Top 5 Low-Insurance Motorcycles for New Riders

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When it comes to insurance, motorcycles tend to have higher premiums than passenger cars. Their open nature and comparative lack of safety features leaves them at greater risk of accidents, and thus, higher insurance premiums. This is especially true for new riders, who incur higher insurance rates due o their relative lack of experience and time behind the handlebars.

Motorcycle riding coach Abby Spaedt of 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 recently trained riders. Abby shares her top 5 suggested bikes for new riders that should 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.

A silver and black 2020 Honda Shadow Phantom Motorcycle

1. Cruiser: Honda Shadow Phantom

  • Year: 2020
  • Displacement: 745cc
  • Engine: Liquid-cooled V-Twin
  • Transmission: Six-Speed
  • Price $7,899

Solid choice with a fair amount of power, options for changing gears to get out of rush hour traffic. As a cruiser, the Shadow is cheaper to insure than its sportier stablemates from Honda, while possessing the same quality and reliability from the brand. Based on sample rider rates we obtained from enthusiast site, insurance can go as low as $114 a year (Progressive, basic policy) for a 22-year old rider to $600 a year (Progressive, full coverage) for a 60+ rider, which is still below the national average.  

A silver and black 2020 Yamaha V-Star Motorcycle

2. Retro cruiser: Yamaha V-Star

  • Year: 2020
  • Displacement: 249cc
  • Engine: Air-cooled V-Twin
  • Transmission: Five-speed
  • Price: $4,349

This entry-level cruiser is a true scaled down cruiser model, packing a 249cc V-twin that can go up to 85mph while boasting a 78mpg fuel economy rating. In terms of insurance, the average annual cost for this bike comes to around $400.  

A black and chrome 2020 Harley Davidson Softaill Motorcycle

3. Cruising / light touring: Harley-Davidson Softail Standard

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

While listed as the priciest model on the list, H-Ds also maintain a strong resale 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. While the Harley Street has the lowest insurance rate (thanks to a base price of $8,400), the Softail is more forgiving to new riders while maintaining a low average insurance premium of about $200+.  

2020 Kawasaki Ninja

4. Sportbike: Kawasaki Ninja

  • Year: 2020
  • Displacement: 399cc
  • Engine: Liquid-cooled
  • Transmission: Six-speed
  • Price: $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. Liability coverage can be as low as $120-$200 per year, while comprehensive and/or collision coverage is around $400-$500 per year.  

A root beer brown and chrome Royal Enfield Classic

5. Retro cruiser: Royal Enfield Classic

  • Year: 2020
  • Displacement: 499cc
  • Engine: Air-Cooled | Single Cylinder
  • Transmission: Five-speed
  • Price: $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. It rides better and more comfortably than its Thunderbird cousin while having the same powerplant. Do note that the lack of ABS makes it ineligible for ABS discounts offered by some insurance companies.


For a more comprehensive overview of motorcycle insurance, visit our updated Best Motorcycle Insurance for 2021 page