How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Motorcycle?

4 min to read

When shipping a motorcycle, the biggest concern amongst vehicle owners is cost. While they want to protect their motorcycle as much as possible, they also want to get the most value from the carrier they select. 

In this blog post, we will explore what elements impact the final cost to transport a motorcycle.

Motorcycle transport cost factors

Actual costs for shipping your motorcycle will depend on a number of considerations, including those listed below.

Shipping distance

The total miles traveled is one of the most important factors used to calculate motorcycle shipping costs. A longer transport distance has a lower cost per mile, but will typically lead to a higher overall price. The pick-up state and city also affect cost, as the driver may have to travel far just to get your motorcycle loaded onto the trailer. 


The type of motorcycle you have can also factor into price. Harleys, vintage bikes, trikes, and supersport vehicles sometimes require additional transport considerations that can result in increased costs. Your motorcycle’s condition and value will also play a role, as will any accessories you have on your bike, like a sidecar. 

Type of transport

Another component that will influence motorcycle shipping cost is what kind of transport you choose to move your vehicle. Overseas shipment or shipment to Hawaii from the mainland United States will require some form of boat or other means of transport, costing considerably more. Trains and trailers are available for cross-country transportation.

When you select a trailer, you have the option between open or enclosed. The lower-cost option is an open trailer, which exposes your motorcycle to the elements over the duration of the journey. An enclosed trailer costs more but offers protection from weather and road debris that could cause damage to your vehicle. Most owners tend to select enclosed transport as it provides increased peace of mind when shipping your motorcycle.

Type of delivery

Most carriers offer door-to-door motorcycle delivery, where the driver picks up and drops off the vehicle at the locations you choose. As you can probably guess, this will cost you more. An alternative is to ship your motorcycle between distribution centers, of which many carriers have multiple locations across the country. This can significantly save you money.

Depending on where your residence is located, home pick-up or delivery may not be possible. If you live on a busy city street or narrow road, it might not allow enough space for the truck and trailer to park or for the driver to load/unload the vehicle. In these cases, you and the driver will determine another nearby location.


Vehicle owners who have more flexibility around pick-up and drop-off dates and times will pay less for their motorcycle shipment. The time of year can also impact pricing. Demand is highest in the summer months — and as a result, so are prices — and lowest during winter. If you aren’t on a strict timeline to transport your motorcycle, winter is your best bet for cutting costs.

Unlike most shippers, Montway Auto Transport is able to negotiate discounted and set rates with the premier motorcycle shippers, providing you with a set price not directly influenced by typical demand fluctuations. Contact us at 866-618-7655 to get your motorcycle shipping quote today!

Insurance for shipping a motorcycle

Although carriers are required to offer liability insurance, this insurance does not cover the vehicle. Many carriers do not independently offer cargo insurance for appropriate vehicle coverage. It’s important to check with the carrier to confirm the type(s) of insurance automatically included and/or offered with your shipment to ensure needed coverage.  

Working with a trusted transport broker offers peace of mind when it comes to required insurance coverage. Not only will they help validate current carrier coverage, but can confirm actual coverage amounts and share recommendations for additional coverage when needed. Most carriers will allow you to directly purchase additional coverage through them, or you can get it through your own insurance provider. 

When working with a broker or carrier, make sure you have an understanding of the following:

  • What is covered by insurance (entire vehicle vs. specific parts, accessories, etc.)
  • Deductible amount
  • Coverage limit
  • Whether additional coverage can be purchased and if it’s needed

Overview of the motorcycle shipping industry

When looking into options for shipping your motorcycle cross-country or internationally, you’ll likely come across three types of companies:

  • Carriers: Execute the actual pick-up, transport, and drop-off. Vehicle owners can work directly with a carrier to work out shipment detail, including the type of transport, pick-up and delivery locations, and final cost.
  • Lead providers: Websites generate a list of carriers based on the vehicle owner’s search criteria. Carriers will then directly reach out to the owner to try to finalize their order and book their shipment.
  • Brokers: Work in facilitation with motorcycle owners and carriers in securing the best routes and rates. Most brokers have access to thousands of carriers and can help find the best option for owners based on individual needs and budget. 

How to get a motorcycle shipping quote

Getting a pricing estimate for your motorcycle shipping is simple. You can call a carrier directly and provide details of the shipment to receive a quote, or you can request a quote on a carrier’s or broker’s website. Most will require this information:

  • Pick-up and drop-off locations
  • Motorcycle type (year, make, model)
  • Transport preference (open vs. enclosed)
  • Earliest available pick-up date

Motorcycle transport with Montway

Montway Auto Transport offers cross-country and international motorcycle shipping services. We provide door-to-door transport services and transport between distribution centers, as well as open or enclosed transport. As an industry leader in vehicle transport, you can trust that we will help you find the best motorcycle shipping solution for your needs, preferences, and budget.

Call us at 888-989-8526 for a quote and check out our motorcycle transport services to get more information about our pick up and delivery options.