Choosing a motorcycle shipping company

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Choosing a motorcycle shipping company may seem quite baffling. Especially if you haven’t done it before. Maybe you are starting a new life in another state. Then, of course, you can’t leave your motorcycle behind! Now imagine trying to push a Ducati up an aluminum ramp into your friend’s truck bed… only to have the ramp slip. Or maybe you are going on a riding adventure in Colorado but can’t afford the days to get there. Or, here’s the best one, you just bought a new bike online and need to get it home from the seller who lives 2000 miles away.

Positive emotions may just fade away at the thought of the shipping process. How do you get it done? Our advice – let the experts do the job.

Here’s how you should go about selecting a shipping company and getting ready for the transportation.

Choosing a motorcycle transport company

The mere thought of going through the whole selection process might be overwhelming. Researching different companies near you and comparing them is not a one-step activity. There’s the dilemma of choosing one of the big companies or a smaller one. Sometimes there carry little information companies share. Other times you get stuck with the tons of facts and numbers businesses provide about themselves. You get lost before you were even close to a solution.

Yet, sometimes you can’t invest much time in research. There are situations when you need to make a decision quickly. In this case, you will need to trust your hunches and remember that a last-minute search will most likely result in higher prices and unavailability of some services

How do I make a choice then?

The success of selecting the best company for you and your motorcycle lies in answer to one simple question:

How much do you really love your motorcycle?

This is the biggest factor for your choice. If your motorcycle is just one of the vehicles you use to get to different locations, then you would be very quick in selecting a company. You might opt for the cheapest one or the biggest one. Without giving it a second thought. Just because you need to get it done.

What about the insurance for your bike? What about the experience the company has in shipping motorcycles? These are the questions you would ask yourself if you truly cared about your bike. You wouldn’t hand it to just anyone. You would be considerate and smart about it. Here’s our take on how to select the right motorcycle shipper if you really love your bike.

Choose someone you can trust

The shipping companies that make you leave their website with questions are probably not the best option to invest your time and money in. The company that is worth it will always provide enough information to make you understand the service and the logic behind it. Moreover, this information is understandable and applicable to you. They make it easy for you to contact a representative if you have additional questions.

Find a company with experience

Look up what previous clients have said about the transport company. The companies with top quality often have happy customers willing to share their experience. Read online reviews – you can always consult TransportReviews and Trustpilot. If the company has a blog, look for articles about motorcycles. This will give you a hint about the expertise company representatives have about motorcycles. If you feel comfortable, approach a company rep directly. It will help you further understand the type of people who work for the company.

Don’t go with the cheapest option

Request a quote only after you have narrowed your research down to a few options. The quotes will help you get a rough idea of the price, not an exact number. This is so because the cost depends on numerous factors.

Once you have received quotes from different auto shippers, you will see that prices for the same route vary between the different companies. Here you will have to pay attention and ask questions. Always, always make it clear that you are talking about a motorcycle, not an automobile. The tiny details are the most important ones, and very often they get lost between the lines.

The price you pay

The cost of shipping a motorcycle varies by the make and model of the vehicle, the type of transport, pick up/drop off locations and the distance to be traveled. This is why it’s essential to be as precise as possible with your shipping company. Tell them all the details about your bike as this will define the equipment required. Seasons also determine fluctuations in the rates. For example, in warm weather, more people are shipping their bikes and cars down to Florida. The high demand and limited supply raise the prices for this route in such periods. Keep this in mind when you do your planning.

The shipping process

Once you have selected your shipping company don’t worry if this is your first time shipping a bike. The company you have chosen will be your partner in this. Make sure you ask them every little thing that comes to your mind.

Call us now at (818) 850-5258 and ask about shipping a motorcycle for the first time. We are here to help you every step of the process.

At Corsia Logistics, we are transparent about our procedures and policies. Check out our Questions if you already have questions, or continue reading to get an idea of the steps you need to follow.

Plan on the timing

The time it takes to ship a motorcycle is similar to that of auto transport. Yet, you need to keep in mind the unexpected delays that may occur on the way. Weather conditions, mechanical breakdowns, or traffic congestion may occur. These events happen unplanned, so both you and the shipping company should be prepared. Make sure you check the route your bike needs to travel. Is this is a road highly populated with daily traffic? What is the weather like during the period of the shipment? These are questions you need to discuss with your carrier, so both start the journey with the same expectations.

We recommend booking your order a month in advance. Shipping a motorcycle across the state lines or cross-country is not like shipping a parcel, it takes more planning and preparation. More time to plan always means a cheaper solution for you, so keep that in mind. It is important to us that you understand that the dates we allocate for pick-up and delivery are estimates. A little patience goes a long way, as they say.

Select the type of transport

You generally have two options to choose from: enclosed or open carriers. Enclosed auto transport is the standard method of shipping for motorcycles. It is safer and more secure than open auto transport. There are enclosed carriers designed specifically to transport motorcycles, too. It costs more, but it is worth it when you need complete protection from road and weather elements.

In case you opt for an open carrier, ask about the conditions your bike will be in during the transportation. Most of the carriers in the US are open, and this means it is always faster to arrange for an open carrier to pick-up and deliver your motorcycle. They are cheaper, but they are not as well equipped to serve the needs of motorcycles. Hence, open carriers a meaningful option only for shorter distances.

When you need expedited delivery, however, we at Corsia Logistics usually book an enclosed carrier. When you are in a hurry, we want to minimize any risks and deliver the vehicle as safely as possible. Thus, if you must ship your motorcycle fast, or need it picked up and delivered on specific dates, prepare to pay a premium price.

Check the insurance policy

Usually, cargo protection insurance is required by law. Yet, make sure you discuss the conditions before booking. Ask about the minimum coverage and the damages it covers. Again, depending on how much you value your bike, you may want to get additional insurance. You don’t want to risk getting your brand new motorcycle scratched before it even arrived at your door, right? Discuss the options you have with your hauler.

In case of damages

In the unfortunate case your motorcycle arrives damaged, document all the irregularities on the Bill of Lading and have your transporter sign your copy. Next, follow your carrier’s instructions on filing a claim. Your transporter will want to resolve the issue quickly. Most insurance claims are reviewed and settled within a few weeks.

Give your motorcycle the prep

Your most important task is to inspect and prepare your bike for shipment very carefully.  In case of damages, you want to be able to defend the initial condition of your bike. This is why you need to inspect the motorcycle at both pick up and delivery locations, right before and after shipment. You will be required to sign before- and after-inspection report, so be sure to check for and document any pre-existing damage.

The preparation process is similar to that of a  cr. Yet, to be precise follow these steps to get your bike ready:

  • Clean your motorcycle.
  • Note scratches, dings, and other minor damages.
  • Mark down any mechanical issues or problems.
  • Take pictures; detail shots of all existing damages.
  • Date the records, and show them to your shipping company.
Sit back and enjoy the ride

Once your hauler picks up the motorcycle, all you have to do is be patient and wait. The times to ship any type of vehicle depends mainly on the pick up and delivery location, as well as the total distance. As mentioned earlier, we must also count factors such as supply and demand and price you are willing to pay. Still, these are all issues that you would discuss well in advance with the representative of the shipping company you select. You will only have to take care of the moment the bike gets there. How will you show how much you really love your motorcycle then?

Corsia Logistics ships automobiles and motorcycles nationwide daily. We are here to answer all of your questions. Please give us a call to discuss your vehicle transport needs and options. Whether you are shipping a motorcycle to Florida, Colorado, Los Angeles, Miami or any other city in the US we will arrange the shipment and help you every step of the way.


About the Author:

Dilyana Dobrinova is a nature & travel enthusiast. With a heart for books, scarves and vintage. She runs a brand consulting agency, while also running 10Ks between meetings. Dilyana holds an M.A. in International Marketing Management from the Berlin School of Economics and Law in Germany, and two B.As. in Journalism & Mass Communication and in Business Administration from AUBG.


  1. Joseph Latouche  September 10, 2018

    Want to ship a 1977 R80/7 BMW and sidecar from 54670 to 03246. Open container is ok

    • Vasilka Atanasova  September 14, 2018

      Hello Joe.

      Thanks for requesting a car shipping quote. Please, call us to let us know from where do you want to ship this one. We will email you shortly, as well.



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