The Best New Vans for Motorcycle Transport

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Ah, the humble cargo van. It sits quietly in the shadows of its flashier siblings, the pickup truck and the sport utility vehicle, awaiting its moment in the sun. We do the cargo van a great disservice by not seeking considering it when the time comes to transport our motorcycles and gear. Here are the best new vans for motorcycle transport.

The cargo van has some very distinct advantages over the pickup truck. The van provides secure, weather-tight transport, safe from prying eyes and nimble fingers. It’s possible to equip a cargo van with docking points for a bike from the bottom, sides and top for a genuinely safe ride. The inside of a cargo van can easily be customized to house tool kits, riding gear and other essentials while carrying a bike or bikes. Cargo vans generally have a lower, more easily accessible load floor than pickup trucks. When there’s not enough room in the van for all the stuff, robust construction makes towing a great option.

The SUV is a wan competitor for the cargo van. Sure, an SUV can carry more people safely, but the greenhouse of an SUV will never be as secure as the box of a cargo van. Only the smallest of motorcycles can be transported inside an SUV, and the load floor is generally higher than a cargo van’s.

We’ve rounded up the big name cargo vans for a quick comparison of price, capability and features. Look at the cargo van as a blank slate, ready to be equipped with chocks, tie-down hooks, lifts, tool boxes and tow hitches to create the ideal motorcycle mover.

2014 Chevrolet Express Cargo
MSRP: from $26,710
Engines: 4.3-liter V6 (195 hp/260 lb.-ft. of torque); 4.8-liter V8 (280/295); 5.3-liter V8 (310/334); 6.0-liter V8 (324/373); 6.6-liter V8 turbo-diesel (260/525)
Fuel Economy: 15 mpg city/20 mpg highway (V6); 13/17 (5.3L V8); others N/A
Cargo Capacity: 239.7 cu.-ft./284.4 cu.-ft. (extended wheelbase)
Payload: 2,287 lbs (2WD 1500); 3,191 lbs (2WD 2500); 4,145 lbs (2WD 3500)
Towing Capacity: 6,700 lbs (2WD 1500); 10,000 lbs (2500, 3500)

The classic Chevy Van is available in nine colors, and one soundtrack: “Chevy Van” by Sammy Johns. Look it up, hipsters.


2014 GMC Savana Cargo
MSRP: from $26,710
Engines: 4.3-liter V6 (195 hp/260 lb.-ft. of torque); 4.8-liter V8 (280/295); 5.3-liter V8 (310/334); 6.0-liter V8 (324/373); 6.6-liter V8 turbo-diesel (260/525)
Fuel Economy: 15 mpg city/20 mpg highway (V6); 13/17 (5.3L V8); others N/A
Cargo Capacity: 239.7 cu.-ft./284.4 cu.-ft. (extended wheelbase)
Payload: 2,287 lbs (2WD 1500); 3,191 lbs (2WD 2500); 4,145 lbs (2WD 3500)
Towing Capacity: 6,700 lbs (2WD 1500); 10,000 lbs (2500, 3500)

Chevy Express Van too fancy for you? Perhaps you’d prefer a GMC Savana. Mechanically identical, priced the same – badge engineering at its most obvious.


2014 Ford E-Series Van
MSRP: from $27,600
Engines: 4.6-liter V8 (225 hp/286 lb.-ft. of torque); 5.4-liter V8 (255/350); 6.8-liter V10 (305/420)
Fuel Economy: 13 mpg city/17 mpg highway (4.6L); 12/NA (5.4L); 16/NA (6.8L)
Cargo Capacity: 239.7 cu.-ft./284.4 cu.-ft. (extended wheelbase)
Payload: N/A
Towing Capacity: 5,600 lbs – 10,000 lbs, depending on configuration

Available in E-150, E-250 and E-350 configurations with short or long wheelbases, the E-Series can be ordered in a dizzying array of combinations.


2014 Ram C/V Tradesman
MSRP: from $21,360
Engines: 3.6-liter V6 (283 hp/260 lb.-ft. of torque)
Fuel Economy: 18 mpg city/26 mpg highway
Cargo Capacity: 144.4 cu.-ft.
Payload: 1,800 lbs
Towing Capacity: 3,600 lbs

Don’t call the C/V Tradesman a minivan; it’ll smack you in the face. Any similarity to the Dodge Grand Caravan is strictly coincidental, sort of. Everything you love about a minivan (compact, fuel efficient, easy to drive) without everything you hate (slip and slide seats, rear seat entertainment, carpeting).

Read More – Page 2 >>

  • ben kester

    I believe some of those compact vans have very limited capacity in terms of overall load floor length. That would be a useful metric to include along with the average length of dirt bike, sport, and cruiser.

    • Bryan Woody Wood

      The new Ford Transit Connect is supposed to be longer, the current one can barely hold a bike. Roof height is also a limiting factor on stuff like the Ram minivan

  • Aaron L

    She’s a tight fit, but I would totally take the Transit Connect. Small and nimble, perfect for a one-bike man and basic tools or trackday/race gear. Car and Driver did a feature that took a Norton racing in one. Good review of the functionality:

    • Bryan Woody Wood

      The new for 2014 Transit connect is coming with a long wheelbase model. Also we are getting the Ford Europe big Transit here in 2014 as a 2015.

  • Justin McClintock

    The best “new” van to haul a motorcycle in is a used van. And a truck with an enclosed trailer beats ‘em both.

    • BigHank53

      Best budget for a GPS transponder and a solar panel for the top of that trailer. Trailers are absurdly easy to steal, easy to re-title, and every thief knows there’s going to be a few thousand dollars worth of tools in there along with your bike…because there’s advertising stickers all over it.

    • reasonableperson

      I totally agree. I picked up a used Ford handicap van with a raised roof for $3000. I had planned on using it just for my bike but I find myself driving around in it just for the kicks.

  • grindz145

    I’m supposed to be that car hater guy. Why do I love a commercial van so much?

    I’ve heard people claim MPGs in the mid-twenties for a diesel equipped sprinter.

    • Mugget

      I have seen one guy get 1,000km out of a tank of diesel in his Sprinter… but for real world use you’ve gotta take those kinds of stories with a grain of salt. When you’ve got places to go and people to see, you’re gonna put your foot down.

    • Brice Farrell

      I got a diesel sprinter a few months ago, and I’m totally in love with it. Room for bikes, room to sleep in (you can imagine how much I saved on my trip to NYC), and it consistently gets 600 miles to the tank, which puts it above 24mpg. I’m sure the newer ones do better too.

  • contender

    I’ll take my windowless lifted 4×4 DHL econoline over this lot. 10mpg kinda sucks as a daily driver, though, and parking in Denver can get hairy.

  • Andrew

    All of the supermoto dudes in socal rock a sprinter van. I have heard the words “life changer” thrown around quite frequently.

  • Guy

    I always thought a sleeper van was the best way to transport a bike. Apparently all the Toronto area bike thieves think so too.

    I’ll take a used Transit, pop in a small turbo-diesel and stick the track bike in the back.

  • Piglet2010

    If you can sleep in it and save a $60-80 motel bill, it becomes more attractive if you are doing a lot of overnight stays.

  • Eric Shay

    I’ve driven the freightliner version of the benz model year 2013 and I have never seen so many options available in a utility van. The thing was priced out over 56K, It truly is a mercedes vehicle.

  • sean macdonald

    you’re my hero.

    • criticalspectator

      pix or it did not happen – UTAH

    • criticalspectator

      Like a boss

  • Apple

    The driveability and MPG of the Sprinter CANNOT be beat in this category, but that’s why they are so damn expensive used

  • Rowtag

    And you can always write free candy on the side, wait, what?

  • Afonso Mata

    No love for the Ford Transit? :(
    What about the Renault Master?
    Oh and that you call a RAM is a Fiat Ducato :P

  • charlie

    The Nissan options look cool. One question though, since I’m not too familiar with the Sprinter. I’ve seen Dodge and Mercedes “Sprinters”. Are they identical mechanically and just rebadged?

    • Jason

      The Sprinter was sold under the Mercedes, Dodge, and Freightliner names. They are identical. The Dodge version disappeared when Mercedes sold Chrysler.

  • Albert Youngh

    This is really an epic collection of vans for motorcycle transport. I like the GMC Savana Cargo. It has nice body along with some great features. Last few cars (page 2) of Nissan and Mercedes are great in look and sound well-capable to load motorcycles in it.

  • Rothaughas

    That looks very competitive transport services for motorcycles. Some great features for transporting used motorcycles is much efficient when using their services. These are very wonderful units that will surely give us good services in transporting our vehicles like motorcycles.