Cost to Ship a Motorcycle: What You Need To Know

Rochdi Rais Rochdi Rais · Updated February 23, 2024

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Are you curious about the cost to ship a motorcycle? Shipping a motorcycle can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you’re planning a long-distance move, purchasing a motorcycle from a distant location, or simply taking your bike on vacation, there are many reasons why you might need to ship your motorcycle.

In this guide, we’ll explore the basics of motorcycle shipping and give you an idea of what costs to expect. We’ll also dive into some factors affecting motorcycle shipping cost and how professional motorcycle shipping services can help.

Basics of Motorcycle Shipping

Motorcycle shipping an be done by truck, train, or even a cargo plane. The two most common methods of shipping are open and enclosed transport.

Open transport involves loading your motorcycle onto an open trailer alongside other vehicles. This is the most common and cost-effective method of motorcycle shipping. However, your bike will be exposed to the elements during transport, which may cause wear and tear.

Enclosed transport offers more protection for your motorcycle. Your bike will be loaded into an enclosed trailer or crate, protecting it from the elements and potential damage. Enclosed transport is typically more expensive than open transport but is often recommended for high-value or vintage motorcycles.

Factors that Affect The Cost To Ship Motorcycle

The cost to ship a motorcycle depends on several factors, including:

Distance: The farther your motorcycle needs to be transported, the higher the shipping cost.

Type of Transport: As mentioned earlier, enclosed transport is typically more expensive than open transport.

Weight and Size: Smaller and lighter motorcycles are generally less expensive to ship than larger and heavier bikes.

Condition: The shipping cost may increase if your motorcycle is inoperable or requires special handling.

Seasonality: During peak season, the shipping cost may be higher when many people are shipping their motorcycles.

Cost to Ship a Motorcycle

What is the cost to ship a motorcycle? The answer is it depends. According to, the average cost to ship a motorcycle domestically is around $350 to $700, while the cost of international motorcycle shipping can range from $1,000 to $2,000 or more.

Again, the distance, type of transport, weight and size, condition of the motorcycle, and seasonality can all affect the final cost of shipping your motorcycle. It’s always best to get multiple quotes from reliable motorcycle shipping companies to compare prices.

Professional Motorcycle Shipping Services

While it’s possible to ship your motorcycle on your own, it’s often easier and safer to use a professional motorcycle shipping service. These services specialize in motorcycle shipping and have the experience and equipment necessary to safely and efficiently transport your bike.

Using a professional motorcycle shipping service such as CitizenShipper can also save you time and money. They’ll handle all the logistics of your shipment, including loading your motorcycle onto the trailer, securing it properly, and delivering it to its destination. This means you can focus on other aspects of your move, purchase, or vacation.

Prepare Your Motorcycle for Transportation

If you’re planning to transport your motorcycle, there are several things you need to do to prepare it for a safe and smooth journey. Follow these essential tips to get your motorcycle ready for shipment.

1. Washing

The first step is to thoroughly wash your motorcycle to remove any dirt or soil deposits, enabling you to inspect its condition before travel.

2. Condition Documenting

Take note of any existing scratches, dents, chips, or other cosmetic marks on your motorcycle, and take pictures of it from several angles, including close-up shots of the noted damage. Put dates on all records and show them to the mover at the time of transport to avoid future issues in the case of an insurance claim.

3. Removing Loose Items

Remove all valuables you may have in the storage compartments, trunks, or saddlebags, along with any other loose and custom items, including luggage racks, bicycle racks, spoilers, GPS systems, removable stereos, and toll tags. Check all fasteners that are easily accessible and make sure they are tightened.

4. Reducing Levels of Fuel

For safety, limit the amount of fuel permitted in your motorcycle. For domestic transport, tanks can be ¼ full, while for international shipping, they must be fully drained to avoid excess gas charges.

5. Documenting Mechanical Problems

Document any specific mechanical issues your motorcycle may already have, which will take certain liability off of the carrier and protect you from any potential damage.

6. Inflating Tires

Ensure your tires are fully inflated to cushion and protect your motorcycle while in transit since the tires are part of the suspension system.

7. Resolving Leaks

Ensure that all leaks are fixed or noted so that the proper precautions are taken. It is important to report any leaks to the motorcycle transport company in advance, as they could potentially cause damage to your own bike or other motorcycles in the container if sharing the same space.

Preparing your motorcycle for shipment may seem like a daunting task, but with these essential tips, you can be sure your motorcycle will arrive safely and in good condition. Remember to follow these steps to document your motorcycle’s condition, remove all loose items, and reduce fuel level, to ensure a means of smooth and hassle-free transport.

FAQs: Cost To Ship a Motorcycle

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Motorcycle?

The cost to ship a motorcycle varies based on several factors such as distance, type of transport, and additional services. You can get an estimate by using a motorcycle shipping cost estimator on a reputable company’s website or speaking directly with a shipping advisor.

Can I Ship My Motorcycle Internationally?

Yes, shipping your motorcycle internationally is possible. However, tanks must be fully drained before shipment; additional requirements and restrictions may depend on the destination country.

Do I Need To Remove All Loose Items From My Motorcycle Before Shipment?

Yes, removing all loose items from your motorcycle before shipment is important. Movers are not responsible for damaged or lost accessories during transit, and they will not be covered by insurance.

What Should I Do if My Motorcycle Has Mechanical Issues?

It is necessary to document any specific mechanical issues your motorcycle may already have before shipment. This takes the certain liability off of the carrier and protects you from any potential damage. If possible, it’s best to resolve any mechanical issues before shipping.

Can I Pack Anything in My Motorcycle’s Storage Compartments, Trunks, or Saddlebags?

Packaging anything in your motorcycle’s storage compartments, trunks, or saddlebags is not recommended. These areas are not designed for carrying additional items during shipment. Any loose items could cause damage to your motorcycle or other motorcycles in the container.

Bottom Line

Shipping your motorcycle doesn’t have to be a complicated or expensive process. By understanding the basics of motorcycle shipping and the factors that affect costs, you can get an idea of what to expect. Whether you choose open or enclosed transport, domestic or international shipping, using a professional motorcycle shipping service can help ensure a safe and hassle-free shipping experience.