If you’re relocating to a new city or state, you might be wondering how you’re going to get your motorcycle there. Transporting a motorcycle can be expensive, but there are ways to reduce the cost.
In this article, we will discuss the factors that affect the cost of shipping a motorcycle and ways to save on those costs.
Cost to Ship a Motorcycle
We received motorcycle shipping quotes from various transport companies, and on average, it would cost approximately $1,050 for a 1,500-mile trip if we used an enclosed trailer for transport.
We can broadly break down motorcycle shipping prices into two categories:
- Type of Transport (Open or Enclosed Shipping Options)
- Total Distance (Mileage)
Motorcycle Shipping Costs by Type of Transport Service
Open transport is cheaper than enclosed transport. On average, it costs $800 for an open transport and $1,050 for an enclosed transport for a distance of 1500 miles.
Our team compared more than ten different auto transport companies, and the cost to ship a motorcycle using an enclosed trailer was always more expensive by at least $250.
|Motorcycle||Cost of Open Transport||Cost of Enclosed Transport|
Although your cheapest shipping option may save you money, it also comes with a few risks. Your motorcycle will be more exposed to the elements on an open carrier which could lead to weather damage during transit. In addition, your motorcycle could also sustain cosmetic damages from road debris while on an open carrier.
Open transport is primarily recommended for dirt bikes and motorbikes that have been well-used and are not in pristine condition. If you have a brand new motorcycle or one that is particularly special to you, we recommend using an enclosed trailer for transport.
Motorcycle Shipping Costs by Total Distance
The farther you travel, the more it will cost to ship your motorcycle. This is because the auto shipping company will charge you based on the distance they travel.
As the per-mile costs depend on several factors, we used 500-mile increments to show cost estimates for shipping a motorcycle.
After receiving motorcycle shipping quotes from more than ten companies, our team discovered that it costs around $650 to ship a motorbike under 500 miles and more than $1,500 for distances over 2,000 miles.
The table below shows the average cost to ship a motorcycle over different distances.
|Distance||Cost of Open Transport||Cost of Enclosed Transport|
|Less than 500 miles||$650||$775|
|500 to 1,000 miles||$710||$810|
|1,000 to 1,500 miles||$800||$1,050|
|1,500 miles to 2,000 miles||$950||$1,550|
|More than 2,000 miles||$1,150||$1,850|
Average Cost of Transporting Motorcycles Along Common Shipping Routes
- California to New Jersey: $1,370 ($0.44/mile)
- Florida to California: $1,150 ($0.39/mile)
- California to Texas: $915 ($0.55/mile)
- New York to California: $895 ($0.36/mile)
- Texas to California: $1050 ($0.62/mile)
- Florida to Washington: $975 ($0.32/mile)
- Virginia to California: $1,100 ($0.38/mile)
- Texas to Washington: $1,375 ($0.56/mile)
Factors Affecting Motorcycle Shipping Costs
Several factors will affect the cost of shipping your motorcycle. These include the type of transport service, weight, dimensions of your motorcycle, and distance traveled.
Let’s take a closer look at each of the key factors that affect motorcycle shipping prices:
- Transport Type: As we mentioned before, choosing open or enclosed transport will affect the cost of shipping a motorcycle. Enclosed transport is more expensive because it protects your motorcycle from the elements and road debris.
- Distance: The cost of shipping a motorcycle will also increase the farther you travel. This is because motorcycle shipping companies charge based on the distance they travel.
- Size and Weight of Your Motorbike: The more space your motorcycle takes up on the carrier, the more it will cost to ship. For example, shipping a heavy-duty Suzuki Hayabusa will cost more than a lightweight Honda CBR600RR.
- Delivery Type (Door-to-Door or Terminal-to-Terminal delivery): Door-to-door delivery is more expensive than terminal-to-terminal because it’s a more convenient option for customers. With door-to-door delivery, the transport company will pick up and drop off your motorcycle at the specified locations. On the other hand, terminal-to-terminal delivery requires that you drop off and pick up your motorcycle at a designated transport terminal.
- Route: On the map, it may be only 700 miles to your destination, but if the route is particularly winding, has a lot of traffic, or goes through a mountainous area, it will cost more to ship your motorcycle. This is because the driver will have to take more time to complete the journey, which means they’ll incur additional costs.
- Pre-booking or Advanced Reservations: It’s always cheaper to book your motorcycle transport in advance rather than wait until the last minute. This is because auto transport companies offer discounts for customers who book early. Booking early allows the motorcycle shipping companies to plan their routes more efficiently, which results in cost savings that they can pass on to their customers.
- Time of the Year: The cost of shipping a motorcycle can also be affected by the time of year. For example, it’s typically more expensive to ship during the summer than winter. This is because demand is higher during the summer so motorcycle transporters can charge more.
- Number of Motorcycles: The cost of shipping multiple motorcycles will be cheaper than shipping just one. This is because the cost is based on the amount of space your motorcycle takes up on the carrier, so if you’re shipping more than one motorcycle, the cost per motorcycle will be lower.
How to Reduce Your Motorcycle Shipping Costs
A great way to cut down on shipping costs is by finding a motorcycle transport company that offers discounts.
Top 5 Motorcycle Shipping Company Offering Various Discounts
- Montway Auto Transport: Offers discounts for military personnel, returning customers, cash payments, and when shipping multiple vehicles.
- Amerifreight: Discounts for people in the military, first responders, medical professionals, students, seniors, people who buy early, and people who buy multiple cars.
- HaulBikes: You can get a special price on a round trip, or a motorcycle rally, or for military and service personnel, for groups of people, or dealers.
- Motorcycle Shippers: There are discounts and offers for military members and auto dealers.
- uShip: Military Discounts
Hidden Fees and Additional Costs to Ship a Motorcycle
When getting quotes from motorcycle shipping companies, ask if there are any hidden fees or additional costs. Some companies will charge extra for fuel surcharges, insurance, and tolls.
Others may require you to pay a deposit upfront. Be sure to get all the details about any hidden fees or additional costs before you agree to ship your motorcycle with a particular company.
The following are some of the expenses you may anticipate depending on the motorcycle shipping company:
- Fuel Surcharge: Many motorcycle shipping companies will charge a fuel surcharge, usually a percentage of the total cost.
- Insurance: Some motorcycle transport companies will include insurance in the cost of shipping, while others will charge an additional fee.
- Pickup and Delivery: Some companies will charge a fee for pickup and delivery, while others include it in the shipping cost.
- Storage Fees: If you need to store your motorcycle at the transport terminal at any time, you may be charged a storage fee.
- Cancellation Fee: Some companies will charge a cancellation fee if you need to cancel your shipment.
- Attempted Delivery/Pickup Fee: If the driver arrives to pick up or deliver your motorcycle and no one is there, you may be charged a fee. This fee may be $50 to $200.
- Over-sized Bike Fee: If your motorcycle is larger than the carrier can accommodate, you may be charged an oversized bike fee.
As you can see, a number of fees can add up when shipping a motorcycle. Be sure to ask about all fees and charges before you agree to ship your motorcycle. By doing so, you can avoid any surprises down the road.
How to Prepare Your Motorcycle for Shipping
Once you’ve found a reputable motorcycle shipping company and agreed on a price, it’s time to prepare your motorcycle for shipping.
The first step is to clean your motorcycle. This will help the driver inspect your motorcycle for any damage and make it easier to load onto the carrier.
Next, you’ll want to remove any loose items from your motorcycle. This includes your license plate, saddlebags, and other removable items. You’ll also want to ensure your gas tank is no more than one-fourth full.
Finally, you’ll want to document any existing damage to your motorcycle by clicking photos or recording videos. This will help ensure that you’re not responsible for any damage during shipping.
By preparing your motorcycle for shipping, you can help ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience. Shipping a motorcycle doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.
Now that you know how much it costs to ship a motorcycle, the factors that affect the cost, and how to prepare your motorcycle for shipping, you’re ready to get started.
Be sure to shop around and compare quotes from multiple companies before making a decision. And don’t forget to ask about any hidden fees or additional charges.
By doing so, you can be sure you’re getting the best deal possible on motorcycle shipping.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to ship a motorcycle 1,500 miles in the U.S.?
The cost to ship a motorcycle 1,500 miles in the U.S. typically ranges from $700 to $1,800, with the average cost being $950.
How much does it cost to ship a motorcycle from east coast to west coast?
The average cost to ship a motorcycle from east coast to west coast is between $950 and $1,400.
What is the cheapest way to ship a motorcycle?
The cheapest way to ship a motorcycle is typically via an open trailer. This type of shipping is less expensive than enclosed shipping options but does come with some risks, such as weather damage and road debris.
What is the safest way to ship a motorcycle?
The safest way to ship a motorcycle is typically via an enclosed trailer. This type of shipping protects your motorcycle from weather damage and road debris but is more expensive than open shipping.
How long does it take to ship a motorcycle?
The time it takes to ship a motorcycle can vary depending on the distance, as well as the availability of carriers. Generally speaking, it takes about one to two weeks to ship a motorcycle across the country. However, shorter distances can be completed in a matter of days.
What are the best motorcycle shipping companies?
Some of the best motorcycle shipping companies include Montway Auto Transport, SGT Auto Transport, AmeriFreight, HaulBikes, and Motorcyle Shippers. These companies are all reputable and have experience shipping motorcycles.
What should I look for in a motorcycle transport company?
When looking for a motorcycle transport company, you’ll want to consider costs, customer reviews, experience, and availability. Be sure to get quotes from multiple motorcycle transport companies and read online reviews before making a decision. And don’t forget to ask about any hidden fees or additional charges. By doing so, you can be sure you’re getting the best deal.
What is the best time of year to ship a motorcycle?
The best time of year to ship a motorcycle is typically during the spring or fall. This is because weather conditions are more favorable, and there is less road traffic.
Summer and winter are generally considered peak shipping times, so rates may be higher. However, if you must ship during these times, be sure to take extra care in preparing your motorcycle for transport.
Can I ship my motorcycle internationally?
Yes, you can ship your motorcycle internationally. However, the cost and process will be different than shipping domestically. Be sure to research the laws and regulations of the country you’re shipping to before getting started.
Do I need insurance when shipping my motorcycle?
It’s always a good idea to purchase insurance when shipping your motorcycle, even if the transport company does not require it. This will protect your investment in case of any damage during shipping. Your regular auto insurance policy may cover your motorcycle while in transit, so check with your insurer before buying additional coverage.