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Is it Worth Shipping an Old Bike When You Move?

Red Honda CBR on a shipping pallet
Via Expresscrates

Motorcycle owners are no different from other enthusiasts when it comes to their beloved bikes. Their attachment to these motorized vehicles goes beyond the practicality they provide as a means of transportation.

So when you’re planning to move to a new house, especially to another city or even another state, it’s inevitable to think about how you would transport your beloved motorcycle, or perhaps even more than one.

Some own a motorcycle that may not be worth much on the second-hand market but has great sentimental value; others have a good amount of money invested in it. And if we throw into the mix the ongoing inflation, which has made life more expensive, the dilemma between shipping or selling your motorcycle becomes even more complex.

But whether you have an old, beat-up bike or a fancy motorcycle, you might wonder if it is worth taking it to your new home or perhaps better sell it and buy another one when you settle in. What decision makes the most sense financially speaking?

Inflation and Supply Chain Shortages Have Made Life Costs Go Through the Roof

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last two and a half years, you’ll know the cost of living in every aspect has skyrocketed.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been sudden and unexpected goods supply and demand shocks. The world has relied heavily on public health strategies such as social distancing, quarantines, and home lockdowns to isolate and reduce infections, reducing the ability to produce and deliver goods and services. As the demand for raw materials increased, the supply decreased due to business closures and unemployment.

Vintage motorcycle with a "for sale" sign

Via Motorcycle Cruiser

In addition, geopolitical tensions have disrupted several facets of the global supply chains, impacting manufacturers and making everything more expensive. Of course, the above has affected the cost of living for any service and product, and the motorcycle market is no exception.

Despite the above, many motorcycle owners are not ready to give up their passion for their motorcycles and would like to take them wherever they go.

Should You Bring Your Bike With You When You Move?

The short answer is yes. Even so, you must always analyze all the details of this process. Like everything in life, there are always pros and cons. For instance, while most companies base their pricing estimates for transport services concerning seasonal market demand, some companies offer you a set price not directly influenced by typical demand fluctuations.

These companies can negotiate discounted and set rates with the premier motorcycle shippers. These reduced prices are directly passed on to you to keep your rates low while ensuring your motorcycle is transported with a top-tier shipper who will take extra care with your transport.

Red Harley Davidson on a shipping pallet

Via Mall

So if you’re moving, staying somewhere new temporarily, or even selling a bike, you may have wondered about the price of motorcycle shipping and how to prepare for it. It may seem daunting if you’ve never shipped a motorcycle before, but it’s not that difficult.

Fortunately, nationwide motorcycle shipping has never been easier, so you can still consider shipping your bike without breaking the bank. In addition, many guides on shipping a motorcycle will help you prep your motorcycle, so there is no need to reinvent the wheel.

Is It Better to Sell Your Bike When You’re Moving and Get a New One at Your New Home?

The answer to this question depends significantly on how much you love your motorcycle and if you are prepared to sell it and replace it later. Of course, it also depends on shipping costs and if you can afford it. Shipping calculators are available to give you a better idea, but remember, these are estimates. Ultimately, the weight of your bike, the distance, and the company you choose will be significant factors in the overall cost.

Detailing a white 150cc motorcycle

Via Travel Zone

Some of the most common factors to consider when deciding whether or not your should ship your bike include the following:

Freight Shipping

Unless your bike is under 150 pounds, shipping it via freight is your only option, and of course, it is more expensive than a parcel.


The heaviness of your bike is a factor in shipping costs, just like shipping a package such as a box. Therefore, you will need to know the weight of your bike before sending it out.


Naturally, how far you want to ship your ride will significantly affect cost. So if you send your bike on a long journey, the shipping cost will increase accordingly.


Whether a new, premium, or older bike, we recommend getting it insured as it ships. You never know what can happen during transport, such as cosmetic damage or a freight accident.

You must contemplate a few aspects if you’re considering selling your bike and getting a new one once you’re done moving. First, what is the resale value of your bike in the used market? Second, how much will it cost to get a comparable motorcycle when you’re done moving.

In other words, you first must determine if the difference in cost of getting a new or used motorcycle will be more significant than keeping the one you have and shipping it via freight, especially if your ride has sentimental value.

Handing off the keys of a motorcycle

Via Lynn Jackson

The following factors may tip the balance for you to sell instead of shipping your bike.

It’s time for an upgrade

It might be time to sell if you crave modern upgrades and advanced features. So moving to a new house might be the best excuse to sell your bike and upgrade once you settle in your new home.

You need a different motorcycle type

There are various reasons to change the type of motorcycle. For instance, your riding style has evolved, you will travel longer distances from your new home, or you just want more features, etc.

Bike age & cost of ownership

If your bike has outdated features or too many broken components that increase your mechanical bills, selling it and getting a newer bike might be your best bet.

Guy buying a brand-new motorcycle at a dealership

Via My West Shore

High mileage

Motorcycles with many miles are typically worth less than bikes with low comparable features but lower mileage. So if your bike has high mileage, you might want to sell it before the repair cost adds up or it begins to depreciate.

Market Demand

If your used motorcycle is in high demand, you can sell it at top dollar when the market is hot. For instance, warmer months are typically peak season for many riders, so if you’re considering moving during the summer, you might want to put up your listing in time for the season.

Which Decision Makes the Most Financial Sense?

The answer to this question cannot be the same in each case. For some owners, selling a motorcycle can represent a financial loss if their bikes have depreciated on the used market. In these cases, the cost of shipping their bikes instead of selling them will be entirely worth it.

However, in cases where owners have motorcycles that are increasing in value, it may be more convenient to sell their bikes and maybe even make a profit.

Green cafe racer motorcycle on a shipping pallet

Via Rebul

Overall, shipping your motorcycle instead of selling it and having to replace it later is the best way to go in most cases. This becomes especially true considering the affordable shipping costs and ease of processing offered by some companies that make keeping your motorcycle a smart financial decision.

Still, as we mentioned above, each case is different. As a motorcycle owner, you must be diligent and thoroughly analyze all your options to make the best decision for your pocket, thus giving you peace of mind.