Motorcycle Shipping Options

There are three options available for motorcycle shipping. These options range between the most convenient and most expensive and least convenient and dirt-cheap. The old adage, “You get what you pay for” rings so true in motorcycle shipping. So what should you consider when planning to ship a motorcycle?


Most shipping companies offer dock-to-dock shipping. This option is sometimes called business-to-business shipping. This means a box truck without a hydraulic lift gate will back-up to a dock and the motorcycle will be wheeled in and out of the truck across the dock. This option is generally cheaper than door-to-door shipping. This option is often selected by dealers to transfer motorcycles between their shops.

Door-to-door shipping is basically from your driveway to the delivery driveway. The motorcycle will be hoisted up and down to/ from the truck on a hydraulic lift gate. This is a super convenient option as your involvement in the shipping process is limited to scheduling and waiting. Obviously, this is premium shipping and will be the most expensive option yet also by far the most convenient.

A third option is motorcycle terminal-to-terminal shipping. This is generally the cheapest option. You take your motorcycle to the shipper’s yard and they will ship to their yard in the delivery city.  Upon the motorcycles arrival at the shippers yard in the delivery city, you will be notified to pick-up the motorcycle from their yard. This option has its merits and is cheaper than door-to-door and more convenient than dock-to-dock in that you do not have to provide the dock for pick-up and delivery. However, this option may not be as convenient in the winter months when riding your motorcycle to the shipper’s dock will be difficult.

In choosing between these three options, you need to consider the following:

  • The availability and distance to a nearby dock.
  • Whether the selected shipping company has a terminal in your state or your city.
  • Is your house truck accessible, i.e. do you have narrow streets that are hard to navigate, or are there weight restrictions for trucks in your neighborhoods, or are there low hanging trees or telephone cables that may hamper accessibility.

I personally favor door-to-door shipping. I am inherently lazy and would prefer a professional to take care of the shipping process for me. I would be way more comfortable sitting back and waiting on the arrival of my motorcycle.

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