What Is the Cheapest Way to Ship a Motorcycle

Rochdi Rais Rochdi Rais · Updated February 23, 2024

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As a passionate motorcycle owner, it’s natural to want to take your ride everywhere you go. Unfortunately, there are times when you’ll need to move from one state to another, and taking your motorcycle with you may seem daunting. This is when you start looking for the cheapest way to ship a motorcycle.

While shipping a motorcycle to a new location may seem like an expensive ordeal at first, there are several affordable ways to get your bike to your new home without breaking the bank.

In this post, we will look at the cheapest way to ship a motorcycle, the benefits of each method, and how you can ensure that your motorcycle is delivered safely to your desired location.

1. Open Transport: The Cheapest Way To Ship a Motorcycle

Undoubtedly, open transport is the cheapest way to ship a motorcycle in the United States. This option involves loading your motorcycle onto an open trailer or truck, exposed to the elements and risks of the road.

While an open trailer may not be the most secure method of shipping a motorcycle, it’s the most readily available and is often used by shipping companies to transport multiple vehicles at once.

One benefit of open transport is that your motorcycle can be loaded onto a trailer or truck and shipped quickly, without any delays. Additionally, it’s an affordable option, costing around $0.50-$0.70 per mile shipped.

2. Crated Transport: The Low-Cost Option

Crated transport involves placing a motorcycle inside a crate that’s custom-built to fit its size and shape, ensuring that it’s protected from the weather and other risks on the road.

While this method is not as cheap as open transport, it’s a low-cost option that many riders prefer. It costs around $0.70-$1.00 per mile shipped, which is still affordable compared to other shipping methods.

Crated transport is best for owners who want to protect their vehicles from any potential damage while in transit. The motorcycle is secured inside a crate, which protects it from bumps and scratches.

Additionally, as the motorcycle is packed tightly in a crate, it’s less likely to get damaged by weather or road hazards.

3. Enclosed Transport: The Premium Option

Enclosed transport is the most expensive option when it comes to shipping a motorcycle. This method involves loading the bike onto a fully enclosed trailer, which provides extra protection from the weather and road hazards.

Enclosed transport is ideal for owners who value safety and security over cost. It’s perfect for owners who need to transport a high-end motorcycle or an antique bike that they want to protect against any potential damage.

Enclosed transport motorcycle shipping cost is around $1.00-$1.50 per mile shipped, which is significantly more expensive than open or crated transport. However, it provides the added benefit of complete safety and protection of your motorcycle.

4. DIY Option: U-Haul Trailer

If you have the time and capabilities to transport your motorcycle, a U-Haul trailer may be the best option. Using this method will allow you to transport your motorcycle at your own pace and comfort level.

U-Haul trailers are affordable and easy to use, costing around $15-$30 per day, plus a small fee per mile. While this method may require more work than other options, it offers the best overall control and ensures that you’re in charge of your motorcycle’s safety during the move.

Tips to Ensure Safe and Affordable Motorcycle Shipping

1. Plan ahead: Shipping a motorcycle can take significant time, so make sure you plan ahead for the move, giving yourself at least four weeks to select a shipping company.

2. Do your research: Look for reputable and experienced shipping companies, and read online reviews and customer feedback for each company you are considering. This ensures that you’re working with a provider that maintains high standards of customer service and quality shipping.

3. Be transparent about your needs: Communicate with your shipping company about your motorcycle’s specific needs and any unique requirements you may have. This ensures that your bike is transported according to your expectations.

4. Prepare your motorcycle: Clean and prepare your motorcycle for shipping, taking photos of any pre-existing damage to ensure you’re covered if any damage occurs during transit.

FAQs: Cheapest Way to Ship a Motorcycle

What is the cheapest way to ship a motorcycle?

Open transport is the cheapest method, with costs ranging from $0.50 to $0.70 per mile shipped.

Is Crated Transport a Good Low-cost Option for Shipping My Motorcycle?

Yes, crated transport offers more protection than open transport and costs around $0.70 to $1.00 per mile shipped.

Is Enclosed Transport Worth the Extra Cost of Shipping a High-end or Antique Motorcycle?

Enclosed transport provides the highest level of protection for your motorcycle, making it ideal for valuable or antique bikes, but it’s more expensive, with costs ranging from $1.00 to $1.50 per mile shipped.

Can I Ship My Motorcycle Using a U-haul Trailer?

Yes, using a U-Haul trailer is an affordable DIY option that allows you to control your motorcycle’s safety during the move. It costs around $15 to $30 per day, plus a small fee per mile.

Bottom Line: Cheapest Way to Ship a Motorcycle

At CitizenShipper, we understand that the cost of motorcycle shipping can weigh heavily on your budget. Whether you’re shipping a high-end bike or just want to keep costs low, there are several cheap ways to get your motorcycle safely to your new destination.

Open transport is the cheapest option, with crated transport being a low-cost option that offers greater protection. Enclosed transport is the premium option, offering additional protection for high-end or antique motorcycles.

If you prefer to handle the move yourself, a U-Haul trailer can be an affordable and safe option. Remember to plan ahead, research shipping companies, and communicate your needs for a successful and affordable motorcycle shipping experience.