the average costs of owning a motorcycle
The average costs of owning a motorcycle differ depending on your location within the world. Some countries welcome the ownership of motorcycles while others make it difficult and expensive. While it’s virtually impossible to give an exact monetary value for every part of the world, we can talk about the main costs of motorcycle ownership and provide some examples. Listed throughout this article will be the price I personally pay for these necessities in Australian dollars. The average costs of owning a motorcycle excluding 1 time purchases is between $2000-$6000 per year varying on how much its used. Its important to note that Australia is an expensive country to live in, and although i try to be cost effective, I always buy what I need when I need it from reputable brands (and although i do basic maintenance myself, I always pay for a professional for services and time consuming tasks).
There are a few key factors that will change how much it money it will ultimately cost.
- How often the motorcycle is used
- What type of motorcycle it is
- The age of the motorcycle
- Location of the motorcycle
- Type of fuel used
- Budgeting for cheaper or more expensive items with maintenance, gear and accessories
- Doing maintenance and/or servicing yourself
Obtaining and renewing licence
First off, before the purchase of your motorcycle, its a good idea to obtain your motorcycle licence. This is constantly being made harder and more expensive due to the volume of traffic on the roads and the danger of riding a motorcycle increasing. In these modern times your motorcycle licence usually comes with provisions within the first few years of riding. This usually means you will be restricted to a smaller cc engine for a set period of time, or a more strict set of rules compared to experienced riders. If not, consider yourself lucky and make sure you read how to ride a more powerful motorcycle before heading out and purchasing a big bike. Personally I was on a restricted licence for 3 years, meaning I had to ride a bike less than 250cc (the cbr250rr is what I rode), no pillion passenger, no drinking while riding and recently added to the provisions is a compulsory high vis vest over the top of your gear. The cost of obtaining this licence is around $1000. The cost of renewal for a 3 year licence is $120 and a 10 year licence is $200.
Purchase of the motorcycle and gear
Time to buy a new/used motorcycle! Whatever motorcycle really peaks your interest is the one you should buy. Personally I commuted every day on a cbr250rr (super-sport) and I still ride a super-sport today. Once you have figured out what motorbike suits you, its time to get your research on. Learn everything about the models your interested in, then find some motorbikes to test ride. If you would like a free 8 step checklist for test riding a motorcycle, click here. Personally I bought my cbr250rr for $2500, then bought a Cbr1000rr for $7500.
Now that you have the flashy new/used bike, it’s time to buy some gear to protect yourself. The cost of motorcycle gear will vary depending on your choice of brand and what you decide to purchase (the options are endless). I have 3 sets of gear I use depending on the weather and riding conditions. I only have one helmet ($500) which gets replaced when needed and the high boots I own are the same pair (listed twice below). I also have a motorcycle backpack ($200) for when I commute to work.
- Warm weather gear – Casual motorcycle footwear $200, Light kevlar jeans $120, textile airflow padded jacket $260, airflow motorcycle gloves $90
- Wet weather gear – High motorcycle boots $300, heavy kevlar jeans $200, waterproof over pants protection $30, waterproof textile jacket $200, waterproof gloves $150
- Full leathers – High motorcycle boots $300, full leather pants with knee pads $500, full leather jacket $600 with back protection (zip together to make suit for the track), leather gloves $150.
Honestly you could spend an absolute fortune on motorcycle gear. This cost can be kept down by shopping for used gear or bargains, for example last years stock. It can be a good idea to purchase used leathers to save a bunch of coin, just make sure to check for any hidden damage, crash damage will be obvious.
Motorcycle registration and insurance
Motorcycles need to be registered in most countries if they are on public roads. Motorcycle registration is $550 per year in my state. Pay close attention to details when registering a motorcycle as it is different depending on location. Motorcycle insurance is a legal requirement in many places, and super important if it’s a legal requirement or not. Basic 3rd party insurance should be purchased at a minimum, which usually covers fire, theft, property damage and the other parties not including yourself in an accident. This is between $200-$300 a year with a $500 excess payment when a claim is made. Full comprehensive insurance covers everything including your own motorcycle, this is between $750-$1000 yearly with a $500 excess. Usually costs vary depending on your accident and insurance claim history, your age and your driving history and experience. Yearly fees can be reduced by increasing your excess payment once a claim is made.
Storage and Security
Your motorcycle will need a place to sleep during the night or day when not in use. The best case scenario is a fully enclosed locked garage. The worst case scenario is parking it on the street. Regardless of where it is parked, if left for longer periods of time (more than a few days) its a good idea to purchase a waterproof motorcycle cover. This will protect the bike from water, dust and the environment while not in use. If the motorcycle is parked on the street or in front of your house/apartment, in needs to be secured and covered. The more security measures taken, the more of a deterrent from theft. The best in my opinion is a big thick security chain. There are many forms of motorcycle security items that can be purchased to protect your bike. If outside in the elements or in vision of the public, make sure the bike is covered with waterproof motorcycle cover to protect from rain and prying eyes. Its a good idea to tie this down so it doesn’t get stolen or blown away. A good motorcycle security chain will usually set you back $150-$200. Money can be saved on insurance by the more security measures that are in place to protect the motorcycle from theft.
General maintenance and fuel costs
These costs will vary depending on the type and age of the motorcycle and how much it’s used. Obviously fuel consumption depends on how often the bike is ridden. Personally I use approximately $40-$60 a week in high grade fuel. When it comes to motorcycle maintenance, a motorcycle should have a general service done at 5000 miles. A motorcycle chain should be cleaned every 500-1000 miles or when needed. Tyres usually last from 5000-15000 miles depending on the type. Personally I get at least 2 services a year ($700), new tyres ($500), new brake pads ($500) new chain and sprocket ($400) and some basic at home maintenance like chain cleaner and bike wash ($50). These maintenance costs are assuming nothing goes wrong with the motorcycle as you put miles on it. Costs can be kept down by doing your own maintenance at home, depending on how mechanically minded you are and the tools that you have access to. The most annoying costs that seem to occur outside of the norm are tyre punctures, flat batteries and blown headlights. If your motorcycle isn’t maintained properly year after year, the costs will be higher when the motorcycle starts falling apart. My biggest money saving tip is to keep up with chain maintenance. Keep the chain cleaned and lubed to increase its life.
Table of one time motorcycle expenses
One time motorcycle expenses
Motorcycle protective gear
Total one time motorcycle expenses = $ 12,170
Table of yearly motorcycle expenses
Yearly motorcycle expenses
Total yearly motorcycle expenses = $5,600
Getting into motorcycle ownership is not cheap, but it doesn’t need to be super expensive either. As with most things, the costs vary depending on how much you are willing to spend. A motorcycle purchase could cost anywhere from $2000-$50,000 depending on your budget. Some people spend thousands on loads of different gear. Personally I like to keep costs down as much as possible, without sacrificing what I want out of a motorcycle and motorcycle gear (its important to note that I use ride my motorcycle almost every day in summer and at least 2 or 3 times a week in winter). Writing this article has definitely surprised me with just how much it costs to run a motorcycle year by year, as I have never actually looked at all the costs over a year on paper. Hopefully my own personal expenditure on my motorcycle and the costs associated with owning one has helped you with any questions related to this broad and differing topic.