Whether you’re moving to a new city or need to ship a motorcycle across the country for any other reason, you might not be sure what the best way is to ship your bike to ensure it stays safe and arrives at its destination on time. In this guide from A-1 Auto Transport, we’ll take a look at some of the basics of shipping a motorcycle across the country.
What Are My Options For Moving A Motorcycle Across The Country?
You have a few options to choose from. You can either move your bike on your own with your own truck or a rented truck, or you could hire an independent service or a professional shipping company.
- DIY move with a truck – This is the cheapest option if you have a truck and a trailer, or if you’re renting a truck or trailer from a service like U-Haul. However, you will have to drive your motorcycle across the country yourself. This may be fine if you’re moving to a new city and plan a DIY move for your other household goods, but it may not be ideal if you’re not planning on making the drive.
- Hire an independent service – You may be able to find a local transportation provider who is willing to ship your motorcycle for you. This is usually a “guy with a truck” who works on his own, and while this may be a relatively cheap option, it may not be the safest way to transport your bike, particularly if the service provider has no experience shipping motorcycles.
- Hire a professional shipping company – You’ll pay a bit more to hire a professional motorcycle shipping country to move your motorcycle across the country, but it’s worth it. Professional motorcycle shipping companies have the required trailers and gear to keep your bike safe in transit, and ensure it arrives at its destination safely.
What Can I Expect If I Hire A Professional Shipping Company To Move My Bike?
Most motorcycle shipping companies operate on a door-to-door basis. When you hire a professional company to move your motorcycle across the country, they’ll come right to your door to pick up your bike, take it to your destination, and drop it off.
When they arrive at your home, your bike will be loaded onto a specialized trailer and secured in place using tie-downs and straps to keep it from moving or shifting. Your shipping company will take care of this entire process.
Then, your bike will be moved to your desired destination and dropped off outside your new home or at another destination of your choice. In some cases, the shipping company may be willing to hold the motorcycle at their facilities if you need more time to pick it up.
In some cases, motorcycle shipping companies may not be able to offer door-to-door service – for example, if your street has restrictions on large trucks, has very narrow roads, or there are dead ends or other issues that make front-door pickup or delivery difficult or impossible. If this is the case, you will typically meet the truck driver in a nearby accessible parking lot for pickup and delivery.
How Much Will It Cost To Move A Motorcycle Across The Country?
The average cost to ship a motorcycle 1,000 miles or more is usually about $0.50 per mile, but the rates that you’ll pay depend on the carrier you choose. In most cases, the longer your trip is, the lower your per-mile rate will be.
However, these costs to ship a motorcycle cross country are not set in stone. Each carrier charges different fees, and there are a number of different factors that can affect how much you’ll pay to ship your bike.
- Distance of travel – As mentioned, a long-distance shipment will usually be charged at a per-mile rate. The farther you’re shipping your bike, the more you’ll pay overall. However, if you’re shipping a motorcycle a shorter distance, you may pay a flat rate, rather than a per-mile rate.
- Motorcycle make and model – A larger, heavier motorcycle will cost more to ship than a smaller bike. If you have a large, heavy Harley-Davidson, for example, you may pay more than a customer who is shipping a smaller sport bike, a moped, or a motor scooter.
- Additional insurance coverage – Your motorcycle shipping company will offer liability insurance coverage for your shipment, but you should inquire about how much coverage you’ll get. It may be necessary to get additional coverage while moving your bike if it’s very valuable, or if you have a classic bike.
- Fees for expediting the shipment – The faster you want to ship your bike, the more you’ll pay. If you want to save some cash, we recommend choosing the slowest possible shipment option, since you’ll pay quite a bit more for expedited delivery.
How Can I Choose The Right Motorcycle Shipping Company?
Wondering how you can find a reputable motorcycle shipping company? Here are a few steps you can take.
- Look for great customer reviews – Customer reviews are the best way to learn more about the experiences that previous customers have had with the company. Look for a specialized motorcycle shipping company with positive reviews.
- Ask if they offer open or closed trailers – An open trailer may be okay for a short move, but for a long-distance motorcycle move, an enclosed trailer is a much better option. Closed trailers protect your bike from the elements and also provide more protection against theft and vandalism.
- Get multiple quotes – Contacting a few different companies for a quote can ensure that you get a good rate for shipping your motorcycle across the country. And remember, it’s not a bad idea to pay a little more to ship your bike with a reputable company – rather than simply choosing the company that offers the lowest rate.
Need Help Moving Your Motorcycle Across The Country? Contact A-1 Auto Transport
A-1 Auto Transport can help you move your motorcycle across the country safely and securely. Our network of logistics providers specializes in transporting vehicles of all kinds – including motorcycles. So don’t wait. Get a quote and find a transportation partner now by calling us at (800) 452-2880.
Written By:Joe Webster
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.