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Thread: Crate for motorcycle

  1. #1
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    Crate for motorcycle

    My son might have landed a job building a shipping crate for sending a snowbird's motorcycle down south by truck for the winter.
    Anyone here built such a thing? Any advice or pics would be very helpful.
    I'm picturing a motorcycle-sized pallet with a box over it.
    Thanks
    Peter

  2. #2
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    Might check youtube for some videos of the harley plant here in KC, seems like I remember seeing them build crates for those that come off the line.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word boo. Robert Brault

  3. #3
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    You are correct Peter, basically it is a pallet with built in chocks for the wheels, then four tie down straps, the kick stand stays up.
    Usually you have to drain the oil and the gasoline, and put a BIG sign on the bike saying NO MOTOR OIL and remove the battery, usually he'll have to buy a new battery at the new location, tell him this ahead of time about the engine oil as well.

    The box is just a cover over the pallet, don't make it too sturdy or the shippers might load stuff on top of it.
    One very important tip, the tie down straps, the ratchet type are the best, and after you ratchet them in place, tie them off over the ratchet, then the loose ends of each strap gets nailed, tight to the crate, so the knot over the ratchet cannot come loose.
    This is not a complex job.
    Is it possible that a bike shop in the area has a couple of crates around that he could have a look at?

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
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    Good points Stu. Sounds like you've done this a time or two.
    I saw a couple of Youtube videos that showed more or less the same thing, although in one they had the centre kickstand down, maybe for more stability (?) My son's in contact with the customer and thinks now he might be just wanting a custom pallet. Says the shipper will shrink wrap the bike. Or, he might be very handy with bikes but not know difference between a pallet and a crate
    I don't know what his shipping deal is, maybe a private arrangement or a ride on the tailend of a lobster truck!
    We will pass along the advice on gas/oil/battery.
    Anyway, we'll see if he accepts our reasonable quote, then go from there. I suppose he might just go get a recycled crate from the Harley store and that will be the end of it.
    Take care
    Peter

  5. #5
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    Kick stand up, or it will get busted in the shipping, trust me on this one, the kickstand is NOT meant to be down when a bike is transported, it is only designed to carry a very small amount of weight. Think about it, if your bike is sitting on two tires and you lean it over a bit onto a kickstand, how much weight does it carry, not much. Now if the bike is in transport and the truck goes over a big bump, the kick stand takes a lot more weight of the bike and it usually levers the rear wheel off the pallet. Best case is the kick stand bends, worse case is it breaks, and maybe the whole bike topples over, not a good out come.
    Kickstand up, and yes that is from years and years of transporting bikes, also the tiedowns should only compress the suspension about 1/4 of it's travel, that way the bike will ride out any bumps, if you fully compress the suspension, then each bump is a hard hit on the bike.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  6. #6
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    The basics crate is covered here.....

    http://motorcycleshippers.com/s_pop_standard.htm#

    I like the front wheel pocket but I'd add a wheel chock and maybe a block on either side of the rear wheel too.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Nail down the strap ends!

    You also want some strap extenders, or extension loops....

    Click image for larger version. 

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    These go around the various parts of the bike, you want them on the triple clamps on the front and on the rear somewhere that you can partially compress the rear suspension, they will not scratch the bike like metal hooks, yes even the rubber covered one, can.

    Oh yeah, they want $540 for that crate.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
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    Excellent info Stu. Thank you.
    I'll let you know if it comes together.
    Peter

  8. #8
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    It's not what you achieve in life...It's what you overcome!

  9. #9
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    Thanks Tom. It all helps. Still not sure if this is going ahead or not. Will keep you posted.
    All the best
    Peter

  10. #10
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    It won't help with your crating business, but check www.uship.com for motorcycle transport. In most cases, they do not require crating, and expect the bike to be operational with gas, battery, etc. See http://www.uship.com/motorcycles/art...for-transport/

    UShip publishes your transport needs, and truckers that are qualified with space available in your time-frame bid on shipping. I built a piece of furniture (I am in Texas) that had to be delivered in NYC. I wanted the trucker to be responsible for blanket wrap, etc. He arrived on time (actually about 7 minutes early), and delivered on time inside/upstairs, total cost $350. My customer was thrilled, which made me happy. I would use uShip again, but recognize you are dealing with independent truckers so check their references.

    They will even transport live animals (with stops for exercise), and all sorts of interesting items.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

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