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“A1 Auto Transport became synonymous with top-notch service delivery, unfailing punctuality and constantly preoccupied with customer satisfaction.

See Article— USA Today

What is the Freight Rate of a Motorcycle?

Published by Tamar Hela.

What is the Freight Rate of a Motorcycle?

Shipping a motorcycle can be an intimidating process, especially for riders transporting their bikes longer distances for the first time.

When you factor in locating reputable carriers, comparing various pricing structures and service options, navigating the ins and outs of scheduling a transport date, and just generally sending your prized motorcycle on a long trip to a far away location, it's easy to feel overwhelmed.

Add to that the lack of standardized rates across shipping companies and the many variables influencing final costs and it's no surprise motorcyclists can feel confused taking on such a big task.

However, taking the time to educate yourself on the key components that determine vehicle shipping costs makes undertaking a motorcycle shipment much more manageable.

Understanding how elements like distance, weight, door-to-door versus terminal delivery, time of year, and membership rates impact costs allows you to make an informed decision on carrier selection and feel confident about the price quotes you receive.

With a basic overview of the freight rate setting process under your belt, you'll be well equipped to efficiently and effectively research companies and compare estimates to find the best motorcycle transport companies for your needs.


Factors Affecting Motorcycle Freight Rates

One of the primary determinants of shipping prices is distance. The farther a bike needs to travel, the higher the freight charges will be. Most motorcycle carriers establish pricing tiers based on mileage thresholds like under 100 miles, 100-500 miles, 500-1000 miles, and over 1000 miles.

Rates increase at each new threshold level due to greater fuel consumption and driver time required for longer hauls with greater transit times.

Weight is another essential factor since it dictates the amount of labor, equipment, and trailer space needed to safely transport a motorcycle. Freight costs are almost always calculated on a cents-per-pound basis. Most cruisers and touring bikes in the 500-800 lb range have average per-pound rates.

Sportbikes and some custom bikes topping 1000 lbs may have slightly higher charges due to their weight. Oversized or multi-bike shipments also fall into premium pricing tiers.

Type of service also makes a difference in rates.

Door-to-door transport is the most comprehensive option, with carriers picking up directly from homes or businesses and delivering right to destinations.

However, it tends to cost more than terminal-to-terminal moves where riders handle local legs themselves. Terminal service is usually 10-20% cheaper but less seamless than having a truck come directly to pickup and drop-off points.

New Deals are now available for shipping all types vehicles using our vetted reliable shippers. Compare price estimates & Unlock up 25% off.

Average Freight Rates for Motorcycle Shipping

According to the American Trucking Associations, average US shipment distances range from 350-550 miles. Based on the most current data, typical freight costs can be estimated as follows:

  • Under 500 miles: $450-800 door-to-door, $350-650 terminal-to-terminal
  • 500-1000 miles: $650-1200 door-to-door, $500-1000 terminal-to-terminal
  • Over 1000 miles: $1000-1800 door-to-door, $800-1500 terminal-to-terminal

Nationwide, door-to-door average cost 25% higher than terminal-to-terminal service. Riders can also expect to pay around 80 cents per mile for highway hauls using most respected carriers.

Cost Per Mile Analysis

Per-mile rates are very useful for getting preliminary average cost estimates on any given route. The national average across the US transport industry hovers around 75-90 cents per road mile on cross-country trips.

However, some regional differences exist. According to statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration:

  • Northeast: 85-95 cents per mile
  • Midwest: 75-85 cents per mile
  • South: 70-80 cents per mile
  • West: 80-90 cents per mile

In addition to geography, cost per mile can also vary based on time of year, day of the week, carrier capacity levels, motorcycle value or fragility. Keeping these fluctuations in mind helps understand potential variances from initial per-mile rate quotes.


Calculating Motorcycle Freight Rates

The most accurate way to get a firm price quote is by inputting your locations and bike details into an online rate calculator provided by prospective carriers. Key details include pickup/destination zip codes, dates needed, service type (door-to-door or terminal), bike make/model/year, and total weight including any gear hauled.

Calculators normally return pricing within minutes to provide a solid cost baseline.

It's always a good idea to request phone or email quotes as well for additional estimates and potential discounts.

Ask about membership, volume carrier, or qualified craftsman rates too that can shave off 10% or more sometimes.

Quotes also remain valid for 30 days in most cases, allowing flexibility to schedule transport. Comparing multiple company rate estimates ensures getting the best available prices.

Tips for Saving on Motorcycle Shipping

With some planning and negotiation, motorcycle shipping costs can potentially come down. Off-season months before Memorial Day and after Labor Day see 10-20% lower rates industry-wide for example.

You may also qualify for discounts by bundling moves or timing shipments with other scheduled loads.

In addition, joining enthusiast rider clubs and forums can provide member-only discounted rates at times. It also helps to get quotes 30-45 days out if possible versus last minute scheduling which spikes rates.

Most importantly, shopping multiple companies leverages their competition for the most competitive bids. With the right strategies, significant savings are within reach.


Final Thoughts

While the cost of motorcycle shipping depends on unique circumstances, understanding basic elements like distance, weight, services offered, and companies available lays the foundation for getting educated motorcycle freight quotes.

Reputable motorcycle shippers provide online calculators and quick phone estimates based on your route details.

Comparing at least 3 rates ensures competitive pricing that balances affordability with risk-free transport. Taking time to explore options ultimately results in peace of mind that the process and selection were handled properly.

Choosing a provider with high ratings and experience transports your motorcycle along with your trust.

Safe Motorcycle Shipping

For reliable, damage-free transportation, it's imperative to select a reputable motorcycle shipping company with proven experience.

A1 Auto Transport is widely recognized as one of the top providers in America with standout features like a huge enclosed transport fleet for secure transport, online rate calculator, real-time truck tracking, and over 20 years of industry experience.

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Tamar Hela is one of our featured writers at A-1 Auto Transport, researching everything from AI auto shipments out of China to what paperwork is required to move long distance. We can safely say she's become well versed in all things shipping and logistics while making the information easy to digest and understandable. 

Tamar has been a copywriter for over 16 years and was trained in the 7-Figure Copywriting Accelerator course through American Writers & Artists, Inc. (AWAI). She's also an incredibly seasoned copyeditor, having previously been the Chief Editor and Publishing Director for Cosby Media Productions, based in Atlanta, Georgia. 

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Luis Rodriguez
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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!

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I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

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... Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport.

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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.

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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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