Shipping a Motorcycle Cross Country (Step by Step Guide)

Moving your motorcycle across the country is a process that will demand you to make a plan about every detail, like preparing your motorcycle to be shipped and choosing the motorcycle shipping company. With that being said, we will show you the best way to ship your motorcycle cross country.

So how do you ship your motorcycle cross country? As a general rule, the first thing you need to do is choose between enclosed or open transport. After doing so, pick the best motorcycle shipping company that offers the transport you previously selected and choose if you want your bike to be delivered to your door or the company’s warehouse.

Further in this article, we will get more in-depth about shipping your motorcycle cross country as well, as we will show you a step-by-step guide about shipping your motorcycle cross country.

How to Ship Your Motorcycle to Cross Country?

We are going to show you the simple steps you need to take to move your motorcycle across the country, and you don’t need to worry about the process because we will get in the very last detail, so you do everything correctly.

Since the process of shipping your motorcycle across the country is very easy, you will handle it with no problem; however, you need to prepare so you select the right option that will satisfy your needs the best.

Here is a great article about Motorcycle Shipping and How Long It Takes and the best options possible.

Step 1: Choose Enclosed or Open Transport

Deciding between enclosed and open transport is a crucial decision you need to make, and this decision needs to be made even before you choose the motorcycle shipping company. You need to be aware that some companies only have one option available (either enclosed or open transportation). That is why you need to know what options are available with the company you choose to go with.

Open transportation will cost you less than the enclosed one, but you need to know that your motorcycle is much more likely to be damaged during transport.

Note: Open shipping can be the best option for transporting your motorcycle to a close destination where the trip won’t take more than a couple of hours. You can also choose this option if you have an old and already damaged bike, and it is not so important to take care of it during transportation.

Enclosed transportation is the best option to ship your motorcycle to the desired location. This type of transportation will protect your motorcycle from outside elements such as rain, snow, sun, wind, which means that your motorcycle will arrive in one piece without any damages or scratches. This option is especially important if you plan to ship your motorcycle across the country.

Note: Motorcycles are smaller than cars are, and they are also lighter, which means that you need to strap them down and secure them while transporting adequately. They can get damaged much easier than cars can

If you need any help with choosing the right transportation option and why the enclosed one should be your only option if you ship your motorcycle across the country, just imagine this scenario. Visualize the route and how long it will take for your motorcycle to get delivered to the desired destination. Now take into account all the damaging elements such as flying rocks, rain, snow, wind, dust, sun, hail, road debris, and so, and you will conclude that picking the enclosed transportation will protect your bike from all the mentioned elements.

Here is an excellent article about How to Ship a Motorcycle and the best options possible.

Step 2: Select the Best Cross Country Shipping Company

The motorcycle shipping process is different from the process of shipping cars, and this means that you need to choose the best shipping company specializing in motorcycle transportation. Auto shippers have a different approach when it comes to transportation. Just like we said earlier, cars are bigger and heavier than bikes are, and they can’t get damaged as easily as bikes can. This is why it is important to pick a transportation company specialized in motorcycle shipping.

Motorcycle transportation companies will have a much better approach in the matter of securing your motorcycle and making sure it arrives without any damages and in one piece. These companies will also use extra precaution and secure your motorcycle to a pallet and load it carefully on the trailer.

Note: You also need to remember that not all motorcycle shipping companies will offer you the proper and best shipping service regardless of them being specialized in motorcycle transportation. Have in mind that if you pick the cheapest shipping company, there is a bigger possibility that your motorcycle will have some kind of damage since many cheap companies don’t use the best transportation equipment for securing your motorcycle, and the way they ship the motorcycle can be on not so good level. You also need to know that you don’t need to pay a fortune for motorcycle shipping for it to be the best and on the desired level.

Here is a list of things that you should look for when you choose the right cross country shipping company:

  • Specializes in shipping motorcycles
  • Enclosed air-ride transport
  • Licensed and insured
  • Specialized equipment for secure transport
  • Low claims rate
  • Reliable transit time and tracking services
  • Delivery options to fit your needs

We have searched for the best companies that offer both the quality and the optimal cost of transportation. We have concluded that Federal Motorcycle Transport is one of the best shipping options for cross country shipping with more than 30 years of experience in motorcycle cross country transportation.

They have more than 5000 motorcycle shipping every year, and one of the best things about it is that more than 70% of their entire business and company is based on repeat and satisfied customers and referrals that these customers give to their fellow rider friends.

Step 3: Choose Between Door-to-Door Shipping or Shipping Your Motorcycle to a Warehouse

Choosing the type of motorcycle delivery is the next step you need to do after selecting the best motorcycle shipping company. You can choose between your motorcycle being delivered to a warehouse or your doorstep.

The door-to-door motorcycle shipping option is probably the best option because your motorcycle is delivered right at your address or any other location that you wish it to be delivered to. However, you need to be aware of a couple of things, and the first one is that the location you choose for it to be delivered needs to be tractor-trailer accessible. A popular shipping option is that your motorcycle is delivered to a local distribution center or motorcycle ship.

By choosing to ship your motorcycle to a company’s warehouse, you will eliminate any possible delays. You can arrange the drop-off and pick-up when suits you best, and the shipping time is much more predictable.

This is also another reason we find Federal Motorcycle Transport one of the best options because they offer both options. You can check the locations of their warehouses across the country here

Step 4: Ensure Your Motorcycle

You need to make sure that your motorcycle is covered and insured. Most of the transportation companies will offer you only basic transport coverage, but you need to know that this transport coverage is not enough to cover the entire value of your motorcycle. It is only there to cover some smaller damages such as scratches that can happen during transportation.

Tip: Check with your motorcycle insurance carrier for additional shipping policies or if your policy covers the entire damage that can happen during transport using third-party transportation, but most policies don’t cover it.

Ask your insurance company if there is a possibility of adding a temporary rider to your motorcycle policy, so you are sure that your motorcycle is covered. Another great option is buying additional insurance coverage from a third-party carrier or a motorcycle shipping company.

Step 5: Prepare Your Motorcycle for Shipping

Preparing your motorcycle for shipping is the last step you need to do. You need to clean your motorcycle before drop-off or pick up and take photos of your motorcycle to document its condition so you can compare it after it arrives at the destination. Take pictures of any existing damages as well. After doing so, you will need to prepare your motorcycle by following the next:

  • Inflate your tires properly.
  • Your battery needs to be fully charged.
  • Your fuel tank needs to be filled to a quarter tank or even less.
  • If you have an alarm system, you need to disconnect it.
  • Remove any detachable accessories or loose parts from your motorcycle.

After completing these steps, your motorcycle is ready to be shipped, and you can schedule a pick-up service or drop your motorcycle off with the carrier.

Here is an excellent video about Motorcycle Shipping:

What Is the Cost of a Motorcycle Cross the Country Shipping?

The price of motorcycle shipping is probably another concern next to picking a shipping company that will take the best care of your motorcycle. You need to know that many factors affect the shipping price, and the price mainly depends on the mileage between the location from which you send your bike to the destination that you want your motorcycle to be shipped.

The cost of mileages is based on the route, origin, and destination. 0.30$ to 0.70$ is the range that you will pay per mile transported. You will also spend less if you choose the more popular route than the barely used one.

Here are a couple of examples:

Shipping RoutePrice
New York to California$925
Florida to California$937
Texas to California$979

Here you can read a great article about Motorcycle Shipping Costs and what are the Cheapest Options for you to select. You will find out about all the shipping options available at the Federal Motorcycle Transport in this article.

How Long Does It Take to Ship Your Motorcycle Across Country?

The duration and the time needed for your motorcycle to be shipped from one location to another is probably the next question that you want to get an answer to. You need to know that transportation time depends on many factors, and these are the ones that have the biggest effect:

  • Choosing between commercial, warehouse, or residential delivery
  • Availability of transportation company
  • Weather conditions
  • Choosing between dropping your motorcycle at a warehouse location or scheduling the pick up of your motorcycle
  • Shipping route, origin, and destination

Note: As a general rule, 8 to 14 business days is the time that it takes for your motorcycle to be shipped cross country.

Here is another excellent article about the duration of motorcycle shipping, How Long Will It Take to Ship Your Motorcycle, and what are the best options.

Final Thoughts

Shipping your motorcycle cross country demands a couple of things to be done before shipping your motorcycle. In this article, we showed you what elements you need to give your attention to the most and how to prepare your motorcycle for cross-country shipping.

We hope that this article has answered all your questions and that you found all the helpful information.


Hello there fellow motorcycle enthusiasts; I’m Mihael. The first motorcycle I had was a scooter Gilera vxr 200 from 2003. This is the motorcycle I fell in love with, which brought me into the moto world. Since then, I have been riding many kinds of bikes, from dirt bikes to race bikes. At the moment, I have a Kawasaki Z750 from 2004, and all I can say is that it is a hell of a bike. I have been riding motorcycles for the last 10 years, and during this period, I have been to many locations where I would probably not be without my bike. My goal is to give you the best advice and tips possible that I have been using myself and that all of my biker friends find helpful to them as well.

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