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4 Factors That Affect the Cost of Motorcycle Insurance

April 18th, 2023 | 5 min read

By Daniel J. Middleton

You’ve dreamed of riding a motorcycle. The thrill of the open road, the wind whipping around you, the freedom to explore. You finally saved enough money to buy a bike, and you can’t wait to hit the road so you can cruise routes like New York 28, which winds through rolling hills along Ashokan Reservoir in the Catskills.

But before you do, you need to get motorcycle insurance.

You know it’s important to protect yourself and your bike, but you’re not sure how much it will cost or what factors will affect your premium. You don’t want to overpay or underinsure your bike. You want to find the best coverage for your needs and budget.

That’s where we come in. As an insurance agency, we go beyond auto and home policies. We also specialize in motorcycle coverage and help new and experienced riders understand the unique costs associated with motorcycle insurance.

We’re aware of the needs and challenges riders face. We have the expertise and experience to help you find the right motorcycle insurance for your situation. We will explain the 4 specific factors that affect the price of your motorcycle insurance and how you can get a quote that reflects your personal and bike characteristics.

By reading this article, you will learn how to make an informed decision about your motorcycle insurance. You will be able to compare different options and choose the one that suits you best. You’ll also enjoy your bike with peace of mind, knowing that you are covered in case of an accident or theft.

There are several factors that affect the cost of motorcycle insurance. Some of these factors are common to other kinds of insurance as well.

For example, the insurance company, your previous claims history, your credit score, and the amount of coverage you choose all influence your motorcycle insurance rate. However, you should be aware of 4 specific factors that are unique to motorcycles before you decide what bike to buy next.

So let’s get started. Here are the 4 factors that affect the price of your motorcycle policy.

Factor #1: The Style of Motorcycle

The type of bike you have is one factor that influences your insurance rate. For instance, high-performance motorcycles are more expensive to insure because they have a higher chance of getting into accidents, while standard bikes like a Yamaha MT-07 have lower insurance costs.

Other types of bikes that have lower insurance rates are:

  • Dual Purpose Bikes. These have smaller engines and a more upright riding position. Some examples are a Honda CRF205L and a Kawasaki KLX250.
  • Vintage or Classic Bikes. These are older model motorcycles that have been well maintained. They are usually ridden less often and have a lower value, so the insurer has to pay less for them. Some examples are older Harley Davidson Sportsters and Honda CB750 models.
  • Scooters and Mopeds. Some are surprised to learn that these also need motorcycle insurance. They are designed for shorter travel distances and cost less to repair. Some examples are a Vespa Primavera and a Yamaha Zuma 125.
  • Smaller Displacement Bikes. These also have smaller engines, which means less power and less risk. Some examples are the Honda Rebel 300 or the KTM 390 Duke.

By contrast, the following types of bikes will have higher insurance rates:

  • Sports Bikes. These are also called superbikes, and they are made for high-speed performance and agility. They have powerful engines and lightweight frames that make them prone to expensive repairs and severe bodily injury, especially for less skilled riders. Some examples are the Yamaha YZF-R1 and the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R.
  • Cruisers. These have a distinctive style and a relaxed riding experience. However, many of them have larger engines and can be very heavy. Some examples are the Harley-Davidson Softail Fat Boy and the Honda Shadow Phantom.
  • Touring Bike. These are the opposite of the moped! Touring bikes are made for traveling longer distances. They have large engines and enhanced seating. All of that makes them more costly to repair or replace. Some examples are Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Limited and Honda Gold Wing Touring.
  • Dual-Sport/Adventure Bikes. Another one with larger engines (do you notice a pattern yet?). These are made for on or off-roading as they have higher ground clearance and stronger frames. Some examples are Honda CRF450L & BMW F 850 GS.
  • Modified/Custom Bike. These are the ones you won’t find on the showroom floor at the Syracuse Harley-Davidson dealership. Custom bikes are specially ordered from the dealer and go beyond what the standard model would come equipped with. Some examples are the Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special (Customized) and the Yamaha XSR900 (Customized).

Infographic-1_4-Factors-That-Affect-the-Cost-of-Motorcycle-InsuranceFactor #2: Your Age and Motorcycle Riding Experience

Your age and riding experience also determine your motorcycle insurance rate. Motorcycle carriers use statistics to assess the risk of different age groups. Younger riders under 25 are more likely to get into accidents, so they have to pay higher premiums than older riders.

However, age is not the only factor that matters. Even if you are older, you may still pay more if you are new to riding or have a poor driving record. On the other hand, if you have at least two years of riding experience, you may qualify for preferred rates with many carriers.

You may also get lower rates as you reach 40 or 50 years old, as these are considered safer age groups. However, your rates may start to increase again after 65, as your reaction time and vision may decline.

Factor #3: How Much You Ride Your Motorcycle

Your riding frequency is another factor that affects your motorcycle insurance rate. The more time you spend on the road, the higher your risk of getting into an accident. Therefore, insurance companies charge more for riders who use their motorcycles regularly than for those who ride occasionally or seasonally.

Thankfully, our CNY weather makes it difficult for you to ride your motorcycle all year round. This means we tend to have lower rates in this category compared to the more southern states.

However, when it comes to your premium, there is still a difference between riding three times per week and three times per month (even during the riding season).

Factor #4: The Value of Your Motorcycle

The value of your motorcycle is another major factor that influences your insurance rate. As we mentioned before, the style of your bike affects how much you pay, but so does the price of your bike. Newer bikes of any style tend to cost more to insure than older bikes of the same style.

This is because newer bikes have higher replacement costs and may need more expensive repairs. So, if you want to save money on your insurance, you might want to look for a slightly older model. The good thing about our area is that many bikes (like boats) have very low mileage on them!

However, keep in mind that some older bikes may also have higher insurance rates if they are rare or limited edition models. These bikes may have higher value and harder-to-find parts, which means more cost for the insurer.

Know Your Insurance Rate Before You Buy a Bike

Avoid surprises. Know your insurance rate before you buy a bike.

Your insurance rate depends on many aspects, but you can get an exact quote for the bikes you are interested in. Just find the year, make, and model of the bikes you like. You can also get the VIN from the seller or dealer (they will gladly give it to you).

With that information and some details about yourself, we can give you an accurate quote for your insurance with no surprises and no changes. That way, you can know exactly how much your motorcycle insurance will cost.

Don’t let your insurance costs ruin your motorcycle dreams. By getting a quote now, you’ll know exactly what to expect and how to plan your budget. You’ll be ready to buy the bike you want and enjoy riding it on the scenic back roads of Cato or with your friends to your favorite restaurant.

If you ignore your insurance costs, you could end up regretting your purchase or losing a great deal. You don’t want to find out that you can’t afford the insurance after you’ve already bought the bike from a private seller.

We appreciate your interest in learning more about motorcycle insurance. It shows that you care about making smart choices and avoiding any potential problems. To get your quote started, just click the Get a Quote button below.

And if you want to know who the best motorcycle insurance carriers are? Find out in our top 3 picks.

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Daniel J. Middleton

Daniel is an accomplished content creator. He has been working in publishing for almost two decades. Horan Companies hired Daniel as its content manager in November 2022. The agency entrusted its messaging to him. Since then, Daniel has written insurance articles, service and pillar pages, and more. All in an effort to educate CNY readers. He's helping them understand the world of insurance so they can make informed decisions.