If you could avoid it I would avoid shipping companies by all cost.
There has been many horrer stories including people I know of personally.
i myself wouldnt do it.
The only way I would consider it if I was buying it from one dealer to receive it transfered from another dealer.
Otherwise you will be stuck between a rock and a hard place especially if they dicky up your beautiful bike.
Maybe find a good friend you trust and pay to go get it.
Take a small uhaul a wheel doc chock with good strapping and bring it back yourself
I shipped my bike from Minnesota to Arizona when I moved. One company picked up the bike (CRST) I believe. Then went to a warehouse where it was picked up by another company. I chose the company because they advertised as motorcycle movers which they were but not specialized they treated it as normal freight and crated it for me. When I arrived in Arizona the bike had already been delivered and had a large chip in the fiberglass trunk lid. IF I shipped again I would find a motorcycle mover that all they do is move motorcycles. It may take longer but I believe the service would be of a higher quality.
I have used Haul Bikes twice and it was horrible, the first time was my fault for believing them the second time I bought an Indian in Minnesota and the guy arranged to ship it to California using Haul Bikes without asking me and that was a nightmare. They will tell you it will take X amount of time to go from point A to point B but they have no intention of staying with those guidelines, and you have no recourse. The Indian Chief I bought in Minnesota was supposed to be here before Christmas and it didn’t show until after New Years. Please don’t ask about the Indian Four I bought out of Chicago as I don’t want to relive that nightmare.
Anyway good luck and trust me a plane ticket and riding it if possible is the best.
Ok, I have two experiences with this and I’ll tell you exactly what was told to me by an independent shipper.
My first experience was with Keyboard, an owner/operator company. I bought a Victory from Gregory Polaris in Little Rock and then found Keyboard through an online search. They specialize in motorcycles and are an independent shipper. They did a full walk around of the bike and marked down ANYTHING that could be considered damaged or inconsistent. Since the bike was brand new there was no write ups. They then loaded a bike into a specially built motorcycle crate that had a built in wheel chock and tie down points. Then they strapped the bike to the crate using sheepskin covers around the straps to prevent any scratches. Then they assemble the rest of the crate around the bike and cover it. The bike arrived in Wyoming in the same condition it left in and was delivered on a Keyboard truck, not anyone else’s. They did a full walk around and looked for any damage. The driver even stayed around after the unloading to ensure the bike started and operated like it should.
Now, my second experience was horrible. I purchased a bike out of state and went with National Auto Shippers as they were on the lower end of the bids. They promised my bike would take 4-7 days depending on routing of the driver. They DID NOT tell me they are not an owner/operator, they are a dispatcher. Guess what, not one driver would pick up my bike at the price I was bid at. The bike sat for 12 days. On the 13th day they finally admitted they could not get a regular driver but could hire an independent to pick it up, however I had to fork over more money. This left me with few options as I could’ve canceled and gone with another shipper but National has a non-refundable deposit clause after the shipment is processed. So basically they screwed me over. I paid the extra and the independent driver was a regional guy who ONLY ships bikes in his personal 5th wheel enclosed trailer. He was a good guy and treated my bike well and he’s the one who told me he will NEVER take another bid from National Auto Shippers because “they are a bunch of morons who rob people”. He told me to “always book with an owner/operator and NEVER with a dispatcher”.
I also used Keyboard a few years ago (thought is was Seaboard) to have a bike shipped from Florida to Minneapolis. It was suppose to be shipped to the Canadian boarder at International Falls, but they were going to leave it in Minneapolis for awhile, till they got a full load.
I ended up driving to Minneapolis to meet the driver there and trailered it home. I
It was well crated in a steel crate, and well looked after.
At that time it was about $550. The dealer worked it into the purchase price.
Is who I used, that's all they do is haul bikes,...took my Chieftain from Columbus Ohio to Sturgis, if you're not in a rush, ask for the lower rate, they will only deliver to a business, not a private residence, so contact whatever dealer ahead of time and clear the delivery of your bike to them.
Be aware these shippers are not always super fast, you may not see your bike from 14 to 30 days.
I've used Keyboard twice. Once from VA to NE, when I sold a bike. No problems, no damage, although I think it took close to 3 weeks. Second time, 2 bikes VA to FL. About 2 weeks. They broke the antenna on hubby's Victory & had already ordered a replacement part by the time the delivered.Would definitely use again.
I rented a 12 foot enclosed uhaul trailer twice. Once from central NY to GA to pick up a Heritage Springer, then to PA to pick up my Vintage. After fuel, trailer rental, wear & tear/mileage on my truck, yada yada.... probably not a huge savings in $$ compared to having the bikes shipped. But I got to test ride and inspect the bikes before buying. Plus I had peace of mind knowing transport was being done right. I'd go that route again before having a bike shipped. Plus I kind of enjoy the little adventure