Buying a motorcycle on the internet is quite straightforward nowadays. It takes a few minutes and clicks of the mouse before you become a proud bike owner.
However, have you thought about how you’ll move the bike from miles away? It’s a tricky task if you cannot do it yourself since you’ll have to entrust it to other people.
Even if you already own a bike and want to move it miles without riding, you’ll need the best motorcycle shipping company.
Continue reading to learn all about some of the most reliable companies. Below, you’ll also find some tricks, tips, and important considerations to think about.
5 Top Rated Motorcycle Transport Companies Reviewed
uShip is an online hub for your shipping services that makes the process quite simple. It works smoothly, and all you have to do is post the thing you need moved. uShip then researches competing bids for the moves and links you with the companies you might be interested in.
It’s important to remember that this is a shipping company, but still, they aren’t the ones directly moving your motorcycle.
They bring all your options in one place so you can choose quickly based on your needs and preferences.
This makes the entire process of finding the actual shipping service much easier. The website allows you to compare different companies, read reviews, and evaluate what your best option might be. It’s a great way of planning the shipment down to the tiniest detail such as price, route, added expenses, etc.
This is one of the most convenient options since the shipping company does all the work for you. It picks up and delivers the motorcycle without any assistance from you.
It offers quick delivery, easy-to-use quote generator, and great valuation coverage. One of the best things about this service is that it provides VIP shipping in some areas. This allows you to set up your own delivery and pick up dates for extra convenience.
Standard shipment might take three to four weeks, and VIP shipping allows you to cut down the required time.
The VIP service will enable you to prioritize shipment and cut the delivery time down to two weeks. Though it’s more expensive to use the VIP service, it might also be a bit more convenient since you can plan to have the motorcycle delivered faster and at any date that works for you.
The company is transparent and offers up-front prices. It’s user-friendly, and there are no added fuel charges or shipping costs to surprise you once the job is done.
Montway is a popular choice since the company has been around for years already. It’s one of the best ways of transporting your car, and it doesn’t lack any quality in transporting motorcycles just as well.
Interestingly, Montway treats your motorcycle as a coupe or a small sedan. This way, there’s practically no limit on the weight, size, and height of your bike. In most cases, these are factors you’ll have to consider, but since motorcycles usually aren’t as big as coupes, you don’t have to worry about this with Montway.
You can be sure the vehicle is well-protected since the company ships every bike with enclosed transport. All motorcycles ride in car-sized spots and are safe from dirt, debris and other things they might come across during shipping.
However, moving your bike with Montway will cost you as much as moving a small car. Still, for the price, you can be sure the vehicle is well-protected, comfortable, and safe.
This is another popular company with plenty of experience in transporting different vehicles across long distances. Haulbikes is a top-notch company with employers who are bike pros themselves, so you shouldn’t worry about how your vehicle is treated.
The shipping methods and equipment are tailored to accommodate each customer and shipping scenario. As a result, you get excellent service and transparent shipping process.
The only issue is that the company isn’t as widely available. Still, the experience it works with makes up for that, so make sure to check if you in its area before moving on to another brand name.
One of the best things about it is that it specializes in motorcycle transport. In other words, you cannot transport anything else with Haulbikes but a bike. Instead of having your vehicle shipped along with cars, use Haulbikes to have it transported in an enclosed space where only such machines are being moved.
The company offers up to $15,000 of insurance, understanding that your motorcycle is of value.
AmeriFreight is a widely available company offering discounts, money-back guarantee, and several other perks. It’s one of the best, most reliable, and popular companies that transport different vehicles.
Both its prices and services are up-to-date with industry standards, but the website is quite outdated and difficult to use. It gives vague information, so you’ll have to call the company for whatever questions you might have.
The company offers AF Total Insurance Plan that ensures you don’t have to pay for things your insurance doesn’t cover.
The AF Total Insurance Plan offers three tiers with more coverage and features at higher prices. You can choose between $40, $78, and $98 plans.
The service goes above and beyond its price match policy. It price-matches other companies with an A+ Better Business Bureau ranking and reviews on transport.com.
You can be sure your bike is covered for different possible damages caused by pebbles, oil spills, or various debris. Certain plans also offer $350 coverage if they lose your keys in transit.
How to Spot Great Transport Services
There are different transport services in the industry, but if you value your motorcycle, you’ll make sure to use only the best. Many range in quality, prices, transparency, and several other factors which you should consider before making a decision.
The most important thing you should remember is that cost isn’t the most critical detail to pay attention to. While you probably want to find a budget-friendly deal, other factors are equally or even more important when entrusting someone to transport your motorcycle.
To spot the best service, you have to pay attention to several details such as how it treats vehicles, insurance it offers, transparency and tracking of the transportation process, etc.
Typical Hauling Cost Factors
When trying to figure out the cost of shipment, you want to think about several factors that will probably affect it. Most companies tell you the precise number without hidden expenses, but still, you want to have a general idea of the price before you step in.
The best way is to have your motorcycle transported in an enclosed space. This way, it’s protected from different debris and pebbles on the road, as well as weather conditions. Experts recommend you opt for enclosed shipping especially if you’re moving the bike for more than 500 miles.
Naturally, the longer the distance, the more you’ll have to pay for the shipment. More so, if the vehicle has to go cross border to another country, additional expenses might apply.
Some companies weigh your bike to determine the price, while others simply treat it as a small car. These are somewhat more expensive but have no limitations to how heavy a bike can be since it’s definitely lighter than a car anyway.
Find out how much your motorcycle weighs.
Again, if the delivery location is in another country, you’ll probably have to put out some more money. Locations that are further away from where the starting point is, and those that are hard to reach typically cost more to transport to.
Another considerable factor is the weather conditions in which the transportation takes place. Though transporting is easier in summer, it’s also a season that’s quite popular. For this reason, it might be cheaper to do it in the winter if you can choose.
Before you arrange the vehicle to be moved by one company or the other, make sure to consider some of the most critical factors.
Shipping can be expensive depending on the location, season, and other factors we discussed. For this reason, it’s essential to think about your budget and how much the process might cost you.
Instant Online Quotes
Getting instant online quotes helps you figure out how much the procedure will cost. Go only for the companies that offer quotes instantly on a website that’s easy to use.
Price Matching and Comparison Shopping
This is an excellent way to evaluate which company offers the best deal in terms of the price as well as insurance, safety, etc. For this, you can use a broker that matches the prices and compares the service companies for you.
Look into discounts you might get. Some brands offer discounts if you’re transporting more than one vehicle or if you’ve booked them some time in advance. You might also get discounts if you do this in summer as opposed in winter when it snows.
Other Ways to Save
- Opt for open shipping – if you’re not as concerned about possible damages, you might want to try open shipping. It’s cheaper than enclosed shipping by quite a lot but keep in mind that it might not be as safe.
- Plan ahead – plan things like pick-up and delivery dates and make sure to do this in time. Last-minute transportation usually costs a bit more. Also, booking shipment in advance might open up a chance for some.
- Ship in the winter – many people think that because of the snow and challenging road conditions, winter isn’t the right choice. However, this is the offseason for shipping, so most companies do it for far less money than what it would cost you in the summer. Read more on how to winterize your motorcycle.
Insurance is critical when it comes to moving your bike even if it’s just across a shorter distance. Different things can happen on the road, especially if you’re doing this in winter.
Companies offer different insurance deals that usually cost somewhat differently, as well. Some cover damages caused by pebbles, dust, debris, and different things that can come from the road. Others offer deals for lost keys, damaged vehicle, and several other situations.
Get the guide on car and motorcycle insurance.
Size Limit Requirements
Some services can only carry limited sizes, so it’s important to check this beforehand. Certain companies charge extra if your bike crosses that limit in any way.
Others, however, treat your motorcycle as a car, so there’s no limitation on size, weight, etc. These are usually a bit more expensive.
Timeline and Express Service
You can easily find a company that will ship the vehicle last-minute, but be ready to put out some more money for such a service. By planning ahead, you can book a company some time in advance, which is much cheaper even if it’s the same company.
Licensing and Registration
Before you entrust someone with your favorite ride, make sure they have all the licenses required to do the job. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration states that auto transporters and brokers must be registered with the FMCSA and have a six-digit MC Docket number. FMCSA licensing website allows you to check the validity of that number at any time.
You also want to verify if the carrier is registered with the Department of Transportation. It has to have a seven-digit USDOT number as well.
Other licenses might be required in your state, so make sure the carrier of your choice has all of them.
Customer Service is always important, and this is no exception. A carrier must have a service to answer customer questions and help them understand the process, pricing, etc. If customer service is done through emails or a contact form, make sure the carrier of your choice answers offers quick responses.
Reading customer reviews is among the best ways to figure out if the carrier is trustworthy and does the job well. Note that unhappy customers will always exist and the reason isn’t always the company’s fault. However, make sure that there are more of those that are happy with the service.
Pros and Cons
No doubt, there are more pros than cons to transporting a bike this way. You might get away with transporting it yourself, but having professionals do it is always a better and safer way.
If the company of your choice is reliable, has good customer reviews and all the required licenses, you shouldn’t worry about your vehicle.
The drawback might be in the way individual carriers work. Some might not offer a transparent service, so there are times you won’t know the location of your bike.
Door-to-Door vs. Terminal Shipping
- Door-to-door shipping means that the company picks up your bike at your home or other desired location. It then carries it to another location of your choice. In most cases, it’s more expensive than terminal shipping, but other factors might also affect the price.
- Terminal shipping requires you to take the bike to a terminal and the carrier than carries to another terminal that’s the nearest to your desired destination. If you opt for this, keep in mind that you’ll have to arrange transportation to and from the terminals once you drop the bike.
How to Prep Your Ride
Regardless of whether you opt for terminal or door-to-door shipping, you have to prep your vehicle for the trip. It’s important that you wash your motorcycle thoroughly, so there aren’t any debris, dust, and deposits on the bike and tires.
Another thing you’ll have to do is drain the fluids. This is something most companies will require you to do before shipment. If you opt for an enclosed shipment by the crate, you’ll maybe also have to disconnect and remove the battery. (Read more about how to install a battery replacement.)
All accessories should be removed as well. Make sure to disable alarms, so they don’t trigger during transportation.
Fold the mirrors against the bike and check the tire pressure. They have to be adequately inflated in order to act as a form of protection.
Once you’ve washed and prepared the ride, make sure to note any existing damage. It might also be useful to photograph the vehicle from different angles. Most carriers document damage, but you should have your own record as well. Ask to see their inspection report to see if it matches the document you made.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I pick a company that specializes in motorcycles?
You might want to consider that if it’s an option. Still, that doesn’t guarantee the quality since companies that transport cars might move your bike with equal care and attention.
Is there a difference in international and domestic services?
You should select international services only if your bike has to go across the border. In most cases, it’s better and much easier to use domestic services.
As you can see, shipping a bike isn’t such a complicated thing to do if you entrust the process to a specialized company. Best of all, it doesn’t matter whether you bought a bike online or you’re moving across the country.
As long as you find a reliable and licensed company with its ways and costs transparent enough, your beloved ride is probably as safe as possible. It’s a much better choice than doing something like this by yourself, especially if it’s across a longer distance.
Make sure to consider your options and think about all the important factors that come into play when choosing a motorcycle shipping company.