The median cost to transport a motorcycle in the United States is around $400 – $600 about 1,000 miles. When transporting a motorcycle, the cost is the major concern amongst vehicle owners. While they want as much as possible protection for their motorcycle, customers also want to get the best value from their chosen carrier.
If you are moving, staying in a new place for a while, or even selling a motorcycle, it is possible you have to think about the prices of shipping a motorcycle and how to get ready for it.
There are many cost factors at play (such as distance, shipping type, and so on), so thus the price will vary based on your move details. In this article, we will look into the elements that affect the overall cost to ship a motorcycle.
How much does it Cost to Ship a Motorcycle?
We’ve seen that shorter trips cost from $200 to $300 and are charged at a flat rate. Long-distance shipping (moves involving 1,000 miles or more) runs from $400 – $600, and prices are determined by a mile. Generally, trips around 1,000 miles cost about $0.50 per mile. Transporting outside of the Lower 48 may cost you a bit more.
The cost to transport a motorbike to Hawaii, for instance, starts from $800 – $1,200. Meanwhile, the median cost to transport a motorcycle to Alaska is around $350 – $700.
Motorcycle Shipping Cost Factors: What’s included into your Transport Quote?
The exact costs for transporting your motorbike will be based on a certain amount of considerations, including those mentioned below:
- Shipping distance: The overall miles traveled is one of the highly important factors used to determine the cost of shipping a motorcycle. A longer shipping distance costs lower per mile, but will generally lead to a higher total price. The pick-up city and state also affect the cost, as the driver may be required to travel a long distance just to load your motorcycle onto the trailer.
- Type: The type of motorcycle you have also affect the price. Vintage bikes, Harleys, trikes, and supersport vehicles often need extra shipping considerations that can lead to increased costs. The condition and value of your bike will also play a vital role as will any accessories attached to your bike, such as a sidecar.
- Weight: As discussed, a motorcycle may be transported through Freight or in a carrier moving truck with a private shipping company. However, the weight of your motorbike will possibly be a factor in shipping costs. This will be an actual or more than a factor when transporting a package like a box. You will need to determine the weight of your motorcycle before you send it out.
- Method of shipping: Another factor that will dictate the shipping cost of your motorcycle is the kind of shipping you choose to transport your vehicle. International shipment or shipment to Hawaii from the mainland will need some form of boat or other means of shipping, costing a huge more. Trains and trailers are available for long-distance shipping. When you choose a trailer, you have open or enclosed shipping options.
The cheaper option is an open trailer, which exposes your bike to the elements for the duration of the move. The cost of an enclosed trailer is higher but it offers better protection from weather and road debris that could cause damage to your motorcycle. The majority of cities tend to choose enclosed shipping as it gives more peace of mind when transporting your bike.
- Delivery option: Many carriers offer door-to-door motorbike delivery, where the driver picks up and delivers the vehicle at the places you choose. As you likely guess, this will be expensive. An option is to transport your motorcycle between distribution centers, of which a lot of carriers have several locations all over the country. This can greatly save you money. Based on where your house is located, door-to-door delivery may not be possible. If you reside on a busy city street or narrow road, it might offer lesser space for the moving truck and trailer to park for the driver to load and unload the motorcycle. In these situations, you and the driver will come up with another closer location.
- Timeline: Vehicle owners who have some flexibility with the dates and times of their pick-up and drop-off will pay cheaper for their motorcycle shipment. The time of year can also affect pricing. Demand is on the high side in the summer months, and that affects prices as well, while on the lower side in winter.
If you are not on a tight deadline to ship your motorcycle, winter is your best chance for reducing costs. Unlike most shipping companies, Montway Auto Shipping has discounted and fixed rates with the premier bike transporters, giving you a set price not directly affected by certain demand fluctuations.
- Insurance: Your motorcycle insurance will likely not cover your bike during transport. Fortunately, motorcycle shipping companies offer shipment protection insurance, which includes $5,000 to $15,000 of protection in your quote. You may be able to add more coverage (nearly $100,000) for a fee. If you are relocating to another country, we strongly recommend going for additional coverage/international moves which involve a lot of mileage (and time) than internal moves, which implies that your bike is at higher risk of damage.
- International shipping costs: Part of why international shipping will cost more than shipping within the country is because of country permit fees and port entry fees. For instance, if you are transporting to Australia, you have to buy a motorcycle permit for your motorbike before its arrival. The price to transport your bike to another country will be based on the location you are shipping it to and from, but expect to spend an average of $1,000 to $2,400 to transport a car abroad.
The cost to transport a motorcycle to Europe falls within $1,000 – $2,000. If you are transporting from the East Coast, that may take the average to $700, but if you are transporting from the West coast, the average is at about $1,000. Shipping to a farther destination, such as Australia costs more; probably between $1,500 and $3,000.
- Motorcycle shipping discounts: Discounts will vary from one company to another and some carriers offer discounts better than others. Below are the popular motorcycle shipping discounts we’ve seen:
- Rallies: If you are transporting within 100 miles of a motorcycle rally, you may receive a discounted quote based on a flat rate, irrespective of the type of bike you are moving.
- Multiple vehicle discounts: If you are transporting around 10 motorcycles (or more), you may receive a discount starting from $25 – $65 per bike.
- Motorcycle club membership: Whether you are becoming a member of Ducati or KTM lovers or just searching for bikers to enjoy with, you may be able to get a 10% to 15% discount for being a motorcycle club member.
- Armed services and emergency workers: A lot of motorcycle shipping companies will appreciate your service by linking you up with 10% to 15% off your whole shipment.
Extra shipping fees: Every motorcycle shipping company should state its fees so you don’t get shocked when you receive your final bill.
Below are the popular extra fees.
Extra fees are not to be mixed with hidden fees, they are two different things. Extra fees include permits or tolls, which are beyond the carrier’s control.
Hidden fees, on the flip side, are how moving companies charge you for things they have control over without notifying you in advance. Avoid settling on a motorcycle transport company that appears shady in any way. Find companies that mention these fees either online or during the process of supplying quotes.
How to Obtain a Motorcycle Shipping Quote
Obtaining a pricing estimate for your bike transport is simple. You can call a motorcycle carrier directly and give them details of the shipment to get a quote, or you can ask for a quote on the website of a carrier or broker.
Most will ask for this information:
- Pick-up and drop-off locations
- Motorcycle type (year, make, model)
- Shipping preference (open vs. enclosed)
- Earliest available pick-up date
If you have any other inquiries about motorcycle shipping, read Frequently Asked Questions About Motorcycle Shipping
Overview of the Motorcycle Transport Industry
When checking options for transporting your motorcycle across the country or internationally, you will possibly encounter three types of companies:
- Carriers: Do the actual pick-up, shipping, and drop-off. Motorcycle owners can work with a carrier directly to plan out transport detail, including the type of shipping, pick-up and delivery locations, and overall cost.
- Lead providers: Websites compiled a list of carriers depending on the search criteria of the vehicle owner. Carriers will then contact the owner directly to try to complete their order and reserve their shipment.
- Brokers: Work together with vehicle owners and carriers to get the best routes and rates. Most brokers are in contact with thousands of carriers and can help get the best option for owners depending on individual needs and budget.
Working with a reliable shipping broker brings peace of mind when it comes to needed insurance coverage. They will not only help validate existing carrier coverage, but can verify the exact coverage amounts and share recommendations for extra coverage through them, or you can just purchase it from your insurance provider.
When you are working with a broker or carrier, ensure you understand the following:
- What the insurance covers (while vehicle or certain parts, accessories, and so on)
- Deductible amount
- Coverage limit
- Whether extra coverage can be bought
If you ready to ship your motorcycle, here is our Top 10 Motorcycle Shipping Companies of 2022
Based on the distance you are transporting your motorcycle; you can prepare to pay about $500. Shorter shipping will cost just a few hundred bucks, while farther distances (such as cross-country moves) will be around $600. There may be additional fees if you go for a premium service, such as expedited shipping, these can be reduced by discounts.
To determine the best bike transport solution for your needs, budget, and preferences, read our guide to motorcycle shipping to obtain more information as regards our pickup and delivery options.
Thomas has a degree in literature from Stanford University and a profession in Mass Communication. Thomas is a member of the Moving Feedback research team, an expert in writing educative articles to help readers make the right buying decisions. He is well versed in moving industry matters to give the best advice on moving needs.