Motorcycle Shipping: Everything You Should Know About It

Motorcycle ownership is at an all-time high. At the same time, nearly 10% of the population moves every year.

In many cases, it’s not practical or possible to have someone ride a bike for a move. As a result, these individuals need to figure out how to ship their motorcycles to their new homes.

If you need to move your motorcycle, it helps to know about the various available options. Motorcycle shipping is an excellent choice if you want to make sure that your bike arrives safely and without any damage.

To learn all you need to know about motorcycle shipping, keep reading.

Using Standard Shipping

One alternative to hiring a specialty motorcycle shipper is to hire a national freight carrier. There are far more standard carriers compared to specialized motorcycle shippers. Freight carriers specialize in moving large shipments across the country, which can prove cumbersome due to their size or weight.

The freight carrier will load your bike into a shipping crate and transport it with other business and consumer goods. This practice enables the freight company to maximize its load and minimize costs.

The cost of a freight carrier may seem reasonable. However, a freight carrier will prove quite expensive once you pay for the custom crate.

Also, when requesting quotes for freight, you must make sure you provide the motorcycle shipping company with an accurate weight and dimensions. If your numbers are off, they’ll charge much more than expected.

Bikes are hard to ship because they’re bulky and awkward. That’s why every single motorcycle transport service is going to offer different quotes.

What’s more, there’s a minimum of three days required for preparation before the bike can travel. Also, you’ll need at least another two weeks of time if the transport takes an average amount of time, which in itself could take four or five days.

What Is the Best Way to Transport a Motorcycle?

The best way to ship a motorcycle is to use a motorcycle shipping company.

Before we get into all the details, let’s take a look at what makes motorcycle shippers such an appealing option.

A growing number of consumers who move also need to transport their motorcycles. There are plenty of good reasons to use motorcycle shipping companies.

Motorcycle shipping services are a great way to make sure your bike arrives safely at its destination. These shipping companies have considerable experience with bikes and know how to pack them securely for the trip.

An experienced service provider can help you to avoid the common pitfalls of shipping specialty items such as motorcycles. They’ll help you to choose the best shipping method.

You’ll also find that the top motorcycle shipping companies can provide you with door-to-door service. They’ll pick up your bike from your location and deliver it to the destination that you desire. You won’t have to worry about picking up your motorcycle from a warehouse or transfer station.

Motorcycle shipping is a great way to get your bike from point A to point B. The best thing about motorcycle shippers is that because of their experience, they can help you with the process and ultimately make it a smooth one.

How to Prepare for Shipment

There are a few things you’ll need to do to prepare your motorcycle for shipping. These steps will help to make the whole process go smoothly.

First, you’ll want to make sure your bike is clean. Begin by washing away any dirt or dust.

Next, make sure your bike is in good working order by checking the tire pressure, oil level, battery charge levels and any other vital functions.

Now, you’ll want to take pictures to document the condition of your bike before shipment. The pictures will prove especially important if any damage occurs during shipping.

Also, make sure that you leave about a quarter tank of gas in your motorcycle. It will prove easier to start the engine if it has gas in it when you’re ready to ride again.

In addition, disable any alarms and unlock the handlebars. Also, make sure there’s air in the tires.

Finally, you’ll want to provide the shipper with any additional instructions to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Tips for Motorcycle Shipping

It’s important to communicate with the shipper. Make sure you speak with them the day before you plan to ship your motorcycle. In this way, you can ensure they’re prepared for the shipment, and you have all the necessary information about when it should arrive at its destination.

During the pickup, you’ll want to inspect your bike. Both you and the carrier should agree on any damages before the motorcycle is loaded into the truck. This understanding will help you avoid any disputes after delivery.

Still, a quality carrier will take every measure to make sure your motorcycle arrives safely. For instance, they’ll secure your bike with tie-downs during transport. These measures will keep it in an upright position and away from other motorcycles.

In addition, confirm the shipping details with the driver. You’ll want to make sure you’re both on the same page.

Make sure the address matches and the dates are the same. Also, confirm the insurance coverage and any other details that you need to address. Finally, make sure you have all your documentation before you turn over your bike.

Choosing Your Trailer: Enclosed or Open?

You want to think about whether you want to ship your bike on an enclosed or open trailer. Shipping your motorcycle in an enclosed trailer is a bit more expensive, but it will protect your bike from the elements.

At the same time, it can take a little more time to find availability on an enclosed trailer, but they’re often preferable to open trailers.

The shipper will usually wait until they have a full load of motorcycles before they leave. If you’re the first to book an open trailer, you might have to wait a while for the shipper to fill up the load.

Open trailers, on the other hand, are less expensive. However, they usually let more dust or debris in the cargo area compared to an enclosed trailer. As a result, they provide less protection from the elements.

With this in mind, it’s possible that road debris could come in contact with your motorcycle. Also, if it rains or snows, the precipitation will land on your bike.

Why You Should Get Insurance

Just as you’d insure your belongings during a move, you’ll want to make sure you have sufficient insurance for your motorcycle.

All reputable motorcycle shippers have insurance coverage. However, most motorcycle shipping companies require some type of rider on automobile policies or separate insurance if they’re going to cover any damage incurred during the transport.

Most people find they need motorcycle shipping insurance because there’s no protection under their personal auto policy. It’s always a good idea to consider additional shipping insurance for your bike to make sure that it’s fully covered. Insurance is especially important if you have an expensive motorcycle.

Different insurers charge different rates. Insurance for motorcycle shipping is available from either the shipper or your private insurance agent. You’ll want to compare the cost and coverage of insurance from both sources.

In part, the size of your bike also affects the cost of motorcycle shipping insurance. A smaller bike means less danger and lower rates compared to a larger one.

In addition, the weight of your motorcycle will affect the cost of shipping insurance. Incidentally, the size of the bike will also affect your shipping rate.

An insurer may offer you a discount if you’re a loyal customer. They might also give you a discount if you have other insurance, such as coverage for your car and home.

Shipping Cost Factors

It may help to take a closer look at the various items that can affect the cost of motorcycle transport.

Different factors will have a varying impact on the cost of transporting your motorcycle. This information will also give you a better idea of the capabilities of shipping companies as you evaluate service providers.

For example, a carrier who’s more qualified for the job may not charge as much because there’s less risk involved for the company. However, it’s also important not to choose a service provider just because they give you the lowest quote. Instead, it’s important to assess who’s most qualified for the job.

The following are a few of the top factors that you’ll want to consider when shipping your motorcycle.

Open Versus Enclosed Shipping

Again, you can choose either an open or enclosed carrier for motorcycle shipping. An enclosed shipping carrier costs more, while open motorcycle shipping is more affordable.

Open motorcycle transportation is the most economical type of transport. An open motorcycle carrier is your most basic option between the two types of carriers.

However, if something happens during the transport, then there’s no protection between outside elements and your motorbike. Here, you want to balance the savings with the risks.

An enclosed motorcycle carrier offers greater security against hazards such as theft or damage. The carrier will shield your motorcycle, making sure everything remains in perfect condition throughout the trip.

They provide extra protection and will also give you extra peace of mind knowing that your motorcycle safe inside an enclosed trailer. An enclosed carrier may also have extras like temperature control to make sure that your bike doesn’t overheat during the trip.

Transport Distance

The cost of motorcycle shipping can vary based on a few factors. Again, the distance of the shipment affects the cost. Shipping a motorcycle across the country is more expensive than shipping it from one city to another.

In general, the further the distance between the starting and destination points, the higher the price is for motorcycle transport service. Depending on the distance as well as your motorcycle’s weight, you can expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $600.

At the same time, this doesn’t mean that local or state to state shipments are always cheaper. If there’s special handling involved, for instance, then that factor might add to your total bill. For instance, you may need to move a very expensive show bike—more on special handling in a moment.

Bike Weight and Size

When it comes to motorcycle shipping, weight is also a factor. Motorcycles range in size and weight from small starter bikes up to heavy motorcycles like Harley Davidsons, Indians or Gold Wings.

A lighter bike will always cost less than a heavier one because of its lower freight costs. However, this circumstance isn’t constant across all bike types. Some smaller bikes are more expensive due to their complicated handling requirements.

There’s also an additional charge for oversized motorcycles. You’ll want to plan ahead if you’re looking at potential added transport charges.

Luxury and Vintage Motorcycle Shipping

Shipping a luxury or vintage motorcycle can also result in higher costs. Luxury and vintage motorcycle shipping is a very specialized job. It’s not just about loading the bikes up on the truck.

These bikes require extra care. Resultantly, they’re often more expensive to ship.

Some companies specialize in this niche. As a result, they’ll offer superior customer service and expertise.

Here, it’s important to choose a shipping company that you can trust. Some motorcycle shippers are more experienced than others. When considering using motorcycle shipping, you’ll want to ask for references from a company before hiring them.

Fuel Surcharges

Some companies may also charge fuel surcharges for motorcycle shipping. Accordingly, you’ll want to ask a potential shipper if they charge this fee.

Fuel surcharges will typically cost an average of anywhere from $70 to $100 per motorcycle. They can add up, especially when you’re shipping many motorcycles at one time.

Here, you’ll want to look for a shipper that doesn’t charge a fuel surcharge for the job. At a minimum, however, the company you choose should tell you upfront about any fuel surcharges so that you can make an informed decision.

Saving on Shipping Costs

Of course, you’ll want to save on costs, if at all possible. With this in mind, some motorcycle shippers offer veterans a discount for motorcycle shipping. If you’re a veteran, make sure to ask your shipper about this option.

You could also save on the cost of the job by shipping multiple bikes. Some motorcycle shipping companies offer discounts if you ship more than one bike at a time. You may also get a better rate by transporting your bike or bikes during the slower-moving seasons.

As you gather quotes, make sure that you ask potential motorcycle shippers if they offer discounts. The right discount might help you to find a great price for your transport.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship My Motorcycle?

It’s difficult to provide the cost of motorcycle shipping without details. Just like with homes, every transport is different.

As with other types of shipping services, there are a few things that can increase the costs. These items may include special handling or additional requirements. For instance, you may own a bike that’s delicate and requires extra care.

The best way to find the cost of motorcycle shipping is by getting a quote. An experienced motorcycle shipper can tell you the approximate cost of shipping, which you can then compare to other quotes.

What Is the Cheapest Way to Ship a Motorcycle?

Motorcycle shipping is one of the most reliable and affordable modes of transportation for motorcycles. These companies provide services for local and cross-country transport.

You’ll want to find a motorcycle shipper who can provide an accurate and fair quote without any additional costs or obligation. The trick is finding one that’s not too expensive but also has a good reputation so that your motorcycle arrives safely at its destination.

How to Choose a Shipper

When choosing a company to ship your motorcycle, there are many factors to consider. For instance, you want to make sure that you find a motorcycle shipping company with a good reputation.

You might start the process of finding a good motorcycle shipping company by asking fellow riders for referrals. You can also check the online reputations of various potential motorcycle shipping companies.

It’s also vital to make sure that a potential carrier’s insurance is up-to-date and that they have liability coverage. You should also speak with a representative from each company to ensure that their customer service proves satisfactory.

Also, ask potential carriers about any hidden fees or expenses. Some carriers may charge additional fees if any unusual services are required during the transport.

You should also look for a shipping company that can keep you updated about the status of your motorcycle transport. The best shipping companies can give you access to an online tracking system that will let you know where your bike is at all times.

Once you find a few companies that meet your criteria, research each of the companies thoroughly before making a final decision. A little upfront investigation will go a long way toward making sure that you choose the right motorcycle transport service.

Scheduling Transport for Your Motorcycle

Once you’ve narrowed down shipping companies, you’ll want to schedule the move as soon as possible. It’s important to ensure there’s a time and date that works with both your delivery location and the receiving location.

For instance, a cross-country move can take around five days. It’s a good idea to schedule transport with this in mind.

There’s also the possibility of delays. Accordingly, you’ll want to plan a three-day window for pickup and delivery.

It’s also a good idea to talk with the shipper soon as possible if you’re looking into moving. The earlier you contact the shipper, the better chance there is for an early pickup in relation to the date that you release your motorcycle. The same concept applies during peak times like holidays or other major events that could delay shipments significantly.

Again, motorcycle shippers need a full load to minimize the cost of your shipment. As a result, it’s also possible that it will take time for the load to fill up. You may have to wait until the shipper receives more bookings for that particular date.

If you’re in search of a motorcycle shipping company, Nexus Auto Transport is a great place to start.

Why Choose Nexus Auto Transport?

Shipping a motorcycle can prove hectic and time-consuming. At Nexus Auto Transport, we know that finding a great shipper is a lot of work, but we can make the process easy.

We get it. The price that we quote is what you’ll pay—and that’s it.

We provide fair rates and transparent pricing. You’ll know exactly what you’re paying for when using our services. More importantly, our team of expert drivers has years of experience transporting motorcycles across the country safely and securely—and in less time than any other carrier available.

Are You Looking for a Safe Way to Ship Your Motorcycle?

Now you know all about motorcycle shipping. What you need now is the leading car and motorcycle shipping company in the United States.

Nexus Auto Transport is the nation’s leading provider of automobile and motorcycle shipping. What’s more, we offer door-to-door service.

No matter where you are in the country, we’ll get your bike there safely and securely. You don’t have to worry about a thing when you trust us to ship your motorcycle.

Our staff members will work with you from beginning to end to make sure that everything goes smoothly from start to finish. Let us handle all the details—just sit back, and we’ll make sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible.

If you’ve got questions, we have the answers. Our transport experts can answer any common questions about motorcycle shipping.

Contact Nexus Auto Transport today at 224-218-2949. Alternatively, try out our online calculator for a fast, free quote.

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