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Shipping bike from UK to USA - 1978 Montesa Cota 348


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I moved to the USA on a 3 month work detail and here I am 20+ years later, married, kids, dogs, mortgage……but I left my love back in the UK. I am looking to be reunited with my beloved 1978 Montesa Cota 348. I would love this bike to be my next rebuild project. 
Does anyone have any bike shipping experience? 
This bike has been sitting for 30 years in a garage (it was not ridden the last few years of me being in the UK) should I dismantle it and ship part by part? Should I ship it complete? Can I get customers clearance without a title? 
I have had a couple of quotes that want to wrap the bike in bubble wrap and build a customized crate along with all those costs! 
Any and all advice and recommendations appreciated (I know I can hunt and buy one in the USA but they are not mine that I have owned for many years) 

Thanks in advance 

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I've got no recent experience with overseas shipping, but if you can break it down and crate it on a standard-sized pallet it should be much cheaper than shipping it whole; at least that is very much the case with road freight. Be sure to enlist a customs broker; your shipper may include this service but do make sure beforehand.

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Why not get it stripped down to big bits i.e. Engine and Frame then crate them up and find some space in a container heading your way. Probably cheaper than an expert export packer charging a small fortune.

Edited by Old Gezzer
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In terms of package size, if you can get someone to take the wheels out, bars off & maybe rear mudguard, then it makes a pretty compact box. That would then be fairly easy to find a space for in a container. I guess you’d need some kind of freight forwarder or similar to deal with the paperwork & customs side of things. Probably cheaper if you can get it ‘sent’ from here rather than arrange ‘collection’ from over there. A friend or family member this end would be handy !

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  • 1 year later...
On 4/17/2023 at 4:26 AM, biffsgasgas said:

Whole bikes broken down into two standard pallets is about 1000 usd one way with ups. 



Do you know anyone that could do the breakdown and packing in the UK? How long since you shipped via ups? I could do the $1000 transport 

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  • 6 months later...
38 minutes ago, gontierbat said:

It's heartwarming to hear about your plan to reunite with your beloved Montesa Cota 348 after all these years. Shipping a vintage bike can be a bit of a challenge, but it's doable.
As for the shipping, whether you should dismantle it or ship it completely depends on a few factors. Dismantling might offer more protection, but it can also be time-consuming and potentially cost more labor. Shipping it complete is simpler, but you'll need to ensure it's well-secured.


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