Person sitting outside with motorcycle
May 5, 2023

Many motorcycle owners want to be able to take their ride anywhere with them, and this means understanding the best transportation options available when moving your bike from one location to another.

Whether for a motorcycle rally, a vacation, or moving to a new state, you want your chopper to arrive in the same condition it left. This article will cover key tips for helping you safely and securely transport your motorcycle.


There are many reasons why a person might need or want to transport their motorcycle. Some of the most common reasons are:

  • Moving to a new state or city - a faraway move will result in having to transport your motorcycle in the right way.

  • A motorcycle event - events, rallies, and race days (or track days) are great fun, and if you're attending one, you may need to transport your motorcycle.

  • Vacation - everyone needs some time away, and vacationing with your bike might mean transporting it.

  • Buying or selling a motorcycle - if you're planning to buy or sell your motorcycle, you'll need to transport it to the buyer or seller.


Before you transport your bike, there are a few logistics that you need to consider and be aware of, including:

The Distance You Plan To Transport Your Vehicle

Riding to your destination might be okay if you travel a short distance. Otherwise, you'll need to use a different method which brings the logistical challenges of having your bike arrive at the same time you do - especially for a time-based event like Sturgis or Daytona.

Time It Takes

How much time is it going to take you to transport your motorcycle? You'll need to plan this closely accordingly and make the right decisions for the future.

What It Costs

The cost of this will vary depending on where you wish to transport, your motorcycle type, and your transportation method.

Consider Safety

You must consider many elements when doing this; safety is one of the biggest. Keeping your bike safe and secure is essential. This starts with avoiding uneven ground when loading your ride.


There are many amazing ways of transporting a motorcycle, and here are some of the best options:

1. Truck Or Van

A truck bed or van is one of the most common methods people use to transport their motorcycles, and this is something that you should consider. It's perfect for short to medium distances and provides a safe and secure environment for your bike as much as possible.

To achieve this, you'll either have to rent a truck/van and carry out the process yourself or hire someone with a van to do this for you.

2. Shipping

Shipping is the perfect option for long-distance transportation, and this is something you need to think about when you're trying to choose the safest and most secure option.

There are a lot of shipping companies to choose from, and this is a decision you must make carefully after plenty of research.

3. Motorcycle Carrier

A motorcycle carrier is another option to consider when you are looking to transport your bike safely and efficiently. This is designed to attach to the back of your car so that you can tow it wherever you go and ensure your bike is coming along with you.

4. Motorcycle Trailer

A trailer is a great option and is much the same as a motorcycle carrier but more suited to larger vehicles, such as an SUV. There are different sizes when choosing a trailer for your motorcycle, and trying to get this step right is tricky.

Opting for an enclosed trailer can protect from weather and flying road debris during the transport process but may incur a higher cost.

5. Freight Transport

A larger motorcycle might be more complicated to ship the traditional way, and this is where a freight transport company could come in handy. They will be able to ensure your motorcycle reaches your destination safely and in one piece.

Make sure you research the right freight transport business and get a quote for how much it will likely cost to make this step.


Before you come to the transportation stage, you're going to need to prepare your motorcycle effectively, and these are some of the steps that will help ensure it arrives at its destination safely:

Inspect Your Motorcycle For Damage

Inspecting the bike for damage is an important step in the process, and you need to look for things like scratches, dents, and other issues that could impact the safety and structural integrity of the bike. Make sure you document any damage before transportation.

Secure Your Bike In An Upright Position

Securing your bike upright is fundamentally important; you can use ratchet straps or tie-down straps to achieve this. The priority here is minimizing shifting or slipping during transit.

Attaching the tie-down points to the strongest parts of the bike is excellent for helping you to do this safely and securely.

Note* It is not recommended to use bungee cords or bungee straps. They will not provide the rigid and extreme tautness that a ratchet tie-down can provide.

Install A Wheel Chock Or Stand If Necessary

Installing a stand or wheel chock might be necessary to transport your motorcycle in a truck. Better yet, look for a trailer with a built-in motorcycle chock. This is an essential step for helping to keep your chopper in an upright position.

It will help keep your bike secure and safe and reduce the risk of it toppling over in transit.


There are plenty of transport safety checklist ideas that you must be crossing off to ensure your motorcycle arrives in one piece, and, in addition to securing and protecting your bike, these are some of the biggest.

Apply Brakes

Applying the brake lever on your motorcycle is a really important step, as this will prevent it from moving around during transportation.

Ensuring your straps aren't wrapped around the brake lines or wiring is also worth checking.

Lower Tire Pressure

You should also look to lower the pressure in your motorcycle tire. This will allow the bike to absorb vibrations better on bumpy roads without damaging the frame.

Drain The Fuel Tank

Draining the fuel tank is common sense, but it's still worth mentioning, and this is essential for preventing things like spills and leaks during transport.

If opting for a professional motorcycle transport option, this will likely be a requirement.

Active Insurance Coverage

An active motorcycle insurance policy is necessary to protect your bike from the risk of damage during transportation.

Additionally, motorcycle insurance laws vary by state. You will want to validate any regulation changes in your destination state to ensure you ride legally and verify that your insurance policy covers your bike during transport.


These are some of the most asked questions people who are looking to transport their motorcycles tend to have:

How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Motorcycle?

The cost varies depending on your travel distance, the transport method used, and your chosen company. This is why getting a few quotes before deciding is important.

Can I Ship A Motorcycle And Sidecar?

Of course, it is entirely possible to do this. However, finding a motorcycle shipping company with experience taking sidecars is recommended.

How Long Does Motorcycle Shipping Take?

Motorcycle shipping times can vary, but it often takes around 1-2 weeks domestically, whilst international shipping can take several weeks, possibly even a few months.

Can I Ship My Motorbike If It Isn't Running?

Yes. But giving the transportation company a heads-up would be a good idea, as they may need to bring extra stability gear and equipment to help them load and unload a bike that isn't running.


Transporting your motorcycle can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially as you entrust your prized possession to someone else.

It is important to consider the best mode and method of transport for your ride and prepare the bike in the best and most effective way possible.

By taking the right steps, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing your motorcycle is as safe and secure as possible and that you'll enjoy the open road at your destination.