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  #1  
Old 4 Feb 2010
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Shipping bike in pieces

Anyone ever considered tearing a bike down into pieces and taking some (or all) of it as checked baggage? Airlines allow oversized ski and golf bags. Maybe using some version of this would work. I ride an XR250 and I'm amazed by how small it can be made by taking it all apart. Frame, Subframe, forks, wheels could fit in a large-ish suitcase with clothes, sleeping bag and other soft stuff squashed into the the open spaces. Motor in another box (drain the oil?). etc.
Would paying the "excess baggage" fee be prohibitive compared to crating and shipping separately? What about dangerous goods restrictions? I know they get antsy about even a camp stove, but I've gotten around that by taking it apart and separating the parts in my luggage so that I only have "camp stove parts" and not a camp stove.

I've seen plenty of people wheel up to the check in counter with a couple carts full of boxes and just pay the excess baggage fee.

Just thinking out loud...

Any comments?
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  #2  
Old 5 Feb 2010
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Most overseas flights I've been on, charged 50USD a kg overweight
I have, on occasion, negociated it down to half of my real kgs but it would still be expensive.

I've never had any problems with a campstove though, as long as the bottle is empty.

They did confiscate a spray can with chain grease, but it DID say flammable on the side.
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  #3  
Old 5 Feb 2010
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I've been checking some rates and they vary widely.

Air Canada between North America and Europe:
for your first bag:

Overweight
Between 23-32kg (50-70lb)
$100
Oversized
Between 160-292cm (63-115in)
$100 CAD
If a bag is both overweight and oversized, the fee is charged only once.

2nd bag
$50 CAD

Each additional bag
$225 CAD

Overweight and oversize charges are not applied to additional bags.

So that means your first bag up to 70lb and 115 in = $100
Second bag up to 70lb and 115in = $50
Additional bags up to 70lb and 115in = $225.

I figure I could get my 250lb xr250r plus gear to total about 420lb. That would be 6 x 70lb. So 6 bags:

$100
+$50
+4x$225
=$1050.00

How would that compare to standard shipping costs?

And here's a really crazy deal from Delta if you happen to be travelling between Brazil and Japan:

Current Fees for all tickets purchased in Brazil and purchased in Japan for travel to and from Brazil;
71-100 lbs (33-45 kg) = $100; 62+ inches = $100
Bags 1-2 no fee
Bag 3-10 75 USD/CAD/EUR*(each)
up to a maximum of 10 bags.
so if you stay under the 71lb and 62in size limit, you can bring up to 8 extra bags for only $75 each!!

Seems like it could be done if you do some research on fees/airlines/routes.
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  #4  
Old 5 Feb 2010
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It would probably end up more expensive than sending it by freight.
Plus you will have the problems taking the tank and engine on without certificates to say they have been professionally drained and cleaned....I would think.

Steve
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Old 5 Feb 2010
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Motorcycle Express (motorcycleexpress.com) says they ship motorcycles between North America and Europe for "as little as $1895". Don't know if they are more expensive than others, but that's still $800 more than my checked baggage calculation.

The tank and engine... yes that could be a problem. Maybe they could be shipped separately.
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  #6  
Old 6 Feb 2010
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And if the engine box gets lost or send into wrong destination?
And don´t forget the customs fee
Karl
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  #7  
Old 6 Feb 2010
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What a bad Idea!!!

I will pay to see custom officer’s face when they see a bike in pieces and you asking for a temporal import…..
Usually bikes has special regulation to be shipped and be temporary imported to any country, are not pushbikes or surfboards. Sometimes the airlines make a lot of troubles when you go for the normal cargo way…
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  #8  
Old 7 Feb 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calrider View Post
Anyone ever considered tearing a bike down into pieces and taking some (or all) of it as checked baggage?
Over the years it's been done by literally hundreds of people. Mostly people going racing in another country with a small race bike which can easily be dismantled. The ones I know of never had problems, but that was 20 years ago when airports and airlines were less security aware..
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  #9  
Old 7 Feb 2010
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Never tried sending it that way, but I think there could be some severe problems.

Sending by air, first of all you´ll need to be aware of the Dangerous Goods declaration. It is not like when you´ll send a bicycle, skis, or a musical instrument. A bike has fuel, oil and usually a battery, too, so there are specific IATA regulations to comply with. Usually you need someone with a certificate to issue the papers for these.

And like someone mentioned, the customs can also become a headache. They sometimes become one even when you´re sending a bike the ´normal´ way!! But that may depend a lot on where you´re going.

Needing to fully dismantle and reassemble your vehicle, when on a trip, could also turn out to be troublesome. And if something does go wrong, the availability of parts may not be as good as in your home country.

Would be interesting to know, if it can actually be done (and was it worth it) though.
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  #10  
Old 15 Mar 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Milligan View Post
Over the years it's been done by literally hundreds of people. Mostly people going racing in another country with a small race bike which can easily be dismantled. The ones I know of never had problems, but that was 20 years ago when airports and airlines were less security aware..
Some interesting points everyone.

@Dave Milligan: Wow, I did not know that!
@Javier: I can see your point about import restrictions etc. Different countries have vastly different import restrictions, so I imagine one could choose the least restrictive country in the region to fly in to and then ride from there. I know of one XR250 in Burma that was brought in piece by piece and reassembled.
@Pecha72. Yes, I was thinking about the dangerous goods problem as well. That's why I mentioned my camp stove. But when I took it apart into it's component pieces, they no longer considered it a camp stove. Just "camp stove parts". I understand that even for normally crated and air-freighted motorcycles, you sometimes need a "dangerous goods" inspection, so either way you'll need to go through it. I guess as a last resort one could ship engine and gas tank separately.
As far as disassembling and assembling... I'm thinking of something like my XR250. Pretty simple. Probably 5-6 hrs at each end.
I'm also thinking that in some places, dangerous goods regulations etc. may not be enforced as strictly.
@BCK_973 Yes, I guess boxes could go missing... don't know what the statistics on that are. 1 in 10, 100, 1000, 10000? I'd be ok with 1 in 100 risk and my guess that for many destinations it's lower than that. And you could insure too.
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