In this article, I share some tips about transporting a dirt bike cross country.
Riding your dirt bike across the country can be great fun, but it does come with its own set of challenges, especially when it comes to transporting your bike to and from the destination in one piece.
If you are looking to travel across the country with your motorcycle, there are plenty of different options available depending on how far you’re traveling and what kind of vehicle you have available to transport your dirt bike.
You can transport a dirt bike cross country on your own with a pickup truck, a trailer, haul trailer, hitch carrier, or a van. Secure the dirt bike with proper tie-down points, soft loop tie-downs, and a wheel chock. For longer destinations, you can also hire a professional shipping company.
Whether you’re taking it via road or shipping it by air, here are some tips on how to transport your dirt bike safely and securely.
Dirt Bike Insurance
It’s smart to have insurance on your dirt bike in case of any issues while you’re traveling or riding it. This should include coverage for accidental damage, theft, and even if your bike is stolen while you’re away from it. So what do you think? Do you need dirt bike insurance?
Notify your insurance company before you head out on your cross-country road trip. Your auto and homeowner’s insurance policy may cover your bike while you transport it across state lines—but only if you inform them first.
Most policies include motorcycle transport under their regular shipping or moving insurance. Double-check your policy, however, as some only cover damage from transit (i.e., if you drop it on a pothole) and not loss of value during transit.
You’ll want to make sure that your bike is covered for any damage incurred in transit. After a long drive, the last thing you want to deal with is an expensive repair or replacing your ride entirely. Check with your insurance company before setting off and ask if they offer additional coverage for transport. Also, while many companies offer supplemental insurance, some may not cover dirt bikes at all, so be sure to ask before buying a policy.
Get Professional Help
Moving your dirt bike across the country isn’t as easy as calling up any old moving company. It may be time-consuming and expensive, but finding a reputable motorcycle transport service is your best bet.
If you already have a shipper in mind, contact them directly with questions about their services, what they’ll do with your bike while it’s in transit, and how long it will take for them to get from one state to another. Please keep track of all exchanges between you and your transporter; ask for references and follow up with those who have used their services before.
Always be upfront with your transporter about what type of dirt bike you’re moving and what’s included. Motorcycles are considered vehicles and need to be transported by vehicle carriers, ranging from truck trailers to specialty cargo vans.
Some transporters like A-1 Auto Transport or Uship may include tracking or satellite devices for extra safety and peace of mind. You should also let them know if there are any modifications or upgrades you’ve made (like aftermarket parts) that may cause additional handling or mounting challenges.
Note: Ask how long your transporter will keep your bike in transit and where it will be kept while it’s in storage. The price they quote you may vary based on many factors, including whether your bike is being stored at their facility or not. Remember, cheaper isn’t always better: some shady transporters may take advantage of you. Always check for honest reviews online before selecting a motorcycle transport service.
Apply for Permits
Applying for permits is typically an easy process and not very expensive, but you’ll want to make sure you apply as soon as possible. It could take a few weeks or even months for your paperwork to be approved, which will delay your trip if you haven’t shipped your bike yet.
Applying for permits is generally straightforward if you have all of your documents in order. Once it’s approved, you can ship your motorcycle (or drive it yourself) across state lines with minimal hassle from local law enforcement. While getting travel insurance before shipping your dirt bike is a good idea—just in case something goes wrong during transit—you probably won’t need it at any point before then.
If you haven’t shipped your dirt bike yet, be sure to apply for all of your necessary permits at least 30 days before you plan on leaving. If they don’t arrive in time, you may have to postpone your trip or even ship it in separate trips. While sometimes permits can take up to several months, it’s important that you apply early just in case something goes wrong.
Packing Your Dirt Bike For Shipping
Most often, shipping your dirt bike from place to place is a safe and cost-effective option. For some riders, though, an even better choice is to bring your bike with you on vacation or for that new job you’re taking across the country. It can be done if you know what you’re doing and plan. Dirt bikes aren’t cheap, and it’s imperative that they arrive at their destination without damage.
When packing your dirt bike for shipping, you should use a sturdy and waterproof container to help protect it from damage. Additionally, make sure that you leave enough space around your bike for airflow and that all of its parts are protected within—most shippers require that each wheel be wrapped separately in bubble wrap and foam padding. If needed use dirt bike tie-downs for important parts or the dirt bike itself.
You should also include paperwork inside detailing everything about your bike, as well as information about where it’s going. Make sure to include contact information for yourself so that whoever is receiving it knows who sent it (just in case something happens in transit). Finally, don’t forget to note how much it weighs.
Some of my buddies choose to protect their bikes with a hard case that can be locked, but most folks like to transport their bikes on their own and via standard shipping options. If you’re going to ship your bike using non-emergency services, make sure it arrives in one piece by protecting it in both soft and hard cases or by putting it into a shipping crate (if you plan on flying, they’re required).
Regardless of how you choose to ship your dirt bike across the country, always leave yourself some extra time so that if anything goes wrong with either shipping service, you can have time to work out an alternative. You don’t want to arrive at your new home only to find out that your bike is still on its way.
If you want to transport your dirt bike on your own, you want to read my guide about how to safely transport on a trailer and haul your dirt bikes.