Maybe you’re personally considering buying a motorcycle, or you might have a loved one who is. Sure, motorcycles can be a lot of fun, but they come with a lot of costs and risks as well.
The following are the costs, both monetary and otherwise, that you should think about as you decide whether a motorcycle is worth it.
The Financial Costs of a Motorcycle
A motorcycle can be expensive to own. It might be less expensive than a car if you’re considering swapping out your regular vehicle for a motorcycle. If you’re going to keep your regular vehicle, however, and also add a motorcycle to your life, then the financial costs might be more than you bargained for.
Think about these costs that come with owning a motorcycle before you make a decision:
- The motorcycle itself can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars up to more than $100,000. Of course, that’s a massive range, and you can shop around and find an option that fits within your budget. You don’t necessarily have to buy a new bike—you can always go with a used option. While the used bike might be less expensive upfront, you do have to consider that you’ll probably have more maintenance costs and ongoing expenses than you would with a brand new bike.
- Motorcycles tend to cost more to maintain than a car because they need more service. For example, motorcycle tires have to be replaced every 4,000 to 11,000 miles, depending on your riding style. A pair of tires can cost anywhere from $400 to $600 a pair.
- You’re going to need equipment to ride a motorcycle, and those items will need to be replaced fairly often to keep you safe. For example, buying a helmet with adequate eye protection will probably cost anywhere from $300 to $600. Other gear might cost around $600 or more.
- Insurance may be less expensive for a motorcycle than a car, but you’ll still need it. Factors that will influence your motorcycle insurance premiums include your age, where you live, how often you drive, and your driving history.
Motorcycles’ popularity has been declining over the past decade. For example, Harley-Davidson saw the worst American sales numbers in 16 years in 2019.
There are a lot of things about motorcycles that don’t reflect modern consumers’ interests or priorities. For example, younger people often don’t like what they feel motorcycles represent.
There is also more available information about accidents.
A motorcycle driver faces a 28 times higher risk of being in a fatal accident than a person driving a car.
Motorcycles have always been dangerous, but with everything on the 24-hour news cycle and posted to social media, we can see a lot more of these gruesome crashes than we would have otherwise.
Even while we think about the most severe accidents on motorcycles, every day, there are seemingly minor accidents that still lead to major injuries.
For example, if you fall off a motorcycle even at low speeds, you can get seriously hurt.
You’re sharing the road with very heavy cars and trucks, and you have almost no protection on a motorcycle.
Plus, for motorcycle riders right now, you’re up against not just large-sized vehicles and trucks but also very tired and distracted drivers, which is a recipe for disaster.
When Is it Worth It?
While understanding the risks of a motorcycle and the true costs, both tangible and intangible, whether or not to buy one is still a decision that only you can make for yourself.
You do have to think about what the benefits of ownership could be in your life.
These could be very practical and logistical benefits.
For example, you might find that having a motorcycle makes your commute and parking easier and saves you money.
Many people find that having a motorcycle is a great stress reliever for them, and lowering your levels of stress and anxiety is good for your heart.
You could also ride a motorcycle because it gives you a chance to socialize with other riders, and that enhances your quality of life.
People even find that riding a motorcycle helps them avoid other bad habits. For example, sometimes, people in addiction recovery ride motorcycles as a way to stay on track with their sobriety.
It’s your call on whether a motorcycle is worth the risks, and as long as you’re truly assessing what these risks and costs are, then you’re making the best decision for you.