Cheap Motorcycle Shipping

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All you need to know about motorcycle shipping

Transporting a motorcycle on your own is never an easy task. There is always the risk of the motorcycle getting damaged. So, it is advisable to hire professionals for motorcycle shipping.

You can safely ship your motorcycle from one state to another no matter the distance between them. Today, we will highlight every nitty-gritty of the motorcycle shipping process to help you understand how you should ship one.


Motorcycle shipping process:

Motorcycle shipping involves three crucial steps. We will cover those below.


Step 1: Choose the right motorcycle shipping company:

The first thing is to make a list of the motorcycle shipping companies and compare them. You need to compare them based on:

  • Reviews
  • Quotation given
  • Years of operation
  • Licenses (you can check them on FMCSA by clicking here)
  • Insurance on offer
  • Communication skills
  • Turnaround time


Once you compare the shipping companies on these parameters, you can shortlist the best ones quite easily. That way, instead of choosing between all the shipping companies you can find, you need to choose only a few options we have highlighted above.


Step 2: Select a shipping method:

Once you have selected the shipping company, now is the time to choose the shipping method. There are essentially two different options. You can go with open trailer transport or enclosed transport. While the bike will reach the destination on time in both of these transport methods, the level of protection it gets during the shipping is different.

Your bike is transported in an open trailer or truck when you go with open transport. That is why it is exposed to gravel, dirt, contaminants, pollutants, tar, etc. The advantage of this method is its affordability. While in most cases, even with an open trailer, the bike is not damaged, there is no guarantee.

Another option you have is closed motorcycle transport. In this, the bike will be fastened inside a closed trailer. That is why none of the weather elements or pollutants will impact your bike. The trailer will be opened at the destination and not before that. Because of the same, your motorcycle will be entirely secure. However, this method of transport is undoubtedly more expensive. Usually, this method of transport takes a longer time as well.

You must choose between these two shipping methods before transporting your motorcycle.


Step 3: Get the motorcycle ready for shipping:

If you want a smooth motorcycle shipping experience, you must prepare your bike for the shipping process.

The first thing is to coordinate with the shipping company. You have to ask them about the exact date they will ship your bike and the pickup time.

Before the shipping company workers arrive, you have to prepare your bike by taking pictures to keep a record, emptying any storage containers attached to the bike, and inspecting it for any damage. Any temporary accessories attached to the bike can be removed as well.

Similarly, at the destination when your bike is delivered, you need to inspect the bike once again for any damage. If you notice any such damage, you must inform the shipping company executives immediately rather than procrastinating on it. In case there is damage to the bike, insurance can cover it if you file an immediate claim.

Once you follow these three simple steps, it is easy for you to ship your motorcycle by choosing the right motorcycle shipping company.

How much does it cost to ship a motorcycle?

The cost of shipping a motorcycle will depend on the distance between the pickup point and destination. We will share a few examples below to help you understand more about the cost.


  • Shipping a motorcycle around 300 miles further will cost you approximately $700. This is the distance between Los Angeles to Las Vegas.
  • Shipping a bike around 1400 miles will cost you $ 750. This is the distance between San Diego to Dallas.
  • Shipping a bike around 3000 miles will cost you around $ 800. This is the distance between San Jose, CA to Miami, FL.


There are a handful of parameters on which the motorcycle shipping cost depends. These include:

• Distance:

Of course, the primary factor is distance. The more the distance, the more will be the cost.


• Insurance included:

All the estimates above include liability insurance up to $6000. Most shipping companies provide additional insurance. If you opt for them, the cost will increase even more.


• Turnaround time:

Transporting the motorcycle by road can take anywhere from four to even ten days, depending on the distance. Add to that the current backlog of the shipping company, and it can take you even 15 to 20 days to transport a motorcycle. If you need a faster turnaround time, you will have to pay extra. Thus, the cost will be dependent on the turnaround time you need.


• Typical weather:

Usually, the shipping cost is higher if you’re transporting your motorcycle in inclement weather. If the weather is particularly harsh at the destination or in the pickup city, the charges might be higher, as well as the insurance cost.

Thus, these are some of the parameters on which the cost of transporting a motorcycle will depend.










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Best motorcycle shipping companies

Not all shipping companies can transport motorcycles on their trailers. Here is a list of the best (on our humble opinion) companies that can help you with your motorcycle shipping needs.

Company name



Motorcycle Shippers LLC


5 stars

HaulBikes (Daily Direct LLC)


5 stars

Federal Motorcycle Transport


5 stars

Heritage Motorcycle Shipping


5 stars

Keyboard Motorcycle Shipping


5 stars

Shipping a motorcycle with a sidecar

Up until now, we have been speaking about a motorcycle that comes without a sidecar. The charges of shipping a motorcycle with a sidecar are entirely different since the weight; form factor of the motorcycle will vary. We will go into the details of shipping such a motorcycle below.

If your motorcycle has a sidecar, do expect to pay up to $ 300 extra for shipping the motorcycle with a sidecar. This is assuming that the sidecar is in proper condition and attached to the motorcycle.

If you only want to ship the sidecar, it will cost more since fastening and securing it will require a separate procedure. In that case, the sidecar’s structural integrity will also need to be considered.

Generally speaking, it is more affordable to ship the motorcycle along with the sidecar rather than shipping each one of those separately.

Motorcycle shipping trailers:

An essential parameter in the shipping cost of a motorcycle is the type of trailer you can go with. As highlighted above, you can go with an open or closed trailer. We will go into the detailed pricing of both of these.


Enclosed Trailer:

Transporting the bike in an enclosed trailer is your most secure option. The above cost examples that we have highlighted are for open trailers.

If you want to go with the closed trailer, you will have to add approximately $300 to the open trailer cost.

It means that transporting your motorcycle from San Diego to Dallas will cost you around $ 1050 in an enclosed trailer.

Still, we will recommend an enclosed trailer. The reason for the same is that you won’t have to worry about any damage. Even though the insurance might cover the damage, your motorcycle might never be the same again, and that is why going with an enclosed trailer is a much better option.


Open trailers:

Going with an open trailer is the most affordable option. We have highlighted the same above. Even in an open trailer, the bike is fastened to ensure it doesn’t move around. Throughout the journey, the bike will be stationary. However, you cannot control the weather elements. There is always a chance of the bike getting damaged.

Usually, you can save up to $300 by going with an open trailer instead of a closed one.

When you choose a trailer, your bike is secured to the bed of the truck or the frame of the trailer, or sometimes both. Most shipping companies, including ours, will only recommend you this method if the weather is appropriate.

Types of motorcycles that can be shipped

A motorcycle is a pretty wide term. There are numerous types of motorcycles available these days. Before you choose a motorcycle shipping company, it is time to understand what types of motorcycles can be shipped.


Standard motorcycles:

The standard motorcycle is classified as the oldest, which provides an upright seating position along with the handlebar protruding sidewards. This bike is undoubtedly one of the easiest ones to ship.


Sports Bikes:

Sports bikes are those that have a heavy-duty engine with a high horsepower rating and also aerodynamic design. These are usually heavier than the standard bikes, but most motorcycle shipping companies will ship them easily for you.


Offroad Bikes:

An off-road motorcycle can handle any terrain and provide proper control on a surface like grass, gravel, sand, and even dirt. These are much more sturdy because they have to handle any terrain and are comparatively lightweight. Due to these features, they are certainly easier to transport from one place to another.


Custom Motorcycles:

There are manufacturers around the world that provide you with a custom bike as well. These can vary in form factor, design, and weight. Fortunately, most motorcycle shipping companies can also help you in shipping these.


Touring Bikes:

Touring bikes are designed to provide you with great acceleration and speed. In addition to that, they are suitable for carrying a significant amount of luggage. They are heavy but highly sturdy. Because of the same, transporting them isn’t going to be an issue.



Cruising bikes are usually longer than standard bikes. Their sitting position is lower as well. Despite the longer length, most shipping companies can help you transport the same. That is because they have a sturdy build and therefore are less susceptible to damage while shipping.


Adventure Bikes:

Adventure bikes can help you cover almost any trail. They are designed to provide you with excellent control not only on the road but also when you go off-roading. In a way, they are one of the most versatile types of bikes available because they can help you carry a lot of load. All this speaks about the sturdy build quality of these bikes. Even though they are bulkier and bigger than most bike types, most motorcycle shipping companies can still help you transport them.


Sport Touring Motorcycles:

Sport touring motorcycle can also be called a hybrid motorcycle. It combines the high-powered performance of a sports bike, the ability to travel longer distances, and the comfort that a touring motorcycle provides you. All these features certainly mean that this bike is larger than the standard one and also weighs more. Since, over the years, these have become more and more common, most shipping companies today will help you transport the same easily. That is why; many motorcycle enthusiasts prefer the same.

These are the motorcycle types that can be easily shipped.

Motorcycle shipping FAQ

Q. What is the cheapest way to ship a motorcycle?

A. The cheapest way to ship a motorcycle is to hire a shipping company with an open trailer option. That way, the charges will be less, and there is no need to handle the shipping yourself.


Q. Can I track my motorcycle shipment?

A. Most motorcycle shipping companies will provide you with access to a portal. Through this portal, you will be able to track your motorcycle shipment. You can also speak with the motorcycle shipping company’s customer executives to know the location of your motorcycle shipment.


Q. How do I prepare my motorcycle for shipping?

A. It is a good idea to wash your motorcycle before shipping and document its condition. Any additional accessories should be removed from the motorcycle, and the fuel should be minimal. Once you undertake the steps, your motorcycle is ready for shipping.


Q. How do you ship a motorcycle in a container?

A. The best way is to place the motorcycle across the container and fasten it to the container itself. However, when you hire a professional motorcycle shipping company, you won’t have to worry about securing the motorcycle in the container or procuring the container yourself. It is taken care of by the motorcycle shipping company.


Q. How many motorcycles fit in a 40-foot container?

A. Usually, two motorcycles can fit in a 40-foot container. However, most professional motorcycle shipping companies will transport just a single motorcycle since finding another booking on the same route is difficult.


Q. What if my motorcycle is damaged while shipping?

A. If your motorcycle is damaged while shipping, you must immediately contact the shipping company to file a claim. Most likely, the insurance will cover it.



Thus, if you’re looking to transport your motorcycle from one place to another, refer to the article above. You shouldn’t have a problem choosing a motorcycle shipping company or preparing your motorcycle for transportation.