How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Motorcycle?

Julia Campbell
Researcher & Writer
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Published on January 14, 2021
5 min read

At a glance

The average cost to ship a motorcycle in the US is around $500. There are lots of cost factors at play (e.g., transport type, distance, etc.), so this price will fluctuate depending on your move details.

The cost to ship a motorcycle

Move type
Average cost



Short distance


Long distance (>1,000 miles)




We’ve found that shorter trips cost between $200 and $300 and are billed at a flat rate.

Long-distance shipping (moves closer to 1,000 miles or more) runs anywhere from $400 to $600, and prices are calculated by the mile. As a general rule of thumb, trips around 1,000 miles cost $0.50 per mile.

Shipping outside of the Lower 48 may cost you a little more. The cost to ship a motorcycle to Hawaii, for instance, is anywhere from $800 to $1,200. Meanwhile, the average cost to ship a motorcycle to Alaska is in the ballpark of $350 to $700.

How'd we get these numbers? We pooled quotes from multiple motorcycle shipping companies and compared our averages to others we’ve seen across the industry.

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The whole picture

So you’re flying to California to check out Big Sur, and you want to cruise along the coast on your Harley-Davidson Electra Glide. Or you finally purchased that Triumph Rocket III Roadster you’ve been eyeing for weeks. Either way, you’ve gotta get your motorcycle where you need it.

Of course, you probably want to know how much you’ll have to shell out for shipping.

In short: it depends on where you’re shipping your bike and how you much you customize your move (whether you want expedited shipping or if your ride requires a little more TLC, for example).

The total

The cost to ship a motorcycle depends on the following factors:

Heads up

Some motorcycle shipping companies won’t pick up or deliver on military bases, over unpaved roads, or in gated communities. If any of these apply to you, eliminate companies that can’t service your area (usually you can find this info on a company’s website).

Additional shipping fees

Every motorcycle transport company should advertise its fees clearly so you’re not surprised when you get your final bill.

Here are the most common added fees.

Motorcycle transport fees

Fee type

Attempted pickup or delivery


Bike can’t be rolled into carrier OR you’re not present for scheduled pickup/delivery

Oversize bike


Bike is larger than 4’ x 9’ or takes up more than one spot on carrier

Tolls and port entry


Highway tolls and international import fees

Added fees are not to be confused with hidden fees. The former include permits or tolls which are out of a carrier’s control. Hidden fees, on the other hand, are how companies charge you for things within their control without telling you up front.

Don’t settle on a motorcycle shipping company that seems shady in any way. Look for companies that call out these fees either online or during the quote process.

Heads Up
Keep an eye on additional fees

If you want to see all the cost factors that make up your final price, ask the representative you’re speaking with to send you an itemized quote.

Motorcycle shipping discounts

Discounts will vary from company to company—and some carriers are more discount-happy than others—but here are the most common motorcycle shipping discounts we’ve seen:

Rallies: If you’re shipping within 100 miles of a motorcycle rally, you may be quoted a discounted flat rate—regardless of the type of motorcycle you’re moving.

Multiple vehicle discount: If you're shipping anywhere from two to 10 motorcycles (or more), you may get a discount ranging from $25 to $65 per bike.

Motorcycle club membership: Whether you’re joining the ranks of fellow Ducati or KTM lovers or simply looking for bikers to cruise with, you may be able to snag a 10%–15% discount for being a member of a motorcycle club.

Armed services and emergency personnel: Many motorcycle transport companies will salute your service by hooking you up with 10%–15% off your entire shipment.

Overseas shipping costs

Part of why shipping overseas will be more expensive than shipping within the US is because of port entry fees and country permit fees. For example, if you’re shipping to Australia, you have to purchase a motorcycle permit for your bike before it arrives.

The price to ship your bike internationally will depend on where you’re shipping it to and from, but on average, it costs $1,000–$2,500 to ship a car abroad.

The cost to ship a motorcycle to Europe falls in the ballpark of $1,000 to $2,000. If you’re shipping from the East coast, that average may be closer to $700, but if you’re shipping from the West coast, the average is right around $1,000.

Shipping to a far-away destination like Australia costs more—likely between $1,500 and $3,000.

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Heads up!

Whether you’re moving a chopper or a cruiser overseas, you’ll have to pay in full before your bike can leave the US.

What goes into your shipping quote?

Open vs. enclosed transport

On average, enclosed transport costs $150 more than open transport.

We recommend paying extra for enclosed transport if your bike is valuable or fragile or if you’re moving long distance.

Of course, no one wants rock chips dinging their bike’s paint job. But if you just dropped $1.5 million on the Harley Davidson Cosmic Starship, you definitely don’t want highway debris anywhere near your bike.


On average, enclosed transport costs $150 more than open transport.

We recommend paying extra for enclosed transport if your bike is valuable or fragile or if you’re moving long distance.

Of course, no one wants rock chips dinging their bike’s paint job. But if you just dropped $1.5 million on the Harley Davidson Cosmic Starship, you definitely don’t want highway debris anywhere near your bike.

Motorcycle size and weight

Larger and heavier bikes take up more space on carriers and therefore cost more to ship. The Kawasaki Voyager 1700, for example, weighs 895 pounds and will cost $50–$100 more to move than a Yamaha SR400, which weighs 284 pounds.

Heads Up

Don’t always go with the lowest quote you get. Inexpensive motorcycle transport companies may not always use quality equipment or transport best practices. (And don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for scammy websites!)

Luxury and vintage bike accommodations

The only added protection available for motorcycle shipping is enclosed transport, which comes at a price. But if your ride is valuable, like the BMW R 1200 GS, trust us on this—you’ll want to pay extra.

Fuel surcharges

Fuel costs differ depending on whether you’re paying for jet fuel for a plane or diesel for a truck. Either way, fuel charges should be included in your quote.


Most companies won’t ship your bike if it has more than a quarter tank of gas. When you’re a few days away from your move, stop filling up (or plan to burn some fuel on an extra-long highway cruise).


Your personal motorcycle insurance likely won’t cover your bike during shipping. Luckily, motorcycle transport companies offer cargo protection insurance, which includes $5,000–$15,000 of coverage in your quote.

You may have the option to add more coverage (up to $100,000) for a fee. If you’re moving overseas, we highly recommend looking into extra coverage/ International moves involve more mileage (and time) than domestic moves, which means your bike is susceptible to damage for longer.

Shipping speed

If you’re on a time crunch, you can pay a few hundred bucks for expedited pickup and delivery. Express shipping doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get your bike when you need it. It’s basically a company’s way of saying “We’ll bump your shipment to the front of the line and try our hardest to get it to you when you need it.”

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Keep in mind

Motorcycle shipping quotes typically reflect only the cost of a one-way move. If you need a round-trip price, make sure you select that option online or let your phone representative know.

Shipping methods

There are four different ways you can ship your motorcycle: truck, train, ship, and plane.

The best (and most common) way to ship a motorcycle within the US is via truck —these carriers can reach most areas since they aren’t limited by train tracks or high jet fuel costs.

Depending on which shipping method your transport company uses, there will be a slight variation in price.

Shipping your ride by train is the cheapest option—truck carriers are a close second. Shipping overseas via ship or plane will be about double the cost to transport a motorcycle within the US.

Recommended resources

Depending on how far you’re shipping your bike, you can expect to pay around $500. Shorter moves will cost only a few hundred bucks, while longer distances (like cross-country moves) will be closer to $600.

There may be extra fees if you opt for a premium service like express shipping, but these can be offset by discounts.

Our best tip: ask a company rep to walk you through each cost factor on your bill so you know exactly what you’re paying for.

And if you still need more guidance, we recommend giving these articles a glance:

Julia Campbell
Written by
Julia Campbell
Julia Campbell is a full-time writer who knows the tricks of the trade when it comes to planning a hassle-free move. Having moved seven times in the past five years, she draws from her own experience and industry expertise to help you avoid her biggest mistakes (like that time she thought she could get away with packing her dishes without wrapping them first).