Can’t wait to ride full throttle along those empty, winding roads in the Canadian wilderness? No wonder. In case you haven’t yet considered how to import your motorcycle to Canada, definitely check this ultimate guide on UK to Canada motorcycle transport and shipping services. From preparations, through paperwork and transport options, to cost analysis – we’ve got all the information you need on how to export your motorcycle safely and legally. With years of experience and countless delivered shipments, we know the ins and out of the business.

How to prepare a motorcycle for shipping to Canada?

Considering that motorcycles are qualified as dangerous goods, transporting them as part of international shipments is strictly regulated. As such, you will have to make the necessary preparations before despatching it to Canada. Here’s how to tackle it.

For an overwhelming majority of cases, motorcycles will have to be shipped packed and fastened in dedicated crates. More on that later. Packing and preparing your motorcycle for transportation will require addressing the following points:

  • batteries and fuel
  • leakages and dangerous substances
  • front wheel and tyres
  • screen, mirrors and side panniers
  • fastening

Battery and fuel

Shipping motorcycle to USAIt is essential to disconnect the pins of your battery for the duration of the haulage. While removing the battery completely is not requires, its pins should be taped off securely to prevent an accidental shorting. Batteries used in vehicles produce high currents when not connected to loads. It is also instrumental to drain the tank of your motorbike. Perhaps not completely, as you will need to start the engine once in Canada to get to the nearest petrol station for a refill. Some carriers, however, especially airlines, will perform thorough checks and will refuse to transport your vehicle if the tank hasn’t been emptied completely.

Front wheels and tyres

While there’s no need to remove the side panniers, the top box (if any) should be placed on the floor or the pallet. Removing all the protruding elements will prevent accidental damage. It will also reduce the overall size of the shipment. Therefore, the mirrors and the screen need removing. Consider wrapping the mirrors in bubble wrap before sticking them in the side panniers. Safety and economy.

Screen, mirrors and side panniers

For those required to transport their motorbike crated, removing the front wheel is an optional procedure. Have a look at your quote to see whether you are charged for volumetric weight. If so, taking off the front wheel will surely save you a couple of hundred pounds. Strap it securely to the side of the motorbike thus reducing the shipment size.

If, however, your vehicle can be transported on wheels, crated or not – which is also far more comfortable when it comes to loading and unloading – you are only required to deflate the tyres to circa 26 psi and slacken off the suspension before strapping the motorcycle to the crate or pallet.

Leakages and dangerous substances

Every vehicle undergoes a rigorous inspection before despatching. Essentially, your motorbike will be thoroughly examined for any leakages and smudges motor vehicle operating liquids around the neuralgic spots of the machine. Depending on the make of your vehicle, you may need to inspect it to locate and remove any other critical parts whose functioning depends on substances considered dangerous. These will be:

  • pressurised gas containers (mini CO2 containers for reinflating tyres)
  • corrosive lubricants
  • flammables (WD40, spare fuel, engine oil, camping fuels, detergents)
  • puncture repair with foam aerosol


Shipping motorcycle accessoriesTake extra precautions when strapping down your motorbike to the crate or pallet. You shouldn’t rest the motorbike on its centre-stand or the side-stand for this will cause damage as the machine pounds up and down in transport. It should be kept on the wheels and fastened with good quality straps. Make sure the suspension isn’t fully compressed. A little more than half-way will be perfect, as there’s still need to compensate for the moving of the shipment while in transport.

Addressing the above requirements will guarantee safety and security to your motorcycle during transportation. Let’s now consider the importance of crating your vehicle.

Crating your motorcycle

To ensure extra protection for your motorcycle during transportation over long distances, consider shipping it in a custom made crate. A complete enclosure of your vehicle in a plywood crate will ensure:

  • secure strapping
  • protection against moisture
  • protections against debris
  • protection against vibrations

Additionally, there will be extra space inside crate for all the protruding parts that need removing, such as the screen, mirrors and helmets.

As we outlined above, during the pre-move survey, our representative will discuss with you the option of sending your motorbike in a crate. We provide solid crates made of ISPM-15 compliant plywood. Alternatively, you may want to order one online. Your motorcycle dealer should also have a variety of crates on offer. Regardless of where you will order your crate from, this is what you should consider before placing your order:

  • motorcycle dimensions
  • its overall weight
  • additional space inside the crate for storing extra gear
  • material – usually ISMP-15 plywood or steel
  • the crush strength factor – overall payload capacity

If, however, you choose to build your own crate, make sure you rely on the ISMP-15 compliant plywood that has the Forestry Commission stamp on it that confirms relevant treatment of the material. Failure to comply with the material quality requirements will likely lead to confiscation of the shipment upon arrival and resulting financial liabilities.

As for the cost of crates, it will depend on the type of the crate and its producer. While the average cost oscillating between £300 - £500 may seem a little pricey, a solid crate will serve you for any prospective shipments of your vehicle. Alternatively, you can always sell it second-hand.

How should you send your motorcycle and how much will it cost you?

There are a number of factors influencing the overall cost of motorcycles and car shipping from the UK to Canada. Depending on the exact location overseas, an average sized motorcycle shipment will cost anything between £450 - £750. When arranging the details concerning the despatch, consider the following:

  • destination
  • size and weight of the shipments
  • means of transportation
  • collection/delivery options

And finally, the shipping options. If you need a fast delivery, which, contrary to expectations, is fairly cheap as compared to other alternatives, airfreight is the way to go. As you already know, shipping motorcycles by air involves rigorous inspections and is markedly more tightly regulated. Nonetheless, your shipment is bound to arrive in Canada practically overnight.

Opting for shipping via container from UK to Canada, on the other hand, will likely entail delays, and, although the very freight price is cheaper in itself that that for air services, the shipment handling fees will make the overall cost comparable to that of air freight to Canada, if not higher in some cases.

Our shipping experts will eagerly advise you on the freight options and the associated costs for motorcycle transport services to Canada. They will provide all the required assistance needed to handle the paperwork, such as, the Dangerous Goods Declaration for shipping motorcycles via air, if this is what you opt for.

Do not hesitate to give us a call to find out more on UK to Canada Motorcycle Transport and Shipping Services.