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?

Can Moving Company can 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.

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.

A-1 Auto Transport can help you move your household goods nationwide. Call 888-509-3213 to get a free, no obligation to buy price quote on interstate moving services.

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.

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 shipping - Enclosed 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.


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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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Testimonial
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.

Testimonial
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!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
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.

After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.

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.

Testimonial
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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