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How to Transport a Dirt Bike

What's in this article?
  1. Reasons For Transporting A Dirt Bike
  2. Factors To Think About Before Transporting A Dirt Bike
  3. Enclosed Transport Vs Open Air Transport
  4. Crating A Dirt Bike For Shipping
  5. Door-To-Door Service
  6. Terminal-To-Terminal Transport
  7. How To Protect Your Dirt Bike During The Shipping Process
  8. Insuring Your Bike During Transport
  9. Tracking Your Bike During Transport
  10. Other Tips For Transporting A Dirt Bike
  11. How To Choose The Right Transport Company
  12. Summary
How to Transport a Dirt Bike

There's nothing quite like the feeling of tearing down a track on a dirt bike at 60 miles per hour. The wind in your face, the adrenaline coursing through your veins! Dirt biking is a truly thrilling experience, and some people get hooked on the sport for life.

But what happens if you want to take your dirt bike with you to a new city or state, or overseas? Maybe you're moving to a new city or going on vacation and want to bring your bike to hit the trails when you arrive.

While there are various ways to transport a dirt bike, it can be tricky, especially if you don't know what you're doing. The best option will depend on factors like how far you're going, how many bikes you need to transport, and whether or not you want to be able to ride your bike as soon as you arrive at your destination.

So strap on your lap belt because this article will help you figure out all your options to best transport a dirt bike, so you can get your bike where it needs to go without any drama.

Reasons for Transporting a Dirt Bike

There are several reasons why someone might want to transport their dirt bike across the state, country, or to foreign countries.

Why you're planning to transport your dirt bike is an important consideration affecting your transport options. The most common reasons for shipping a dirt bike include:

  • Moving to a new city, state, or foreign countries and wanting to bring your bike with you (remember to check motorcycle endorsement requirements to ensure you have a valid driver license)
  • Going on vacation and wanting to be able to ride when you arrive (remember to check motorcycle endorsement requirements to ensure you have a valid driver license)
  • Needing to transport your bike for a race or event
  • Buying or selling a bike and needing to ship it to the new owner

Note: If moving your dirt bike interstate, you can check with the relevant Bureau of Motor Vehicles to check valid license requirements, including driver's license, license reinstatement, license plate, and motorcycle endorsement.

Factors to Think about before Transporting a Dirt Bike

If you search online for information on dirt bike shipping, you're likely to find many articles about transporting motor vehicles and motorcycles, but not much information about dirt bikes.

Shippers of motor vehicles need a customized approach to handling dirt bikes properly. So it's crucial to do your research when choosing a shipping company to ensure they have the right equipment and the required experience.

Without the right knowledge, something as simple as not using straps for motor vehicles correctly can result in damage to your dirt bike during transport. If you're transporting more than one bike, you also need to ensure they're secured to prevent them from bumping against each other and causing damage.

You also need to calculate distance, value, and budget. How far you're transporting your dirt bike will affect prices and whether you'll encounter import regulations. The total cubic centimeters of your shipment will also affect the price.

The value of your bike will also determine the type of transport you choose and the level of insurance protection it requires. For example, bikes with an electric motor are relatively pricey, so you'll want adequate cover.

These choices will impact your budget. So plan ahead to find what you can afford and the transport specialists available, and arrange quotes from a few companies to compare their prices.


Enclosed Transport vs. Open Air Transport

When it comes to shipping a dirt bike, there are two main types of transport: enclosed and open air. Both have pros and cons, so it's important to understand the differences before deciding which is best for you.

The value of your bike is a big consideration. For example, suppose you have a brand new bike or one in mint condition. In that case, enclosed transport will offer the best protection from the elements and potential damage.

Enclosed transport is when your bike is shipped in a completely enclosed trailer. This offers the highest level of protection from the elements and potential thieves, but it's also the most expensive option.

Open-air might be the better option if you're on a budget or shipping multiple bikes. Open-air transport involves shipping your dirt bike on an open trailer. Remember that your bike will be more exposed to the elements and potential damage. So, this option is best if you're only shipping your bike a short distance.


Crating a Dirt Bike for Shipping

Many people think they can make their own bike crate for shipping by themselves. However, you should research to ensure you're making the right choice because it's not as simple as just nailing some wood together.

Firstly, you need to ensure that the crate is sturdy enough to protect your bike during transport and that it meets all the requirements of the shipping company.

For instance, many international regulations require that the wood used is ISPM15 treated. There are tough penalties in place for non-compliance, and you could even have your bike confiscated.

Another consideration is the extensive preparations required for the bike itself. Crated motorcycles need extra attention. It's important to drain all fluids from your bike and to remove the battery and handlebars.

Transport crates also need to be as compact as possible. Most fees are calculated on size and weight, so every cubic centimeter matters. And if you're thinking about disassembling your bike, you should consider the risks involved in reassembling it under new conditions at the new destination.

But don't worry, if you choose a professional transporting company, they will crate your bike so it meets all the requirements.

Door-to-Door Service

When it comes to transporting a dirt bike, many people prefer the convenience of door-to-door services. This is when the shipper comes to your house to pick up the bike and delivers it to your door at the new destination.

A door-to-door service has a couple of benefits. Firstly, it eliminates the need to drop off and pick up the dirt bike at a designated location. Secondly, it offers a higher level of security because your dirt bike will be safely delivered to its destination without the risk of theft or damage.

This service is usually more expensive, but it's worth it for its convenience. Of course, if your bike is brand new or has an expensive electric motor design, you'll want to know it's safe.

Additionally, if you factor in storage costs, door-to-door service may save you money. That's because opting to deliver your dirt bike street-ready directly to the final destination means you're not paying for both transportation and storage.

Be aware that not all companies offer door-to-door services, so be sure to check with the company before booking transport.


Terminal-to-Terminal Transport

This transport option means your dirt bike is dropped off and picked up at a set location, commonly a depot. Terminal-to-terminal is the cheapest option for shipping a dirt bike but isn't as convenient as door-to-door arrangements.

There's also the cost of getting your bike to and from the terminal. This can be a hassle if you don't have a way to transport it. Plus, there's the added risk of storing your bike at the terminal.

How to Protect Your Dirt Bike During the Shipping Process

No one wants to think about their dirt bike being damaged or lost during transport, but the reality is it can and does occur. That's why taking a few precautions to help protect your bike during the shipping process is important.

Remember to clean the bike before it's shipped. This may seem like a no-brainer, but dirt and grime can actually cause damage to the bike during transport. So, take the time to wash it before it's loaded onto the truck.

If you're shipping internationally, removing all loose items from the bike is a good idea. Unlike motor vehicles such as a car or a 3-wheel motorcycle, where you might have to check everything from the gas pedal, brake pedal, and clutch pedal to each lap belt, this process is easier.

You will, however, need to remove things like mirrors, lights, and reflectors if you have them installed. Not only will this prevent them from being damaged during transport, but it will also make the bike lighter and easier to transport.

You should also take photos of the bike before it's loaded. Then you'll have something to compare the condition of the bike with when it arrives at its destination. If there is any damage, you'll be able to see it clearly and document it for insurance purposes.

Insuring your bike during transport

A fully licensed shipping company should offer affordable insurance options to cover your bike while it is being shipped. Ask about this when you're discussing transport for your dirt bike. This way, you can be sure your vehicle is protected against any damage that may occur during transit.

When you're choosing an insurance policy, it's important to make sure that it covers the full value of your bike for the authorized period. And check to see if there are any exclusions in the policy. Some policies don't cover damage caused by weather conditions or rough handling.

Tracking your bike during transport

Most shipping companies offer satellite tracking as an optional add-on service. Satellite tracking is a great way to keep an eye on your dirt bike during transport. It allows you to see its location at all times and make sure it's being handled properly.

If you're shipping your bike long distances, tracking is an absolute must. That's because it can take weeks for a bike to be delivered, and you'll want to be able to check on its progress and make sure everything is going according to plan.

Other Tips for Transporting a Dirt Bike

Here are a few more tips for shipping your dirt bike:

  • Make sure the bike is drained of fuel before transport (this will help reduce the risk of fire or explosion during transit).
  • If possible, remove the battery and pack it separately. (This will also help reduce the risk of fire or explosion.)
  • For electric motorcycles, you'll want to remove many of the high-cost components (these are pricey to replace if damaged in transit).
  • Remove any mirrors, license plates and reflectors (to protect from damage and lighten the weight).
  • Use tie-downs or straps to secure the bike, so it stays in place on the truck. This prevents it from shifting and being damaged during transport.
  • Cover the bike with a tarp or blanket. This will help protect it from damage during loading and unloading.

Clearly, there's a lot to consider when shipping a dirt bike. But using a professional shipping company can help make the process a lot easier as they will automatically implement all the safety requirements needed to get your dirt bike safely to its destination, so you can continue to enjoy life in the bike lane.

How to Choose the Right Transport Company

If you've noted all the advice so far, you have likely concluded that the company you choose to transport your dirt bike is just as important as how you choose to transport it. Here are a few things to keep in mind when selecting a shipping company:

  • Make sure the company is experienced with transporting motor vehicles and has a valid license and is insured.
  • Choose a company that offers satellite tracking.
  • Check online reviews of transport companies specializing in motor vehicles and their ratings.
  • Check their delivery time frame.
  • Find out if they have experience specifically shipping dirt bikes (rather than motor vehicles in general).
  • Find out if they are insured and fully licensed.


Here's a summary of what you need to look out for before booking a transport company to ship your dirt bike, whether to other states or foreign countries.

You should understand the different types of transport options available to ensure you choose the best option for your needs and budget. If your dirt bike is in great condition, or if you have one with an electric motor, enclosed transport is the safest option.

But an open-air trailer is cheaper. This may suit shorter distances and time frames. So, if you're not in a rush and aren't worried about achieving maximum miles per hour delivery time, this may be a better option.

Door-to-door transport is the most convenient method, and although more expensive up front, it may save you on storage costs.

But if you have the means to easily drop off and pick up the bike from a terminal location, you may prefer to save money with that option. However, for valuable motor vehicles, including electric motorcycles, you may want to avoid using terminal storage.

Importantly, ensure the company you choose to transport your bike is fully licensed and insured. And when getting quotes, ask about their insurance policies and whether they offer satellite tracking.

If all this information makes you feel like your head is spinning at 100 miles per hour, remember that by simply following the tips we've described, you can make sure your dirt bike arrives safely at its destination.

A-1 Auto Transport can meet all your dirt bike transport needs. To get things rolling with an instant quote, simply fill out this simple form or contact our friendly customer service team for a free estimate.

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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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