Imagine speeding down the highway at 70 miles per hour, the wind blowing in your face, nothing but an open stretch of road in front of you. It’s no wonder why so many people turn to motorcycles these days, especially during the hot, dry summer. Motorbikes are cool, elegant, and very, very fast. This makes them the perfect tool to live out your lone adventurer fantasies. But just how much would this pleasure cost you?
Unfortunately, things are not as simple as merely buying a motorcycle. You also need to consider insurance, gear, and maintenance costs. Learning about these expenses before you commit to a purchase will ensure you have no regrets further down the road.
Before You Start: Take a Motorcycle Safety Course
For around $200-$300 you can undergo the Basic RiderCourse. In just 10 hours it will teach you everything you need to know as a beginner. Plus, it may substitute a riding test at the DMV, so it’s worth it all around.
Expense #1: The Motorcycle
The actual motorbike is the first and most important piece of the puzzle. Similar to cars, motorcycles come in a great variety of price ranges. Don’t jump straight to the rare collector edition bikes that are worth millions of dollars. Instead, you can get a decent beginner-friendly motorcycle for up to $10,000. The price can be much lower if you opt for a used, slightly older model. Alternatively, if you really want to splurge on a more advanced bike, you may end up paying up to $35,000.
Expense #2: Insurance
Insurance is an absolute must for motorcyclists. It is necessary even for cars — and there you have a few tons’ worth of protecting metal encasing you, plus seatbelts. You are much more vulnerable on a motorcycle. Even if you are riding safely within the speed limit and have protective gear on, it’s best not to risk your health or property.
However, calculating insurance is not an easy feat. Lots of factors affect how much an insurance company would charge you. For one thing, your age matters. If you are younger than 25, they will see you an inexperienced and charge you more. On the other hand, if you are elderly, your reflexes and eyesight might make you a liability in insurers’ eyes.
Should you have any previous traffic violations in your license, that will play a major role too. There are also other factors, such as how popular and expensive your motorcycle is. Data from Sambla shows that motorcycle insurance costs riders an average of $832 per year; you should consider yourself extremely lucky if you snatch an insurance contract for less than $500 a year.
Expense #3: Gear
You already know that anyone on a motorcycle needs to wear a helmet — those cost a few hundred dollars. In addition, you should consider buying a sturdy leather jacket and boots. Investing in leather pants is also a good idea unless you want the wind to ruin your regular clothes. Just to be safe, set aside $1,000 for these things. Be prepared to replace each of them further down the line.
Expense #4: Maintenance
Motorcycles have a lot of tiny parts that need frequent TLC. Of course, this would depend on how much you ride your motorcycle, but when you consider tire changes, routine check-ups, oil changes, and belt replacements, you are looking at another $1,000 per year, at least. Add to that at least another $300 for gas, too.