Shipping a large item such as a motorcycle requires the shipping company to use a combination of truck transportation as well as cargo ship transportation. The cost of shipping a motorcycle one way between southern California and Hawaii costs about $775 to $825. There are several companies that specialize in shipping motorcycles and vehicles over the water.
Determining the cost of shipping depends on a number of factors, such as specific locations involved, the weight of the vehicle, and whether you will be shipping the motorcycle back to its original destination. Shipping the motorcycle back to it's original location may cost the same.
Most shipping agencies offer free quotes for their services; get a quote from multiple companies to choose the best deal.
How the motorcycle is shipped can affect the shipping cost. Some companies, such as 1AA Motorcycle Transport, specialize in open shipping, in which the motorcycle is secured in place on a transport ship. Other companies, such as JC Motors, ship motorcycles in fully enclosed metal shipping crates. The second type of transport packaging may require you to lower the handlebars and even remove parts of the bike.
Insurance is another consideration. The standard coverage included in the shipping cost averages about $5,000 of value. If your motorcycle is more valuable than that, you may want to purchase additional insurance or see if your motorcycle insurance provider offers shipping insurance.
You also need to look at the delivery methods of the shipping agency. Some agencies will deliver port to port meaning you have to deliver the motorcycle to the port and pick it up yourself at the port of arrival. Others may offer door to door service. For the latter, the service will pick up the motorcycle, pack it, transport it to the delivery address and unpack it. You may pay more for that type of service.
Preparing your motorcycle for transport may or may not affect the cost of shipping. If you do the prep work yourself you may save money. Preparation includes draining all vehicle fluids (such as oil and gas) down to reserve levels (the minimum amount needed to start the vehicle). You may also need to loosen and lower the handlebars. Other specific preparations may be requested by the shipping agency you choose.
Maxwell Payne has been a freelance writer since 2007. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. He holds a Bachelor of Science in integrated science, business and technology.