Many factors go into determining the cost to ship a motorcycle cross-country, so your absolute best bet is to contact a reputable motorcycle transport company directly to obtain a personalized quote.
However, if you want to get an idea of what to expect, free online quote calculators can give you a generic ballpark figure without having to make a phone call.
Some of the things that affect cost are:
- Distance: If you are planning on shipping your motorcycle from the east coast to the west coast, a true cross-country journey, the price point will be higher than if you only need to transport it over the course of a few states. It is easier and less expensive to find companies to ship your motorcycle on well traveled routes to more popular destinations. If you need your bike shipped to an obscure location, prepare to pay more. Same goes if your destination requires a detour from the carrier’s usual route that may cause delays of other cargo, motorcycles, or vehicles.
- Make/Model/Type: Depending on the type of motorcycle you ride, you may find that you’ll pay more or less based on those factors alone. This is simply because different styles of bikes require different types of transport equipment, some of which not all companies or carriers have on hand. It is definitely in your best interest to find a company that has experience in handling your specific type of bike, because they will not only be familiar with it, but they will have the required equipment already.
- Closed vs. Open Carrier: If you ride a vintage motorcycle or one with a lot of expensive customizations, you may consider shipping it in a closed container. This luxury is quite expensive, and generally not the preferred method of shipping motorcycles. However, those who ride such valuable bikes may see it as a worthy investment since it is a much safer and secure way of transport. Do keep in mind that insurance should cover any issues that may arise, so unless you consider your bike priceless, you should be fine with the more affordable and common method of shipping in an open carrier.
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The reason most people decide to ship motorcycles across the country is mostly due to convenience. If you are relocating, you probably also have another vehicle you need to get to your final destination, and that makes it difficult to ride your bike there as well. It is also such a time saver. Oftentimes, you can plan for the transport of your bike so that the motorcycle arrives before you do. Sure, it is an expensive endeavor, but the benefits definitely warrant the steep price tag.