When you look around you will almost always see more cars wherever you go than motorcycles. As such, more people have experience shipping cars than shipping motorcycles. When you consider all the automobiles on the road such as sedans, coupes, luxury cars, sports cars, SUV’s, trucks, etc. you can imagine that there are many more shipping companies that specialize in shipping these types of vehicles than companies that specialize in motorcycle shipping.
There are many different types of motorcycles such as cruisers, touring bikes, sport bikes, dirt bikes, scooters, trikes, ATV’s etc. Since there are significantly fewer motorcycles than cars, there are fewer shipping companies that specialize in shipping these types of vehicles.
There are a number of differences between bike shipping companies and car shipping companies. Most car shipping companies use open trailers to ship automobiles. They use various types of trailers to transport vehicles. The most common type of car shipping trailer is a multi-level trailer that carries 6 to 8 cars. Flatbed trailers are another common type of trailer used to ship cars. These flatbed trailers transport 2 to 3 cars at a time. Some car shippers use enclosed trailers to transport vehicles. Enclosed car shipping is considerably more expensive than open trailer car shipping because these trailers can’t carry as many vehicles as open trailers can.
Most motorcycle moving companies utilize enclosed trailers. Open trailer shipping is much more risky than enclosed trailer. Motorcycles shipped on an open trailer are susceptible to weather conditions and road grime. There is also a greater possibility of theft or damage when shipping a motorcycle on an open trailer. Enclosed trailer moves do cost more than open trailer transport but like most things in life you get what you pay for. Enclosed trailer motorcycle shippers keep the motorcycle out of the weather and they keep the motorcycle clean during transit. Additionally, the chance of your vehicle being stolen is greatly reduced using an enclosed trailer used for car and motorcycle transport.
Additionally, car shippers usually do not have the correct equipment needed to handle motorcycle shipments. The tie down straps used for car shipping are significantly more robust then those used to handle motorcycles during transit. Motorcycle tie downs are designed specifically to secure motorcycles but not overly robust to potentially cause damage to suspension components when securing the bikes to either a pallet or a trailer bed. Car shippers usually use heavy duty 3 inch ratchet straps to secure a car on their car shipping trailer. If a car shipper uses these types of heavy duty ratchet straps on a motorcycle, there is a high probability that the straps would be overly tightened causing the suspension to be compressed and possibly cause suspension seal damaged while in transit. Also, motorcycle shippers usually have an adequate lift gate or ramp gate on their truck for loading motorcycles on and off of their trailer. The ramps used by car shipping companies are significantly different and much narrower in most cases than those used by motorcycle movers. We always recommend going with a motorcycle specific transporters like the shippers we work with for any motorcycle move.