How Motorcycle Shipping Works

3 min to read

Making a big move? Buying or selling a motorcycle across the country? Regardless of the reason, when you need a motorcycle transported a long distance, you want to ensure it makes the journey as safely as possible. 

Knowing where to start can be a challenge — keep reading to ensure it’s a seamless process.

Steps for shipping a motorcycle

Decide how you want your motorcycle transported

Think about how you want your motorcycle moved from its starting location to its final destination. If you are shipping the motorcycle to Hawaii or internationally, transport options in addition to a truck will be required.

On the other hand, train or trailer transport are sufficient for shipping shorter distances. A majority of the time, trailers are the transportation type of choice. You can choose an open-air trailer, which will expose your vehicle to the elements, or an enclosed trailer that offers more protection. 

Finally, you’ll want to determine whether you want door-to-door home delivery or the motorcycle shipped between distribution centers. While home delivery saves you a trip, shipping your vehicle from a distribution center provides you the added advantage of dropping off the motorcycle on your own time, rather than having to schedule a specific pick-up window where you must be present. It also can significantly reduce the final cost.

Find a motorcycle shipper

There are tens of thousands of carrier solutions for transporting a motorcycle. Which one is the right option for you? Make sure you find a reputable carrier that you can trust to keep your prized possession in good condition. 

Additionally, look for one that has increased nationwide coverage with many distribution centers (depending on the pick up and drop off location), offers good insurance protection, and provides an advisor that works with you throughout the entire shipping process. If finding a carrier becomes overwhelming, there are also auto transport brokers to help you find quality options that fit your budget and preferences.

Get a motorcycle shipping quote

Speaking of budget, one of your top priorities will likely be calculating the cost of transporting your motorcycle. Once you’ve narrowed down to a handful of carriers, request a quote for the shipping cost. 

A number of factors will impact the final cost of shipment, including:

  • Transport solution (as mentioned above)
  • Motorcycle type (brand, year)
  • Shipping distance
  • Pick-up preferences (see below)
  • Time of year (seasonal demand)
  • Accessories being shipped with the motorcycle (e.g., a sidecar)
  • Insurance coverage

To learn more about the cost of shipping a motorcycle, check out this blog. 

Schedule pickup and delivery

As mentioned, most carriers offer both home pick up/delivery and shipment from one distribution center to another. If you select home delivery, keep in mind that there may be instances where your driver is unable to pick your motorcycle up or drop it off at your front door. Perhaps you live on a high-traffic city street or your driveway is not accessible to the truck. In these cases, you can work with the carrier to determine a safe, nearby location for loading and/or unloading. 

You’ll also need to finalize pick up and delivery dates. You may prefer a guaranteed date and time frame for both or have a more flexible schedule. Work with your advisor to decide the best option for you — the one you choose will impact the transport cost.

Additionally, when estimating your delivery dates, it’s important to consider unforeseen issues such as traffic, road conditions, weather, etc.  These are just a few of the unplanned events that can impact your date selection.  It’s recommended you plan for 1-4 days of flexibility in your schedule whenever possible.

Prepare your motorcycle for shipment

Now that you’ve got everything arranged for your motorcycle transport, make sure your vehicle is ready for the journey ahead. The carrier you select will have specific rules for how to prepare your motorcycle, but typically you’ll want to do the following:

  • Remove personal items (GPS, cameras, etc.)
  • Inflate tires
  • Keep gas at ¾ tank or less
  • Charge the battery
  • Check and repair fluid leaks
  • Unlock the steering wheel
  • Remove all keys (if required by the specific carrier)

Motorcycle transport service made easy

After you’ve gone through all the steps laid out above, the final step is for the carrier to pick up the vehicle from your residence or designated distribution center, and your motorcycle will begin the adventure to its new destination!

Ready to get started with your motorcycle shipment? Montway Auto Transport is an industry leader in motorcycle shipping, moving more than 100,000 vehicles annually. Get your motorcycle shipping quote by calling us at 866-618-7655 or visit our motorcycle shipping page to learn more about our transport solutions.