Shipping A Motorcycle Guide
Have you been eyeing that V Rod online, but the seller lives 2000 miles away? Are you moving across the state lines and taking your chopper with you? Are you a Chicago native who’s been dreaming of riding your bike all the way to California but your vacation days don’t allow for a round-trip? Sometimes, when the destination is distant and the time is short, shipping that motorcycle is the best solution.
Questions people ask when shipping a motorcycle:
- How does motorcycle shipping work?
- Is my motorcycle insured during transport?
- How much does it cost to ship a motorcycle?
- How long does shipping a motorcycle take?
- How far in advance should I book my service?
- How to choose a transporter?
How does motorcycle shipping work?
The standard method of shipping a motorbike is via an enclosed carrier. It is the best and most secure option. Motorcycle shipping is done on an estimated timeline similar to auto transport. Unforeseen delays such as poor weather conditions, mechanical breakdowns or excessive traffic may occur. When you know in advance that dates are only estimates, you will have peace of mind.
Many enclosed carriers are designed, or customized, to load and secure motorbikes. However, in most cases a regular enclosed auto transport carrier can accommodate any bike. Enclosed carriers provide the necessary support structure to safely load and tie down a bike. Drivers of such trucks work with cars and bikes all the time, and their equipment allows them to safely transport any vehicle. Often, for short distances, you will see open air flatbed carriers that can load and haul up to four or five bikes. This of course can be done for long distances as well, but it is not as efficient and it will cost more.
When you need expedited delivery, however, this is usually the type of carrier we book. So, if you must ship your motorcycle fast, or need it picked up and/or delivered on exact dates, prepare to pay a premium price. Regular, open air car transport carriers can also haul bikes. It is not the standard method of transport, but it does work. Many such carriers know how to handle a bike carefully and load it securely on their trailer. This could often be a cheaper option because this is just a small extra load for the carrier.
In most cases, your motorcycle will be transported on an 18-wheeler. Thus, your streets must be large enough to accommodate an 80ft. long semi-trailer that is over 13ft. tall. Driver must be able to safely drive up to your residence and then drive back out. For that reason, dead end streets are considered “tractor/trailer” accessible as long as there is room to turn around at the end.
Restrictions that may prevent driver’s access to your residence are low hanging tree branches or wires, cars parked on both sides of the road, roadways that have weight or size limitations. In that case, your motorcycle will be picked up/delivered at an alternate location, as close to your residence as possible.
Is my motorcycle insured during transport?
Liability and cargo protection insurance is required by law. So, yes your motorcycle is insured during transport. To eliminate all doubts, and see if the transporter’s minimum coverage is enough, make sure to discuss it at booking. You should feel comfortable with the type of coverage you receive.
Here are some questions you can bring up with your hauler:
- What type of damage is covered?
- What is the limit of coverage?
- Do I have to pay any deductible?
If your motorcycle is especially valuable, you may want to look into purchasing additional insurance. Your motorcycle carrier will treat your bike with the utmost care and more than likely it will arrive in perfect condition. 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.
Remember, it’s important you do the inspection at delivery alongside the trucker. This will be your only opportunity to inspect and report damages.
How much does it cost to ship a motorcycle?
When you ask this question, make sure you receive a realistic answer. Do not be lured by the lowest price. Several factors affect the price of shipping vehicles and you should know more about that before booking a service.
Make and model of the vehicle, the type of transport, and location and distance all affect the price. Different types of bikes require different types of transport equipment so you have to discuss all specifics about your bike. Furthermore, supply and demand affect price fluctuations daily. This means that this is often the most important factor that affects the price to ship a motorcycle.
Sometimes, if your rate is even with$50 less than the current market price, this can delay the shipping. What happens is that current market price vehicles ship first. The cheapest motorcycle shipping quote often means you end up waiting for more than the standard five days pick-up windows for a carrier to accept.
In the vehicle transport industry, supply and demand fluctuations play an important role. For example, when shipping a motorcycle to Florida, you should keep in mind that seasonality factor such as ‘snowbirds’ will affect the price. You will be competing with thousands of snowbirds going south for a limited space, where the highest paying loads move first.
And because seasonal fluctuations can move pricing around, we also don’t recommend booking your shipment more than a month in advance. You want the most current price that will guarantee you a spot on the carrier.
If you are looking to save money, and willing to wait a little longer for your motorcycle to be picked-up you can try with a lower rate. A realistic price reflects current market conditions and guarantees timely and professional motorcycle shipping service. This cost becomes more than just a number when you factor in the confidence of working with an experienced shipper who will treat your motorcycle with all the care it deserves.
How long does shipping a motorcycle take?
Shipping dates and times are always only estimates. Transportation depends on may factors such as road and weather conditions, possible truck failures, traffic and other customers delays. From booking to pick-up we have a pick-up window and then we have a delivery window. Once the bike is picked up we will stay in touch with you to track delivery progress.
The time to ship any type of vehicle depends mainly on the pick-up and delivery location, as well as the total distance. However, we must count factors such as supply and demand and price you are willing to pay. As you learned in the cost section, it is important to pay the current market price if you want to receive timely and professional service.
How to Prepare my Motorcycle For Shipping?
Before the carrier picks up your motorcycle, you have to prepare it for shipping.
- 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.
To start, check your bike for preexisting damages and document its condition. Note dings and scratches. We also recommend taking high-quality photos of your motorcycle before shipment. Although, it’s very unlikely your bike arrives damaged, if there is a dispute at the time of delivery photos can be used as evidence for the insurance provider.
Clean your motorcycle. Check it for fluid leaks. Remove all loose items from your chopper. The transporter is not responsible for damaged accessories and they are not covered by insurance. Also, remember that no additional packages can be shipped with your motorcycle.
Make sure your motorcycle is in good working condition. Mark down any mechanical issues, if any, so your transporter is prepared. For safe shipping, your motorcycle should be loaded in an upright position strapped to a crate or platform. For more details on how to prepare your motorcycle for transport, you can talk to us directly.
How far in advance should I book my service?
We highly recommend that you plan your motorcycle shipment ahead. Booking your order a month in advance would be ideal. Shipping a motorcycle across the state lines or cross-country is not like shipping a parcel, it will not happen overnight. Expedited shipping and guaranteed dates are possible, but this cost more. Therefore, by allowing more time for your motorcycle transport you increase your chances of finding a less expensive shipping option.
Sometimes it is possible to schedule your pick-up for the day you request, even if that is the same day, but this is not the standard in the industry. Hence, we ask you to be patient, remember that dates are only estimates and remain flexible with your shipping dates. This is the best way to receive an affordable service.
How to choose a motorcycle transporter?
To start, ask family and friends. Word of mouth is a powerful tool. And it’s always great to get a recommendation from someone with first-hand experience.
If the above option doesn’t yield results, turn to Google search. When you embark on a search for a motorcycle carrier, you will find plenty of options listed online. Don’t get discouraged. Take your time, research before you make a final decision. To make sure the company is legit, check their registration with USDOT and FMCSA. You can also inquire about referrals and check customer reviews online.
Corsia Logistics ships automobiles and motorcycles nationwide daily. We are here to answer all of your question. Please give us a call to discuss your 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. For more information please visit our FAQ section to find answers to all of your auto transport question. Thank you.