motorcycle shipping

Motorcycle Shipping: How to Get Your Bike Across the Country Quickly

Since its inception in 1885, motorcycles have come a long way since their humble beginnings in Germany. They had 0.5 horsepower and topped out at about 6 miles per hour.

Today, motorcycles are powerful beasts that produce over 100 horsepower. If you own a motorcycle, you likely tie a piece of your identity and soul to it. That’s why it’s incredibly important to make sure that your motorcycle makes it to its destination safely.

Whether you bought your dream motorcycle out of state or you’re moving to a new country, it’s important to understand the ins and outs of motorcycle shipping. Let’s take a look at what you need to know.

Motorcycle Shipping Methods

When it comes to shipping your motorcycle, you have quite a few options. You can hire a freight hauler, an independent hauler, or hire a professional motorcycle shipping company. Of course, you can just do it yourself as well. Let’s look at each of the options.

1. Do It Yourself

Shipping your own motorcycle gives you the most control over how it is shipped. However, it doesn’t exactly equate to higher cash savings. You’ll need a trailer or a truck that’s large enough to take your bike. You’ll also need a ramp, tie-downs, and clam or ratchet buckles. 

Without them, you could damage your bike. When all of those are factored in with fuel costs, wear and tear, and road trip expenses, it’s easy to see why bikers choose other options when shipping long-distance.

2. Freight Companies

If you want to ship your bike, you could consider using a freight company. They specialize in moving large shipments across the country safely and on time.

However, it means that your bike needs to be shipped in a fully-enclosed steel or wooden crate, which can be expensive. You will either need to have one built or build one yourself.

3. Independent Haulers

Some companies can be found online that ship big products. You can go on these websites and input information about your bike, like where it’s going. Independent haulers will then submit bids to win your sale. Although it can be quite cheap compared to other options, it can be dangerous. These haulers might not have much experience moving motorcycles.

4. Professional Vehicle Shippers

Professional vehicle shippers are the perfect combination of safety and economy when it comes to moving motorcycles. They might cost a bit more than an independent hauler, but they have several advantages.

They will typically have all the necessary equipment needed to transport. More importantly, they specialize in and have plenty of experience shipping different kinds of bikes. These motorcycle shipping companies understand the nuance between shipping a dirt bike versus a chopper versus a Harley.

Important Factors to Consider When Shipping

No matter what option you choose to ship your prized motorcycle, there are other factors you need to take into consideration. For example, a prized or antique motorcycle will need a lot more care compared to a cheaper bike that just needs to be there on time.

Open vs. Closed

When you ship your motorcycle, you’ll need to decide if it rides in an open-air trailer or an enclosed box. Usually, it will cost more to be in an enclosed trailer. However, this option protects the bike from the elements and any flying debris that comes its way.

If you want the best protection, shipping it in a crate is the most effective way of ensuring that your ride arrives with no damage. However, you’ll either have to have one custom-made or build it yourself. 

Time Frame

Each shipping option we listed will take different amounts of time to get to its destination. It’s important to do careful research and comparisons to make sure you hire a service that will get your motorcycle there on time. 


Make sure to contact your insurance company to see what coverage your policy offers if any accidents happen along the way. Most freight companies and professional motorcycle shippers will have some sort of coverage as well. Make sure to check thoroughly what is and isn’t covered.

Motorcycle Shipping Cost

Shipping a motorcycle can be expensive, but it’s not as bad as shipping a car. Typically, you should expect to pay around 3 cents per mile. This all depends on the shipping option you choose, the make and model of your bike, whether you’re shipping open or closed, etc.

For example, if you are planning on shipping around 2,000 miles, you might pay around $1,500 or $1,600. 

Tips For Shipping Your Motorcycle

It’s important to prepare your bike for the journey ahead. Follow these tips to make sure your motorcycle stays in peak condition.

Reduce tire pressure: If you slightly lower the amount of air in your tires, they will be able to better absorb any impacts on the road. Don’t release too much air though, or it could be vulnerable to damage.

Drain all fluids: Make sure to drain your gas until it is close to empty – it can be a hazard if you load a full tank into a trailer. You might want to consider draining other liquids such as coolant or engine oil as well.

Wrap your cables: Wrap all cables on your bike in case of any accidental impact. You may also want to disconnect your battery.

Take photos: Take pictures of your motorcycle at all angles before you load it up for transport. Make a list of everything and make sure the driver or transporter signs off on it. 

Ship Your Motorcycle With Zero Stress

That’s everything you need to know about motorcycle shipping.

Moving such an important object can be stressful and costly. That’s why it’s crucial to choose a highly experienced shipping service that specializes in long-distance motorcycle shipping.

If you’re ready to move your prized motorcycle to its new home, request a motorcycle shipping quote from us today!

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