How Do You Crate a Motorcycle? [Video Guide]

If you’re planning to ship your motorcycle internationally you’re going to have to crate it, but even if you’re planning on sending it somewhere that’s not quite so far away you may want to look into this method of transport. That’s because it’s going to be safer and better protected when you put it in a crate rather than transporting it any other way.

What is a Motorcycle Crate?

As you may have guessed, crating a motorcycle means that you are going to put the bike in a box or crate so that it is well protected for the trip. This can be done for any length of the trip but is generally used only for longer trips.

When you’re shipping a bike, especially overseas or across the country, you may want to look into crating as a way to keep the bike safe and make sure that it’s going to be in the same condition when it arrives as it was when you first packaged it.

These crates are generally made out of wood but can also be made of steel and generally the bike will be removed from the crate before it’s given to you, which means that the company who shipped it can reuse the create.

How Do You Build a Motorcycle Crate?

If you’re looking to build your own crate to ship out a motorcycle, you’ll want to be very careful about the process. After all, you want to be sure that your bike will arrive in the best shape possible and that means building with the right tools and equipment. You will need the following things:

  • Oversized pallet
  • 6 pieces of plywood
  • 2×4 lumber
  • Carriage bolts
  • Wingnuts
  • Screws
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Table saw
  • Drill
  • Safety goggles
  • Fastening belts

When it comes to the actual building process you’ll want to very carefully follow the instructions below as this will help you to build a strong crate that can withstand any distance of shipping.

  • Measure your motorcycle for full dimensions to make sure your crate is the right size.
  • Place the pallet at the bottom to be used as the base of your crate and be sure that it is larger all the way around than your bike and that it can support the full weight of your bike.
  • Lay plywood over the top of the pallet and drill holes into the corners that you can attach with screws. You can put the bike into the box at this point.
  • Build the frame of the pallet using 2×4 pieces that you cut into eight short pieces (for the corners) and four long pieces (for the base). You’ll use the plywood as a measuring piece and fill in this frame.
  • Next, build up the walls of your crate with additional plywood, securing it to the frame with a screw every three feet. You’ll also want to use carriage bolts and wing nuts to secure it even more firmly.
  • Fastening bolts should be used to attach the bike into the crate and then belts can be used to attach it to the walls. Then use a 2×4 to the top and attach the plywood over the top as your lid. Make sure to secure this with screws as well.

Here’s a great video on how to build a motorcycle crate:

How Much Does it Cost to Crate a Motorcycle?

If you’re planning to crate your bike and you want to purchase your own you will generally pay around $250 to $500 from a company. Most people will not create a bike themselves, however, and they are usually crated by the manufacturer the shipping company.

How Do You Ship a Motorcycle Crate?

The only way to ship a motorcycle crate is through a professional shipping company. You’ll want to look for ones that operate out of the area that you’re going to be shipping from and you may want to compare prices to make sure you get the best rate.

Some of the companies that you can choose to ship with include Consumer Affairs, FedEx, ParcelPro, and Craters & Freighters. Each of these companies will give you shipping to different parts of the country and the world so you can choose what works best for you.

How Do You Ship a Motorcycle on a Pallet?

If you’re looking for a slightly less expensive way to ship your motorcycle you can choose pallet shipping. This method is an alternative that is primarily used for those who decide to DIY the process. In fact, it offers an inexpensive way to build a box for additional protection during transport.

You would use a pallet that is larger than the motorcycle and then secure the bike to the pallet. You may even build up a box around the sides of the pallet that will provide some additional protection, though not as much as a standard crate. This type of shipping can also be done with specialty companies that may have pallets designed with spaces for the wheels of your bike.

What’s better about this option is that it costs less all around and you can still get a decent amount of support and protection to keep your bike in good shape no matter how far you may have to send it.


If you’re looking for a way to really enjoy your bike and you want to make sure it’s in the best possible shape when it arrives wherever you want to go, crating is the way to go. You can make sure that your bike is well protected and that it is going to do well, no matter how far you need it to travel. All you need to do is take a look at the different options for crating and then make sure you have the right size crate for what your bike needs.


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