Figures from as long ago as 2011 showed there were 8.4 million motorcycles registered in the U.S. – that’s one bike for every 36 American citizens.
And given that biking isn’t so much a hobby pursuit as a complete lifestyle for many of these riders, it’s no surprise that there’s also healthy demand for motorcycle shipping around the country.
The most obvious time when motorcycle transportation is needed is when owners are moving home.
After all, when you’ve got a whole house load of belongings to get shifted, you aren’t going to get too much in your panniers, so you’re likely to be relying on load-luggers with a deal more than two wheels.
So when you also factor in the cost of an extra tank of gas for the bike, as well as the fuel for your removal vehicles, then it’s an expense you could possibly do without.
Then consider that you’d have to do a whole heap of extra planning to be sure that you get your bike to its new home safely, on top of the stress involved in the house move itself.
Slim Down The Stress
Regularly ranked as one of the three most stressful life events – and that’s disregarding the fact that, most times, folks are actually moving house for wholly positive reasons – the sheer scale of the organizational tasks involved in making sure that everything comes together just right when moving home means it’s usually wise to look for any possible ways to let someone else take some of the mental – as well as the physical – strain.
You probably know that plenty of dealers already deliver their new bikes to their owners using specialist motorcycle shippers.
And the great benefit of using one such business is that many now have purpose-built vehicles and trailers meant just for the purpose.
How much would it cost you to buy one? Well, we found the one pictured on eBay, and pictured on this page, which would cost you a cool $3,395.
But that was the lowest-priced model on offer from this dealer, with others coming with five-figure price tags.
So doing-it-yourself clearly isn’t going to come cheap.
That means unless you have the space to store your trailer for the many hundreds of days each year when it won’t be used, not to mention the several thousand dollars to spend in the first place, and are happy to invest in a motorcycle transportation solution which might only see use on high days and holidays, you’ll likely be better off relying on outside help for motorcycle transportation.
So What Does Motorcycle Shipping Cost?
This can vary widely, but a ballpark figure for a 1,000-mile journey is somewhere between $350 and $700. You’ll likely pay proportionately more for a shorter trip.
As with other types of goods, you can negotiate a discount if you’re sending more than one bike at the same time.
But the factors which will determine the cost of shipping a motorcycle are much the same as for any other type of goods, namely:
- Size and weight: The lighter your bike, the less your carrier will likely be charged for the all-important shipping insurance. So they can pass on this lower cost to you. Also, the more mainstream the model of your bike, the more economical it’ll likely be to transport. A bigger bike will also likely need a custom-sized container, not to mention extra packing materials to keep it stable while being moved.
- The length of your journey: This pretty much stands to reason. You can find some specialist shippers who’ll charge you based on a range of distance bands, so if your trip falls just inside the upper limit of one of these bands, it works out more cost-effective than if you just exceed such a limit. Lots of motorbike shipping specialists also place a premium on journeys which take them a long way off the main highway network. This too is logical, as they’ll likely need to factor in considerable extra time to complete the trip, so they can take the same care over the minor roads as the I-roads
- Time of year: Naturally, more owners are looking to arrange motorbike shipping as soon as the days start to get longer, or in the run-up to any of the many events organized by the American Motorcyclist Association. Also, the services of the smaller number of courier drivers with an enclosed trailer are likely to be booked up well in advance. So it can pay you to have your longer or more intricate trips planned several months ahead of time to be sure of having the right transport.
- Add-on services: You should always check whether your shipper is including a handful of other parts of the work involved in moving your bike in their quote. Because of the intricate nature of some jobs, some may charge extra for loading and unloading if extra pairs of hands are needed, for example.
- Sole occupancy of trailer: Some motorbike carriers will aim to boost their profitability by ‘doubling up’ in their trailer, fitting in two bikes alongside each other. Provided there is enough room in the trailer, and protective material is used to keep them separate, this shouldn’t cause any issues. But owners of more valuable or classic motorbikes would be well advised to insist on having the trailer to themselves. However, you should also expect to have to pay a premium for this kind of bespoke and individual service.
- Whether any accessories, e.g. sidecars or trailers, as well as a range of other non-standard equipment, are fitted to your bike.
- Door-to-door delivery: This may attract extra charges, especially if it makes loading/unloading difficult or time-consuming. The presence of overhead line equipment might also hamper the process, and add to the time, and cost, involved.
Custom Service For A Custom Price
Given all these variables, it’s near impossible to provide a ball park figure for the cost of motorcycle shipping.
That isn’t to say that people committed to providing a top-class service in this area can’t give you a clear indication of what sending your motorcycle over land through them will cost.
As with so many other logistics and transportation tasks, the cost is largely dictated by the distance involved.
The key to a successful motorcycle shipping operation is communication.
So when you use CitizenShipper to find a suitable shipper, that starts out when you give your requirements to the people you’re expecting to bid on your job.
Because the more they know about your bike, your plans, your specific needs and your expectations, the more opportunities they have to provide excellence at every stage of the move.
The companies and individuals working through our platform know you have total control over who to use, so they will try to satisfy your every requirement, so that they become your motorbike shipper of choice.
Then, once your shipment is complete, your feedback can be shared among other CitizenShipper clients. And building up a stack of good customer ratings helps driver profiles earn more visibility, so the whole thing becomes a trusted forum for finding someone to transport your bike, your pet, or whatever else you need moving.
We aim to be a one-stop shop to find people with the equipment and know-how to move anything and everything.
So whether it has two wheels, four legs, or is even just a little on the large side – our community of drivers can transport it, to make sure that your travels start and end the right way.