Many situations arise that call for shipping a dirt bike. Whether you’ve bought or sold a bike online, are sending it to a friend or relative or traveling across the country to ride, it’s always a good idea to prepare your cycle before handing it over to a shipping company. The following steps will minimize the possibility of the bike getting damaged during shipment, as well as help you collect compensation in the off chance that an accident does occur.First, find a motorcycle shipping company. There are numerous moving companies, so locating one that services your area shouldn’t be a problem; try an online search or look in your local directory. Another option is a shipping site such as uShip.com that allows visitors to post shipments online and receive multiple bids from carriers. It is always smart to compare rates of a few shippers to make sure you’re getting a fair price.The most important information to find out about a shipping company is that they are licensed and insured to ship your bike. This information can be accessed from the Department of Transportation at www.safersys.org using the company’s DOT number.Once you have selected a company to ship your bike there are a few steps to take to prepare your bike for the trailer:1. Wash down the bike and in the process note any existing scratches, dents, dings or other imperfections. Document this with both a written account and by taking photos. Take your time, as this will be very helpful should anything happen and you are forced to file a claim.2. Remove any loose items such as mirrors that could possibly be lost or broken while in route. A carrier’s insurance will not cover any missing or damaged accessories, so double-check that you’ve got everything.3. Do a quick mechanical check-up. Even though the bike (hopefully) will not be ridden during shipment, the carrier may have to fire it up to get it on or off the trailer so it is important that it’s in appropriate condition. Check the tire pressure and fluid levels, charge the battery and make sure it has some gas. If the bike is experiencing any problems or requires special starting procedures, be sure to notify the shipper beforehand.4. Shipping a bike by air or sea has a whole different set of regulations than by truck. Almost all of the time the bike must be drained of all fluids and batteries must be removed. Coolant and oil can be left in the bike if it is 100 percent sealed. Bikes must usually be crated and the smaller the crate, the lower the bill since they use a volume rather than mass calculation.Another thing to consider: If your bike is antique, rare or extremely customized, you may want to go with a shipping company that specializes in servicing such vehicles. They will be accustomed to the extra steps that need to be taken when dealing with unusual vehicles.