The Best Motorcycle Shipping Options

The cheapest way to ship a motorcycle depends on what your needs are. We list all of the methods to help you identify your best option.

When that glorious cross-country roadtrip on your bike isn’t an option, you need to get it shipped.

There are actually quite a few options but unfortunately, only one will be the best for you.

Many times, people will go with the option that has the lowest upfront cost only to realize that they wound up doing more work and paying more money than they had anticipated.

Don’t let this be you!

We’ll go over the options available for shipping your motorcycle and what considerations you should take.

Let’s get to it.

The Standard DIY Choice: Load it on a Moving Truck

While not every moving truck rental service will allow you to load a motorcycle into the back of the truck, some do allow it. If you’re looking for a cheap, DIY option to ship your motorcycle, renting a moving truck might be the right choice.

You will need to know how to load the motorcycle into the back of the truck. It’s also a good idea to check the weight capacity of the moving truck. Make sure you don’t overload the truck by adding a large motorcycle and other large items.

See our breakdown of the top rental truck companies.

Step-by-Step Process to Load Your Motorcycle into a Moving Truck

  1. Park the truck and the bike on level, firm ground
  2. Disengage the loading ramp and make sure it can support the weight of the bike. If not, you may need to get a special ramp specifically designed for loading motorcycles.
  3. Some moving trucks come with power liftgates, which can make it much easier to load your motorcycle. Just make sure the liftgate can support the weight of the bike.
  4. Secure the ramp to the truck with ratchet tie-downs, along with the provided hooks for extra protection.
  5. Put the motorcycle in neutral and push it up the ramp. It’s best to have at least two people when moving a motorcycle up the ramp.
  6. Secure the motorcycle to the truck with wheel chocks, soft loop straps, and ratchet straps.
  7. Engage the motorcycle into first gear for added safety.

You can also choose o place the motorcycle in a special shipping crate for added protection. This may cost a bit more, but it will ensure your bike remains safe during your move.

The Best for Complete Moving Convenience: Hiring a Moving Company

Most moving companies will be able to help you move all your things, including your motorcycle (some movers even ship cars!). The key to choosing a moving company is to find one with experience moving motorcycles. If they don’t have the right equipment, you could be putting your bike in danger.

Each moving company will be a bit different, so you want to check before you hire a company to handle your move and your bike. Make sure they know how to move motorcycles and can handle your specific bike.

Choosing a full-service moving company with the ability to ship your motorcycle, along with all your other items, provides great convenience. This might not be the cheapest way to ship your motorcycle, but it might make sense if you’re moving more than just a motorcycle.

The Best for DIY Motorcycle Only Shipping: Renting a Trailer

If you just need to move your motorcycle and nothing else, renting a trailer you can pull behind a truck is a great option. This provides a cheap way to ship your motorcycle without having to hire a professional.

This option works best for those with a vehicle capable of pulling a trailer. Renting a motorcycle trailer can also work well if you plan to rent a moving truck for the rest of your move.

Enclosed vs. Open

You will need to decide whether an enclosed trailer is important or if it’s okay to rent an open trailer. Enclosed trailers will cost more, but they will provide full protection from the elements. You can also lock the trailer if you need to make overnight stops along the way.

Open trailers work great if you won’t need to stop overnight and you’re not worried about the elements impacting your motorcycles. While an open trailer is cheaper, it may or may not be the right option for you.

The Best Hands-Off Option for Shipping Your Motorcycle: Hire a Carrier

There are several types of carriers willing to ship your motorcycle. They will range in price, depending on the service provided, the size of your bike, and the distance it will travel.

Ship it Freight

freight trailer for moving

One of the cheapest ways to ship your motorcycle is to ship it by freight. You get a lower price because most freight companies will estimate the prices based on the weight of your bike. Just be sure to get a binding quote and make sure you have some type of insurance coverage for your bike.

Ship it by Flatbed

While it cost more to ship your motorcycle by flatbed, this service provides more individual attention for your bike. You will pay a higher price, but the company you choose will likely be a specialist in motorcycle shipping.

Ship it by Portable Moving Container

The cheapest way to ship your motorcycle is by renting a portable storage unit. A moving container service will drop off a storage box for you to pack up yourself. Then, they will take that box and move it to your new location.

You won’t have any insurance to cover your bike if it falls since you packed it yourself. However, this option works well if you need to store your bike before having it transported to your new location.

Check out the best moving container companies in the country.

Door-to-Door Motorcycle Shipping

With most motorcycle shipping carriers, you will have the option to choose door-to-door motorcycle shipping. This isn’t the cheapest way to ship your motorcycle, but it does provide incredible convenience.

If you choose door-to-door motorcycle shipping, your carrier will pick up (and load) your bike, transport it, and drop it off at your new location. You won’t have to do any work, other than preparing your motorcycle for transport.

Check out our list of the best vehicle shipping companies.

Ready-to-ride Delivery

Another option you will need to consider when choosing a carrier is the ready-to-ride delivery option. When you choose this motorcycle shipping option, you won’t need to prepare your bike to be shipped.

Instead, you will leave the gas in the tank and you won’t need to remove the battery. The motorcycle will be put on a crate or pallet and strapped into the trailer in as-is condition. Then, it will be delivered to your desired
location.

Listing on uShip

UShip Review

If you want to find the cheapest way to ship your motorcycle, creating a listing on uShip is a great option. uShip is a marketplace where carriers can bid on jobs. The competition can help you get a much better price and you’ll be able to see reviews of the carriers to make sure you choose the right option.

With uShip, the price might be lower because the carrier moving your motorcycle might be able to move multiple shipments at the same time. They might be willing to bid a lower price to ship your motorcycle because they already have shipments they need to move along the same route.

Another DIY Option: Moving a Motorcycle with a Jet Ski Trailer

If you own a Jet Ski trailer or you can borrow one, you can move your motorcycle. However, this DIY option isn’t the easiest and you will need to get creative.

You will likely need to build a supportive floor for your motorcycle. Of course, you want to make sure the Jet Ski trailer can support the weight of the bike, too.

This motorcycle shipping option should only be used as a last resort. It’s not the best option, but it does provide a DIY motorcycle shipping option for those with Jet Ski trailers.

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