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Cargo Motorcycle Shipping – Getting your bike abroad

Take it with you

Renting a motorcycle abroad may seem like a preferable option, cargo motorcycle shipping overseas may sound complicated and expensive. But when you picture yourself riding the open roads of The States, would you rather picture yourself on your own pride and joy? The cost of shipping your own motorcycle abroad, whether it’s to ride or sell, might be less than you’d expect. Especially when stacked up against the cost of renting over a long period of time.

Are you shipping the right bike?

There are many different kinds of motorcycle, and shipping overseas may vary depending on that (due to weight and size). Let’s take a look at some of those different styles of motorcycle. It’s important to know which style you have when cargo motorcycle shipping.


The most common style of motorcycle is the roadster, or standard motorcycle (otherwise known as a naked bike). The perfect beginner motorcycle style, due to their lower costs, flexibility and moderate engine output. Your standard motorcycle tends to lack a windshield and requires an upright riding position, neither leaning back nor forward – if that sounds like your motorcycle you have yourself a roadster.


Imagine riding the open roads of the States on a cruiser. This is another common style of motorcycle, usually bulkier than a standard motorcycle. Cruisers are actually styled after American models from the 1930s to 1960s such as Harley Davidson. The riding position of a cruiser places the feet forwards, the handlebars quite high and the rider leaning back slightly. This makes a cruiser a particularly comfortable ride, however plan a route with a chance for quite a few breaks as the positioning can cause fatigue due to wind resistance.


There are many variations of sports bike. As the name suggests, a sports bike emphasises speed over everything, with great handling and amazing grip on paved roads (definitely not suitable for touring off roads!). They key thing you’ll notice on a sports bike over others is a windshield that deflects wind at high speeds, with fairings that completely enclose the bike’s engine.


You’re in luck if you find yourself in possession of a touring motorcycle! Built specifically with travelling long distances in mind, if you choose to cargo ship a touring motorcycle abroad you’ll have no problems. Though less aerodynamic, touring motorcycles also feature a windscreen. You’ll also have plenty of room for luggage with a touring motorcycle.

Ship ’em!

Now that we know what kind of motorcycle you have, let’s talk about how to ship your bike abroad. Nathan Millward is a motorcycle adventurer, regularly travelling around the world! In the video below, he’ll tell you exactly how to prepare your motorcycle for a road trip abroad. Fortunately, Nathan has a variety of bikes, so whichever motorcycle type you have he’ll be able to help out.

Now when you’re considering a road trip abroad, it’s important to consider how long you’ll be going before considering cargo motorcycle shipping. In his blog, Nathan recommends that any trip lasting less than a couple of weeks would be more suited to renting a motorcycle.

Heading away for longer? That’s when you may want to consider shipping your own bike across, as the costs of renting can climb. Shipping over your own bike may cost approximately £2000. Nathan’s advises, “In 2015 I flew a BMW R1200 GS into Las Vegas, using the services of James Cargo, who have a facility just outside of Heathrow. Other agents to consider include Shippio and Motofreight.”

Another consideration before shipping your own motorcycle abroad would be insurance – whilst in shipping your motorcycle will be covered by the courier. However, once on the road you need to have something in place as most UK insurers will decline cover abroad. This may vary dependent on the country you visit. Another recommendation by Nathan would be Motorcycle Express.

There are many things to consider when shipping your motorcycle abroad, with the main consideration being whether or not it will be cost effective. If you’re going for a short stay, renting may be best for you. For longer trips you’ll likely save money by shipping your own motorcycle. Motorcycle adventure experts like Nathan Millward are perfect sources of advice when you’re considering taking your pride and joy overseas. Make sure you plan ahead, safe travels and have fun!

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