Should I Ship My Motorcycle or Hire: Pros & Cons When Touring

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You have a few options when transporting your motorcycle from one place to another. You can ride it yourself, hire a motorcycle shipping service, rent a bike, or buy a local motorcycle when you get there. Each option has pros and cons, so you need to consider them before deciding.

In brief, these are your options:

Ride Yourself

If you decide to ride your motorcycle, you will need to factor in the time and cost of fuel and accommodation for the trip. This is the most cost-effective option if travelling a short distance.

However, there may be better choices if you are going on a long journey due to the costs and energy spent or potential breakdowns or accidents.

Ship your Motorcycle (Rather than Hire)

Hiring a professional motorcycle shipping service is another option that may be worth considering. This is often the safest way to transport your bike since it will be handled by experienced professionals who properly secure and protect it during transit.

Additionally, this eliminates any worries about breakdowns or other issues while on the road. The downside is that hiring a shipping service can be expensive depending on the distance and type of transport used.

Rent a Motorcycle (Rather than Ship)

Renting a bike is also an option. This can be an economical choice if only going on short trips, as rental fees are cheaper than shipping costs over shorter distances/durations.

However, renting has drawbacks, such as the limited availability of certain models and getting used to riding a new bike. Also, a rental bike won’t be personal to you – like your own bike is.

Buy A Motorcycle Locally (Rather than Ship or Hire!)

Finally, buying a local motorcycle is an option, but that’s another post for another day! With this option, you need to consider expenses and additional costs associated with purchasing, such as registration fees and insurance premiums.

When deciding whether to ship your motorcycle or hire a company, several factors need consideration, such as cost, convenience, safety and reliability.

Before making your final decision, you must weigh all these factors carefully to ensure you choose the right option for you and your needs.

ship motorcycle hire - harley-davidson country road

The Pros & Cons of Shipping Your Bike

Shipping a motorcycle to another country can be a great way to explore the world and experience different cultures. However, consider the pros and cons of international motorcycle shipping before deciding.

The main pro of shipping your motorcycle overseas is avoiding the hassle of transporting it yourself. This means you don’t have to worry about packing and unpacking your bike or dealing with customs regulations.

International motorcycle shipping companies also offer many services that make the process easier, such as crating, paperwork assistance, and even door-to-door delivery.

On the other hand, there are some potential drawbacks to shipping your motorcycle abroad. The cost of international shipping can be high, starting at around £600 ($750) +.

Additionally, there may be restrictions on what type of motorcycles can be shipped in certain countries. Finally, there is always a risk that something could go wrong during transit and damage or delay your shipment.

Overall, shipping your motorcycle internationally can be an excellent way to explore new places without worrying about transporting it yourself. However, you must weigh the pros and cons carefully before making any decisions.

motorbike and shipping crates

The Pros & Cons of Hiring a Motorcycle

When it comes to travelling with a motorcycle, numerous options are available. Two of the most popular are hiring a motorcycle and shipping your bike. Here are some pros and cons of hiring a motorcycle rather than shipping your own:


  • Convenience: Hiring a motorcycle means you don’t need to worry about shipping logistics, paperwork, or customs clearance.
  • Variety: Depending on where you’re travelling to, many different types of motorcycles may be available for rent, giving you a range of options.
  • Cost-effective: Depending on how long you plan to travel, renting a motorcycle may be cheaper than shipping your own.


  • Insurance: Unless you have your own insurance policy or purchase it through the rental company, you may not be covered in case of an accident.
  • Lack of familiarity: Motorcycle rental means an unfamiliar bike, which can take some time to master.
  • Limited customisation: When renting a bike, you may not be able to customise it to your particular preferences, as you can with your own bike.
ship motorcycle hire - harley-davidson desert road

Costs to Ship or Hire a Motorcycle

When planning to travel with a motorcycle, consider the costs associated with both renting and shipping. Here is an outline of the costs involved with each option:

Renting a Motorcycle

  • Rental fees: Rental costs vary widely depending on the type of motorcycle, rental period, and location. In the US, rental prices traditionally range from $50 to $250 daily. These days, it is often more. If you want a shock, check out the prices on Eagle Rider!
  • Insurance: Unless you have your own insurance policy (or purchase it through the rental company), you may need to pay for an insurance policy, which can cost anywhere from $15 to $50+ per day.
  • Equipment: Depending on the rental company, you may need to purchase or rent additional equipment, such as helmets, jackets, gloves, or GPS.

Shipping a Motorcycle

  • Shipping fees: Shipping costs vary based on several factors, including destination, distance, shipping method, and the size and weight of the motorcycle. Generally, expect prices to start at around $350 for shorter distances and increase to several thousand dollars for international shipping.
  • Insurance: Motorcycle shipping companies offer various levels of insurance coverage, ranging from basic liability to full coverage. If you choose full coverage, you can expect to pay between 1-5% of the total value of your bike.

It is important to note that additional costs, such as fuel, customs fees, and taxes, may be associated with each option.

It is also worth considering any potential savings of each option, such as the cost of not maintaining or repairing your own bike during a long trip if you choose to rent instead.

Ultimately, weigh up the costs and benefits of each option to make the best decision that suits your budget and travel needs.

harley-davidson city view

Ship your Motorcycle or Hire: Conclusion

Shipping your motorcycle can be a great option when travelling with your bike. There are several benefits to shipping your motorcycle, such as convenience and access to professional shipping services that can help ensure your bike arrives safely at its destination.

There are, however, some drawbacks that should be taken into consideration, such as the cost and the potential for damage during transit. When deciding whether to ship your motorcycle, assess the pros and cons and consider your particular needs and circumstances.

Regardless of your decision, remember that taking care of your motorcycle during transport is key to keeping your bike in top shape no matter where your travels may take you.

Hiring a motorcycle while travelling can be a great way to explore new places and experience the sights and sounds of foreign lands. There are several advantages to renting a bike, such as convenience, cost-effectiveness, and access to various bike models.

However, some downsides exist, such as insurance and familiarity with an unfamiliar bike. Ultimately, the decision depends on your individual needs and preferences.

As you can see, there are lots of pros and cons to assess! Whatever your choice, take your time before choosing which option best suits your travel style and budget. 


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