guarantee the rate that was listed when you signed the contract. Of this reserve pallet space fee, $525.USD will be refundable up until 30 days prior to departure. $75.USD is non-refundable as it is used to cover administrative costs and time put into the preparation of your booking request and spot holding.
What is different about shipping a Sidecar or Trike?
The only difference in shipping a sidecar and/or a trike is that the airline charges more for the extra space required. For this reason, technically the only difference is the rate.
What is the best way to communicate with Motorcycle Express?
The quickest and most efficient way to communicate with Motorcycle Express is to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always flooded with phone calls, and while we thoroughly enjoy speaking to each and every one of you, we have a bigger team that can answer emails more efficiently. That said, you can always call us, but there may be a wait or we will have to call you back. We return every phone call and when our clients are in the process of shipping, they can reach us 24/7, as we are on call to oversee the shipments from drop off to pick up.
What is there to know about 2023 Ports and Routes?
Motorcycle Express offers uncrated shipping to and from Canada and Europe by air only. You can often fly on the same flight as your motorcycle. We work together with many airlines. We strive every year to have ports in Gatwick, Heathrow, Dublin, Paris, Rome, Barcelona, Lisbon, Frankfurt, and Amsterdam. And in Canada, we strive to get riders into Montréal, Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. It all depends on the airlines and what they offer for the upcoming season.
Each port can have different Port Fees. When you ship out of Canada, your port fee is included in your shipping cost. When you arrive in Canada to pick up your motorcycle, you must pay whatever the port fee is required by that airline/warehouse team. Motorcycle Express is not always advised on the exact amount of port fees, as these can be changed by warehouse and handling authorities.
What are additional expenses to consider when planning?
Shipping Contract does not include the cost of any Handling Charges, Navcan Handling Fees, Export Declaration Costs, Terminal/Warehouse Fees, Airline Surcharges, X-ray/Secondary Security Screening Fees, Storage Fees, Customs Fees or Agents Fees required for Customs clearance. These charges/fees are the responsibility of the shipper/client and are payable at the port location only.
Transportation to/from passenger terminals, cargo warehouses and customs offices. The cargo warehouses may be 4-5 miles away from the passenger terminals and will either require a taxi journey or your own transportation. There may be no public transport.
Any Duty or Tax that may be payable to Customs on your motorcycle shipment.
Customs clearance at all ports. This will involve collecting any documentation and taking them to the
Customs office. *Some ports may require an Agent to clear your bike through Customs.
You are responsible to contact the agent PRIOR to drop off or pick up and pay any fees required for Customs clearance.
This may also require transportation to/from agent's office and ports. You will collect your motorcycle from the warehouse after paying any applicable fees, duties, port fees, overtime charges, customs fees or agent fees for customs clearance.
Shipping Contract does not include the cost of "Temporary Insurance."
Motorcycle Express Services will not be held responsible for cancelled flights or expenses due to any delay. All motorcycles are shipped on a standby basis and will be shipped on the next available flight. Motorcycle Express shall accept no liability whatsoever for surface transportation arrangements or expenses due to any delays.
What do I need to know about luggage and riding gear while shipping?
Each airline/cargo carrier has its own rules and regulations. While there are standard guidelines that must be adhered to that are governed by IATA (International Air Transport Association) airlines also have the ability to add stricter rules that are more fitting for their goals.
At this point in time (December of 2022) these are the rules, which can change at any time.
Air Transat has a rule in place that when you ship with them, you must adhere to their regulations which require that no additional luggage can be packed in or on the motorcycle. A helmet is allowed, if wrapped properly to protect it and attached properly to the motorcycle. For this reason, we suggest packing a huge duffle bag with your belongings and checking them in as luggage. Our riders who have chosen to do this have not found it to be problematic. They simply repack their motorcycle as they like it for their journey upon receipt of the motorcycle at its pick up destination.
WestJet will allow clothes in the side panniers and a helmet if secured properly.
Air Canada does not have the Condition Report Sheet and Air Canada will allow you to pack your bike as usual (like in the good ole days, as long as there are no prohibited items on it.)
What is Green Card insurance for Europe and Africa?
Green card insurance is required to have your motorcycle released in Europe. You can select your preferred coverage and we offer this insurance through our sister company Motorcycles In Motion, Inc. The Green Card ID card and if purchased the Comprehensive pages are all emailed to you to print. FYI - Green card ID cards are still called "green card" insurance but they are now white.
What does the the USA/Canadian Insurance Plan for Foreign Riders Program include?
Motorcycle Express Services, Inc. has a sister company Motorcycles In Motion, Inc. that has teamed up with National General Insurance to offer riders coverage in the USA and Canada. This is a unique foreign riders program that was developed in 2019 for release in 2020 but then the pandemic happened. So, after two years of no travel business, we launched the program in 2022 and it was a success. The program is very specific and insurance in the USA and Canada is different than it is abroad, so it is important to recognize the definitions as they are defined by National General. The definitions can be found under the dropdown link on the menu of this website and is referred to as NAIP (North American Insurance Program) Definitions.
Where do I drop off and pick up my motorcycle?
When you receive your Travel Documents from us, there are instructions on where to drop off and where to pick up your motorcycle. Depending on when your trip is confirmed, we work as quickly as possible to get your documents processed and a proof is first sent to you for your review. Once you have reviewed it and approved it, we send you the final package to print.
Why is the weight of my motorcycle important?
The weight of your motorcycle is most important because it is needed to be sure the handlers are placing cargo specifically where it needs to go for balance. Motorcycle Express Services does not charge more or less because of the weight. We have our agreements in place with our carriers and it does not change for us based on the weight of your motorcycle. However, you will see that weight can come into play when you have fees with other entities outside of Motorcycle Express. Examples of this might be with customs calculations, import or export agent fees, custom clearance teams, extra storage/warehouse fees and so on.
How do I get motorcycle insurance for my trip abroad?
If you need insurance for the US and Canada then you use the application to take you through the process and you can get a quote and purchase online. Before you do that, click here for some helpful tips.
If you are wanting Green Card Insurance for Europe and Africa, here is a page on our website about it: Green Card Insurance for Europe and Africa
When you are ready to get the rate and decide on your coverage, go straight to the application here: