Welcome to the forum. Nice looking bike. And good luck with the test.
As per Rik's link above, my 2003 XB9S has just come back from Maz's workshop and I'm very, very pleased with what he's done.
Manchester is a bit of a trek for us southerners but A2B Bike Movers (link below) is a reasonable cost option to get your bike up there and back. They are very professional and use properly fitted out vans (wheel chocks, built-in loading ramps, etc.). When I say 'reasonable cost' that doesn't mean cheap but it's probably the most cost effective option and you have the reassurance of knowing that your bike has been entrusted to people who know what they're doing, are honest and reliable, and are bikers themselves.
As an illustration:
1. When I bought my XB9S in 2009 I found 'a man with a van' on the internet who picked it up from just outside Liverpool and brought it down to West Sussex for £180. He did a good job but he was using a standard Ford Transit and the time honoured method of lashing the bike to the (inside) side of the van lined with an old mattress. I doubt that he had any professional insurance to cover accidental damage.
2. When I took my bike up to Maz's workshop last month, I hired a long wheel base Ford Transit. The cost including insurance for two days was £150. The fuel cost was £90. I spent six hours driving up there on Saturday and five hours on Sunday to do the return trip. So, the basic cost was £240 and nine hours of my time. I didn't have to stay overnight but I did so that was more money spent. Getting the bike on and off the van was tricky and I could have easily dropped it.
3. A2B charged me £168 to pick the bike up from Maz's and drop it off outside my house two days later.
So, A2B are charging less than the 'man and a van' I used six years ago (for almost the same distance) and a lot less than it cost me to do it myself. And you can trust them to do a good job.
You might want to factor in labour rates in the overall cost too. Maz's hourly rate is probably less than your local motorcycle dealership or independent specialist. So when you add it all up, that might offset the transport cost to some extent.http://www.a2bmotorcyclemovers.co.uk/