Open and Enclosed Motorcycle Shipping Solutions

2 min to read

When planning to ship a motorcycle, you’re left to make many decisions: pick-up and drop-off locations, flexible versus expedited shipping, and how much insurance coverage to purchase. One of the most important choices to make is whether you want to transport your bike in an open or enclosed trailer.

What considerations should you make to choose between open and enclosed motorcycle transport? Keep reading to ensure you determine the best option for your vehicle, preferences, and budget. 

Open Motorcycle Shipping

Open transport involves the motorcycle being strapped onto an open-air trailer. While this solution is less expensive than an enclosed trailer, it also exposes your vehicle to the elements, from rain and snow, to dirt and dust, to debris kicked up from other automobiles on the road. Typically, these won’t require more than a thorough cleaning after a trip, but from time to time motorcycles can incur minor or small damage. 

Additionally, open trailers leave your motorcycle out in the open for passersby — and in the event the driver needs to make a long-term or overnight stop, potentially susceptible to theft. This makes open-air transport a more ideal solution for shorter distance travel (a few hundred miles or less to be completed within the same day). If you are on a tight timeline and require expedited shipping, you’ll likely have better luck finding an open transport trailer.

Enclosed Motorcycle Shipping

Whereas an open trailer puts your motorcycle on display to external threats, enclosed motorcycle transport provides peace of mind knowing your vehicle won’t be damaged, scratched, or stolen, making it an all-around safer solution. Since the vehicle will be potentially packed inside with several other motorcycles, you might be required to remove or fold in mirrors, and other parts that stick out prior to pick up.

Enclosed trailers are more sensible for long-distance travel that will take multiple days, since the driver will make stops and park in public places along the way. They are also preferred by owners of higher-value luxury or vintage motorcycles. And because enclosed trailers can transport more vehicles in a single delivery route, there may be additional drop-offs, which can potentially increase overall route time. Please keep in mind that you may need to have more flexibility in your delivery schedule to take advantage of enclosed transport solutions.

As you can guess, the added protection provided by an enclosed trailer can also add to the shipping cost. The price difference will depend on where you live and what carrier you work with to transport your motorcycle.

Making the Best Decision for Your Motorcycle Transport

Educating yourself on the different options available for shipping a motorcycle will help you make more informed decisions. The information above should help you determine whether an open or enclosed transport trailer is the right solution. Consider these factors when making your decision:

  • Transport distance
  • Transport timeline
  • Vehicle type and condition
  • Budget

Still not sure whether you should go with an open or enclosed motorcycle shipping solution? A broker can help recommend the carrier and transport option that works for your requirements. Montway Auto Transport works with thousands of carriers that offer both open and enclosed shipping across the country and internationally. 

Call us at 866-618-7655 to request a quote for your motorcycle shipment.  Please view our motorcycle shipping page to see the specific steps we take to carefully secure your vehicle for transport