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(Disclaimer: I considered putting this on Lifehacks but it's so specific to motor vehicles that I thought it might be better here; Do let me know otherwise if it should be migrated)

What would be the absolute cheapest way to move a motorbike (220kg) across town (about 15km) in winter? — It currently isn't insured and would take a bit of work to get running, anyway. Lastly, with so much snow/ice/mud/gravel on the streets, doing so is a death wish.

Some details about the situation:

  • I haven't got either a proper "motorbike ramp" for loading it into the back of a van/truck or straps/etc. to secure it; Is there no way e.g. make your own ramp out of something with simple tools, and, similarly, to put together something makeshift which keeps the bike stable while being transported?
  • I've never transported anything this heavy in a vehicle before and am unsure if "normal" car hire places would even allow it; Do they?
  • Technically, pushing it all the way would probably be the cheapest option, but it took me and a mate about 20 minutes to push it through about 500m of snow and slush... so it would take me about 10 hours of pushing the bike to get it across town, assuming that I could even find a place to legally park it every time I had to take a break; So, no.
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    For me, the cheapest option was to hire a 'man and a van' from Gumtree. It ended up being the same cost per-hr as hiring a pick-up truck yourself, but I didn't have to worry about picking it up and returning it, or fuel and I had someone to help who had all the right equipment already. Just ring them to make sure they have ramps. – MeltingDog Feb 27 '17 at 23:05
  • You could hire a van with a taillift -- just check the taillift's working load in advance, and check for good tie-down points in the back --you'll need good straps. Alternatively talk to your local motorbike repair place. Especially if you're flexible about timing they may be able to do something for you at a reasonable cost (or they may know someone who would has a suitable trailer and wouldn't mind a little extra work. – Chris H Feb 28 '17 at 9:23
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    Cheap is relative and could get ridiculous very quickly. The options available to you will vary depending upon what city/country you are in, or even how long or tall your bike is. – Sir Swears-a-lot Feb 28 '17 at 9:27
  • Do you have access to a vehicle with a tow bar? Tralier? What about a van? Or pickup truck? Can you ask some people to help lift the weight of the bike? Do you have have any diy skills and access to tools? Do you have any rope? – Sir Swears-a-lot Feb 28 '17 at 9:31
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Cheapest is going to be hard to say, because we're not familiar with your specific area, what options you have available, and their price. I've been through the same dilemma a few times though, so I can give you a few options.

1) Insurance / Roadside Assistance

Some roadside assistance companies will include motorcycles. An example of this is CAA Plus. They usually require a special, flatbed tow truck to move the motorcycle. Especially if the reason you need to move the motorcycle is because it's not running properly, and you have some sort of coverage, I would check here first. A number of insurance companies, including mine, provide roadside assistance with their policies free of charge.

2) Rent a Trailer

If you have a vehicle that can tow, a trailer is dirt cheap to rent. You might even be able to find one that has a loading ramp built in. U-haul has some popular options, including a motorcycle trailer.

3) Rent a Van / Truck

I haven't done this one myself, but I've been tempted. If you don't have any sort of vehicle available, a van is likely your cheapest rental. You can get a cube van that would be big enough for most motorcycles, and it would have a lower loading height. If you can't get a loading ramp, depending on size, yourself and 2 or 3 big friends could probably manage to lift a bike into the back of a low van.

A moving style truck would likely have a ramp built in, but I'd be nervous about snow and water making it too slippery.

4) Hire Someone

Get someone who can do this for you. The spectrum of possibilities range all the way from "man-with-a-van" advertisements, to towing companies, and even a number of companies that specialise in transporting motorcycles. A few examples are Bike Transport in Ireland, and MotoLimo in Ontario. They may not be the cheapest options, but they know what they're doing, so you'll get some peace of mind. The last thing you want is to have an incident with a rental vehicle and your own motorcycle trying to do everything yourself, and end up spending more than one of these guys would have cost.

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Do you have any motorbike shops are repair places near where you live?

If you can befriend an owner of such a shop or a mechanic there you may be able to ask them to get it for you. I don't mean to specifically make the trip to collect it however, I mean next time they deliver a customers bike on the other side of town and are returning with an empty van / trailer, they could swing by and collect it for you.

Cost wise, they'd presumably do it for the price of a couple of beers or may even do it as a favour if you start buying all of your spare parts from them. That's got to be the cheapest way to do it without pushing the thing yourself.

(Alternatively, go to your local gym and set all the people in there an "endurance relay challenge").

PS. Check online and see if there is a local motorbike club. You may find someone there to help you at low or no charge.

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Any way you can get an Uber driver with a pickup truck in your area? That and any rope or tie downs would secure it well.

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In my experience friends (preferably college aged) and family are usually cheapest. Whenever I have had to move heavy furniture that wouldn't fit in my vehicle I would call a couple friends up, one of which owns a truck, and provide some food/snacks for there service. On average I think I spent under $10 each time.

If you make it somewhat social, say play some games with them afterwards, it becomes hanging out with friends while getting some stuff done. Granted I am college aged where cheap food is acceptable payment for labor so your mileage may vary. Another reason college friends can be the cheapest is because they have a bit of down time. There have been several times I have helped some friends move for free because I was free at the time and was down to spend some time with them.

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Push it up to the jeepny stop. Point to bike & roof of jeepney. They will load it on top. Triple fare to to market turn around. Double fare for the bike. At market turn around jeepney stop do same for jeepny to your area. Not cheap cost a dollar U.S. to do + 2 tips for the help loading & unloading so figure $2 U.S. From there you should be able to rent a motorcycle trike to put the front tire in & take to your house for another dollar + tip. You could be out $5 here for a large motorcycle.

  • What's a jeepny? Where are you? Anywhere near the OP? – Chris H Feb 28 '17 at 9:19

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