If you bought a motorcycle to save on gas or just to roam the country with the wind at your back, you’ve probably noticed you save a ton of money on gas and insurance. Nobody can argue with getting 40-60 MPG, especially when your motorcycle is your main mode of transportation. When it comes to insurance premiums, for a full year, most motorcyclists pay less than passenger vehicle drivers do in six months. However, those savings can be quickly intercepted in an accident.
Motorcycle accidents are expensive
It’s easy to think an accident isn’t likely to happen, but Sawaya Law reports that motorcyclists are five times more likely to be injured, and 26 times more likely to die in a traffic accident than occupants in a passenger vehicle. Motorcyclists involved in an accident aren’t always at fault, either. Even good drivers need to watch out for other drivers on the road, especially cars.
Being involved in an accident isn’t expected, but it does happen, and it can drain your wallet. It’s difficult to tell what will happen when you file a personal injury claim, but you can probably expect your insurance premiums to increase if you’re flagged as a risky driver during the process.
Even when you’re the one making the claim against someone else, if you end up using your own insurance to cover part of your injuries, your insurance company isn’t going to like having to pay out the cash. As a result, it’s possible your insurance premiums will go up, swallowing any “good driver” discounts you’ve received.
Motorcycle insurance is cheap, so some people choose to skip it. That’s a bad idea and will become a significant cost if you’re involved in an accident. In a no-fault state, if you don’t have insurance to cover your injuries, you’ll end up paying out of pocket, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
In addition to accidents, operating costs are higher
Many teenagers see the low price tag on a motorcycle (compared to a used car) and think they’re getting the best deal in the world. At first glance, it seems like you can buy a motorcycle without denting your paycheck. Taking a closer look, there are many considerations for upfront costs that can bring the cost of a motorcycle up to that of a regular car.
Anyone choosing to operate a motor vehicle in the United States must be licensed by the state they reside in. When you drive a passenger vehicle, as long as you have a permit, anyone can teach you how to drive. It’s easy and cheap to get a driver’s permit from the DMV. To ride a motorcycle, you need a bit more training.
Although it’s not always legally required, it’s recommended to take a professional motorcycle riding and safety course. These courses cost $200 to $300, but are well worth the cost considering the training you receive can make you a safer driver.
On top of the driving course, protective gear is a significant expense. You need a helmet, jacket, pants, boots, and gloves. In the rain, you’ll need waterproof gear. Many people choose to skip the clothing and only wear a helmet, but if you’re involved in an accident your injuries will be more severe.
Motorcycle tires don’t last as long and they’re more expensive. Maintenance and service work is needed more frequently and generally costs more. If you choose to service your own bike, you’ll need to purchase special tools that also cost more.
To compare the costs of owning a motorcycle versus a car, check out this article comparing the operating costs of four different vehicles over five years. The writer compared a Suzuki GS500, a Harley Davidson Road King, a Toyota Prius, and a Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Where a motorcycle can save you money
Aside from MPG and insurance rates, motorcycles have some perks that will save you some cash. For instance, you’ll pay less for bridge tolls and parking, a convenient factor for those living in areas where street parking is metered or limited.
Buy a motorcycle because that’s what you want to ride
In the long run, a motorcycle might save you a few bucks, but if you’re riding one to save money, it’s not worth the risk. Everyone wants to save money, but if you’re going to ride a motorcycle, do it because you love it.
Author: Oliver Curtis
Hi there. I’m Oliver. I’m just a young boy from the outskirts of… Okay, that’s a lie, I’m not a young boy anymore, although I certainly feel that way at heart.