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Old 12-07-2012, 11:42 AM   #24
MissOrganized OP
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Joined: Dec 2012
Location: Live in Seattle, riding in Chile and Argentina
Oddometer: 27
More air shipping details as requested

Originally Posted by huzar View Post
DirtyPoodle and MissOrganized,

I find myself contemplating a similar trip -- I would appreciate you sharing your crate plans, as well as anything else you can tell me about using Air Canada for shipping. I'd be shipping my TE610 to Bogota or Lima in the next few weeks, so I would appreciate any other prep info you can share out

I'll let DirtyPoodle respond about crate details but I can tell you more about shipping.

First of all, I have asked my contact at the freight shipper in Canada if I can share his info here on this forum and he has agreed. If you are interested in shipping out of Vancouver, B.C contact Tim Whitting from Schenker of Canada at

A few notes on air shipping: We couldn't find a freight shipper who would help us ship via air out of Seattle but I think it might depend on who answers the phone the day you call. Even though we lucked out I would recommend doing some research and calling some freight shippers at your local port authority and see if you get someone helpful. Tim was awesome and I recommend working with him; however, if you don't live in Vancouver you do have the pain of figuring out how to get your bike up there. Local would be easier.

Preparing the bike: We disconnected the handlebars because it made the overall volume of the crate smaller which saves money. We left the brake attached but disconnected the clutch and any farkles that were in the way. You need to empty your gas tank to at least a 1/4 tank. You need to disconnect the battery and tape the terminals.
Included in the crate: Don't include personal items. So that means we also removed our panniers and top cases. We will put them in cardboard boxes that are the exact upper limit of what checked baggage allows and will bring them with us on our flight. All that we included in the crate was the motorcycle, spare tires, a few tools, empty (and brand new) 2gal gas cans, and any farkles we'll add before we start riding (such as the windshield). We zip tied everything down to the crate/bike and then the crate was wrapped in plastic.

Getting the bikes to Vancouver: I looked into renting a UHaul and it would have worked, but would have been expensive due to the $.79/mile charge. Worst case, that's what we would have done. Luckily Nivs has a truck with a tow hitch and he also has a friend with a 18 foot flat bed trailer who let is borrow it. We loaded the crates on to the trailer, then rolled the bikes into their crates and finished putting the crates together on the trailer. This way, when we arrived in Vancouver Schenker folks could use their forklifts to lift them off the trailer and we didn't need to do anything more besides zip tie in the gas cans, tires, farkles etc. It worked like a charm and the Schenker guys are awesomely helpful and skilled at what they do.

Crossing the border from Washington to Canada was no big deal: we went through the trucker border crossing, we had all kinds of documentation ready to prove we owned the bikes and that we were shipping them for a personal adventure ( in addition to title, registration, passports we also had the Waybill from Schenker and proof that we had airline tickets to get to Santiago the following week). However, we didn't actually need to show any of these document. I would still recommend being prepared since you never know who you'll get at a border crossing.
Cost: It's expensive. It just is. Budget between $1800 and $2100 depending on how compact you can get your crate.

Shipping insurance: Schenker and Air Canada don't provide comprehensive shipping insurance. If you want it, buy it separately. We didn't. Hopefully we don't regret it.

Getting the bikes out of customs at destination: More to come on this. Schenker service gets the bike to the destination but does not provide assistance after that. I did find a guy who lives in Santiago who regularly does Boat shipping and customs to meet us at the airport and help us out. We'll post on how well that worked after it happens.
Shipping home: We're doing slow boat shipping. More to come on that after it happens.

I think that covers it. Ask any other questions if you think of them.
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