Shipping Bikes to Ecuador

For our trip we have planned to start in Ecuador. After the trip I can say a great choice.

Now how did we get the bikes there, what were the problems, what the choices.

We decided to airfreight. To Ecuador by boat is really difficult and not cheaper when summing all up. I did quite some research on that. Here are the main reasons why we think airfreighting is better:

  • Shipping procedure super easy from home
  • Crate the bikes at home and have them picked up at your house
  • You know the exact date and time when they arrive (by boat that can be +/-2weeks)
  • Picking up the bike done in 1 day (boat: up to 1 week not unusual in Ecuador)
  • Picking up is really relaxed and no nightmare (boat: running around a huge port with papers you don’t understand and don’t know where to go next)
  • Bikes are safe

So we airfreighted. We used intime from Hamburg/Germany. A good solution. Olaf, the expert there for bike shipping helped us to get everything sorted out with very little effort from our side. We crated the bikes in boxes ourself which was the biggest trouble.

The costs:

The overall cost for shipping the bikes from Munich to Quito were:

  • Shipping F650GSDakar: 2425 Euro
  • Shipping G650GS: 2321 Euro
  • Transport Insurance (both bikes): 320 Euros
  • Pickup of the bikes from our house by truck: 275 Euros.
  • Crates for the bikes: approx 250 Euros each
  • Shipping paper in Quito: 18$
  • Customs in Quito 210$ for both bikes.

So to sum it all up: 5784 Euros for two bikes. You could have safed easily 500 Euros by taking the front wheels off, but i think it is worth to have as little to work on the bikes as possible once to get them out of customs.

Olaf told us though that this price can change a lot from year to year, so it might be cheaper or more expensive in the meantime.

Crating the bikes:

That was quite some work. Well, I am an engineer, and I was overdoing it a little bit. You may have used them as anti-tank obstacles as well, but i wanted to be on the safe side.

You cant use normal wood to crate the bikes. You either need specially treated wood (so that there are no bugs in the wood) or you use simply plywood, which is treated anyway and surely has no bugs. This means you need to make posts out of planks that you screw together though. You have to disconnect the batteries ( I secured the cables and batterie poles with plastic tape so they would not accidently re-connect with vibrations) and get the fuel out of the tanks.

Here are some pictures:

DSC03007 DSCN9551 DSCN9549

DSCN9555 dscn9558

The crates have been picked up, we got our gear together and flew to Quito. After our bike arrived (we planned it so that we would have one week without the bikes to relax and enjoy the city) we picked it up. Super simple if you know where to go (which WE didn’t but you will after you read this through.

Get the bikes out of customs:

Here is an overview of the different locations at Quito Airport.

Airport Quito

  1. Get the SOAT (see below); you may get it later  as well, but you have less trouble and discussions with the customs.
  2. Go to Cargo Area (there are signs at the roundabout)
  3. Go to your forwarder ( e.g. Iberia, Lufthansa Cargo…)
  4. You have to pay a fee there (for 2 motorbikes it was 18$ for us; cash only) and receive the shipping papers.
  5. Go to Customs
  6. 6. At the receipton there show your papers (you need passports, shipping papers, registration, SOAT)
  7. Be ready to wait … read a book
  8. They bring you to the crates and so you have to open them (bring the tools with you, there are no tools there!)
  9. They check the chassis and engine number (we always said this motorbike does not have a engine number “its the same like the chassis number”)
  10. After that be ready to wait some more (read another book)
  11. You have to pay customs (for us 210$ for both bikes) Have it cash! No ATM at customs, only at airport and you need a taxi to get there.
  12. Take your bike out. We asked the workers there if they would like the crates.
  13. You have to roll it out of customs. In the front there is a parking where you can work on the bike, but you are not allowed to work on the bike within customs.
  14. Connect batteries, fill up gas with a canister you brought.
  15. When leaving customs, the sign tells you to go left to Quito. Thats a really small steep , bad and very busy road. Take a right instead, pass the airport, and enjoy the ride into Quito on a new large and broad road.

It took us a whole day to get the bikes out, but mainly because we ran from airport to customs to cargo area because we did not know the procedure described above. Don’t expect european effectiveness though. Be patient and relax. Your trip is just about to start :-))


In front of customs filling up the bikes and reconnect batteries.


Get the SOAT:

Even if you have an international insurance you need to get the local insurance. It is very cheap and required. You need to have it BEFORE you get your bikes from customs. We did not know that and discussed with customs quite a bit before we were allowed to get our bikes from the airport.


It is cheap, required and (when knowing where to go to) a matter of minutes to get it. So here is how to get it:

  1. DON’T try to get it any other place than the one describet. A lot of places say they do it, but after waiting 15 minutes they find out that this is only for renewals (=locals) and that they can not help you.
  2. Go to QBE Seguros Colonial
  3. Adress: Av. Eloy Alfaro N40-270 y José Queri PBX
  4. Tel: (593)3989800 /(593)3989700
  5. Bring your passport, driving licence and registration of the bike. Also bring the paper that you get when entereing the country. It will say how long you are allowed to stay.
  6. There are different options you can choose from: 1 month, 3 months, 6 months , 1 year. We paid $6,85 for 1 month and 2 bikes
  7. The whole procedure took no longer than 10 minutes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s