Everything You Need to Know About Motorcycle Shipping


Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Anyone who’s ever ridden a motorcycle before will know what a sense of freedom it brings. Just you and two wheels on the open road is an exhilarating experience. It’s no wonder motorcyclists become so attached to their bikes and want to do everything they can to take care of them.

But what about those times when riding your motorcycle is not an option, for example, if you’re relocating to the other side of the country and don’t want to leave your two wheels behind. 

You might also be taking part in one of the top motorcycle exhibitions and want your ride to arrive in tip-top condition. If you’ve got your ride booked in at a world-famous paint shop and need to get it there and home again with the minimum amount of fuss.

For all these occasions and many more, you have the option of using motorcycle shipping services from reputable motorcycle shipping companies like SGT Auto Transport.

We’ve created this post for all you two-wheeled enthusiasts who might need to move your motorcycle without the worry of wear and tear.    

What is motorcycle shipping?

Motorcycle shipping is a viable option for anyone who wants to get their motorcycle from A to B. It is the most hassle-free and least worrisome option for transporting your ride to your new location.

Hiring a motorcycle shipping company to transport your motorcycle is a perfect option because you’re offered the most specialized experience and equipment. In addition, you can expect to enjoy several benefits when you use motorcycle shipping services.

  • Experience: Choose a professional motorcycle transport company, and they’ll have the necessary expertise to help you navigate all kinds of situations. For example, your motorcycle may have a custom paint job that requires additional protection. In addition, you enjoy complete peace of mind knowing you’re getting a smooth, timely, and damage-free shipping process for your precious baby. 
  • Equipment: Shipping motorcycles requires specialist equipment such as tie-downs, special hardware, and motorcycle shipping trucks. A company specializing in motorcycle transport will have everything they need to meet the unique needs of customers’ rides.
  • Convenience: Book your shipping with the best motorcycle shipping company, and you’ll get an end-to-end service, picking up and dropping off your motorcycle from a location of your choosing. It might be a storage facility, a lock-up, or right outside your front door.

While we’re on the subject of benefits, it’s only fair to mention one downside. Professional motorcycle transport companies have to use specialized equipment and expertise. This means that sometimes the motorcycle shipping cost might be higher than if you did it yourself. 

However, you do know you’re going to get a complete, high-quality shipping service and a safe experience that saves you time and hassle.   

How does motorcycle shipping work?

Shipping a motorcycle is not as difficult as you might think. Let’s explain how our motorcycle shipping service works so you can understand.

Step 1. Get a motorcycle shipping quote and book your order

You can use our instant motorcycle quote calculator to determine the cost of shipping a motorcycle. There’s also the option of speaking directly with our motorcycle shipping advisors by phone or Live Chat

When you receive your motorcycle shipping quote, it will be all-inclusive. If you like the price and are ready to make your booking, click on the link in the emailed quote to complete your booking.

You’ll have some time to get your motorcycle ready for shipping (see below for some suggestions).  

Step 2. We pick up your motorcycle

The motorcycle carrier will contact you a few hours ahead of the scheduled pick-up time to make sure someone is available to release the motorcycle. 

You and the driver carefully inspect the motorcycle when it is picked up. Any existing damage must be noted on the Bill of Lading. With the paperwork side of things completed, your motorcycle will be carefully loaded onto the motorcycle shipping trailer.  

Step 3. You receive your motorcycle

You’ll be contacted again just a few hours before the delivery of your motorcycle. The carrier needs to check that you’re available.

When your motorcycle is delivered, closely inspect it to ensure everything is in order. Then you sign the Bill of Lading to accept delivery of your motorcycle.

How do you prepare your motorcycle for shipping?

During the days you’re waiting for the carrier to arrive to collect your motorcycle, there are a few things you can do to make sure it’s ready for the journey.

  • Thoroughly clean your motorcycle
  • Make a note of any chips, dings, scratches, or other cosmetic damage
  • Take pictures of your bike from several angles, along with detailed shots of any existing damage
  • Remove all loose items from your motorcycle
  • Ensure your motorbike is in good working condition
  • Inflate tires
  • Charge the battery
  • Fill the gas tank to 1/4 full
  • Check and fix all fluid leaks

How much does it cost to get a motorcycle shipped?

The cost to ship a motorcycle can vary depending on several things, for example:

  • Distance of travel
  • Pick-up and drop off locations
  • Make and model of the motorcycle
  • Whether the shipment is going to be expedited
  • Type of motorbike transport trailer used: Typically, motorbikes are transported using an enclosed motorcycle transport trailer as these provide much more protection. However, open motorcycle transport is available for people with limited budgets or owners in a hurry.
  • Time of year
  • Condition of your motorcycle

Here are some estimated prices to give you a rough idea of the motorcycle shipping cost.

Distance Type of transport Average price per mile Sample distance Sample price
0-799 miles enclosed $1.42 700 miles $995
800-1499 miles enclosed $0.84 1300 miles $1095
1500-2399 miles enclosed $0.54 2200 miles $1179
2400 miles + enclosed $0.41 3050 miles $1249

The average price per miles rates shown above reflect current market conditions as of January 2020. The rates are subject to change due to seasonal fluctuations, price of gas, pick-delivery locations, etc.

Get an instant motorcycle quote today 

How long does shipping a motorcycle take?

There are many factors that can affect motorcycle shipping transit times. 

  • Distance: Distance is the most obvious factor as it’s bound to take longer to ship a motorcycle from Boston to San Diego than it would if you wanted to ship a motorcycle from Boston to New York.
  • Pick-up and delivery locations: If the pick-up and delivery locations are somewhat remote, your driver will have to travel further to reach them. You also need to remember that your driver may have to make other stops before your motorcycle is delivered.
  • Weather: The weather can affect the speed at which your motorcycle is shipped. Snow, hail, ice, a tornado, thunderstorms, or a hurricane along the route can affect traffic flow. 
  • Road construction, detours, and traffic: These can all hamper the carrier on their journey.
  • Driver’s hours: One last factor is driver’s hours. A truck driver can only be on the road legally for a set number of hours every week. The current number, mandated by the Department of Transportation, is 70 hours per week.  

How to find the best motorcycle shipping company

There are many motorcycle shipping companies to choose from, but it’s only natural to want the very best for your precious two wheels. 

It’s essential to choose the right motorcycle shipping company, and that means one that specializes in motorcycle transport. Only then can you be confident they’ve got the right experience, insurance, and reputation to get the job done safely and smoothly. 

There are a few other things you must bear in mind when picking your motorcycle shipping services.

  • Compare motorcycle transport companies: They must register with the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) and have active DOT and MC numbers.
  • Check insurance coverage: US law requires motorcycle transport services to have both cargo and liability insurance if they want to transport motorbikes across the country legally. Always ask a carrier for written proof of their insurance before deciding which one to hire.
  • Read motorcycle transport reviews: You can get a good idea about the reliability of a company by reading motorcycle transport reviews left by previous customers. A company’s online reputation directly reflects the experience and professionalism you can expect from a motorcycle transport company.  
  • Extra costs and surcharges: Check whether there will be any additional costs or surcharges you need to know about in advance. It’s also a good idea to check whether there are any discounts or promotions you can take advantage of.
  • Request several quotes: Request quotes from several different motorcycle transport companies and compare the cost to ship a motorbike.

If you’re ever in need of a motorcycle shipping company you can trust and rely on, SGT Auto Transport ticks all the boxes. We’d be more than happy to make all the necessary arrangements. Give our motorcycle shipping advisors a call on (864) 546-5038 for your instant motorcycle shipping quote.

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