Motorcycles are synonymous with adventure, freedom, and self-expression. That’s why many people spend months or years saving up just to by their first motorcycle. All the while, they’ll daydream about what it’d be like to finally ride down the open road with the wind in their hair; and how cool they’ll look doing it!
In the time leading up to that purchase, would-be bike buyers are usually so busy daydreaming that they forget about the reality of owning a motorcycle. You see, the hefty price tag you pay for isn’t the last time you’ll pay for that motorcycle; buying and owning that bike involves two different sets of payments.
The truth is, there are a lot of hidden costs that come with owning a motorcycle. Once you pay to own that bike, you’ll also need to fork out more cash for things like safety gear, insurance, road tax and fuel. Oh, and let’s not forget, you’ll also need to pay for regular maintenance and surprise repairs, too.
These hidden costs might sound overwhelming at first, but don’t worry. In this article, we’re going to go through each and every one of those hidden costs. Once you understand what they are and why they’re important, you’ll feel a lot better.
In the motorcycle world, there’s a famous saying: “Dress for the fall, not the ride”. The meaning behind it is simple: when riding, your priority should be to wear the right protective gear instead of dressing to look cool.
So, if you’re still new to riding bikes, you’re going to have to spend money on buying safety gear. The top priority will be your helmet. But Hey! Because the helmet is a must have, it doesn’t mean it can’t look cool right? We got the proof here: Cafe Racer Helemts.
These can run from very affordable to very high-end prices, depending on how much protection you want from it.
Aside from that, you’ll also want gloves, a jacket, riding pants, and boots.
As you can see, safety gear is a significant hidden cost because you need to protect yourself from head to toe.
Your helmet is the bare minimum, but the rest of your body needs protection from scrapes and bruises should you ever fall from your bike.
Some safety gear will cost more than others, but either way, you’re going to be spending a fair bit. Check out our Clothing Guide for more details.
No matter where you are in the world, you’ll need to buy insurance coverage before you can ride your new motorcycle.
In fact, many places require you to purchase insurance either before or alongside paying to register the bike itself.
Typically, you’ll need to pay insurance premiums on an annual basis.
Since it only happens once a year, that makes it much easier for most people to overlook it or forget about it.
Of course, they’ll remember once the insurance is due, causing them to scramble to find the cash they need.
So, not only is insurance a hidden cost, but it’s also one that repeats itself at least once a year.
Registration and Taxes
Of course, if you plan on riding that bike legally, you’ll need to get it registered. Vehicle registration, plus whatever taxes you’ll need to pay on it will start to add up.
Just like insurance, taxes are typically paid on an annual basis, which is the norm almost everywhere.
The exact costs for registration and taxes will differ depending on where you bought and registered that bike. So, be sure to check with your local authorities if you want to do an exact calculation before you get your hands on that bike.
All-electric motorcycles are still a long time away, so if you’re buying a bike these days, you’ll definitely need to pay for fuel. The good news is that how much you pay for fuel is partially in your control.
As you might already know, fuel prices at the pump go up and down every day. That price depends on the market price for oil, so it’s not something that’s in your control.
What is in your control, however, is the fuel efficiency of your bike. If you want to spend less on fuel in the long run, you might want to spend more to get one with higher fuel efficiency. You’ll still need to pay for fuel, but at least it won’t be as bad as with a gas-guzzling motorcycle.
Plus, you can avoid riding your bike aggressively, which will also increase fuel efficiency even more.
Periodic Maintenance And Repairs
Anything with a combustion engine also needs periodic maintenance; and we’re not just talking about oil changes, here.
Sure, from time to time, you’ll need to change the oil, the coolant, check the tires; stuff like that. With a view YT-Videos and our How To these things are done by ourselfs, no problem. But there will also come a time when you’ll need to pay for repairs and spare parts.
That’s when things can get really pricey.
Thankfully, just like in the previous point, you do have some control over this hidden cost. If you choose a motorcycle model that’s common in your part of the world, then getting spare parts should be very easy.
Plus, if it’s something like a mid-range model, those parts shouldn’t cost too much, either.
However, if you’ve decided to buy your dream bike, then this hidden cost becomes much more significant. High-end or imported bikes might need imported parts, and they might not be available at your local parts store.
That’s why, in many ways, you should be careful about what you wish for. You might be riding your high-performance dream bike that you’ve wanted for years. But there are two sides to that coin, and the other side involves high hidden costs.
With all of these hidden costs involved, should you avoid owning a motorcycle? Of course not! Nobody’s saying that at all.
You can still enjoy the excitement of saving up and buying the bike you really want.
Still, it’s essential to be aware of these hidden costs so that you know the reality behind owning that bike.
When you know what costs to expect, you’ll be able to plan ahead and save up to pay those costs.
That way, you can maximise your enjoyment of that bike without any hidden costs catching you by surprise and raining on your parade!