How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Motorcycle?

Cost to Ship a Motorcycle

Shipping a motorcycle can seem like a daunting task Cost to Ship a Motorcycle. There are many factors that determine the overall cost, such as distance, type of motorcycle, and shipping method. This article provides a comprehensive overview of motorcycle shipping costs and the various things you need to consider.

Factors That Affect Motorcycle Shipping Costs


Distance is one of the biggest determinants of shipping cost. The farther the motorcycle needs to travel, the more it will cost to ship. Motorcycle shipping prices are usually calculated based on miles or zones. Rates tend to increase for every 500 miles beyond the initial distance.

So shipping a motorcycle cross-country will obviously cost significantly more than a short in-state move.

Cost to Ship a Motorcycle – Type of Motorcycle

Larger, heavier motorcycles are more expensive to transport than smaller bikes. A full-dressed touring bike is going to have a higher shipping cost than a lightweight sport bike.

Dirt bikes and dual-sports present fewer challenges since they can be stacked horizontally to optimize trailer space. Antique, custom, or one-of-a-kind motorcycles may require extra-special handling too.

Method of Shipment

The primary motorcycle shipping methods are open-air or enclosed trailer, freight, and passenger vehicle transport. Each has advantages and costs to consider. in general:

  • Open-air trailers are the most affordable but provide the least protection from weather.
  • Enclosed trailers cost more but keep the bike secure from rain, snow, and debris.
  • Freight shipping (by truck or train) is economical for long distances but there’s risk of damage during loading/unloading.
  • Passenger vehicle transport is convenient for shorter hauls if the motorcyle can fit inside a large SUV or pickup truck.

Cost to Ship a Motorcycle – Additional Services

Options like expedited delivery, liftgate service, rescheduling, or protection plans will increase shipping fees. Fuel surcharges may apply in cases of steep gas price increases too.

Valuable or collectible motorcycles may require fully insured, white glove delivery. Packing and assembly/disassembly support are other extras.

Average Motorcycle Shipping Costs

With the factors outlined above in mind, here are some general cost estimates for transporting a motorcycle of average size and weight via enclosed trailer:

Distance Estimated Cost
Within 100 miles $200-400
101-500 miles $300-600
501-1,000 miles $500-900
1,001-2,000 miles $800-1,200
Over 2,000 miles $1,000-1,500

Again, unpredictable factors like fuel surcharges, tolls, wait times, and repairs en route could tack on unexpected costs. Quotes from professional shippers are best for getting fixed pricing.

Cost to Ship a Motorcycle – Saving Money on Motorcycle Shipping

With a little planning, there are some ways to reduce transportation fees:

  • Compare rates from multiple companies and request discounts for bundling with other items.
  • Consider freight for longer distances instead of enclosed trailers.
  • Inquire about the most direct routing and fastest transit times.
  • Ship during the off-season or mid-week when trucks have more availability.
  • Remove loose accessories that add unnecessary weight but unpack vulnerable parts.
  • Arrange self-loading and pickup if a loading dock is available at both ends.

For transport, renting an enclosed motorcycle trailer can be more affordable than hiring a carrier. Just factor in your time, gas costs, and insurance implications. With the right preparations though, motorcycle shipping doesn’t have to break the bank.