Lowest Insurance Rates For Motorcycles

January 2, 2024
By Michael Padway

Motorcycle insurance is a must for any rider and there are numerous factors that will affect the premium price for that steel steed ranging from custom modifications to credit scores. Most riders take immense pride in their bikes and like to customize them to reflect their personal style and this can affect rates if the insurance agent understands the situation. Both seasoned riders and novices can learn some insider industry tips from this article to ensure their bike is properly covered, at the best rate on low-cost insurance, for when they might need it most.

How Does Your Motorcycle Affect Your Insurance Cost

There are numerous factors that will affect the quote for insurance on a motorcycle:

  • Age of both the motorcycle and the rider
  • Length of time the motorcyclist has been riding and the advanced safety classes they’ve successfully completed.
  • Engine size of the bike
    ○ A Honda Rebel is a popular “starter” motorcycle with 471 cc yet, the Harley-Davidson Sportster 883 is a very popular choice among lady motorcyclists even though it is a beefier 883 cc.
  • Zip Code of where the motorcycle will be garaged.
    ○ Areas with less crime equate to better insurance rates.
  • Credit score of the rider
    ○ Riders with good credit scores receive much more favorable rates as it is perceived that if a person is responsible for a good score, they will be a responsible rider.
Credit Score Pro Tip:

“Be damn sure that an insurance agent is motorcycle savvy before agreeing to a policy,” said noted motorcycle industry professional Rick Fairless of Strokers Dallas. “Not all of them will be; they are so focused on trying to get a customer a low cost insurance policy, they aren’t listening to what is being said about the customization of the bike.”

Fairless is in a position to know as he launched his own agency, Fearless Insurance, to address the needs of today’s motorcyclists. His policies are often written through Allstate as the company has traditionally been very motorcycle friendly and savvy to the unique needs of riders while offering low-cost insurance options.

Rick Fairless of Strokers Dallas
Rick Fairless, Strokers Dallas

All riders want to ensure they have the best coverage at the lowest rates but it is vital to remember that if a motorcycle has had extensive customization or after-market parts added to it, they may not be covered if the insurance agent isn’t savvy about bikes.

“My customers have stressed the importance of keeping all their paperwork and receipts,” said custom wheel designer Jevon Lau of Pickard USA. “Without documentation, the insurance companies will often go by the manufacturer’s stock info associated with the motorcycle’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) and not give any consideration to what the bike’s owner has done with customization.”

A motorcyclist may think they are getting a low insurance rate; however, if they ever need to file a claim and cannot prove the customization that has happened to their bike, they will be receiving pennies on the dollar when it comes time for a settlement.

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Insurance and Customized Motorcycles

“Insurance companies look at a motorcycle as an asset that depreciates over time,” said rider Michael Owens who has a home garage filled with a collection of Harley-Davidson, Triumph, and Ducati motorcycles that he insured in a bundle with his home and life insurance policies through State Farm. “Reality is that a bike is a frame, motor, wheels, and some tins. Once you begin to make modifications, after a while, the only thing that might be stock on that bike is the frame.”

Even though Owens had invested considerable time with his original insurance agent explaining the customization he had done to his 2001 Harley-Davidson Road King, he realized upon reviewing the fine print on his policy months later that the $10,000 custom paint job, the $4,500 in Bad Dad after-market parts, the $2,400 Pickard USA custom wheels, and several other elements were not noted in the policy which means they wouldn’t be covered should something happen to that motorcycle. Owens addressed this situation by submitting a portfolio of that ‘01 Road King which his insurance agent keeps on hand. Included are receipts and photos showing the bike’s evolution. Originally, on paper to the insurance agent, the bike was worth about $6,000; in reality, it should have been valued at replacement cost closer to $15,000. A special insurance rider has now been included in the policies on the bikes that document the modifications which directly influence the premiums.

Top 5 Motorcycles For Low Insurance Rates 2020

Motorcycle riding coach Abby Spaedt with Greeley Harley-Davidson in northern Colorado sees new riders first-hand when they take her class. She understands what type of bikes are solid choices for a recently trained rider and, based on her unique perspective of being a coach for several years, she has shared her top 5 suggested bikes for new riders that should also be able to secure low-cost insurance premiums.

It’s important to keep in mind that these are only confident suggestions for you to look into.


Motorcycle Type: 2020
Displacement: 745cc
Engine: Liquid-cooled V-Twin
Transmission: Six-Speed
Price Range: $7,899

Solid choice with a fair amount of power, options for changing gears to get out of rush hour traffic. And at a decent price, the Shadow is a very popular option for new riders.

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Motorcycle Type: 2020
Displacement: 249cc
Engine: Air-cooled V-Twin
Transmission: Five-speed
Price Range: $4,349

This bike is an ideal choice for a rider that is looking for an option to commute to school or work. At a very affordable price with a decent amount of power, the Yamaha V-Star is a great go-to.

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Motorcycle Type: 2020
Displacement: 1750cc
Engine: Milwaukee-Eight 107 | Combination air-cooled and liquid-cooled
Transmission: Six-speed
Price Range: $13,599

While listed as the priciest model on the list, H-D’s also maintain a strong resell value when they are well maintained. This bike will run errands around town and also have the stamina to easily ride 500+ mile days for epic, memorable rides.

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Motorcycle Type: 2020
Displacement: 399cc
Engine: Liquid-cooled
Transmission: Six-speed
Price Range: $4,999

When the need to feel a little feisty is in the veins, this bike is one that appeals to younger riders that embrace the sportbike scene. Remember to take it out for a track day once in a while to get a true feel for the Ninja can do.

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Motorcycle Type: 2020
Displacement: 499cc
Engine: Air-Cooled | Single Cylinder
Transmission: Five-speed
Price Range: $5,599

If you’re a rider who’s a vintage purist at heart, the Bullet is a great nod to yesteryear while embracing modern technology for a great commuter motorcycle.

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Insurance agents will look at getting you low-cost insurance rates, but the cheapest rates may not cover the bike like it actually needs. By investing time in pulling together receipts and photos, a rider can ensure they are evaluating insurance coverage so that a true apples-to-apples comparison can be done and ensure they are getting the best rates for low-cost insurance.

Michael Padway

Michael Padway uses his expertise in personal injury and motorcycle accidents to represent a broad spectrum of clients dealing with life-changing and permanent injuries for the first time. His offices are located at 235 Montgomery St., Ste 668, San Francisco, CA 94104 and at 3140 Chapman St. Oakland, CA 94601. For more information, please call (800) 928-1511.

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