Motorcycle Shipping: Everything You Need To Know

Motorcycle shipping is more affordable and convenient than driving it to a new destination. Make the most out of shipping services by understanding every aspect for seamless delivery.

Motorcycle Shipping: Everything You Need To Know

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What if you need to get a motorcycle to a different place without driving it? Shipping a motorcycle is an option that you might not have considered. But what does the shipping process entail and does it cost a lot of money?

Hiring motorcycle shipping companies can be an affordable and painless way to transport your bike to any destination. Take advantage of our experts’ insider knowledge and decide if shipping your motorcycle is the right option for you.

How Much Does Motorcycle Shipping Cost?

The total cost to hire motorcycle shipping services ranges from as little as $300 to as much as $1,500, depending on the size of the bike and the distance it needs to be shipped. For example, shipping a large motorcycle from New York to California will cost more than shipping a smaller motorcycle from Texas to Florida.

You can generally expect to pay between $0.50 and $1.00 per mile to ship a motorcycle. So, for example, if you’re shipping a motorcycle from Los Angeles to New York (a distance of approximately 2,800 miles), you can expect to pay between $1,400 and $2,800 for shipping services.

If you need to transport the bike as part of a long-distance move, you may be able to save on shipping costs by bundling automobile transport services with your full-service movers. Some professional local and long-distance moving companies offer motorcycle shipping as an add-on service that saves time, money, and hassle.

You can compare rates and find the best deal for your budget by getting multiple quotes from movers and motorcycle shipping services.

What Factors Affect Motorcycle Shipping Costs?

There are two main types of motorcycle shipping, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Open-air shipping is the most common and affordable type of motorcycle shipping. Your bike will be transported on an open trailer and exposed to the elements during transit. This type of shipping is best for shorter distances, as your motorcycle will be more susceptible to weather damage. Open-air shipping can start as low as $0.50 per mile.

Enclosed shipping is the safest type of motorcycle shipping, as your bike will be transported in a sealed, often climate-controlled container. This type of shipping offers the best protection from weather and road conditions but is also the most expensive option, usually starting closer to $1.00 per mile. Shipping costs will also be affected by how you want your motorcycle delivered.

Door-to-door shipping is the most convenient option, as the company will come to your home or business to pick up your motorcycle and deliver it to its final destination. However, this is the most expensive option, as it requires the company to send a truck and driver specifically for your motorcycle.

Terminal-to-terminal shipping is a more affordable option, as your motorcycle will be transported to and from a central shipping terminal in each city. This is a good option if you have the flexibility to drop off and pick up your motorcycle from the terminal.

Finally, how much your motorcycle weighs will also affect the price of shipping. Heavier motorcycles will cost more to ship than lighter ones. In addition, some motorcycle types are more expensive to ship than others. For example, vintage or antique motorcycles may be more expensive to ship than newer or common models because of their value.

How to Ship a Motorcycle?

The process of shipping a motorcycle is a lot like any local or long-distance moving process. It requires advanced planning and coordination to ensure a smooth move.

Start by researching different motorcycle shipping companies and comparing rates. Be sure to get quotes from multiple companies to ensure you’re getting the best deal. When getting quotes, be sure to ask about all potential fees and charges, such as fuel surcharges, insurance fees, and environmental surcharges. If you can get in-home or virtual estimates to ensure accuracy, that’s even better.

In addition to getting multiple quotes, be sure to read reviews of different motorcycle shipping companies. This will give you a good idea of the quality of service you can expect from each company. The Better Business Bureau is an excellent resource for finding reviews and complaints about businesses in your area.

Once you’ve settled on a company, selected a shipping option, and scheduled pick-up date, there are a few things you’ll need to do to get your motorcycle ready for transport:

  • Wash your motorcycle and remove any loose items or accessories. This will help protect your bike from road grime and prevent any damage during transit.
  • Check your tire pressure and fluid levels. This will help ensure a smooth ride and prevent any issues during the shipping process.
  • Disable the alarm system to prevent it from going off during transport. Be sure to fold in mirrors and secure any locking areas.

With the above steps complete, your motorcycle is ready to be shipped! Be sure to be present when the shipping company arrives to load up your bike. Don’t forget to snap a few photos or take a video of the condition of your motorcycle before it’s loaded onto the truck. This will provide documentation in case of any damage that may occur during shipping.

Once your motorcycle has arrived at its destination, do a thorough inspection to look for any damage that may have occurred during transport. If you notice any damage, be sure to take photos and contact the shipping company as soon as possible. Most shipping companies have insurance policies in place to cover any damages that may occur during shipping.

Shipping times average between two and seven days, depending on the distance being shipped. The company should provide you with an estimated delivery date when you schedule the pick-up.

Tips for Shipping a Motorcycle

Sending a motorcycle to another part of the country isn’t like sending a letter or a small package through the mail. It’s a big undertaking that requires some careful planning and coordination. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when shipping a motorcycle.

1. Do your research

Motorcycle shipping companies need to have a good reputation. Take time to speak with a few different professional shipping and moving companies, read online reviews, and compare rates before selecting a shipping company.

2. Find a good meeting point

Trucks and trailers that ship motorcycles can be as small as a standard pick-up truck or as large as a semi-trailer. Make sure you have a safe and easily accessible meeting point for the truck to ensure a smooth pick-up.

3. Book in advance

Motorcycle shipping requires coordination between multiple parties, so it’s important to book your shipping date at least two weeks in advance with third-party movers, and as soon as possible with any full-service moving company, you may be using.

4. Secure your keys

Keys are not necessary for the shipping process, so it’s best to secure them in a safe place or give them to a trusted friend or family member. This will prevent any potential issues if they’re lost or stolen during shipping.

In addition to planning and coordination, saving money is usually a top priority when shipping a motorcycle. To save money on your motorcycle shipping costs, here are a few tips.

5. Opt for open-air shipping

This is the most common and affordable shipping method. Your motorcycle will be transported on an open-air trailer and exposed to the elements, so it’s important to take extra measures to protect your bike if you choose this option.

6. Ship during the off-season

The summer months are typically the busiest time for motorcycle shipping companies. If you have the flexibility, shipping during the off-season (fall and winter) can save you money.

7. Ship with another motorcycle

If you know someone who is also shipping a motorcycle or other vehicle, see if you can share a truck or trailer to split the cost. This is a great way to save money on motorcycle shipping costs while also getting your bikes to their destination safely.

8. Bundle services with a moving company

If you’re already using a moving company to relocate, see if they offer motorcycle shipping services. Many moving companies include motorcycle shipping in their standard moving services, so this could be a great way to save money and time on shipping costs.

With these planning and cost-saving tips in mind, you’re well on your way to shipping your motorcycle safely and affordably.

The final and most important tip when looking for a motorcycle shipping company is to only consider hiring licensed movers. Motorcycle movers licensed by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) will have a USDOT number on their website and trucks. This number verifies that the company is registered with the government and is held to certain standards that ensure the safety of its shipments.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to ship a motorcycle?

The cost of shipping a motorcycle depends on a few factors, including the distance being shipped, the type of shipping (open-air or enclosed), and the time of year. In general, you can expect to pay between $200 and $1,000 to ship a regular motorcycle made in the past five years. However, older motorcycles or high-end limited edition motorcycles can cost more to ship.

How long does it take to ship a motorcycle?

Most motorcycle shipping times average between two and seven days, depending on the distance being shipped. Though factors such as weather and traffic can impact the shipping time, most companies guarantee delivery within 10 days. However, be aware that the process of scheduling a pick-up can take up to 48 hours, so you should allow a total of 12-14 days from start to finish for your motorcycle to be shipped.

What is the best way to ship a motorcycle?

The best way to ship a motorcycle depends on your individual needs and preferences. Open-air shipping is the most common and affordable option, but if you’re looking for extra protection for your bike, enclosed shipping may be a better choice. You should always ship your motorcycle with the help of a professional shipping company to ensure your bike is transported safely and securely.

How do I prepare my motorcycle for shipping?

You can do a few things to prepare your motorcycle for shipping, including cleaning it, checking the fluids, and disconnecting the battery. In addition, some choose to keep their license plate and registration documents with them, so they’re not lost or stolen during shipping. For detailed instructions on how to prepare your motorcycle for shipping, consult your chosen motorcycle shipping company.

Do I need insurance when shipping my motorcycle?

Many companies include basic insurance in the cost of shipping, but you may be able to purchase additional coverage for an extra fee. This extra coverage can prove invaluable when shipping valuable or high-end motorcycles costing more than $7,000. The cost for insurance is usually a fixed rate per $7,000 in total value or a percentage of up to 5% of the declared value of the motorcycle.

Can I ship my motorcycle in small pieces?

Yes, you can ship your motorcycle in small pieces, but it may cost more than shipping it as a whole unit. This is because specialty crating, dismantling, and reassembly services may be required, which will add to the overall cost. Typically, this type of shipping is reserved for motorcycles that are being transported internationally, are incredibly delicate, or need to be shipped in a very short time frame.

Motorcycle Shipping With Confidence

Shipping a motorcycle to another part of the country can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be with the right planning and preparation. By selecting the right shipping company and preparing your motorcycle properly, you’ll be able to ship your motorcycle with confidence knowing that you’ve taken the necessary steps to ensure safe and successful delivery.

Be sure to research various shipping companies, compare rates, and get quotes before making your final decision. And always remember to ask plenty of questions, so you understand the process and what to expect every step of the way. With a licensed, professional, and experienced shipping company by your side, you’ll be back on your bike in no time.