The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Motorcycle Transport Service


When it comes to transporting your motorcycle, whether it’s for a long-distance move, a new purchase, or a trip to a rally, choosing the right transport service is crucial. A good service ensures your bike arrives safely and on time, while a bad one can lead to headaches and potential damage. Here’s your ultimate guide to choosing a motorcycle transport service, covering what to look for and what to avoid.

What to Look For in a Motorcycle Transport Service

1. Experience and Reputation

Look for reliable motorcycle shipping companies with a proven track record. Experienced companies understand the specific needs and nuances of handling motorcycles. Check online reviews, ask for recommendations in motorcycle forums, and look for companies with a strong presence in the motorcycle community.

2. Proper Licensing and Insurance

Ensure the company is fully licensed and insured. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requires all transport companies to have a valid DOT number. Additionally, verify that the company offers adequate insurance coverage to protect your motorcycle in case of damage during transit.

3. Specialized Equipment

Motorcycles require specialized equipment for safe transport. Look for services that use enclosed trailers with secure tie-down points and soft straps to prevent scratches. Enclosed trailers offer better protection from weather and road debris compared to open trailers.

4. Flexible Shipping Options

A good transport service should offer various shipping options to suit your needs. Options may include door-to-door delivery, terminal-to-terminal shipping, and expedited services. Door-to-door delivery is often more convenient, while terminal shipping can be cheaper.

5. Transparent Pricing

Choose a service that offers clear and transparent pricing. The quote should include all potential fees, such as fuel surcharges, insurance costs, and any additional services. Avoid companies that provide vague estimates or refuse to give detailed breakdowns.

6. Customer Service

Excellent customer service is a hallmark of a reputable transport company. The company should be responsive, willing to answer all your questions, and provide regular updates on your motorcycle’s status. Good communication can help alleviate any concerns you might have during the transport process.

7. Contract Details

Before committing, review the contract carefully. Ensure that all details about the service, including pick-up and delivery dates, total cost, insurance coverage, and cancellation policy, are clearly stated. This helps prevent any misunderstandings later.

What to Avoid in a Motorcycle Transport Service

1. Lack of Insurance and Licensing

Avoid any company that cannot provide proof of proper licensing and insurance. Transporting your motorcycle without adequate insurance coverage is risky and could leave you responsible for any damages incurred.

2. Unclear Pricing and Hidden Fees

Be wary of companies that give low initial quotes but then add numerous hidden fees. Always ask for a detailed quote and understand what is included. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

3. Poor Customer Reviews

Negative reviews and complaints can be red flags. Consistently poor feedback regarding late deliveries, damaged bikes, or unprofessional behavior should steer you away from such companies. Trustworthy companies typically have more positive reviews and higher ratings.

4. No Written Contract

Never agree to transport your motorcycle without a written contract. Verbal agreements are not enforceable, and you need written proof of the services agreed upon, including insurance coverage and cost.

5. Non-Specialized Carriers

Avoid general freight carriers that do not specialize in motorcycle transport. These companies might lack the proper equipment and expertise to handle motorcycles safely, increasing the risk of damage during transit.

6. Lack of Communication

If a company is difficult to reach or unresponsive to your inquiries before you book, chances are their communication will not improve once your motorcycle is in transit. Poor communication can lead to misunderstandings and delays.


Choosing the right motorcycle transport service requires careful consideration and research. Prioritize companies with experience, proper licensing and insurance, specialized equipment, and excellent customer service. Avoid those with unclear pricing, negative reviews, and poor communication. By paying attention to these factors, you can ensure that your motorcycle is transported safely and efficiently, giving you peace of mind throughout the process.


About Author

Kelly Lewis is the founder of Go! Girl Guides, the Women's Travel Fest and Damesly. She's an optimist, an adventurer, an author and works to help women travel the world.

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