Understanding The Factors Behind A Cost Of A Motorcycle Ownership

How Much Does a Motorcycle Cost

Curious about how much you would need to shell out to purchase a motorcycle? Naturally, that answer can vary substantially depending on the actual motorcycle, whether it’s a trials bike, sport bikes, 3 wheel motorcycle, or street ride. They are priced wildly different contingent upon the make, model, and year.

You’ll need to think about what condition you expect the bike to be in, what type of motorcycle, what time of year you are purchasing, and whether it’s new or used.

The Low End

If you are not looking for a luxury bike and only want to purchase a scooter or motorcycle for as cheap as possible to get around, many riders have found bikes in questionable condition from private sellers ranging anywhere from $500 to $1,500. It’s crucial to keep in mind that you are likely to incur a load of repair costs that will probably be unexpected in this case. A bike priced around this range will often have lower fuel economy than newer bikes, too. So, this is usually cost less at first, but you may end up paying more in the long run.

For the Average Rider

For the regular rider looking for an average bike that has relatively low mileage (around 10,000 miles or less), the range of $3000-$6000 can be expected. With a bike in this price range, you will probably end up with something around three to seven years old, give or take a little.

Purchasing in this range can be smart because the previous owner takes the financial hit for the initial depreciation. If you find one in good condition, a bike under 10,000 miles should last you a long while.

Higher End and Luxury

Naturally, buying used is a different story than buying from a dealership. However, many people think of brands such as Harley-Davidson when they have an interest in motorcycles. The average Harley-Davidson can be substantially more in price than something like a used Yamaha. New Harley-Davidsons can cost anywhere from $8,000-$36,000 and hover on average in the $20,000 range.

Buyers looking for a higher-end bike could shell out even more cash with brands such as Ducati. These premium motorcycles generally start around $20,000 and up but can go as high as $65,000 and even limited additions for up to $100,000. As you can see, brand and condition make a massive difference in price, just the way they do with cars.

Time of Year

The time of year can affect the price of finding a low, used motorcycle values by a surprising amount. Especially in certain regions, if you shop for a used bike in the depths of winter, you might be more likely to find a deal.

New or Used

There are trade-offs to buying both new and used bikes. You’re not as likely to get a good deal find new from a dealership. Many people are quite attached to their motorcycles, though. Considering that, some buyers will prefer to get a bike that no one else has ridden before.

You must keep in mind that with a dealership you will also have to pay specific fees, such as delivery, lots of tax, a full (or close to full) MSRP, and sometimes prep fees. Some bikes from dealers can go in the ballpark of $7,000-$8,000.


Gear is another initial expense when purchasing a motorcycle. Crashes are not the only concern for motorcycle riders. You also need to factor in protection from debris such as gravel or pebbles, dust in your eyes, and sun protection.

One of the chief essentials to have when riding a motorcycle or a helmet. A full-face helmet is recommended and can protect you not only from a head injury but also when blasts, the cold, and flying objects. A face shield can save your face and protect your eyes from getting hit with stones or other debris.

Gloves are also smart to have. They help with grip especially in rainy conditions, protect from the sun, and also shield hands from items such as small pebbles or glass on the road.

A jacket and pants help to resist abrasion in the case of a collision. Some types have bold color stripes to help other drivers see you better. Obviously, a motorcycle jacket and pants can help protect from hypothermia. Cooling jackets and pants can also help prevent dehydration while driving.

Boots are another essential item to have while riding, as they not only protect your feet from injuries but offer grip when slowing down to a stop on slippery road surfaces. The cost of each of these items vary, so the total price of gear can run only a couple hundred dollars or well into the thousands. Be sure to buy and use it, though, as the investment could save you your life.

Fuel Economy

Compared to nearly every other vehicle, motorcycles get excellent fuel economy. On average, a bike gets around 43 to 56 miles per gallon, which surpasses even fuel-efficient cars (unless they are hybrids). The cost of filling up is part of the price of riding a motorcycle, though.


Insurance is not something to skimp on when buying a motorcycle. Particularly in the case of higher end bikes, full coverage might be a pain but can be well worth it because of frequent theft of luxury models.

You will also need to factor in the cost of insurance for a motorcycle. Just like the price of the actual bike will vary, insurance prices will depend on your driving record, age, and other circumstances. Motorcycle insurance ranges from around a hundred dollars to over four hundred dollars per year.


To drive a motorcycle, you will need a Class M license and are required to pass the standard, basic test for motorcycle knowledge. Depending on your age and state, a permit may be required for six months or more. For example, the state of California requires riders under the age of 18 to have a motorcycle driving permit for six months.

So, What Will it Cost?

Cleary, the cost of a motorcycle is dependent on several factors and can fluctuate wildly depending on the condition, brand, type of gear you buy, the value of your particular insurance, and so on. Buyers who have decent insurance rates and just want a low-end used bike can reasonably buy one for under $10,000. The price is somewhat up to you and dependent on what you are looking for.