Moving Your Motorcycle with U-Haul for Cost-Effective Transportation

By Aaron Watson

Moving a motorcycle can be a daunting task, especially if you’re relocating across the country or even just across town. While professional motorcycle shipping services are available, they can often be expensive. However, one cost-effective option that many riders overlook is using a U-Haul truck for motorcycle transportation. In this article, we’ll explore some tips and tricks for safely and affordably moving your motorcycle using a U-Haul truck. The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) regulates and enforces safety standards for commercial motor vehicles to enhance road safety.

Choosing the Right U-Haul Truck

Before you begin planning your motorcycle move, it’s essential to select the right U-Haul truck. Consider the size of your motorcycle and any additional equipment or belongings you’ll be transporting. A 5′ x 9′ ramp trailer or a 6′ x 12′ utility trailer can typically accommodate most motorcycles, including cruisers, sport bikes, and touring bikes. If you have multiple motorcycles or larger bikes, you may need a larger enclosed trailer or a box truck.

Preparing Your Motorcycle for Transport

Properly preparing your motorcycle for transport is crucial to ensure it arrives at its destination safely. Begin by cleaning your motorcycle thoroughly to remove any dirt, debris, or grime. Inspect the bike for any existing damage and take photographs for documentation purposes.

Next, disconnect the battery and drain the fuel tank to prevent spills and leaks during transit. Secure any loose parts or accessories, such as mirrors, saddlebags, or fairings, and fold in the mirrors to minimize the risk of damage.

Loading Your Motorcycle

Loading your motorcycle onto the U-Haul truck requires careful planning and execution to prevent accidents and damage. Use sturdy loading ramps with a non-slip surface to facilitate loading and unloading. Position the ramps securely against the rear of the truck and ensure they can support the weight of your motorcycle.

Before loading, engage the parking brake on your motorcycle and place it in gear to prevent it from rolling. Use tie-down straps or wheel chocks to secure the front wheel in place and prevent side-to-side movement. Attach additional straps to the handlebars or frame to secure the motorcycle firmly to the truck.

Securing Your Motorcycle Inside the U-Haul Truck

Once your motorcycle is loaded onto the U-Haul truck, it’s essential to secure it properly to prevent shifting during transit. Use high-quality tie-down straps rated for the weight of your motorcycle and ensure they are tightened securely to prevent slack.

Position the motorcycle towards the front of the truck to distribute the weight evenly and prevent rearward movement. Use soft straps or padding to protect delicate components, such as the handlebars, fairings, and exhaust pipes, from scratches or damage.

Driving Safely with a Motorcycle in Tow

Operating a U-Haul truck with a motorcycle in tow requires extra caution and awareness. Take your time when accelerating, braking, and cornering to avoid sudden movements that could destabilize the load. Keep a safe distance from other vehicles and avoid sudden lane changes or maneuvers.

Before hitting the road, double-check the security of your motorcycle and ensure all straps are tightened securely. Periodically inspect the load during stops to ensure everything remains in place and make any necessary adjustments.

Unloading Your Motorcycle

When you reach your destination, unloading your motorcycle from the U-Haul truck should be done with the same care and attention as loading it. Park the truck on level ground and engage the parking brake before unloading. Use the same loading ramps and procedures to safely guide the motorcycle down from the truck.

Once the motorcycle is unloaded, inspect it for any signs of damage or shifting during transit. Take note of any new scratches, dents, or other issues and document them for insurance purposes if necessary.

Exploring Cost-Effective Solutions

When planning your motorcycle move, cost-effectiveness is likely a significant concern. Compared to Cheap Motorcycle Shipping services, using a U-Haul truck can offer substantial savings, particularly if you’re willing to put in the effort yourself. While the initial rental fee for the truck and equipment may seem daunting, it’s essential to consider the overall cost savings compared to hiring a professional service.

DIY Approach and Flexibility

One of the primary advantages of using a U-Haul truck for motorcycle transportation is the flexibility and control it provides. With a DIY approach, you have full control over the loading, securing, and unloading process, allowing you to ensure your motorcycle receives the care and attention it deserves. Additionally, you can schedule the move according to your timeline, avoiding the constraints of third-party shipping schedules.

Customized Solutions for Different Needs

U-Haul offers a variety of truck sizes and trailer options to accommodate different types and sizes of motorcycles. Whether you’re transporting a single bike or multiple motorcycles, there’s likely a U-Haul solution that fits your needs. From open-air trailers to enclosed box trucks, you can choose the option that best suits your budget and preferences.


Moving a motorcycle using a U-Haul truck can be a cost-effective and convenient option for riders who prefer to handle their own transportation. By following these tips and tricks, you can ensure a safe and successful motorcycle move without breaking the bank. With proper preparation, loading, and securing techniques, you can transport your motorcycle with confidence and peace of mind.