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Motorcycle Shipping for Beginners | How-to Guide 2024

motorcycle looks like rubiks cube

Posted By

Clint Lawrence

Clint Lawrence, founder of Motorcycle Shippers. Helping give riders more freedom to enjoy the bikes they love.


Figuring out how to ship your motorcycle may seem challenging, especially if it’s your first time. We would like to help you solve the puzzle.

Welcome to the ultimate beginner’s guide on motorcycle shipping! Whether you’re relocating, selling your bike, or going on an extended trip, shipping your motorcycle can be a convenient and reliable option. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the essential steps to ensure a smooth shipping process. From packing and preparation to choosing the right company and understanding insurance without a deductible requirement, we’ve got you covered.

1| Motorcycle Preparation

Getting your bike and yourself ready will help protect your investment and get your bike delivered faster

  • Clean your motorcycle thoroughly and inspect for pre-existing damage. If you are buying a bike before you see it refer to our used bike checklist.
  • Remove personal belongings and secure loose parts
  • Make sure you have chosen locations where a truck can navigate the streets for pick-up and delivery

2| Choosing a Shipping Method

Understand the different shipping methods available (e.g., open transport, enclosed transport).

  • Open transport is usually less expensive but means your motorcycle will be exposed to weather conditions. Most enclosed transport options use large trailers that protect your bike during transit.
  • Factors such as cost, distance, weather conditions, and the value of your motorcycle are important considerations here.
  • Determine whether terminal-to-terminal or door-to-door shipping is more suitable for you. Some companies have options to use their terminals in order to help facilitate the move, making things a bit quicker, easier and sometimes cheaper.

    motorcycles being transported in an open trailer
    Open Transport

3| Understanding Transport Insurance

It’s often your choice to insure your shipment, know your options

  • Contact your current insurance company, some offer comprehensive coverage while your motorcycle is being transported
  • Take the time to research and compare insurance options offered by the  different shipping companies
  • Ensure the insurance coverage includes comprehensive protection for potential damages during transit
  • Verify that the insurance does not have a deductible requirement.
  • Understand the claims process and necessary documentation in case of damage or loss

4| Selecting the Right Carrier

As you would expect, Google is a great resource for finding a motorcycle shipping company

  • Try searching “Motorcycle Shipping”. Remember, the top 3 results in Google are sponsored ads and may or may not be motorcycle specialists
  • Look for the company’s Operating Authority (Federal License) as responsible companies will provide this information. You can validate their license by entering the MC number here on , the US government’s official website.

    image of a motorcycle on a skid inside a fully enclosed transport truck
    Enclosed Motorcycle Shipping
  • Verify that the company has listed its physical address and phone number for reliable customer service. Be wary if this information is not available.
  • Look for companies with approved third-party ratings or customer reviews to help ensure their credibility.
  • Check to see if the carrier offers online tracking to monitor the progress of your shipment.
  • Opt for professional companies that provide instant online quotes and convenient online ordering
  • Take price into consideration as cheap motorcycle shipping options are not always the right choice

5 | Additional Recommendations

  • Providing a quote shouldn’t be a complicated task. Avoid submitting your email address to websites that don’t offer you an instant quote.  They may sell your lead to random companies and your email will get bombarded.
  • Choose a professional motorcycle shipping company that can handle the bike with fuel, eliminating the need to drain the fuel before shipping.

Congratulations! You have now gained a solid understanding of the step-by-step process for motorcycle shipping. By following this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well-prepared to ship your beloved motorcycle with confidence. Remember to take your time, research your options, and choose a reputable carrier to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience. Happy shipping!