Try and fit it in the smallest box possiable ( check the web site for sizes ) and extra inch makes a big differance. I shipped a freeride (RM6) frame and misc parts from Michigan to Germany last year and it was around $70.00 threw the post office.
Suggestion I thought of after writing what appears below: ship your clothes and other miscellaneous easily replacable [email protected], check in your bike on the plane. I believe you have something like a 60 lb limit for a checked in item, and if it's in a UPS box then it's fine. (By the way, put bubble wrap around the top, down, and seat tubes if not the whole damn thing--or at least line the case/box with cardboard).
Now the other part:
If it's 40 lbs without packaging, and not a downhill bike, then I'd save the money by leaving it here to be brutally honest.
I moved to Japan about seven years ago--just now relocating back to the US--didn't take a bike with me and didn't buy one for the two years of my first contract there. That was a big mistake. I never should have gone six months much less two years without a bike, and at the same time I would have done better to buy a used bike while over there. Taking my old bike was definitely not something I was about to do.
If the bike isn't worth a lot then it's easily replacable for cheap. If it's, honestly apart from sentimental value, a good bike then I would do whatever I had to . . . . (Da Capo for the idea I had at this point).
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