How To Ship a Motorcycle In 2023 Guide?
Motorcycle shipping has never been very easy, but here in...
12 July 2021
Since its very creation, a motorcycle has been much more than just a means of transportation. It gives its owner an unforgettable and indescribable feeling of freedom and excitement. And we share this feeling with you and understand that motorcycles are your pride and joy.Calculate Shipping Quotes
Whether you are only buying a vehicle or planning to relocate and need to have your baby shipped, we can assist you with that and help you find the company that cares about the smallest details.
We also prepared this guide to help you understand the shipping process and make it easier for you. So the guide will cover the following topics and you can click on any of them to navigate through the article:
If you have already started looking for a company or maybe shipped a vehicle before, you know that there are hundreds of shipping companies. Some are really good, some are just created to make money without providing a perfect service. So how can you find one that really cares about the shipping process?
First of all, you need to pay attention to the company’s website, if they have lots of shipping information and if they have any references to reviews. And of course, you need to check the reviews on such websites as Transport Review, TrustPilot, Google, Yelp, and others.
If you are planning to ship a bike in an enclosed or open trailer, make sure they have these options. Most companies state clearly on their website what type of transportation they offer.
And of course, you need to make sure the company specializes in motorcycle shipping. If you don’t see any information on this topic, you’d better move on and choose another company even if the company offers the best price. It’s always better to pay a bit more but make sure that your bike is shipped by experts.
Below you can find a list of the top 15 shipping companies that are experts in motorcycle shipping companies. You can request a quote at our website and receive estimated costs from them or go directly and never regret the choice you made.
These top motorcycle transport companies are divided into 2 parts. In the first part, we are talking about the best motorcycle carriers companies, in the second one we described broker companies that have a lot of experience with shipping motorcycles.
As in 90% of the cases customers work with broker companies, because of the wider range of available carriers and lower rates, the second part might be more useful for you.
Federal Motorcycle Transport was founded more than 30 years ago in East Peoria, Illinois and since then the company has become one of the leading motorcycle carrier companies in the US. The company owns several trucks and has offices in other cities as well. Each year, almost 5000 bikes are transported by drivers working for Federal Motorcycle Transport.
Whether you are buying, selling, shipping a bike to the show, vacationing, relocating the company, always pay attention to all the details and can offer both door-to-door and terminal to terminal transportation. Besides that, the company has enclosed and open trailers to suit everyone’s needs and budget.
Haul Bikes is a veteran motorcycle shipping company trusted by several dealers and manufacturers, such as Harley-Davidson, for example. The company owns only enclosed trailers to ensure extra protection from road elements and dust. Besides that, each motorcycle is individually secured by a special strapping system designed for motorcycles.
The company hires only very professional and experienced drivers who specialize in motorcycle transportation and know the love and pride one can have for the motorcycle. All bikes are insured up to $15000 (each) and more insurance is available in case you need one.
Keyboard Motorcycle Shipping was founded in the late 1970-s but started shipping motorcycles at the beginning of the new millennium. The owner of the company developed a completely new platform for the transportation of uncrated motorcycles.
And even though, at first the company was not very popular, the good word began to spread and now the company is a major supplier of logistics services in the motorcycle industry and the leading provider of transportation services for motorcycle manufacturers.
With Keyboard Motorcycle Shipping each motorcycle is insured for up to $20 000 and the company requires no additional fee for their custom patented platforms.
Big Bikes Shipping is also considered one of the best motorcycle shipping companies. It was founded in the 1990-s by a couple of friends who are fond of motorcycles. They noticed that motorcycle shipping was becoming more and more popular, but one can rarely find a company specializing in this kind of transportation. They knew what to pay attention to while shipping bikes and the company soon became rather popular.
Besides having great insurance coverage, Big Bikes Shipping also offers a bunch of discounts for regular customers, manufacturers, dealers, and also for roundtrip deliveries to major rallies.
First Class Transport is the youngest company on this list of motorcycle carrier companies. But despite this fact, it is known as a company that provides all customers with white-glove service and pays attention to every detail of the shipping process.
The company doesn’t own lots of trucks yet (only around 15) and therefore operates only within southern states from CA to FL and sometimes covers states from MA to FL. Based in California, the company offers only door-to-door service and the drivers are ready to go even to faraway locations. First Class Transport has shipped thousands of bikes and lots of customers trust this company including a number of large dealerships.
The list of best auto transport companies that offer motorcycle shipping services. This list we made analyzing customers reviews, as companies had almost the same final results we placed them in alphabet order.
A1 Auto Transport is among the largest US auto shipping companies. Unlike most of the transport companies, it has offices in some major cities across the US. It allows the company to offer not only door-to-door shipping but also terminal-to-terminal. Even though it doesn’t affect the price a lot, it may help you plan your trip accordingly without being worried about what to do if the driver arrives earlier than expected and you will not be at the drop-off.
The company’s goal is to make your shipping process as simple as possible and as we know, shipping a motorcycle with them is really easy. Even if you need to ship it internationally, they are ready to arrange that for you.
Built on true American values, AmeriFreight is a 5 star rated company on Google and one of the high-rated companies on BBB and Yelp. Founded more than 17 years ago, the company has always been honest and transparent in the complex vehicle transport industry. Since then, the company became an expert in motorcycle and car shipping.
The company’s main goal has always been the desire to provide high-quality service to all customers whatever they are shipping: classic, brand new, or old vehicles. That is why AmeriFreight thinks about people first and then productivity second, taking care of all the details of shipping a vehicle.
Founded in 2016 as a small brokerage company of two, the company has become one of the largest in the shipping industry since that time. It collaborates with such manufacturers as Volkswagen, Harley Davidson, General Motors, and Chrysler, and also several auctions and dealerships.
The company’s main goal is not just to ship your vehicle, but to provide you with outstanding customer support. That is why the customer support managers are specially trained to help you with any question you have and resolve any issue you may face.
GetCarrier shipping company is also one of the most popular transport companies. Even though their quotes are not the lowest ones, the company definitely provides their customers with the best service ever and makes sure the carriers it works with do the same.
GetCarrier auto transport’s managers do their best to make sure you have all the detailed information on file and they also double-check all the details with the driver to make sure your motorcycle will get picked up on time and delivered to you within your time frame and with no damage.
From the very beginning, KR Professional Shipping Company’s mission has been to become the first most trusted shipping company in the US. As a reliable shipping broker, it takes care of the whole process of looking for an auto carrier that is registered, fully insured, and has a clean driving record.
The company hires only highly rated carriers specializing in car, motorcycle, ATV, and boat shipping, so every customer can be sure about safe, smooth, and on-time delivery. KR Professional Shipping works both with open and enclosed carriers going anywhere in the US and doing door-to-door transportation.
More than a decade of the company’s experience in the industry has equipped them with the knowledge that helps the company offer their customers the lowest rates without sacrificing the quality.
Besides that, the shipping agents of Moverjet Logistics always pay special attention to the process of choosing a carrier for each order. As well as some other companies on the list, they do not require any kind of booking fee. The company’s management strongly believes that until their part of the deal is done, once cannot charge anything.
If you are shipping a motorcycle, ATV, or some not very popular vehicle, Moverjet Logistics ensures that you know how to prepare the vehicle for shipping and has everything ready.
Based near Jacksonville, FL, Movewheels auto transport is a popular brokerage company that offers both good prices and white-glove service. The company doesn’t specialize in some particular kind of transportation since they can find a carrier that will fit your budget and needs whether you are shipping a motorcycle or any other vehicle.
The company has been in business for over 12 years and now has a database of reliable drivers. Movewheels Auto Transport can offer you both open and enclosed transportation of motorcycles, whether you decide to create them or ship on a regular pallet.
In comparison to the previous company, True Carrier is a relatively young shipping company. It is also based in Florida, but near Tampa. The company works with lots of carriers within all mainland states and if needed the experienced shipping agents can also arrange shipping of your motorcycle overseas and even between the Hawaiian islands or within one of them.
Some of the carriers the company works with can also offer expedited delivery, so if you are in a hurry, this company may be the best option for you since drivers also offer door-to-door delivery and you won’t have to go to the terminal to receive the bike.
Safeport Auto Transport is a good competitor for all the companies on the list as it provides white-glove service shipping motorcycles and other types of vehicles within all mainland states and offering both open and enclosed shipping.
From the very first day, the company has its mission not to just meet customers’ needs, but to exceed all customer expectations. And with almost 5 stars on websites like Trustpilot, we can be sure that the company is really good at customer service.
Sherpa Auto transport is another eminent company known for its top-notch service. Every driver the company assigns to order is thoroughly checked with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT). The professional team of shipping managers also pays special attention to the specific car shipping needs like availability of pallets for motorcycle shipping, size of vehicles, and so on.
The company owners believe that you will succeed if you do right for your customer. We do agree with them as the company is 5 stars rating on Google and it’s on our list of top 10 nationwide shipping companies. Sherpa Auto transport also pays special attention to customer feedback as it helps the company to grow and become better every day even if you have 5 stars on review websites.
Some companies may be better than others in some particular thing. For example:
Amerifreight is the company offering the best price for shipping motorcycles. The company offers lots of discounts for military active customers, for first responders, medical personnel, students, senior citizens, return customers, for shipping multiple vehicles, and for booking the transportation in advance.
GetСarrier provides its customers with outstanding service. The company’s managers and support care are a real pleasure to work with since they have everything in order and are always ready to answer all the questions or change the details of shipping.
They eliminate all the stress you experience during relocation and keep you updated all the time, so you know exactly when the driver arrives to pick up and drop off your bike.
Keyboard Motorcycle Shipping is very well known for the highest insurance coverage for motorcycles. Each motorcycle is insured for up to $20 000 and if needed the company offers additional insurance coverage for an extra fee.
Besides that, Keyboard Motorcycle Shipping is also known for its own patented platform that the motorcycle is secured to with soft straps to make sure it will not move during transportation. These pallets were first made at the beginning of the new millennium and since then the company has improved them a lot. So very rarely, that really high insurance coverage is required.
HaulBikes shipping company is considered to be the best motorcycle shipping company on Reddit. And the longer we work with this company, the more we understand why so many bike owners choose this company for shipping their babies.
The company thinks of customers as friends and we always want to do our best for a friend especially if we share one passion – motorcycles. The company has been in the motorcycle shipping industry since 1994 and has built a strong system trusted by bike enthusiasts, dealers, collectors from all over the US and Reddit reviews only confirm that.
Even though the way motorcycles can be shipped differs a lot from regular car shipping, the whole transportation process is almost the same. If you choose the right company, the transportation process will run on wheels and you will have nothing to worry about. But let’s take a look at 10 simple steps of the motorcycle shipping process:
The transportation time of a motorcycle depends on the distance and also the route the motorcycle is going. On popular routes, like California to Washington state or Florida to Illinois, it is easy for drivers to find the vehicles that need to be shipped, and the trailer gets fully booked within a few days.
In case the vehicle needs to be shipped on a less popular route (for example, Kentucky to Utah), the driver may stay in one place for a couple of days waiting for another vehicle to be ready and transportation will take more time than expected. Unfortunately, drivers cannot transport vehicles with the trailer being half empty since it will increase the transportation cost.
Below you can see the average shipping time for a motorcycle:
When you look through the options for shipping your motorcycle, such factors as distance, vehicle value, and of course your budget should be considered. Depending on them, you can choose whether to proceed with open or enclosed, crated or uncrated shipping. But no matter what type you choose, you can be sure that your vehicle will be properly secured on a trailer.
Of course, enclosed motorcycle shipping is more popular than open, since motorcycles are much more exposed to weather influence than other types of vehicles. Despite this, open transportation can still be a good option if:
– The motorcycle needs to be shipped for a short distance that can be covered in a day or less (usually drivers go up to 400 miles per day);
– The motorcycle is already created (in this case, it can be put on any flatbed);
– The motorbike is modified and cannot be loaded into an enclosed trailer.
In case the vehicle is shipped for a very long distance (for example, from coast to coast), an enclosed trailer is the best option since one can never guess what kind of weather the carrier will experience on the way.
Crated motorcycle shipping is probably the safest way for moving a motorcycle since a vehicle is secured on a pallet inside a wooden crave. You can buy a used crate at a bike dealer, on the Internet, use a crate provided by the manufacturer, or even make it yourself.
But if you are planning to ship an ATV of Class II or IV, crated shipping is not an option unfortunately because of the size of the vehicle. Despite that, the company we collaborate with can find you a professional carrier with a trailer for uncrated shipping. Such trailers are equipped with harness systems to secure bikes and ATVs to the trailer floor and walls.
Nowadays, door-to-door transportation has become more popular since the shipping industry is constantly developing and growing. The Internet and cell phones give us the possibility to submit all bookings online and most companies have only one office. Rarely does it happen that a company has offices and terminals in some big cities?
That is why drivers mostly provide customers with door-to-door shipping service: once the driver loads off his last vehicle, he loads other vehicles and goes back on the route.
But in case you want to get your motorcycle shipped in advance, the driver can deliver it to your friend, relative, or neighbor. And of course, in most cases it is more convenient to get back home and have your bike there already without having to go somewhere, waiting in line to receive a bike.
But if you are moving to a totally new place and have no one there who can receive a vehicle, the driver can always deliver it to storage or a closed parking lot to make sure the motorcycle is properly secured.
Having your motorcycle transported with a nationwide motorcycle shipping company is cheaper in most cases than having a local carrier do it for you. It happens so since large carrier companies can transport several bikes at a time and the cost of shipping will be divided by the number of vehicles on a trailer, while local carrier companies mostly have small trailers and cannot haul lots of vehicles at a time.
Probably the only case, when it’s cheaper and easier to hire a local carrier, is when you are shipping a bike for a short distance, for example up to 400 miles. Local motorcycle carriers usually own a pickup truck with special soft straps in the bed and if you are in a hurry it’s always easier to hire a local driver than waiting for a nationwide carrier to schedule his route.
Whether you are a snowbird or just planning to move overseas, we can provide you with a quote for shipping to Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, Puerto Rico, and Europe. All in all, there are three main types of shipping motorcycles overseas:
It is the most expensive, but the fastest type of shipping. A vehicle is properly strapped on a special pallet or inside the crate (depends on what you choose) and transported in a special luggage space on a plane.
Depending on your needs, the transportation company can hire a driver who will transport a bike from your exact location to the airport where it will be prepared for further transportation. You can also drive it by yourself and drop it off at the required location.
It is less expensive than airplane shipping but takes more time since the vehicle is transported on a ship. Just as during airplane transportation, vehicles are also crated or strapped on a pallet and stowed on board and secured to the deck.
And of course, once loaded onboard, bikes are put inside the fully enclosed auto decks, protected from the harsh ocean weather.
This type of transportation is the most common and cheapest option since one container is usually shared between several vehicles that are properly strapped to the container. After the vehicles are loaded and secured, containers are put on the ship deck by a special crane.
Nowadays manufacturers produce a wide range of motorcycles, lawn tractors, ATVs, UTVs of different sizes, wheelbases, and for so many different purposes: sport, touring, cruising, etc. The most important factors that affect the cost are:
For example, big ATVs like dune buggies or side by side ATVs cannot be created and since they are bigger than a regular ATV, fewer vehicles can fit on a trailer. The same thing is with trikes and motorcycles with a sidecar.
Understandably, distance affects the rate, since the longer the route is the higher the price will be.
Also if your bike is going to some faraway locations (for example, Coeur d’Alene, ID) which are not popular among drivers since vehicles are rarely shipped there, the driver will have to change his regular route and go the extra miles to deliver one bike only and it will cost extra money.
If you own a classic or vintage motorcycle or maybe a luxurious Harley Davidson, then you would most likely choose enclosed transportation, which is mostly 50% more expensive than an open one.
Let’s take a look at how the price per mile changes depending on the size of the vehicle:
For 300 mi, regular motorcycles, Miami, FL → St Augustine $200
For 300 mi, trike motorcycle, Phoenix, AZ → El Cajon, CA $280
For 500 mi, dirt bike, Chicago, Il → Nashville, TN $400
For 500 mi, motorcycle with a sidecar, Las Vegas, NV → Ogden, UT $530
For 1000 mi, ATV, Dallas, TX → St. Louis, MO $890
For 1000 mi, regular motorcycle, Charlotte, NC → Houston, TX $590
In the table, the prices are provided for a regular motorcycle, as it is the most popular type of motorcycle shipped nowadays.
If you have a limited budget but understand that driving a motorcycle is not an option, some things can help you to save some money on shipping.
First of all, book your shipping in advance and try to be as flexible with dates as possible. It will allow the company you choose to find the best option for you. In case you have to leave and will not be able to release a bike to the driver, you can ask your friend, relative, or neighbor to do it for you.
If you choose crate transportation, you should prepare it beforehand. You can try to make it yourself or buy a used one at a local bike shop. Sometimes it happens that an order cancels suddenly and the driver will be ready to transport the bike for the lowest rate. In this case, you may not have enough time to find a crate.
And of course, check with companies you receive quotes from if they offer any discounts for booking in advance. In case you are connected to the military, you may also check if they offer military discounts. Some companies also offer discounts to their regular customers, also for shipping multiple vehicles on the same route or for a round trip.
As we have already mentioned above, if you decide to ship your motorcycle in a crate, you need to find one or make it by yourself. Once your shipping details are negotiated you may forget about the crate and be engrossed in routine or be very busy with relocation and packing other things. So first of all, make sure you have a crate ready.
Once the pick-up time is negotiated with the driver, you need to unlock your bike. Put your bike in neutral, with handle barks and forks unlocked. Also, make sure to disable the alarm if you have one and leave a ¼ tank of fuel.
After your last drive, don’t forget to clean your bike as it will be easier for you and for the driver to inspect it for any damages.
Also please make sure that your bike does not have any loose or spare parts, electronic toll passes, or GPS units, since the insurance covers nothing but the bike.
When negotiating the time with the driver, you can also check with him what kind of truck he has to make sure he has enough space for him to get to your exact address. Please note that if your vehicle is a cul de sac, a dead-end of a narrow street with low-hanging trees, the driver may ask you to meet him at the big parking lot and you will need to drive the bike there.
Mercury Auto Transport
Ship A Car inc
Mercury Auto Transport
Ship A Car inc.
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