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How To Ship a Motorcycle From One Location to Another

What's in this article?
  1. Things To Consider Before Shipping Your Motorcycle
  2. Find The Right Shipping Company
  3. Research Which Vehicles Are Allowed Onboard
  4. Items To Take And Leave Behind
  5. Picking Up Your Motorcycle
  6. Which Shipping Method Is Best For A Motorcycle?
  7. Other Tips To Know Before Shipping Your Motorcycle
  8. Key Takeaways
How To Ship a Motorcycle From One Location to Another

Shipping a motorcycle can be more challenging than putting it in the back of your car and driving. And while many companies specialize in shipping motor vehicles, everyone has their own set of rules, regulations, and requirements.

This article will give you some tips on how to ship a motorcycle so you don't have to spend hours researching all the details. Unfortunately, shipping a bike is not as easy as you may think.

There are many things to consider when deciding which company to use for the shipping process or whether you should do it yourself and drive it there instead. The following advice will help make this transition much easier for you, from start to finish.

Things to Consider Before Shipping Your Motorcycle

This process will be much easier if you are careful and thorough with each step along the way. Before you decide how to transport your motorcycle, consider the following factors:

  • What is your end destination?
  • Have you found a shipping company in that area?
  • How much time do you have to get the bike to its final destination?
  • Is it roadworthy and able to be driven?
  • Does it fit in your vehicle or pickup?
  • What is the average cost of land, air, and sea transport?
  • What kind of weather do you expect at your final destination?
  • What is the condition of your bike? Are any parts missing or broken?
  • Have you kept all of your motorcycle's original documentation?
  • Has your bike ever been in an accident?
things-to-consider-before-shipping-your-motorcycle.jpg

Find The Right Shipping Company

This will likely be your first step after you've decided to ship your motorcycle. Before doing any research, you need to decide what shipping company you want to go with.

This can be challenging because there are so many options available to you; each may offer different types of services at various price points. Your best bet is to use a few online tools that can help you sort through this list.

Once you've identified a few shipping firms, you may use online reviews to determine which one is the best fit for you. For example:

  • How long they’ve been in the industry
  • What their rating and reviews are like
  • If they're certified and licensed to haul motorcycles
  • If they have policies against overloading their trucks
  • If they have a maximum number of motorcycles allowed per trip
  • What are the motorcycle shipping services they specialize in
  • If they have any insurance coverage or extra care for your motorcycle shipment

Research Which Vehicles Are Allowed Onboard

Not all vehicles are allowed on board a marine vessel. In reality, this is a common misperception among those who have ever shipped a motorcycle.

The types of vehicles that are allowed on board have to meet specific criteria. You should research this before deciding which company to go with or what shipping method to use.

If you intend to ride your bike to your destination, check with the Department of Transportation (DOT) to determine if there are any rules or standards you must follow.

Make sure you research which types of vehicles are allowed to be transported by the shipping company you're using. For example, some companies only haul motorcycles, while others may let you ship ATVs, scooters, and even golf carts if they have the right tools and space to do so.

Check to see if the shipper allows cars or other vehicles. If possible, avoid transporting your car in the same truck as your motorcycle.

Consider whether the shipping business has any restrictions on the type of vehicle you can transport. You don't want to learn the hard way that the type of vehicle you are transporting is not allowed.

Most companies have a maximum vehicle length of around 18 feet but always double-check with your shipper to make sure yours will fit.

Items to Take and Leave Behind

Before you take your bike to the shipping company, you must ensure it is properly packed. Putting your motorcycle in a sturdy, waterproof crate and strapping it down should be your top priority.

Your bike should be wrapped if you want to accomplish this. There are many options for what to cover your bike in, but the best material is a thick fabric. Rubber and plastic are not ideal because they can potentially damage your bike.

You also need to secure your bike with rope. Again, choose the type of rope carefully, and ensure it will not damage your bike.

You should also use a heavy-duty dolly to move the motorcycle to the port and back to your house. It will be considerably easier on your back if you do this!

Learn what you should pack and leave behind when preparing to ship your motorcycle. Not all motorcycle shipping companies require the same things, so make sure you know what your shipper requires and what they don't want you to haul with you.

For example, confirm once more with the shipping business whether or not you are required to take the battery out of your vehicle. Some companies don't want you to haul the battery with you and will declare it if you leave it in the vehicle.

Also, ask the company if there is any paperwork you need to give the shipper when you ship your bike.

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Picking Up Your Motorcycle

This one is very important. You are responsible for being present when the motorcycle arrives. If you are not there, you risk your motorcycle being unclaimed.

The shipper will leave a notice on your motorcycle letting you know when you can come to pick it up. Make sure you keep an eye out for this notice.

Now that you've shipped your motorcycle and it's sitting in your garage, it's time to start getting it ready for the road.

You will need to do a few things before you can hit the road with your motorcycle.

  • Your local Department of Motor Vehicles must inspect your motorcycle (DMV). Be sure to inquire about the regulations from your state before you depart.
  • After you've passed inspection, you'll need to title your motorcycle. Depending on the type of motorcycle you own, this process can be either very easy or extremely difficult.

When you pick up your motorcycle, it's a good idea to inspect it for any damage. If your bike is broken, you should make sure that it is written down on the shipping paperwork. If it has to be fixed or replaced, this will help the process go smoothly.

Which Shipping Method Is Best for a Motorcycle?

The best way to ship a motorcycle will depend on where you are shipping it to and from as well as your budget. Let's break things down:

  • In the air: Air shipping is a great option if you don't want to wait long for your bike. Air shipping tends to be faster, safer, and more reliable for valuable items like your motorcycle.
  • In a container: Container shipping is often used to ship motorcycles from one country to another. If you are shipping your motorcycle out of the country, you might want to consider using a container because it is one of the most secure bike shipping methods.

Other tips to know before shipping your motorcycle

If you are shipping a motorcycle to a state requiring a DOT inspection, make sure the shipper knows. They will have to arrange for your bike to be inspected.

If you are shipping your motorcycle to a state requiring an inspection or registration, make sure you have the proper documents.

If you are driving your bike to the shipper, make sure you have proper documentation for both your bike and the shipper's address. Some shippers, for example, may need you to have a commercial driver's license (CDL) and an endorsement on your license.

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Key Takeaways

It might be challenging to ship a motorcycle, especially if you don't know where to start. The most crucial thing to keep in mind while shipping a motorcycle is to conduct thorough research beforehand.

Make sure you book with reputable shipping labels in the international shipping field.

Now that you have read this article, you have all the information you need to ship a motorcycle. If you follow the tips in this article, this task will be easy to do, from finding a shipping company to picking up your motorcycle.

In case you find the process time-consuming, you can reach out to A1 Auto Transport; we provide specialized services in motorcycle shipment with 31 years of experience in the field.

Contact us now; we help you cover everything from the first step to successful delivery.

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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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State to State Motorcycle Shipping

Maine (ME) Motorcycle Shipping

Monson, ME, 04464, USA

Montana (MT) Motorcycle Shipping

Neihart, MT, 59465, USA

New Jersey Motorcycle Shipping Companies

Jersey City, NJ, 07306, USA

Oregon (OR) Motorcycle Shipping

Brothers, OR, 97712, USA

Tennessee (TN) Motorcycle Shipping

Shelbyville, TN, 37160, USA

Utah (UT) Motorcycle Shipping

Orangeville, UT, 84537, USA

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

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
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
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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