How To Ship A Motorcycle

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How To Ship A Motorcycle
How To Ship A Motorcycle

Thanks to the Internet, it’s now possible to purchase from a seller in another state or country and have the goods delivered to you safely. These purchases are not only limited to clothes, gadgets, and home appliances - nowadays, you can even buy a motorcycle overseas and have it transported to your home!

As a new motorcycle owner, your first concern is the security of your new motorcycle. You want your new motorcycle delivered to you safely, but you also want to make sure that it gets to you undamaged and in top condition.

Regardless of whether you want a recently bought motorcycle delivered to you or simply want to transport your motorcycle to your new home, here are some basics that you need to know to ensure you get the best value for your money.

What is the Best Way to Ship a Motorcycle?

As a new motorcycle, you might be tempted to travel to the motorcycle seller’s area and simply ride the motorcycle home. While this is undoubtedly the most adventurous option, it is also more dangerous and costly. Even if you are a skilled and careful rider, you run a higher risk of damaging your motorcycle and injuring yourself if you choose to ride the motorcycle over long distances. Also, you need to eat your meals and take care of your personal needs on the road, which can prove to be more expensive than simply shipping the motorcycle to your home.

The best way to ship a motorcycle is through a motorcycle shipping company with a successful track record. Don’t settle for just any shipping company; after all, a shipping company may have several years’ worth of experience moving furniture but have never transported a single motorcycle in all those years.

How to Ship a Motorcycle: A Step-by-Step Guide

The process of shipping a motorcycle isn’t all that different from shipping a car or home furniture. You can successfully transport your motorcycle with these easy steps:

1

Get a Motorcycle Shipping Quote

As a motorcycle owner, it is your responsibility to look for the best motorcycle shipping company. Don’t go for the first provider you see; instead, ask for quotes from several companies and compare them to get the best available deal.

What to look for in an excellent motorcycle shipping company

Several shipping companies offer motorcycle shipping, but some are better than others. Choosing a provider simply because they offer the most affordable rates is not always the best route to take. Price will always be the most significant deciding factor for any customer, but we recommend looking into other factors.

When talking to a shipping company’s representative for the first time, keep these things in mind:

  • Do they have experience in transporting motorcycles specifically?
  • Are they in good standing with the FMCSA?
  • What kind of reviews do they have online?
  • Has the company been involved with lawsuits or traffic accidents?
  • What services are included in their motorcycle shipping offer?
  • Do they offer complete insurance protection?

2

Learn How Much It SHOULD Cost To Ship A Motorcycle

If you’re on a tight budget, you may want to know how much motorcycle shipping costs before you decide to go through with the process. Motorcycle shipping companies offer consultation and estimation for free, so you can get an estimate without being obliged to hire them. 

Local shipping

Local shipping, which usually (but not always) means shipping within the same state, usually costs around $600 to $800.

Long-distance shipping

Transportation of items, furniture, and other belongings of more than 1,000 miles is considered long-distance. For some companies, long-distance means shipping out of state or shipping to another police jurisdiction. Long-distance shipping usually goes for $600 to $1,000, depending on the company’s definition of long-distance.

International shipping

Shipping motorcycles overseas usually goes from $1,000 to $2,000. This includes freight or plane travel costs. 

Factors That Can Affect The Cost of your Motorcycle Shipping

  • Distance - the higher the total mileage, the higher the shipping cost.
  • Trailer type - Open trailers are cheaper, but the risk of damage is higher because the motorcycle is exposed to the elements. Closed or semi-closed trailers are more expensive but give your motorcycle more protection.
  • Motorcycle brand and make - Shipping luxury motorcycles might cost you more because they require more care.
  • Motorcycle size - Motorcycles are not transported alone; usually, they’re transported in a trailer with other motorcycles. If your motorcycle is larger in size, it may take up the space of 2 regular motorcycles so that the company will charge you more.
  • Insurance - Some companies offer free insurance for your motorcycle shipping, although this does not give you 100% coverage. If you want complete insurance protection for your motorcycle, you need to pay extra for it.

3

Book Your Shipping Date

It’s better to book your motorcycle delivery as far in advance as you possibly can. You can get the best delivery date and time that’s most convenient for you if you book in advance. Even though many companies offer last-minute motorcycle shipping, you may need to adjust your schedule since the company may be booked on the dates that you want. Also, the more advanced your booking is, the more time you have to prepare for the delivery.


4

Coordinate With Your Shipping Manager

The motorcycle shipping company will assign you a shipping manager, who is in charge of ironing out the details of your motorcycle delivery. Here are just some of the responsibilities of your shipping manager:

  • Explain fully the factors that affect your total motorcycle shipping cost
  • Answer questions about the actual delivery process (e.g., what routes to take, what kind of trailer will be used for the delivery, etc.)
  • Give clarifications about insurance coverage

You will be working closely with your shipping manager to transport your motorcycle from your old home to your new one. If you are purchasing a motorcycle from an out-of-state seller, the seller must coordinate with your shipping manager to ensure that you are prepared for the delivery.

You should also iron out details with the seller. In some cases, the seller might assume full responsibility for the cost of shipping the motorcycle. They might also choose to shoulder the shipping deposit and leave the rest up to you.


5

Wait For Your Motorcycle Delivery

As long as you coordinated the delivery with the moving manager - or in some situations, the moving manager and seller - there isn’t much for you to do but wait for your motorcycle to get delivered. The delivery crew should have your name and contact information to contact you to give you updates regarding the delivery.

Suppose you are simply moving a motorcycle from one location to another. In that case, we recommend being present at the delivery destination to ensure that the motorcycle is handed off carefully and adequately. While it’s technically possible to have someone else meet the delivery crew in your stead if you’re busy, it’s still better to check the motorcycle with your own eyes when it arrives.


6

Motorcycle Shipping FAQ

I need to move to a new apartment, and I’m thinking of taking my motorcycle with me. Can’t I just load the motorcycle in a moving truck together with my other belongings?

Technically, it’s possible to use a moving truck to transport your motorcycle; however, most moving providers will recommend against this. Motorcycles are usually shipped in a trailer along with other motorcycles to prevent damage. If you load them in a truck with your other belongings, they might get scraped in transit.

My motorcycle arrived today, and the paint had scratches on it. What should I do?

If you’re transporting your motorcycle from one location to another, contact your shipping company immediately. Insurance concerns are usually discussed before the shipping date itself. Present evidence of damage, and the company should compensate for it with the appropriate insurance coverage.

How long do I have to wait before my motorcycle gets delivered?

Local motorcycle shipping has a transit time of 2-4 days. For long-distance shipping, you need to wait 4-7 days for your motorcycle to arrive.

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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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Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.
★★★★★

Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.

And my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.

When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

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Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!
★★★★★

I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.

The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.

They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?

So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to A1 Auto Transport. From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.

I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!

The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!

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Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.
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There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them.

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Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.

By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

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David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!
★★★★★

We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!

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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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