Ideas for Lowering the Shipping Cost for a Motorcycle
Moving to a new place, whether it’s to a nearby state or across the country, can be stressful. Motorcycle enthusiasts have the additional worry of how to get their most prized possession to their new home. For cost-conscious riders, the shipping costs for a motorcycle can add another element to the moving process.
If you’re a biker on a budget, this article is for you. We’ll discuss the different methods for shipping a motorcycle along with the most economical options. There are many different factors involved when it comes to pricing. What’s essential for one biker may not be of importance to another.
Motorcycle Shipping Cost Considerations
The cheapest way to get a motorcycle to your new location is to ride it there. This is the most obvious and enjoyable method. However, riding your baby to its new home probably isn’t feasible.
There are a few different options to get your bike from point A to point B, and motorcycle delivery prices can vary. Most of us don’t have the luxury of taking the time to ride our bikes to our new homes, and it’s best to leave shipping them to the professionals.
There are several factors to consider when determining how much it can cost to ship a motorcycle. Factors include the shipping method you use and a few other elements. The size and weight of your bike, open versus enclosed shipping, and purchasing optional additional moving insurance can affect motorcycle shipping rates. Motorcycle transport prices can increase or decrease depending on these details.
Motorcycle Weight and Size
When considering the motorcycle transport cost, size does matter. If you have a smaller-sized bike like a Yamaha TW200, you can expect the transportation cost to be lower than for a much larger and heavier bike. For those with bigger bikes, the price can significantly increase. Shipping a Harley-Davidson Fat Boy will certainly hit your wallet harder than a much lighter trail bike.
Much like delivery services for packages, the heavier the item is, the more expensive it is to ship. Most motorcycle moving companies will base their price in part on the length and weight of the bike. The longer or heavier it is, the more it’ll cost to ship. Unfortunately, this isn’t something that you can control.
Open or Enclosed Shipping
Another factor to consider is how much protection you want your bike to have while in transport. You’ll have two options: open versus enclosed shipping.
Open transport could expose your bike to the elements, with rain being the biggest one. Depending on what you ride, this may or may not be a consideration. Dirt bikes like a Honda CRF are regularly exposed to dust, mud, dirt, and water, so open shipping probably isn’t an issue for bikes like these. However, enclosed shipping is perhaps a much better choice if you get stressed when your pricey Kawasaki Ninja gets caught in the rain.
Enclosed carriers protect motorcycles from rain and snow during transport and will cost more than open methods. These carriers will also ensure that the occasional kicked-up stone won’t inadvertently damage your bike. The peace of mind that comes with having your ride enclosed and safe from severe weather or other damaging effects comes with a higher price tag.
Pickup and Drop-Off Considerations
The cost of bike transport can be affected by where the transportation company picks up and drops off your motorcycle. Some shipping companies offer a door-to-door service. Although this may make your life easier, you’ll most likely have to pay for the convenience.
Dropping off and picking up at the carrier’s hub points is a way to lower the shipping cost for a motorcycle. Ask your motorcycle shipping company if you can drop off and pick up your ride to avoid the cost of door-to-door service.
Insuring the Shipment
Purchasing additional insurance won’t lower the price of shipping a motorcycle, but it is something a biker on the move should consider. Many bike transportation companies do offer basic insurance against theft or damage. However, to ensure that you’ll get the best reimbursement if something unspeakable does happen, purchasing additional insurance is the best protection.
Motorcycle Shipping Methods
How much to transport a motorcycle can vary depending on your chosen method and the distance it’s going. It’s best to hire a professional motorcycle mover company. Hiring those most knowledgeable in relocating bikes can put your mind at ease. Your motorcycle is like a family member or a trusted friend and should only be entrusted to those who know what they’re doing.
Your options to relocate your bike are limited to a few transportation methods. The best one for you depends on your budget and final destination. Some ways are more costly, and you’ll need to consider the shipping cost considerations we’ve already discussed.
Shipping Motorcycles by Train
Typically, transporting a motorcycle by train is the most cost-effective method. You’ll have two options when using this means of transporting your two-wheeler.
This first method is the cheapest. However, it does require a specific set of circumstances to work.
Some rail lines allow motorcycles to be transported along with their owners on “auto trains.” You simply buy a ticket and pay the additional fees for bringing your bike along with you for the ride. It’ll be stored in the same location as the cars and other vehicles, but this method only works if you travel with your bike.
The more obvious way to use a train to ship your bike is by consulting a motorcycle shipping company that uses private or contracted railcars for delivery. This option is best when moving from one major city to another. If your final destination isn’t close to a railway station, you’ll have to find other means of getting your motorcycle from the train to your new home.
To keep costs low, you can typically drop your bike off at the company’s train hub location and then pick it up at the train station on the other end of the line.
Depending on the motorcycle shipping company’s policies, you may be required to drop off and pick up your bike personally. Some will offer door-to-door service, but this will come with an added cost.
Shipping Motorcycles by Truck
Some motorcycle owners choose to move their bikes by truck, via a large transport truck as cargo, or in a much smaller enclosed trailer. The answer to the question, “How much does it cost to transport a motorcycle by truck,” depends on the truck type. For truck shipments, most bike transport companies will charge by the mile. A short distance that only takes a couple of hours will cost significantly less than a cross-country trip.
You may be able to lower shipping costs by choosing different methods of truck transportation. Open-air transport could save you some money if you’re comfortable having your bike exposed to the weather and different driving conditions. Open shipping typically involves having your bike secured on a flatbed truck.
Shipping Motorcycles by Plane
For farther distances, sometimes it’s less expensive to ship your motorcycle by plane. Although not as common as other shipping methods, you can have your bike flown to your destination. The expense of moving your bike a great distance is cheaper, and it’ll also get there in a few hours instead of a few days if transported by other means.
Many motorcycle moving companies offer the option of shipping by plane. If you’re moving to another country, this might be a better choice than other methods.
You’re probably asking yourself, “How much does it cost to ship a motorcycle on a plane?” The price for air transport will depend on the distance from the drop off to its final destination. Sometimes flying your bike just makes more sense, especially if you need to transport it overseas.
In addition, a trucking company will charge a delivery fee plus a per-mile cost, so using a plane could turn out to be more friendly on your wallet. Some air carriers will require the bike to be fully crated and enclosed, adding to the cost. Ask your shipping specialist if there’s an option for open shipment with your bike firmly secured to an open pallet.
Shipping Motorcycles by Boat
There could be times when shipping your motorcycle by boat is the most economical way to get it to your final destination. This option may be the most cost-effective if you’re relocating to a country overseas. Although it could take much longer when choosing this means of transportation with a motorcycle moving specialist, what you’ll lose in time, you’ll save in shipping costs.
Delays in arrival can be more common than you’d think. Cargo ships often deviate from their routes, so expected delivery dates can sometimes be off by not days but weeks. The same is true in reverse. Sometimes ships arrive way ahead of schedule, leaving you to incur costly storage fees.
Steps to Lower Shipping Cost for a Motorcycle
After considering your options, here are a few key points to remember before finalizing your decision.
If you have plenty of time before you need to transport your motorcycle to another location, it’s always best to book a shipment well ahead of time. This gives the transport company time to see if there are any new opportunities with different carriers. Delivery routes and schedules can change quickly, so scheduling well in advance can sometimes save you some money when delivery routes unexpectedly change.
Type of Transport
When using a trucking service to haul your bike, using the cheapest option may not always be in your best interest. However, open transport is the least expensive way to go when on a tight budget. Your bike will be exposed to the elements, but this is all a part of lowering shipping costs. The pricing differences between open transport and your motorcycle inside an enclosed trailer can be considerable.
Time of Year
The motorcycle shipping industry works on the principles of supply and demand. When demand is high, so are the prices. You may be able to find a reasonable discount when shipping your bike during times of low need. In some locations, prices drop during the winter when demand tends to be much lower than at other times of the year.
You Get What You Pay For
Today’s business world is competition-based, but that doesn’t mean the lowest price for anything is the best way to go. When shipping a motorcycle, you should always go with the experts in the industry. Many are affordable and have the expertise to get your bike sent safely and securely. Lots of companies have experience in shipping, but not all are qualified to ship motorcycles.
Motorcycle Shipping Cost Estimator
What does it cost to ship a motorcycle and lower the cost? It can be challenging to nail down a price without consulting the experts. With so many available options, prices can range from affordable to those that could get your blood pressure boiling. The best way to get an idea of pricing and options is to use a motorcycle shipping cost estimator.
How Much Does Shipping a Motorcycle Cost?
The average cost to ship a motorcycle depends on your decided delivery choices. There are too many variables to give a one-size-fits-all answer. Motorcycle weight, size, and travel distance are just a few elements that need to be considered.
What might save some bikers money might not work for others. Weighing each factor’s pros and cons will help you determine what works best for you.
For help determining how to lower motorcycle shipping costs, contact the motorcycle shipping experts at Cheap Motorcycle Shipping.