Compare the Best Motorcycle
Shipping Companies of 2022

Motorcycle shipping can be a hassle when you are not working with the right shipping company. To ensure you find the best company for your motorcycle and specific needs, follow the information below to make your decision easier.

Company Company Name Local and Long Distance Offers
Auto Shipping
Rating Details
Allied Van Lines
Yes
Yes
4.8
North American Van Lines
Yes
Yes
4.7
Montway
Yes
Yes
4.5
Sherpa Auto Transport
Yes
Yes
4.3
A1 Auto Transport
Yes
Yes
4.2
Author: Helen McKenzie
August 02, 2022

Writer & Researcher

8 Min Read

How Do I Choose A Motorcycle Shipping Company?


If you want to ship your motorcycle, you are most likely looking for the best shipping company to do the job. Here are a few characteristics that define a good motorcycle shipping company.

1.    Affordability

Your ideal motorcycle shipping company should offer services at a price that matches your budget. Look for a company that can provide services at a fair price without compromising quality. 

2.    Fixed Prices

Some motorcycle shipping companies will try and pull a fast one on their clients by adding costs to the original price quote. They will intentionally add these prices to increase the final bill, sometimes by over 10%, which is why you should ensure your quote is the guaranteed final payment.  

3.    Knowledge and Expertise

Shipping companies with little knowledge about motorcycles cannot be trusted to transport them. They will have no clue how a motorcycle operates or the right way to package it for transport. It would be best if you found a company specializing in motorcycle shipping to take care of all your shipping needs. Such a company is also likely to offer pocket-friendly prices because it can handle shipping in bulk. 

4.    Good customer reviews

Examining customer reviews closely is the best way to learn about a company’s work ethic. You can learn much from what previous clients have to say about a company. Thankfully many online platforms offer clients a safe space to express themselves anonymously. All you have to do is conduct a search on any search engine, and you can gauge the type of shipping company you are about to get into business with.

5.    Insurance coverage

A legit motorcycle shipping company will have multiple insurance contracts covering their shipments. If the shipping company you are interested in does not have insurance, this should be a red flag. You should also be wary of shipping companies with basic insurance covers that don’t cover all damages.

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How Much Does a Motorcycle Shipment Cost?

Shipping costs vary depending on the distance and number of units transported. The longer the distance, the more the cost; the same goes for the number of units you want to transport. If you are looking to transport a single unit over a short distance, you can expect to pay $900. However, if you want to ship your motorcycle overseas, you may be looking at over $1,000. Different companies will offer different fee structures, so shop around. However, beware of companies that offer low prices and make late deliveries. Instead, work with a company that offers a fair price but maintains the quality of services, including a guaranteed pick-up date.  It’s also crucial to take a closer look at your contract before putting pen to paper, as it’s common for shipping companies to add fees like toll charges and port fees.  

What Factors Impact Quotes?

•    Distance 

If you are looking to transport your motorcycle over a short distance, the price quoted will be easy on the pockets. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for transporting the same motorcycle overseas to another continent. Shipping a motorcycle over 1,000 miles will attract nearly double or triple what you would pay for local same-state shipping.

 •    Number of units

If you are looking to ship a few motorcycles, you will pay more than someone transporting just one motorcycle, but usually, less per unit—shipping three motorcycles to one location won’t cost three times the price of just one. Additionally, if you are transporting many motorcycles, you can negotiate more favorable payment terms with the shipping company. Finally, if shipping commercially, you may also get discounts in taxes, so keep an out for any price reductions available.

•    Shipping and delivery dates

Under normal circumstances, getting your motorcycle delivered can take anywhere between one and two weeks. This depends on the type of shipping company you are working with. Booking ahead will not shorten the time it will take to get your motorcycle delivered because most shipping companies operate on a set schedule. However, if you book your shipping ahead of time, you are more likely to receive some early bird discounts. Last-minute bookings are the most expensive because they are done on short notice. 

•    Pick up and drop off locations

Pick-up and drop-off locations add to the total distance the motorcycle is delivered so they can add to your final price quotation. Drop-off locations far away from the general delivery locations will probably incur an extra fee. Pick-up locations will also incur an additional fee if you are unwilling to deliver the motorcycle to the general pick-up location.

•    The size and weight of the motorcycle

Most motorcycle shipping companies will ask about the make and model of your motorcycle. The reason they ask is because they can tell the size and weight of the motorcycle from this information. They may also ask if you have made any modifications to the motorcycle that affect its size and weight. The heavier the motorcycle, the more you will pay for it. Some companies have a fixed price quotation for motorcycles up to a certain weight, after which each extra weight attracts a fee. Before signing any contract with a shipping company, ensure you know your motorcycle’s weight and dimensions to avoid any future inconveniences.

•    An open or sealed container

Most of the time, shipping in an open or closed container makes very little difference. However, transporting your motorcycle in a sealed container is recommended because it is protected from the elements which might affect delicate detailing or leather finishing. It also protects more effectively from strong external forces caused by weather or poor roads. Due to these added advantages, a sealed container will attract higher fees than an open one.

•    Insurance Cover

Cutting corners when shipping is not the best idea. You may find yourself tempted to accept inadequate insurance in exchange for lower prices, but that will come back to bite you. It is best not to take any chances and take as many insurance covers as necessary. You may end up paying more, but you can rest assured that your shipment is covered in case of any damages or accidents during transit.

•    Miscellaneous costs

Inexperienced companies will often be unaware of these costs and will not factor them into the original quotation. Miscellaneous costs include fluctuating fuel prices, express shipping, or storage costs. Some companies may add to the shipping fee if you fail to pick up your motorcycle on time, citing a failed delivery. Additional space for cars and accessories will cost you extra, especially if you want them shipped together.

If you don’t accurately describe your motorcycle, you will be penalized. For example, if your bike is oversized, takes up more than one space, or will not roll onto the shipment platform, you will incur an extra fee.

Reasons to Ship Your Motorcycle vs. Buying New

You may think it’s better to sell your old motorcycle and buy a new one instead of incurring the cost and hassle of shipping. Here are a few reasons that may inspire you to hold that thought.

1. User Compatibility

If you have made any custom adjustments to your motorcycle, it has more personal value because it’s designed to function best under your control. Additionally, most motorcycle customizations are expensive, so selling the motorcycle and paying for new customizations wouldn’t make any sense. You might also find it hard to sell a bike customized to your unique needs for that very reason. Few people will find your tastes and preferences acceptable, so you could end up selling the bike at a throwaway price. 

2.    Sentiment 

Most people get attached to their motorcycles. After spending time using the bike to get from one place to the next, you are bound to have made good memories with it. This is the most common reason people cite for wanting to ship their motorcycles instead of buying a brand new one. 

3.    Long term stay or permanent relocation

If you are considering renting a motorcycle for the duration you live away from home, this plan can work, but only for a short while. People making a permanent move will find it easier to ship their cars, motorcycles, and any other motor vehicle to the new location. In the grand scheme of things, it is more economical than buying new vehicles. 

4.    Different market quality

Let’s face it; a motorcycle in the United States is probably better quality than one manufactured elsewhere. This might not be true in all cases, but if you do your research, you might find the motorcycles for sale in your new location do not quite reach the quality standards. If you cannot get the same quality or better, the best alternative is to ship yours. It might cost you a few extra bucks, but it will be more than worth it. 

Bottom Line

Choose the right shipping company based on customer reviews, cost compatibility, and years of experience for increased chances of receiving your motorcycle in one piece. Always take out the necessary insurance cover for your cargo during shipping to protect yourself from unforeseen financial impact from damage in transit.

Author: Helen McKenzie
August 02, 2022

Writer & Researcher

8 Min Read

Helen McKenzie is a writer with more than 10 years of experience. She has always loved writing and started writing for her school newspaper and eventually became a staff writer for a major metropolitan publication. More recently, Helen has been a member of the iMove Research Team, where she seeks to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information about products and services available to consumers. In this role, she has conducted extensive research on topics such as moving companies, storage solutions, and real estate.

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