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How to build a box

So we needed a crate to pack our little buddies into and safely ship them across the ocean.

Since freight is usually worked out on a volumetric basis, it made sense to try and fit both bikes along with all of our gear into a single compact crate. Initially we thought we would go for a steel one as it’s lightweight, doesn’t need any special certifications and is usually free from friendly motorcycle dealerships.

Kawasaki was our first point of call. We had recently bought 2 bikes from them and they were the closest to home (we are lazy). A crate of beers to raid their pile of used crates and we came home with what looked like a promising solution. Alas, the crate was about 50mm too narrow even after removing exhaust and fairing. Bugger. We learnt our lesson and made sure to measure twice next time. The Suzuki dealership wasn’t friendly, so we landed up at the Honda dealership on the far side of town where we should have started. We picked up an old CRF250 Rally crate that was a wee bit long and a wee bit tall but had the necessary width. They also had some really nice Royal Enfield crates which looked super beefy (the crates, not the bikes :), but were sadly too narrow. 

We had to modify the crate to make it more compact and add some extra bits in to support two sets of wheels. Sim got to break out the angle grinder and practice some long forgotten welding skills. A bit of wonky modifications and Boom! we had something workable.

You will no doubt have noticed that that last picture was in fact a wooden crate.

Motorcycle steel crates are made of some pretty flimsy stuff and built to make it from factory to dealer and not much further….and they are open sided. The clearance for a pallet lift was also a little tight too. We had visions of impatient cargo handlers damaging the crate and sending bits of our gear spilling out the sides. It didn’t help that someone on one of the local Facebook pages posted a pic of a damaged crate from shipping a bike to Oz. We started feeling a wee bit nervous and eventually caved to our fears.

At the last minute we decided to go with a timber crate option from a local crate maker. Completely enclosed and comes with the necessary IPSM certification for the timber. No you can’t just knock up a crate out 

of whatever’s left over from your last DIY project. Fun police don’t allow that anymore. We had had enough of crate building by now but could sleep easy.

Total Cost 350NZD excluding beers, welding rods, grinder discs, rivets, blood, sweat, time and profanities.

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