How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Motorcycle? | Guide to Motorcycle Shipping Costs

Whether you’re trying to ship your motorcycle across the country for a move, you need motorcycle transport to a rally, or you’ve just bought a new bike that you need shipped to you, the cost to ship a motorcycle may not be as much as you think. Want to estimate the motorcycle shipping cost you can expect? Here’s an in-depth look at the average cost to ship a motorcycle, factors that affect your cost, and hidden fees to watch for.

Average Cost to Ship a Motorcycle

How much does it cost to ship a motorcycle? The average cost of shipping a motorcycle in an enclosed trailer, secured to a specialized pallet, is $996 or $0.53 per mile shipped. However, the average cost varies a great deal depending on the origin state and the shipping lane. The following are examples of average costs for shipping motorcycles along common shipping lanes:

  • California to New Jersey: $1,450 ($0.41/mile)
  • Florida to California: $970 ($0.36/mile)
  • California to Texas: $937 ($0.58/mile)
  • New York to California: $925 ($0.33/mile)
  • Texas to California: $979 ($0.65/mile)
  • Florida to Washington: $958 ($0.30/mile)
  • Virginia to California: $1,047 ($0.40/mile)
  • Texas to Washington: $1,226 ($0.54/mile)

How Did We Get These Numbers?

A lot of motorcycle transport companies give vague numbers of pool quotes from multiple companies. At Federal Motorcycle Transport, we want you to have a more accurate idea of your motorcycle shipping cost. These numbers are ACTUAL costs tabulated from shipments we have handled for our customers.

Average Motorcycle Shipping Cost by State

Where are you shipping your motorcycle from? Your origin state will affect the average cost you pay, although what matters most is the distance and your pick-up/drop-off locations. If you’re shipping your motorcycle to or from a rural area and not using one of the shipping company’s holding facilities, you can expect to pay more than you would shipping from an area near major highways.

  • Alabama: $1,600 ($1.03/mile)
  • Arkansas: $841 ($0.65/mile)
  • Arizona: $923 ($0.50/mile)
  • California: $1,012 ($0.47/mile)
  • Colorado: $1,009 ($0.66/mile)
  • Connecticut: $1,036 ($0.50/mile)
  • Washington, D.C.: $803 ($0.61/mile)
  • Delaware: $790 ($0.66/mile)
  • Florida: $937 ($0.48/mile)
  • Georgia: $924 ($0.59/mile)
  • Iowa: $830 ($0.53/mile)
  • Idaho: $803 ($0.54/mile)
  • Illinois: $918 ($0.70/mile)
  • Indiana: $1,062 ($0.70/mile)
  • Kansas: $1,370 ($1.01/mile)
  • Kentucky: $999 ($0.62/mile)
  • Louisiana: $990 ($0.66/mile)
  • Massachusetts: $959 ($0.40/mile)
  • Maryland: $987 ($0.46/mile)
  • Maine: $1,185 ($0.47/mile)
  • Michigan: $930 ($0.65/mile)
  • Minnesota: $925 ($0.62/mile)
  • Missouri: $847 ($0.64/mile)
  • Mississippi: $1,053 ($0.90/mile)
  • North Carolina: $1,037 ($0.54/mile)
  • Nebraska: $783 ($0.70/mile)
  • New Hampshire: $1,037 ($0.51/mile)
  • New Jersey: $1,022 ($0.52/mile)
  • New Mexico: $791 ($0.45/mile)
  • Nevada: $1,090 ($0.55/mile)
  • New York: $925 ($0.49/mile)
  • Ohio: $874 ($0.47/mile)
  • Oklahoma: $873 ($0.62/mile)
  • Oregon: $1,207 ($0.55/mile)
  • Pennsylvania: $1,262 ($0.72/mile)
  • Rhode Island: $1,014 ($0.72/mile)
  • South Carolina: $1,002 ($0.47/mile)
  • South Dakota: $1,509 ($0.94/mile)
  • Tennessee: $1,151 ($0.92/mile)
  • Texas: $978 ($0.65/mile)
  • Utah: $1,098 ($0.69/mile)
  • Virginia: $992 ($0.49/mile)
  • Vermont: $1,054 ($0.54/mile)
  • Washington: $958 ($0.40/mile)
  • Wisconsin: $1,076 ($0.68/mile)
  • West Virginia: $946 ($0.67/mile)
  • Wyoming: $1,519 ($0.91/mile)
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What Factors Affect the Cost of Shipping a Motorcycle?

How much to ship a motorcycle depends on many factors ranging from the mileage and pick-up/drop-off locations to your motorcycle’s size and weight. To help you understand how much you can expect to pay for shipping a motorcycle, here are the main factors that go into the motorcycle shipping quote you’ll receive.

Transport Type: Cost for Enclosed vs Open Motorcycle Transport Services

How does motorcycle shipping work? There are two basic options and they play a big role in the cost of shipping a motorcycle. Your two options for transporting your bike are open and enclosed transport.
With an open carrier, your motorcycle will be exposed to the elements for the entire trip. Open transport is the cheapest way to ship a motorcycle, but it’s also the riskiest. This open is not recommended for long trips or high-value motorcycles, regardless of distance.

Enclosed transport may cost a bit more but it offers the most protection for your motorcycle. With an enclosed transport, your bike will remain enclosed in a transport and shielded from the elements. You can expect to pay about $150 more for enclosed transport.

At Federal Motorcycle Transport, we ensure your motorcycle is safe and secure for the voyage by securing it to a specialized pallet using custom motorcycle straps before it’s loaded in the transport. Air ride trailers are also used to dampen vibrations for a safe ride.

Is Your Motorcycle Oversized or Heavy?

A large part of the cost to ship a motorcycle is the type of bike you’re shipping, particularly its size and weight. A large or heavy motorcycle will take up more room on the transport and cost more money. Most motorcycle shipping rates are based on standard motorcycle specs to occupy a standard space of about 4’x9’. If your motorcycle is larger, taller, longer, heavier than standard, or has a side car, you can expect an additional charge.


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Be Careful!

Don’t automatically choose the lowest quote you receive. Inexpensive motorcycle transport companies don’t always use high-quality equipment or the best transport practices to protect your motorcycle! If you see rates lower than what we show here, they may be from lead generation websites that don’t handle your shipment like we do.

What Is the Mileage of the Transport?

Perhaps the biggest factor that affects motorcycle shipping cost is the mileage. You’ll usually pay between $0.30 and $0.70 per mile transported. If you want to ship a motorcycle across country, you may pay less if you’re shipping it along a popular transport route. You also pay less to ship a motorcycle within the lower 48. Motorcycle shipping to Hawaii, for example, requires paying for motorcycle transport to San Diego and then the more costly shipping to the island.

Fuel Surcharges & Motorcycle Shipping Cost

Fuel surcharges may change depending on the date your motorcycle is loaded. These surcharges take into account changes in the price of fuel. However, the motorcycle shipping company should guarantee their price. Depending on the shipping company, fuel surcharges may or may not be included in your motorcycle shipping quote.

Pick-up/Drop-off Location

It isn’t just mileage that’s important: your pick-up and drop-off locations also matter. As a general rule, you’ll pay less in urban areas near major highways. If your pick-up or drop-off location is far from a highway or urban center, you may face an additional charge for rural or “beyond” fees. You’ll also need to make sure your pick-up and drop-off locations can be serviced. The locations must be accessible by a semi-truck. Some motorcycle transport companies can’t make deliveries to smaller streets or high-density downtown areas.

If you choose door-to-door motorcycle shipping, your bike can be delivered directly to a location of your choice as long as it’s accessible. This may or may not cost extra depending on the locations. Another option is having your motorcycle picked up and/or delivered to the motorcycle transport company’s warehouse locations. Using the transport company’s warehouse or holding facilities may save you money.

Federal Motorcycle Transport offers warehouse locations across the country to save you money on your motorcycle shipping cost.

Do You Need Express Motorcycle Shipping?

Want your bike to arrive as soon as possible? You can pay extra for express or priority shipping. You can choose expedited pick-up and/or delivery but remember: there will not be a guarantee that your motorcycle will arrive by a certain date or even sooner. Expedited shipping simply means your shipment will be pushed to the front of the line for a price.

Motorcycle Insurance: Do You Need Additional Coverage?

Don’t count on your motorcycle insurance policy to protect you while your motorcycle is in transit. Always find out what level of insurance is included with your quote. A motorcycle transport company may offer up to $15,000 in coverage included with your motorcycle shipping quote. You can also usually add more coverage. Ask about the valuation coverage and decide if this basic coverage is enough. You should also ask about the deductible as most policies have some deductible.

Note that transit coverage that may be included with your shipping cost is not designed for the full replacement value of your motorcycle. It’s important to purchase additional coverage in case something catastrophic happens such as an accident involving the transport vehicle.

Do You Qualify for a Motorcycle Shipping Discount?

Depending on the motorcycle shipping company you choose, you may qualify for a discount on your cost to ship a motorcycle.

  • Multi-bike discount. Shipping two or more motorcycles? Find out if you qualify for a multi-bike discount that may save you up to $65 per motorcycle.
  • Motorcycle rally discount. Interested in motorcycle shipping to Sturgis or another major rally? If you’re shipping within 100 miles of a rally, you may get a lower flat rate.
  • Emergency responders and military members. Many companies offer a discount of up to 15% for emergency responders and military members.
  • Motorcycle club membership discount. If you belong to a motorcycle club, you may qualify for a discount of up to 15%. Federal Motorcycle Transport offers a discount for HOG and AMA members.

Hidden Fees & Additional Costs to Ship a Motorcycle

A reputable motorcycle transport company will be upfront about the fees it charges. There are many fees that should be expected, and clearly explained, but you should pay very close attention to the fees that are and are not included in your motorcycle shipping quote. Be aware of the following fees you may expect, depending on the company:

  • Attempted delivery/pick-up fee if you aren’t available to meet the driver or the location can’t be located. This fee may be $50 to $200.
  • Oversized bike fee if your motorcycle takes up more than one carrier spot or does not fit within specific dimensions.
  • Fuel surcharges which should be included in your quote.
  • Residential fees for door-to-door shipping. Some companies charge an extra fee to deliver to residential addresses.
  • Storage fees. You may be charged for storage if the motorcycle can’t be delivered, usually due to an attempted delivery issue.

What to Look for in a Motorcycle Shipping Company

There are plenty of motorcycle transport companies vying for your business, but how do you choose a shipping company you can trust with your bike? Rather than going with the cheapest motorcycle shipping cost you can find, start with finding a reputable company with the experience and equipment necessary to deliver quality transport service. The following are important questions to ask when you’re ready to request motorcycle shipping quotes.

  • Do they specialize in motorcycle shipping? You want to trust that your motorcycle is in good hands. That’s why it’s best to work with a motorcycle transport company that specializes in bikes, not a general carrier. A specialized transport company will have the custom crates, straps, and best practices to ensure your motorcycle is safely transported from A to B.
  • What insurance options are available? Does your quote include transport coverage? Do you need additional coverage for your bike? Can you purchase additional coverage through the shipping company?
  • What shipping options are available? Decide whether you want open or enclosed transport before choosing a motorcycle shipping company.
  • What is their shipping process? Find out their shipping process including the steps they take to safeguard your motorcycle.
  • Do they offer holding facilities or warehouses? This can make it easier to arrange pick-up and drop-off. You may also save on the cost to ship a motorcycle by using their warehouses. Check how many warehouse locations they offer and if they are convenient to your shipping needs.
  • Can you track your shipment? You should be able to track the progress of your motorcycle online as the transport truck checks in.
  • What is their claims rate? Don’t be afraid to ask about their claims history.
    • Do they have positive customer reviews? Check Google, Trustpilot, and other trusted review sites to find out the experience past customers have had.

While it may be tempting, don’t simply go with the cheapest motorcycle shipping cost you find. Motorcycle transport companies with the lowest advertised rates may not use the best transport practices or equipment. That means your savings can quickly be destroyed when your motorcycle arrives damaged. They may also have hidden fees and “gotchas” that unexpectedly drive up your cost.

Federal Motorcycle Transport ships more than 5,000 motorcycles every year. We have been committed to providing industry-leading customer care, competitive pricing, and fast shipping for more than 30 years with over 70% of our business coming from repeat customers and referrals. Get started today with a free instant motorcycle shipping quote!


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