Ultimate Guide to Shipping a Motorcycle

The enjoyment you get from riding your bike on the open road is unmatchable. But if you are moving with your family to a new home on a long-distance with the best long-distance moving company, riding your bike is not an option.

Due to the weights of motorcycles, it is not really easy to load them in the back of a moving truck, even if it is the largest moving truck rental.

Ultimate Guide to Shipping a Motorcycle

In this article

Towing your motorcycle behind a moving truck is possible, but you also want to avoid theft if you are driving a long-distance to your destination. That is why motorcycle shipping is the ideal option for shipping your bike from one point to another.

Motorcycle shipping is usually the most stress-free and convenient option for shipping your bike to your new destination. You may also want to consider motorcycle shipping if you are selling your bike to a buyer in another place.

This post will look at the guide to ship your motorcycle.

Steps to Motorcycle Shipping

Regardless of the reason, below are all you need to do to get your bike ready and have it delivered successfully.

Find out the Type of Trailer you want to transport your Motorcycle

You will have to choose between an enclosed trailer and an open trailer when shipping a bike. You will get better protection for your bike through an enclosed shipping option while the open trailer is less expensive.

Find Quotes

Obtain motorcycle shipping quotes from the best motorcycle shipping companies online for your shipment. Compare the shipping cost as well as the number of services you need, such as an open or enclosed trailer, door-to-door delivery, and custom crating, and so on.

Schedule the Service

Schedule your service immediately you choose a shipping company to have your shipment listed in their task list. It takes about 5 days to ship cross country, and you may need 3-day planning for your pickup and delivery to take care of unexpected delays.

Note the Condition of your Bike

Proper documentation of the current condition of your motorcycle is essential in advance of your shipping; else, the carrier may not be liable for scratches, damages, and dings that happen to your bike while in their care. Take proper pictures of your bike from different angles.

Get your Bike ready for Shipping

You don’t necessarily have to empty the fuel tank or disconnect the battery, so you can jump on your motorcycle to ride once it gets to the destination address. Ensure your tour packs and saddlebags are properly closed and do not leave any accessorial materials like your helmet hanging on the bike.

Consider Additional Insurance

Most shipping companies will add insurance coverage, but it may not cover the full value of your bike. Check what additional coverage will cost you if you have a very valuable bike and purchase it if you have the money.

Ship your Bike

Your carrier will come to you and pick up your bike. You may be able to get the motorcycle to the shipping company’s depot to speed up the process.

Receive your Bike

Meet the motorcycle carrier and accept the delivery of the bike. Immediately inspect the bike for any damage and file any necessary claim immediately.

Remember the Keys

Your shipping company doesn’t need the keys to your motorcycle, so be sure to travel with them. You may also choose to ship them separately to the recipient.

Preparing your Motorcycle for the Move

Although the safe arrival of your valuable motorcycle to its destination is mostly dependent on your carrier, there are certain tasks you can do to get your bike fully ready for the move. You can easily complete the process with the following steps:

  • Ensure your bike is properly cleaned and get rid of any dirt or grime from its body and tires.
  • Then take pictures and note the condition of your motorcycle to have a record of its condition in advance of the shipping. You will surely need this in case there is any kind of damage to your motorcycle, and you need to file a claim.
  • Be sure to tighten any loose connections to your motorcycle to avoid it falling apart while in transit.
  • Most shipping companies require that you leave just about a quarter-full of the gas tank.
  • Make sure you inform the carrier if your motorcycle is not operational.
  • Make sure all alarms are disabled, and the steering wheel is unlocked before shipping.
  • Make sure the tires of your bikes have air in order to allow rolling by your transporters.
  • Make sure you follow any additional instructions given by your carrier in order to end your shipping on a smooth and successful note.

Cost of Shipping a Bike when you move

As stated in the U-Ship marketplace, shipping your motorcycle at a distance of about 1,000 miles would cost you between $350 and $700. Shipping less than 1,000 miles will cost you between $180 and $300.

There are factors like the distance, the type of trailer, and the type of bike that will cause the overall cost to vary. Additional costs like additional insurance coverage, delivery fees to a residential area, and crating services may also be incurred.

Below are a few sample shipping quotes to give you a better idea of the cost

The table below offers few shipping quotes based on bike shipping to Chicago, IL, from Charlotte, NC. The shipping quote was provided for a motorcycle named Harley-Davidson Breakout 2020 or for any bike greater than 600cc.

Shipping Company Quoted Price Service Type Insurance available
Motorcycle Shippers 10 to 12ft Enclosed, door-to-door Yes
American Auto Shipping 15 to 16ft Open, door-to-door Yes
Mercury Auto Transport 17 to 20ft Open, door-to-door Yes


Note: This quote is just an estimate. Make sure you contact your shipper to know the actual cost of your motorcycle shipment.


Motorcycle shipping is an easy and reasonably affordable way to transport your bike on a long-distance. You can find better bike shipping prices by obtaining multiple quotes from the top motorcycle shipping companies, but note that the expertise and reputation of the carrier are important.

For further information on motorcycle shipment, read All You Need to Know about Shipping Motorcycles. In case, you are also looking for car shipping companies, check our best car shipping companies.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.