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How much does international motorcycle shipping cost?

Published by Joe Webster.

How much does international motorcycle shipping cost?

When it comes to shipping your motorcycle overseas, understanding the various facets of motorcycle shipping costs and procedures is crucial. Whether you're relocating, selling, or participating in international events, the need for reliable motorcycle Transport services is more critical than ever. This guide aims to navigate the complexities of international motorcycle shipping, helping you to collaborate with the best motorcycle transport company for your needs. From selecting top-notch international shipping companies to breaking down the specific shipping costs, we provide an all-encompassing look at what it takes to transport your bike overseas safely and efficiently. For motorcycle owners looking to make well-informed decisions, this article will serve as your comprehensive resource for all aspects of motorcycle shipping.


Understanding Motorcycle Shipping Costs

Navigating through the myriad of factors that influence motorcycle shipping costs is essential for anyone looking to transport their bike. These factors include:

  • Distance: The greater the distance, the higher the shipping cost. International routes obviously cost more compared to domestic shipping.
  • Transport Method: Options vary from road transport, sea freight, to air freight, each with different cost implications. Air freight is typically the most expensive, offering faster delivery but at a premium.
  • Service Type: Door-to-door service offers great convenience but at a higher cost compared to terminal-to-terminal options.
  • Motorcycle Size and Weight: Larger and heavier motorcycles require more space and handling, increasing the shipping costs.
  • Insurance and Additional Services: Optional services such as expedited shipping, top carrier placement, or additional insurance can also affect the total cost.

These components contribute to the overall motorcycle shipping costs and should be carefully considered when planning to ship a motorcycle.

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International Motorcycle Shipping

Delving into the specifics of international motorcycle shipping reveals various options and their cost implications:

Air Freight vs. Sea Freight:

  • Air Freight: Offers the quickest transport but at higher costs. Ideal for high-value motorcycles or when timing is crucial.
  • Sea Freight: More economical but takes longer. Suitable for less urgent deliveries or when budget constraints are tighter.

General Costs:

  • Shipping motorcycles internationally can vary widely based on destination, motorcycle size, and shipping method. Generally, costs can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.
  • For example, shipping a standard road bike overseas by sea freight might cost between $750 to $2,000, depending on the destination and service choices.

Choosing the Right Motorcycle Shipping Company:

  • Selecting experienced international motorcycle shippers who can navigate customs and logistical challenges is crucial for ensuring a smooth transport process.
  • It's advisable to compare quotes and services from multiple motorcycle shipping companies to find the best fit for your needs and budget.

Incorporating these insights into your planning process can significantly ease the task of shipping motorcycles internationally, ensuring your bike arrives safely and within budget at its overseas destination.


Motorcycle Transport from Europe to USA

Importing a motorcycle from Europe to the USA involves several steps, each with its own set of costs and regulatory requirements:

  • Customs and Duties: Upon arrival, motorcycles are subject to U.S. customs clearance. Import duties, taxes, and fees depend largely on the bike’s value and type. Typically, the import duty is around 2.5% of the motorcycle’s declared value.
  • EPA and DOT Regulations: Motorcycles must comply with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) standards. This might involve modifications before shipping or upon arrival.
  • Shipping Methods: Choices include air freight for fast but expensive service or more economical sea freight options. Enclosed transport is advisable to protect valuable bikes during the lengthy transit.
  • Costs: The shipping cost can range significantly based on the choice between air and sea freight, specific services like door-to-door delivery, and the size and type of motorcycle. For instance, shipping a standard motorcycle by sea might cost between $1,000 to $2,000, while air freight could escalate to $3,000 or more.

Understanding these factors ensures that motorcycle shipments from Europe to the USA are handled efficiently, minimizing surprises related to price and regulatory compliance.

How to Bring Your Motorcycle Overseas

Shipping a motorcycle overseas requires careful planning and consideration of several key steps:

  • Choose the Right Shipping Company: Select a motorcycle shipping company with experience in international shipping. Ensure they offer the specific services you need, such as enclosed trailers for extra protection or cross-country shipping capabilities.
  • Prepare the Necessary Documentation: You'll need the original title of the motorcycle, proof of ownership, and a bill of sale. Some countries may require additional paperwork for customs clearance.
  • Decide on the Shipping Method: Evaluate whether air freight or sea freight best suits your needs based on cost, timing, and the specific requirements of your destination country. Air freight is faster but more expensive, while sea freight is more economical but takes longer.

Prepare Your Motorcycle for Shipment:

  • Clean the motorcycle to avoid quarantine issues.
  • Drain fluids like fuel and oil to meet shipping safety standards.
  • Secure loose parts or remove them and ship separately to prevent damage.

Ensure you obtain adequate insurance to cover your motorcycle against loss or damage during the shipping process, which is crucial for high-value or rare bikes. Additionally, make sure the shipping company offers a way to track your motorcycle shipment, allowing you to monitor its progress and plan for its arrival.

Following these steps will help streamline the international motorcycle shipping process, reducing the risk and stress associated with transporting your bike abroad.


Transporting Your Motorcycle on a Plane

Air transport for motorcycles is a premium option for those needing fast, reliable delivery across vast distances. While this method comes with higher costs, its benefits can outweigh these for certain needs:

  • Speed: Air freight is the fastest shipping method, making it ideal for situations where time is of the essence, such as racing events or expedited vehicle relocations.
  • Safety: Planes offer a smoother transit compared to sea or road transport, reducing the risk of damage during transit.
  • Convenience: Air freight usually includes less handling of the cargo, which further minimizes risk and often simplifies the customs clearance process.

Regarding the cost to ship a motorcycle via air, prices can vary significantly based on weight, dimensions, and the distance between origin and destination. Typically, transporting a standard motorcycle from Europe to the USA might range from $3,000 to $4,500. This option is best suited for high-value motorcycles, urgent shipments, or when other transportation options are logistically unfeasible.

Selecting a Motorcycle Transport Company

Choosing the right motorcycle transport company is crucial for ensuring a smooth and successful shipping experience. Here are key factors to consider when selecting a provider:

  • Licensing and Certification: Verify that the company is properly licensed for international shipping. Check for affiliations with reputable industry bodies which often set high standards for their members.
  • Insurance Coverage: Ensure the company offers comprehensive insurance that covers any potential damage during transit. Understand what the insurance covers and any deductibles that may apply.
  • Track Record and Reliability: Research the company’s history and reputation within the industry. Read customer reviews and check their track record for dealing with international shipments, especially for motorcycles.
  • Specialty in Motorcycle Shipping: Some companies might specialize in or have more experience with motorcycle transport. These firms are often better equipped to handle the specific challenges of motorcycle logistics.
  • Transparent Pricing: A reliable company will offer clear, upfront pricing without hidden fees. Ensure you understand all costs involved in the shipping process, from pickup to delivery.

By considering these elements, you can select a motorcycle transit company that not only meets your logistic needs but also provides peace of mind knowing your motorcycle is in good hands.



Navigating the complexities of motorcycle shipping, especially when dealing with international routes, requires careful consideration of various factors. From understanding the basic motorcycle shipping costs and choosing between air and sea freight, to handling the regulatory demands of importing motorcycles from regions like Europe to the USA, each step plays a crucial role in the shipping process. Additionally, when selecting a motorcycle transport company, it's vital to balance cost with safety and reliability, ensuring that the company not only fits your budget but also upholds high standards in their service delivery. Engaging with reputable international motorcycle shipping companies not only secures your investment but also provides peace of mind throughout the transportation journey.

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Joe Webster always knew the auto transport industry would be a great career option. And with decades of experience, Joe is now an established consultant for A1 Auto Transport.

Joe was born in Santa Cruz, California. During high school, Joe worked as a mechanic; a job continued to work part-time during his bachelor's degree.

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd,
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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