Moving a Motorcycle Within the United States to Any Destination

Adaeze Nwakaeze Adaeze Nwakaeze · Updated April 23, 2024

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Motorcycle relocation within the United States.

Riding a motorcycle is an experience that cannot be replicated by any other mode of transportation. The wind in your face, the sound of the engine, and the freedom of the open road make it so exhilarating. But let’s face it, moving a motorcycle can be overwhelming. 

How can you ensure it will arrive at its destination in one piece? The good news is that several options are available to you, each with its pros and cons. Whether you’re considering shipping your motorcycle, riding it to your destination or something in between, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll explore the best ways to move your motorcycle within the United States, so you can make an informed decision that fits your needs.

So buckle up (or, rather, strap on your helmet) and get ready for an exciting ride as we dive into the different methods for moving your motorcycle.

How Does Motorcycle Shipping Work?

Motorcycle shipping is a specialized service. Choosing a reliable and experienced shipping company is essential to ensure that your bike arrives safely at its destination.

Here’s a general overview of how motorcycle shipping works:

#1. Research Shipping Companies

The first step is to research and choose a reputable shipping company that specializes in motorcycle transportation. Look for a company with positive reviews and insurance coverage for your bike during transit.

#2. Get a Quote

Most shipping companies offer free quotes for their services. You’ll need to provide information about your motorcycle, such as its make and model, weight and dimensions, as well as the pickup and delivery locations.

#3. Prepare Your Motorcycle for Shipping

Before your bike is picked up, you’ll need to prepare it for transportation. This may include cleaning, draining the fuel, removing loose or fragile parts and securing the battery.

#4. Pick Up and Delivery

On the day of pickup, the shipping company will inspect your motorcycle and load it onto their truck or trailer. Once it arrives at the destination, it will be unloaded and inspected again before being delivered to you.

#5. Insurance Coverage

During transit, your motorcycle should be fully insured against damage or loss. Ensure you understand the shipping company’s coverage and consider purchasing additional insurance if necessary.

How to Plan for a Long-Distance Move and Protect Your Bike 

Here are some tips on how to plan for a long-distance move and how to protect your bike during the move:

#1. Necessary Maintenance

To prepare your motorcycle for transport, take it for a tune-up and check for any necessary repairs. Ensure all fluids are topped off, tires are properly inflated, and the battery is charged. This will prevent any issues during transport and ensure your bike is ready to ride when it arrives at its destination.

#2. Packing

When packing your motorcycle for transport, protect it from damage. Remove any loose or fragile parts and pack them separately. Cover your bike with a quality motorcycle cover to protect it from scratches and debris during transport.

#3. Inspect Your Motorcycle Before and After Transport

Take photos of your motorcycle before it’s loaded onto the truck or trailer, and inspect it thoroughly upon delivery. Report any damages to the moving company and insurance provider immediately.

#4. Secure Transportation

Ensure your motorcycle is loaded securely onto the truck or trailer and properly secured during transport. Ask the moving company about their transportation methods and how they protect your bike during the move.

Preparing to Move Your Motorcycle

Preparing your motorcycle for a move is daunting, but it can be a smooth and stress-free experience with the right steps. 

#1. Drain the Fluids

It’s crucial to drain all fluids from your motorcycle’s engine before moving it to prevent any spills or leaks during transportation. Doing this will ensure that your bike arrives at its destination in good condition.

#2. Use a Motorcycle Dolly, for Easier Movement

A motorcycle dolly is a great tool for moving your bike short distances. It can make loading and unloading your motorcycle a breeze and help you move your bike without starting it. Plus, it’s a lot of fun to use!

#3. Ensure The Bike Is Secure and Protected

Securing and protecting your motorcycle is vital when transporting it. Use a quality motorcycle cover to protect your bike from scratches and debris during transport. Also use tie-down straps to secure your bike to the moving truck to prevent it from shifting or falling over during transit.

Moving a Motorcycle Across Country

#1. Research and Plan Ahead

Before embarking on your journey, research your route, and plan your trip in advance. Consider factors such as weather, road conditions, and potential stops. This will help you avoid unexpected obstacles and delays and ensure that you arrive at your destination on time.

#2. Choose the Right Transport Method

There are several methods to transport a motorcycle across the country, each with its own advantages and drawbacks. Consider driving it yourself, using a motorcycle trailer, or hiring a professional motorcycle shipping company. Choose the method that works best for your budget, timeline, and personal preference.

#3. Check State Regulations

Different states have different regulations and laws when it comes to transporting motorcycles. Research the rules and regulations of each state you’ll be traveling through so you comply with the law.

#4. Communicate with Your Transport Provider

If you’re using a professional motorcycle shipping company, communicate with them throughout the transport process. Confirm pickup and delivery dates, ask questions about their safety procedures, and notify them of any specific handling requirements for your bike. 

How to Comply with Regulations When Moving a Motorcycle

When moving a motorcycle within the United States, you must comply with federal and state regulations to avoid legal issues. Here are some tips on how to comply with regulations when moving a motorcycle:

#1. Research State-Specific Regulations

Each state has its regulations regarding motorcycle transportation. Before moving your bike, research the rules in the states you’ll be traveling through so know how to meet their requirements.

#2. Obtain Necessary Permits

You may need a special permit to transport a big or overweight motorcycle. Check with the Department of Transportation in the states through which you’ll be traveling to determine if you need a permit and how to obtain one.

#3. Ensure Proper Insurance Coverage

Have proper insurance coverage when moving your motorcycle. Check with your insurance provider to ensure your policy covers your bike during transport.

Understand Insurance Coverage Offered by Motorcycle Shipping Companies

While most companies provide insurance coverage, the terms and extent of coverage can vary.

Here are some tips to help you understand the insurance coverage offered by motorcycle shipping companies:

#1. Research Insurance Policies

Before choosing a motorcycle shipping company, research the insurance policies offered by different providers. Look for companies that offer comprehensive coverage for damages or loss during transportation.

#2. Review the Policy Terms

Carefully review the terms and conditions of the insurance policy to understand the extent of coverage and any exclusions. Some policies may limit the amount of coverage or exclude certain types of damages.

#3. Understand Your Liability

Even with insurance coverage, it’s important to understand your liability as the motorcycle owner. Review the terms and conditions of the shipping agreement to understand your responsibilities for the motorcycle during transportation.

Research Shipping Routes and Delivery Times to Optimize Your Motorcycle’s Transit

Moving a motorcycle across the country is a daunting task, but conducting proper research and planning can make the process much more manageable. One of the most critical aspects of planning a long-distance motorcycle move is researching shipping routes and delivery times so your motorcycle arrives safely and on time.

When researching shipping routes, there are several factors to consider.

#1. Seasonal Shipping

Depending on the time of year, certain shipping routes may be more prone to weather-related delays or hazards, such as winter storms or hurricane seasons. Considering these factors when planning your motorcycle’s transit is essential to ensure it arrives safely and on time.

#2. Shipping Costs

Shipping rates can vary significantly among shipping companies, so it’s crucial to compare prices and choose a company that fits your budget while also providing reliable service. Remember that sometimes lower prices may not be the best option as they may come at the expense of quality or safety.

#3. Shipping Options

Some shipping companies may offer different shipping options, such as open-air or enclosed trailers. Open-air trailers are more affordable but may expose your motorcycle to the elements, while enclosed trailers offer more protection but come at a higher cost. Consider which option is best for your motorcycle’s safety and budget.

#4. Proper Paperwork

Before shipping your motorcycle, have all the proper paperwork and documentation ready, including registration, proof of insurance, and a bill of sale. Additionally, some states may require additional permits or inspections for moving vehicles across state lines. Research the regulations and requirements for your specific route to avoid any potential issues.

#5. Tracking Your Shipment

Most reputable shipping companies will offer tracking or monitoring for your motorcycle’s transit. Take advantage of this service to stay updated on the progress of your shipment and have peace of mind.

#3. Prepare Your Motorcycle

Properly prepare your motorcycle for transport. This may include draining fluids, disconnecting batteries, and removing loose or removable parts. Additionally, consider taking photos of your motorcycle before shipping to document any pre-existing damage.

Coordinate with your Destination Address for a Smooth Delivery 

After completing all the necessary preparations for moving your motorcycle, the final step is coordinating with the destination address to ensure a smooth delivery. Here are a few steps

Step 1: Confirm delivery address and contact information with the recipient before shipment.

Step 2: Provide the shipping company with the recipient’s phone number and email address for communication during delivery.

Step 3: Coordinate delivery date and time with the recipient so someone is available to receive the motorcycle when it arrives.

Step 4: Verify any access restrictions or special requirements that may impact the delivery process.

Step 5: Confirm the recipient has all the necessary documentation to receive the motorcycle.

Step 6: Inspect the motorcycle upon delivery and document any damages or issues that occurred during transport.

Step 7:Contact the shipping company immediately if any damages are discovered to initiate the claims process.

What’s the Best Company for Moving a Motorcycle?

Several factors must be considered when choosing the best company for moving your motorcycle. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice

  • Look for a company that has been in business for several years and has a track record of successfully transporting motorcycles.
  • Check online reviews and ratings to see what other customers have to say about the company’s services.
  • Make sure the company offers adequate insurance coverage for your motorcycle during transit.
  • Choose a company with a responsive and helpful customer service team that can answer any questions you may have and keep you updated on the status of your shipment.
  • Compare quotes from different companies to ensure a fair and competitive price.

One option that meets all of these criteria is CitizenShipper. While it’s not a dedicated motorcycle transportation company, it’s a shipping marketplace with hundreds of experienced shippers. 

With a network of trusted and experienced drivers, CitizenShipper offers competitive prices, excellent customer service, and a reputation for safely and on time delivering motorcycles.


Moving a motorcycle can seem daunting, but with the right preparation and a reputable shipping company, it will be a stress-free experience. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your motorcycle arrives safely and securely at its destination.

If you’re ready to move your motorcycle and want to find a reliable shipping company use CitizenShipper. The platform connects you with a network of verified and insured motorcycle transporters, making it easy to find a trustworthy professional who can safely transport your bike.

So don’t wait any longer, take the first step towards a successful motorcycle move and post your listing on CitizenShipper today!