Crating a Motorcycle


If you need to ship your motorcycle, you may want the added security of crating your bike. Oftentimes, a motorcycle shipping container can cost quite a bit. This is why so many people are building their own crates to ship their bikes. If you have a basic knowledge of using tools like drills, saws, hammers, and nails, this is a simple project that will take you half a day.



  • Oversized pallet
  • 6 pieces of plywood
  • 2×4 lumber
  • Carriage bolts
  • Wing nuts
  • Screws
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Table saw
  • Drill
  • Safety goggles
  • Fastening belts



    1. Before you cut anything, you’ll want to get the dimensions of your motorcycle, including weight. Write these down and have them with you while you’re designing and building your crate. For safety, designate a work area that is well lit and properly ventilated, and keep your safety goggles on at all times.


    1. You’ll need an oversized pallet, new or used. This will be the base of your shipping crate, so make sure the length and width exceed the length and width of your bike. Keep in mind the pallet will need to support the weight of your bike and should have slits on the side, so a forklift can lift it as needed.


    1. Next, lay a piece of plywood over the pallet and drill holes in each of the corners using an electric drill, and fasten securely with screws. This is when you’ll want to get your motorcycle upright on top of the covered pallet.


    1. Now you’ll build the frame of the crate. Get your 2×4 lumber out and cut it into eight short pieces, and four long pieces. Use the edge of the plywood sheets as a measuring guide. Place a short piece of lumber in each of the four corners in an upright position, and line the base of the container with lumber. Fasten by drilling holes and screwing each of the corners.


    1. Build the walls of your motorcycle crate using plywood and attaching to the frame. Drill a hole about every three feet and secure the plywood with a screw. Use carriage bolts and wing nuts for the vertical pegs, making sure the wing nuts are on the inside.


  1. Use fastening belts to secure the bike inside the crate and attach the belts to each of the four walls. Attach a 2×4 to the top of the walls using a hammer and nails, and slide the last piece of plywood over the top of your container. Drill holes and secure the cover using screws.


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Lisa Friedrich

May 6, 2019