How the Motorcycle Shipping Industry Really Works

The world of motorcycle shipping is one that many riders are not familiar with until they need it. Whether you’re moving across the country, buying a bike from a distant seller, or shipping a motorcycle to a rally or race, understanding the intricacies of the motorcycle shipping industry is crucial. Motorcycle shipping involves the transportation of motorcycles from one location to another. It is a complex and multifaceted industry encompassing many transportation modes, companies, and regulations. 

The motorcycle shipping industry has experienced significant growth in recent years as more and more riders seek to transport their bikes safely and efficiently. With the rise of e-commerce and online marketplaces, buying and selling motorcycles across long distances has become increasingly common, leading to an increased demand for motorcycle shipping services. However, the motorcycle shipping industry has challenges. Shipping a motorcycle can be a complicated process, and there are many factors to consider when choosing a shipping company. 

In this article, we’ll explore how the motorcycle shipping industry works, including what factors influence the cost of shipping, the different shipping options available, and how to choose the right shipping company for your needs. So, let’s jump right in and learn more about the exciting world of motorcycle shipping!

Factors that influence the cost of shipping a motorcycle 

If you’re planning to ship your motorcycle, it’s essential to understand the various factors that can affect the cost of transportation. One of the most significant factors is the distance between the origin and destination. The farther the distance, the higher the shipping cost is likely. Another factor that can impact the cost is the size and weight of the motorcycle. A larger and heavier bike may require specialized equipment, which can increase the price.

Additionally, the mode of transportation can influence the cost of shipping. Enclosed transport, for example, is more expensive than open-air transport because it provides better protection for the motorcycle. Finally, the time of year can also affect the cost. Shipping a motorcycle during winter may be more expensive due to increased demand for transportation services and potentially hazardous weather conditions. By considering these factors, you can better understand how motorcycle shipping costs are calculated and make an informed decision when choosing a shipping company. 

When you receive a motorcycle shipping quote, it will contain several details related to your specific shipment. This includes the precise locations for pick-up and delivery and the type and size of your motorcycle. The quote will also include your delivery time, so you know when to expect your bike to arrive. Additionally, your quote will outline the insurance options available to you, allowing you to choose the level of coverage that best suits your needs. Your quote will also include any promotions or discounts that apply to your shipment. 

According to a survey conducted by American Motorcycle Shippers, the most critical factors customers consider when choosing a motorcycle shipping company are price, reliability, and experience. The survey also found that 72% of customers prefer enclosed shipping for added protection and security.

Understanding the different types of motorcycle shipping options

When it comes to shipping your motorcycle, there are several different options to consider. One of the most common options is open-air transport, which involves shipping your motorcycle on an open trailer. This is often the most affordable option, but it does come with some risks.

Your motorcycle will be exposed to the elements during transit, which could lead to damage from weather or road debris. Enclosed transport is another option, which involves shipping your motorcycle in an enclosed trailer. This provides better protection from the elements, but it is also more expensive than open-air transport. 

Door-to-door transport is another popular option, which involves the shipping company picking up your motorcycle from your location and delivering it directly to your desired destination. This option is the most convenient but also the most expensive.

Other options include terminal-to-terminal transport, which involves dropping off and picking up your motorcycle at designated terminals, and crated transport, which involves shipping your motorcycle in a specially designed crate for added protection. By understanding the different types of motorcycle shipping options, you can choose the one that best fits your needs and budget. 

How to choose the right motorcycle shipping company

Choosing the right motorcycle shipping company can be a daunting task, but it’s crucial to ensure your bike is in safe hands during transportation. When considering a shipping company, it’s important to look for one with a good reputation in the industry. You can ask for references from other riders or check online reviews to get an idea of their track record. Additionally, experience is a key factor to consider when choosing a shipping company. Companies with years of experience in motorcycle shipping are more likely to have the necessary expertise and equipment to handle your bike safely and securely. It’s also important to ensure the shipping company is properly licensed and insured. Ask to see their credentials and verify that they meet all the necessary legal requirements. 

Finally, consider the level of customer service offered by the shipping company. A good company should be responsive to your questions and concerns and provide clear and transparent communication throughout the shipping process. By taking these factors into consideration, you can find a motorcycle shipping company that meets your needs and provides peace of mind during the transportation of your bike.


As a motorcycle owner, shipping your bike is an important decision that requires careful consideration. With the right information and knowledge about the motorcycle shipping industry, you can make an informed decision that ensures the safe and secure transportation of your motorcycle. 

From understanding the different types of motorcycle shipping options available to choosing the right shipping company, every aspect of the shipping process is crucial to ensuring the safe arrival of your bike. By following the tips and information provided in this article, you can confidently navigate the motorcycle shipping industry and ensure the best possible experience for yourself and your bike.

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