Getting a new ride is fun for everyone, whether you are a beginner or have been riding for a while. But for most of us, it also means deciding on a price range of what we can afford and researching the best options.
So, how much does a motorcycle cost? New motorcycles for beginners can typically cost between $4,000 and $10,000. Experienced riders wanting more powerful engines may need to shell out between $10,000 and $35,000 for a new motorcycle.
The cost of motorcycles depends on several factors, such as engine size, type of motorcycle, and brand. Japanese motorcycles typically are less expensive to buy compared with European.
Moreover, there are other additional costs that you need to take into account when you buy a new motorcycle. They include the cost of motorcycle insurance, riding gear, riding lessons, and a motorcycle license.
You also cannot forget about regular maintenance and, of course, fuel.
The cost of a motorcycle
On average, a brand-new bike for beginners usually costs between $4,000 and $10,000. These motorcycles are suitable for beginners with relatively less powerful engines.
If you are looking for a more powerful ride, you can expect to pay between $10,000 and $35,000 for a new motorcycle.
But you may also find motorcycles that cost more or less than the average prices mentioned above. For example, the Honda Grom, which is a good beginner motorcycle, starts at about $3,599.
Some high-end models and custom motorcycles can also cost about $60,000 or more. The Kawasaki H2R for example.
Do note that these prices do not include dirt bikes.
What are the factors that affect the cost of a motorcycle?
One of the biggest factors that affects motorcycle pricing is the size of its engine. The more powerful the engine, the more the motorcycle will cost.
An entry-level model will usually have smaller cc engines, making them more affordable. They also have less engine sophistication.
Type of motorcycle
This is another factor you have to consider while buying a new motorcycle.
Standard motorcycles (street motorcycles, entry-level sports bikes, or naked bikes) are arguably the most common type of motorcycles. They are also, on average, the most economical, costing about $4,000 to $18,000. Cruiser motorcycles also cost about the same.
Case in point: my KTM Duke 390. It costs just around the $5900 mark and is a solid motorcycle to get started with. You could, however, go with the KTM Duke 200, which would be around the $4000 mark to buy.
On the other hand, touring motorcycles costs about $17,000 to $30,000. They are meant for long distances and built accordingly. True sport bikes, designed for speed racing, are also more expensive. They cost about $10,000 to $30,000.
The brand of the motorcycle you are looking at can also affect its price. Well-known brands have a better reputation, and customers trust their quality. There is also the added “bonus” of owning a sought-after brand. So, motorcycles from famous brands tend to cost more.
For example, reputed brands such as Ducati and BMW have more expensive bikes than others like Suzuki, Kawasaki, and Yamaha for similar engine sizes.
Moreover, even with the same brand and model, the cost of the motorcycle can change. Older models are generally cheaper than new models unless it’s a limited edition or collectible.
If you’ve noticed, most manufacturers price their motorcycles with prices “starting at.” This is because the total motorcycle cost can vary depending on extra features that are often optional.
For example, features such as anti-theft devices, stereo, quality of the parts, and cloth vs. leather can be optional.
The motorcycle may run perfectly even if you choose the most basic options. But who doesn’t want that little extra touch?
Another added feature that may cost more is the warranty. Most manufacturers will offer a fixed warranty period for your new ride.
But they may be willing to extend the period of warranty if you are willing to pay the additional cost.
Is it sale season?
Sometimes, the cost of a motorcycle can also change depending on when you are buying it. For instance, if you buy during the off-season, you might get better deals and discounts.
This is often seen during winter months, depending on where you are. Sales are lower during this time and motorcycle dealerships would be more willing to offer the best deal for you.
Additionally, if you are patient, dealers tend to offer better discounts for older models when a new model is about to come out.
Dealerships in rural areas may charge less for the same motorcycle as compared to those in cities. This is because demand may not be as high, and they may offer lower prices to drive up demand.
Moreover, shipping costs can vary depending on where you are. If you are ordering from a dealership a few states or cities away, they may charge you more for the delivery.
Other hidden costs
When buying a new motorcycle, the price you have to pay is not just for the motorcycle itself. You also have to remember that there are other costs to consider, and not all of them are one-time costs. Let’s look at them.
A responsible rider knows that owning the proper safety gear is an important part of motorcycle ownership. When you are buying a new motorcycle, you need to budget for gear, too.
The most important one, in this case, is a good motorcycle helmet. In most states, it is legal to ride a motorcycle without a helmet as long as you’re at least 21 years old. But that shouldn’t make you think you can forgo it.
Motorcycle helmets are crucial for both the driver and passenger. You should buy one that is DOT-approved. On average, you can get a decent-quality motorcycle helmet for around $150 to $200.
You can find cheaper ones as well. But don’t sacrifice quality for a cheaper price. It may cost you a lot more in the long run.
You should also consider buying other safety gear, such as boots, gloves, and jackets. Overall, they may come up to around $1,300.
Motorcycle insurance cost
This is another cost that I strongly recommend you keep aside money for. Also, in many states, it’s a mandatory requirement.
The average cost of motorcycle insurance is not as high as compared to car insurance. But it depends on many factors.
Many insurance companies offer average rates of $100 to $500 for policies depending on your age, location, driving record, etc.
But remember, getting the cheapest motorcycle insurance policy may not be the best option.
Medical bills can be ruinous and you don’t want to find that out after a motorcycle accident.
Regular maintenance and repairs
Motorcycles can cost more to maintain than cars, depending on how frequently you use them and where.
On average, motorcycle maintenance can cost about $ 1,000 a year. This includes oil changes, replacing tires, and/or chain maintenance, etc.
Of course, a new bike will likely have little to no repair needs but a used bike will need more regular maintenance. Also, unexpected repair issues can come up even for a new bike.
License, registration, and riding lessons
If you are buying your first motorcycle, you may not have a motorcycle license yet. And you may also need riding lessons. All of these will add to the cost of the motorcycle.
A new motorcycle license usually costs around $30 – $50. Riding lessons for both basic and advanced courses can be a few hundred dollars.
You will also need to pay other fees such as the application fee for your license as well as the registration fee for the motorcycle, and sales tax.
On average, you will spend about $300 a year on gas. But this can vary depending on the type of motorcycle you own, how fuel-efficient it is, what is the current cost of gas, and how much you ride it.
What about buying a used motorcycle?
If you aren’t hell-bent on a new motorcycle, you can also consider a used or secondhand motorcycle. This is a great option, especially for new riders.
Why? Crashing or getting into a minor scrape is practically a rite of passage for a new rider. So, you won’t feel too bad if your used motorcycle gets beaten up as compared to a new one.
Moreover, you can save a lot of money on a secondhand motorcycle. Many dealers and even private sellers offer good deals on used rides. The important thing you have to do is double-check the motorcycle they are selling.
Make sure to inspect the motorcycle, do a VIN check, and check the Kelley Blue Book value for any motorcycle you’re considering. Do remember, if the deal seems too good to be true, it most likely is.
So, how much does a motorcycle cost? That depends on several factors, especially the engine size. The more powerful the engine, the more expensive the motorcycle will be. It can start from about $4000 and go up to as much as $35,000.
The cost of a new motorcycle can also depend on the type and brand of motorcycle you want. High-end ones from reputed brands tend to be costlier than others with the same specs. Always check and ask around different dealerships before settling on one. You can also compare prices on NADA Guides.
You should also not forget the other extra costs that come with a new motorcycle, including insurance, riding gear, license cost, and maintenance. Owning a motorcycle is more than just about the motorcycle itself.