Transporting a motorcycle to another city

Getting a promotion or better still a new job in another city always comes with its set of fads and foibles. In this case, the foibles are easily understandable. “How will I adapt to the new place”, “Will the food suit me?” and thereon. However, if you are a motorcycle enthusiast, the very first thought that comes to your mind will be about your prized possession. Yes, the steed you bought a few years ago (in case of vintage bikes, a few decades). Worry not! We’ve got you covered on all grounds. Let’s take a look at the different possible methods of transporting a motorcycle.

Riding down

The first and obvious answer will be to ride down. After all, who can resist the charm of a road trip and that too on a motorcycle. However, given the perks of doing the same including putting on some miles on the motorcycle and also exploring quite a few new places, there are cons as well. These include fatigue, the risk of accidents as well as the time and money involved. However, this method requires the least amount of clearance by way of government authorities. Just keep your regular updated vehicle papers in the form of insurance, PUC and RC copy with you.

Loading onto a trailer truck

This is one unconventional method, at least in India. Call up a logistics provider and a truck will be sent to your place. The people coming along with the vehicle will pack your motorcycle according to the specifications and load it on the truck. There may or may not be other vehicles with your motorcycle in the same truck. Based on the journey, the number of days required to deliver the motorcycle at the requisite place is decided and one can collect the bike at the destination. Things required for transportation include the RC xerox, valid insurance copy and a copy of the PUC. The logistics company will give you a receipt which has to be produced at the time of delivery.

Any claims arising out due to the vehicle being damaged or not delivered on time can be raised with the logistics company. Be sure to empty the vehicle’s petrol tank and also to take photographs of the bike before it was loaded and after unloading. A typical journey should cost you around Rs 4,000-5,000 for a distance of 800km. This, however, can be confirmed with the individual logistics provider near you.

You can also load on your motorcycle in the luggage compartment of a long distance hauler like a Volvo bus. However, the helpers will only get your motorcycle into the luggage compartment and also remove it at the destination. This method is suitable for carrying small motorcycles or scooters. A bigger ADV or tourer may not fit. Again, it is advisable to remove the mirrors and indicators. Wrap the motorcycle properly to ensure that there is no damage.

This method may involve direct inquiry with the provider as many of the long distance buses refuse to carry additional load.

Transporting via railways

Many a times, you will have noticed covered up motorcycles on railway stations. These are the motorcycles that are transported via railways. It is said that this is the most reliable method of transporting a motorcycle. There are two ways of transporting a motorcycle through the railways. One is the parcel and other is the luggage method. Both the methods have the same underlying principle though. In the parcel method, one can approach the parcel counter at any main railway station, fill up a form, provide aforementioned vehicle documents, an undertaking form and one government approved ID card (aadhar or driving license). After these formalities are completed, once can choose to wrap their motorcycle then and there or enrol porters for the same. The porters will charge you around Rs 150-300 for wrapping the motorcycle, however the cost of the material will have to be borne by you.

These very porters also ensure that the motorcycle is loaded properly into the luggage van of the train. Ensure that you are there when they load the motorcycle and ask them to put your motorcycle at the backside so that it doesn’t hinder other parcel items or be shoved around if  someone’s destination station is before yours.

The Railways insure your motorcycle before it is loaded, so please ensure that you quote the right amount. One per cent of the bike’s insured value is charged by the railways for the insurance. Minor scratches though cannot be claimed and only something like a loss in an accident or theft is covered. Make sure to remove the mirrors of the motorcycle before packing and wrap the blinkers and headlights with some extra bubble wrap.

Once your vehicle has been unloaded at the destination station, one has to ensure that they receive the motorcycle within six hours. If the vehicle isn’t picked up by then, a fine (minimal) amount will be charged on a per hour basis.

One thing to remember in the parcel method is that the train on which your beloved steed will be loaded will not be clear. Any train going to your destination station will be chosen and the motorcycle loaded on to it.The delivery date will be conveyed through an SMS and may take more than the usual time as well. This is where the luggage method comes in to play.

In the luggage method, one has to have a reserved ticket for the destination station. The motorcycle will be loaded on the same train. For this, one needs to produce the ticket and other documents mentioned in the parcel method. Many a times, it isn’t necessary that the person should actually travel in the same train. Producing the ticket does the trick. However, this ticket has to be retained to get the motorcycle back at the destination station.

The luggage method costs slightly more than the parcel mode. Payment is on the basis of the kilometres till the destination station and on the weight of the motorcycle. It is preferable that one chooses a station where the train has the maximum halt time as this will allow sufficient time for the porters to unload the vehicle. This can apply to both the source as well as destination stations.

Third party carriers

Sometimes, all it needs is a simple click of a button or a phone call. Yes, there are many third party carriers that will do all of the aforementioned three procedures. There are agencies like GoodDrop, Trueway Relocations and more, that will do this job for you. Their worksmen will come to your doorstep, inspect the motorcycle, load it onto a carrier and deliver it at the address mentioned. These companies also have experienced riders who can transport the motorcycle to the desired address. Moreover, if one wants to use the railways method, there are agents who will willingly do the entire process for you as well.

We hope you like this story and if there are any comments/suggestions, do let us know in the comments section!

Images by Shashank Gujar and Lijo Mathai


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