Will a Moving Company Ship My Motorcycle?

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Will a Moving Company Ship My Motorcycle?

Will a Moving Company Ship My Motorcycle?

Moving isn’t hard, but it does require you to consider a lot of things. When most people move long distances, they often forget about simple things like moving their cars, motorcycles, boats, and other vehicles.

If you are planning to move, you may find yourself asking, “Will a moving company ship my motorcycle?”

Here’s the honest truth.

Yes, a moving company will ship your motorcycle in most circumstances.

The question really is not whether a moving company will ship your motorcycle, but rather if a company offers motorcycle shipping. The reality is most moving companies specialize in specific types of moves. If a company lacks the proper equipment to ship your motorcycle, they will more than likely refer you to a company they partner with for auto transport.

learn if a moving company will ship your motorcycle

In the end, the question becomes whether your motorcycle is ready for transport with the moving company that you choose to hire.

Each motorcycle moving company has its own rules for shipping motorcycles. If you want your motorcycle shipped, you will need to follow their rules. Luckily, motorcycles are small and light enough to fit into most moving trucks, making them a lot easier to ship than a larger vehicle like a car or boat.

This article will provide you with all the information you need to know about shipping a motorcycle with your moving company.

We will discuss things like:

  • What to look for when searching for a moving company to ship your motorcycle
  • The different brands of motorcycles that are commonly shipped
  • Several of the most common methods of motorcycle shipping
  • How to properly prepare your motorcycle for the moving process
  • The typical costs associated with shipping your motorcycle

If you are planning to ship your motorcycle, read on to make sure you are properly prepared for moving day.

What to Look for in a Motorcycle Shipping Company

There are several factors to consider when determining whether a specific moving company is good enough to ship your motorcycle.


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Let’s make this as simple as possible…

When you have a problem that you need to hire help for, you want to make sure that whoever you hire has the necessary experience to solve your problem the first time around. This advice applies to almost everything in life and motorcycle shipping is no different.

You want a company that has years, if not decades, of experience. The more experience a company has, the more likely that your motorcycle shipment will be successful. You worked hard to purchase your dream bike, the last thing you want is for it to get damaged because you hired an inexperienced company.

Experience can also come in the form of ability, instead of years. If a motorcycle company has shipped many motorcycle brands, like Harley-Davidson, Indian, Kawasaki, Ducati, and more, and has tons of positive testimonials, you know they will be more capable than a company that has not.

Here’s a list of some of the most commonly shipped motorcycles:

It’s important that you find a company that provides safe transport for motorcycles. Look for companies that provide motorcycle trailers with secure straps in order to keep your motorcycle safe from damage during transport.

learn more about if a moving company will ship your motorcycle

Be wary of companies that want to throw your motorcycle unprotected in a truckload full of furniture as there is a good chance your bike will get damaged during transport from shifting furniture and falling items.

The value a moving company places on the vehicles it ships is directly related to the capability of that company to ship those vehicles.

One final tip to remember…

Always look at a moving company’s previous customers, their testimonials can tell you a lot about the personality and quality of a company. Look over their online reviews, and testimonials page if the company has one. Contact previous customers and clients to see what they have to say about the company.

  • Were they happy with the service they were provided?
  • Are you able to contact past customers and ask about their experiences?
  • Do their reviews seem legitimate?

Fake reviews are everywhere these days, but you can almost always tell when a review is authentic.

Types of Motorcycle Transport

When shipping your motorcycle, you have several moving service options. Each type of service is designed to provide you with a different benefit, depending on your shipping needs.

  • Ready-to-ride delivery – “Ready-to-ride” refers to the state of the motorcycle upon completion of the shipment. You do not need to do anything prior to having your motorcycle shipped. You do not need to siphon out the gas and drain the tanks. You do not need to remove the battery. You do not need to have your motorcycle put on a crate or placed on a pallet. Your motorcycle will be strapped securely in a trailer in as-is condition, and then shipped to your desired location.
  • Open air transport shipping – Open air transport is simple and affordable. Your motorcycle is secured via strapped to a tow trailer or flatbed truck and then shipped. You should note that, when using open air transport, your motorcycle is exposed to the weather. However, many people use open air transport because it is a great option for affordable motorcycle shipping.
  • Enclosed trailer shippingEnclosed trailer shipping is great if you want to protect your motorcycle from the elements. Once your motorcycle is placed in the trailer and securely strapped down, the trailer is locked. The trailer will not be opened until the motorcycle arrives at its intended destination.
  • Door-to-door shipping – This is a simple shipping option that is great for quick shipping or last-minute shipping. You simply specify when and where you want your motorcycle dropped off, and it will be. Door-to-door shipping is great if you need to transport your motorcycle to a rally, to a garage/storage facility, or to your home.
  • Terminal-to-terminal shipping – this form of motorcycle shipping is similar to door-to-door shipping. However, instead of shipping your motorcycle to your door, it is shipped to a shipping terminal. This option is recommended if you are near the shipping terminal and it is not an imposition to pick up your motorcycle once it is delivered.

How to Prepare Your Motorcycle for Shipping

Although not all types of motorcycle transport require you to prepare your motorcycle beforehand, most do. Properly preparing your motorcycle for shipment will ensure that it stays safe and doesn’t get damaged in the process. It will also help you reduce your liability should something go wrong.

Here are some tips that you can use to prepare your motorcycle for shipping:

  • Clean your bike – many times, a moving company will not transport your bike unless it is free of dirt and grime. Dirt and grime from your bike can be transferred to other bikes, which needs to be avoided.
  • Move any non-permanent objects from your bike – non-permanent objects can become tarnished or damaged. You can always re-add these objects to your motorcycle after receiving your bike at its new destination.
  • Disable your motorcycle’s alarm system – if the alarm goes off during transport, it can add additional issues to your transport. It may irritate the shipment driver, and may even garner the attention of local law enforcement. Your motorcycle may even be refused for transport until its alarm is turned off.
  • Empty your gas tank to the recommended levels – this depends on the moving company. Some companies will require that you drain the tank, others may require that you drain it to a quarter-full. Some companies may let your keep your gas level “as-is.”
  • Check incidentals like the tire pressure, the battery, and your motorcycle’s fluid levels – makes sure that you follow your moving company’s recommendations. If not, they may not ship your motorcycle.
  • Take tons of photos of your motorcycle prior to shipping it – this protects both you and the moving company. Moving companies cannot take responsibility for the state of your motorcycle. This is what moving insurance is for. Taking photos of your motorcycle will help you settle damage claims with your insurance company if you feel it has been damaged during transport.

The Average Cost of Shipping a Motorcycle

The cost of shipping your motorcycle will vary depending on your schedule and your needs. Booking a last-minute motorcycle shipment will most likely be more expensive than making the same moving plans six months prior. This is simply the principles of supply and demand in action.

Moving companies need time to be able to fulfill your shipping requirements. Forcing a moving company to rush a job will always result in a larger price because they may have to pay overtime, book additional equipment, and switch around other jobs to accommodate you.

Yeah, yeah, so what’s the price?

Basic motorcycle shipments usually start around a few hundred dollars. Motorcycles are light and small vehicles and don’t take up a lot of space when compared to a car or boat.

The difficulty in shipping motorcycles really depends on all the moving requirements that you have.

  • If you want to ship a motorcycle thousands of miles, the shipment will be more expensive than shipping a motorcycle 500 miles.
  • If you want to ship a motorcycle in an enclosed trailer, the shipment will be more expensive than open air transport.
  • If you want to ship your motorcycle to a rural area, it will be more expensive than shipping to a location in a major city or one that is connected to major highways.

In addition, if you want to purchase additional insurance, you should, especially if your bike is an exotic or luxury model. Sure, insurance is an additional expense, but it pays for itself if something goes wrong and your bike is damaged.

Most moving companies sell additional top up insurance at a price that won’t break the bank. Check with the company you are looking to hire to see what their included insurance covers and what type of upgraded packages they offer.

Think about it like this.

When you rent a U-Haul truck, a $15 insurance policy payment will completely cover the $50,000-$100,000 truck you are driving. You never know when things are going to go wrong. If you really care about your motorcycle, a small top up can save you a lot of headaches should something go wrong.

The Bottom Line for Motorcycle Shipping

In general, moving companies can ship motorcycles. Whether a moving company can ship your motorcycle is a different matter.

When you start hunting for a potential moving company to help you ship your household belongings and motorcycle, take the time to ask the important questions like:

  • Do you have experience shipping motorcycles?
  • What method do you use to ship motorcycles?
  • Do you offer combined shipping for my household items and motorcycle?
  • What type of insurance do you offer, and how much does it cost to top it up?

These questions will help you decide if a shipping company is the right choice for you. Remember, the industry is incredibly competitive and a reliable company will happily answer your questions because they want your business.

No matter how much you prepare, the only way to choose the right moving company is to contact individual moving companies in your area and tell them your situation. Depending on your moving requirements, you will receive specific instructions to prepare your motorcycle for transport. As long as you follow the instructions they give you, you will be fine. After all, they are the experts, right?

Did you know there’s an even easier way?

If you want to ship your motorcycle safely, give A-1 Auto Transport a call today. We have been helping Americans ship their motorcycles, cars, boats, heavy equipment, and household belongings for many years. We are experienced, offer competitive prices, and work with you through every step of the process.

Save yourself the stress and call us today.

Joe Webster

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.

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