How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Motorcycle?

Typical Range:

$300 - $1,300

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated April 18, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Shipping a motorcycle costs between $300 to $1,300, depending on many factors. In addition to appliances, furniture, and everything else you own, vehicles demand consideration during a move. Many homeowners simply drive automobiles to their next destination, but what about motorcycles? That’s where full-service moving companies and specialized motorcycle shipping companies come in. 

The cost of hiring a mover to ship a motorcycle throughout the United States is approximately $0.60 per mile for a 1,000-mile trip. Distance matters here, so you’ll pay $300 to $500 for a short trip of less than 500 miles, $600 for a 1,000-mile trip, and $1,000 or more for a cross-country trip of 2,000 miles or more.

Estimating Motorcycle Shipping Costs 

Shipping a motorcycle costs $300 to $1,300, which is less expensive than the average cost of shipping a car. However, motorcycle transport costs fluctuate, depending on many factors.

Distance and Location 

Travel distance is the largest factor regarding shipping costs. Prices vary slightly from company to company, but you’ll pay, on average, $0.60 per mile to ship a motorcycle throughout the country (though this figure changes from state to state.) You will likely pay more for difficult-to-access or remote locations. Some companies also add a surcharge to interstate shipments.

Motorcycle Size and Weight

Some companies charge a higher rate for shipping large, heavy motorbikes. The average cost of $0.60 per mile increases to $0.70–$0.80 per mile when transporting excessively heavy models in the 500-pound range like Harley Davidsons. These larger motorbikes are more difficult to manage, requiring oversized crates, specialized tie-downs, and various unique packing accommodations to ensure safety during transit. This price uptick also impacts insurance coverage, so take your time gathering price estimates as you search for a moving company.

Freight Type

There are various methods for shipping motorcycles, each with differing price ranges. Companies usually offer only one or two of these methods, so inquire ahead of time if you need a specific method of transportation.

  • Professional Shipping Truck: The average price to transport a motorcycle 1,300 miles by truck is around $800. Truck transport is the most common method for shipping a motorcycle throughout the United States.

  • Train: Trains are extremely budget-friendly, with steep savings compared to other types of transport. You’ll pay around $250 to $450 for a 1,300-mile trip. But your drop-off and pick-up locations are at train stations, so this method works best when shipping from one big city to another. Also, train-based companies prioritize commercial clients, so shipping spots fill up quickly.

  • Ship: Transporting by ship is slow and expensive, with an average cost of $1,500. However, this is the cheapest way to ship a motorcycle overseas for those moving out of the country. 

  • Plane: Shipping a motorcycle by plane is much faster than by boat. Overall cost fluctuates according to weight, but you’ll pay at least $1,000 and as much as $3,000 or more depending on the destination. 

Compare Quotes From Shipping Specialists
Get Started

Additional Cost Factors for Shipping a Motorcycle

Some unique scenarios impact the overall cost of shipping a motorcycle with a moving company or via a specialized transport company. 

Luxury and Vintage Models

Shipping a luxury, high-end motorcycle or a vintage motorbike increases the overall transport cost, as these bikes demand special treatment to ensure they arrive safely at their destination. Many owners ship these models via enclosed carrier, which is more expensive than an open carrier. You’ll pay at least $600 to ship one of these motorcycles in an enclosed carrier across the country, or an average of $0.60 per mile


Insurance is a must-have when shipping a motorcycle across the country, or overseas, as accidents happen. Insurance coverage varies from company to company, but you can expect to pay $100 to $200 for $15,000 of insurance coverage, though some companies offer more comprehensive plans with higher payouts. Check your moving company’s insurance policy for additional coverage details and ask about the deductible, as this is an out-of-pocket expense should anything happen to your bike. Generally speaking, moving insurance plans are a wise investment.

Express Shipments and Issues During Travel

Motorcycle shipments operate on a deliberate timetable, so you’ll pay extra for express transport. Make shipment reservations at least three months ahead of time to avoid additional surcharges, which add up to $200 to $400 on average.

Keep in mind that road closures, traffic jams, and construction delays are regular occurrences when traveling, and these factors add time and miles to the overall trip. As such, budget out some extra money for unforeseen incidents. Talk to your mover ahead of time, as some companies cover some of these added charges. They’ll also keep you up to speed throughout the trip, should anything hold up the trip. 

Residential Pickups and Dropoffs

You’ll save money by driving your motorcycle to the drop-off location and by picking it up at your destination. Door-to-door service accrues a surcharge, though the actual cost varies depending on the distance these locations are from your home. You’ll pay approximately $0.30 per mile for pick-up and drop-off service, but some movers charge a flat fee instead. 

Ship a Motorcycle DIY vs. Hire a Pro

You’ll save money by shipping your motorcycle yourself instead of relying on a mover, but you’ll still pay out for time spent traveling, hotel costs, food, truck rental fees, and, of course, gas. Renting a trailer or a moving truck costs $50 to $2,000, depending on truck size, distance traveled, and time needed. Shipping crates are another option, but they require a certain level of expertise to ensure the motorcycle arrives undamaged. Hiring a specialized motorcycle moving company ensures that your bike is treated with respect and is insured.

FAQs About Shipping a Motorcycle

How do I find a reputable motorcycle shipping company?

Moving a motorcycle across the country or overseas is specialized and time-consuming work. Start by checking various online databases to create a list of local shipping companies, narrowing the list down to companies with specific motorcycle experience. Check to ensure they have the license for the work and that they offer plenty of insurance options. Then, narrow down your list again according to preferred freight options.

Next, search for potential red flags online through the Better Business Bureau's company database and read plenty of customer reviews online. Finally, talk with the shipping or moving companies to discuss your specific needs and ask questions about packing, timetables, and anything else you need. 

What information should I have ready for the mover?

There is plenty of information worth relaying to your mover when gathering estimates or finalizing the transport schedule. Prepare to give the movers the make and model of your motorcycle and its weight, physical dimensions, value, and overall condition. You should also tell them your prepared transport option and whether or not you need an open or enclosed shipment. Your desired timetable is also worth discussing, as are any insurance needs. Finally, let them know your local pick-up and drop-off locations, and ask about tracking options. 

What should I do to prepare my motorcycle for transport?

When preparing your motorbike for shipment, wash it once and make a list of all notable damage on the bike. Remove all personal items and deactivate any alarms. If your motorbike is shipping via crate, drain the gas from the tank and remove the battery. Put it into neutral gear for shipping. Be sure to take plenty of pictures for filing an insurance claim, if needed. Make a note of any pre-existing cosmetic damage, like scratches and dings, and write down the mileage and the engine’s condition.

Still Have Questions About Shipping a Motorcycle?
Ask a Pro