Understanding the True Costs of Buying a New Motorcycle


Thinking about buying a motorcycle? Want to feel the wind in your face as you hit the open road? Before you do, it’s important to understand the true, or real, cost of buying and owning a motorcycle. It’s more than just the price tag on the bike. Here are the many things you need to include when you tally up what you’ll actually be paying.

  • The purchase price of the bike—even if you are paying for the bike over time, you’ll need to start with the full purchase price.
  • Interest payments—Unless you paid cash outright for your bike, you’ll also have monthly interests payments (they’ll be a part of your total monthly payment)
  • License and permit—If you are under the age of 21 in California, you must have a completion certificate from the state’s motorcycle rider training course before you can get a license to ride a motorcycle. If you are 21 or older, you can submit to a driving test in lieu of the training course.
  • Taxes and dealer fees—You will pay sales tax on the purchase of a bike, and may incur certain dealer fees.
  • Repairs and maintenance—Even with a new bike, you’ll have maintenance expenses—things like an oil change or other routine items. You can also expect to start to incur repair expenses—the more you ride, the more likely you’ll need to make some repairs.
  • Insurance—In California, you are required to have a policy of insurance on your motorcycle.
  • Fuel costs—Even though a motorcycle gets far better gas mileage than a car, you’ll still have to gas up to get around.
  • Protective riding gear—A good helmet, gloves, boots and protective jacket/pants are a key component to minimizing injury when you ride a bike. This equipment can literally cost you thousands of dollars.

It’s important to understand the true cost of a bike before you buy one, as the expenses can mount pretty quickly. You don’t want to get in a position where you need protective equipment, but you don’t have a lot of resources, so you look in the bargain bin for your boots, gloves, leathers or helmet.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we have more than 30 years of experience helping people in California who have been hurt in motorcycle accidents. To set up a meeting, contact Weber & Nierenberg by e-mail or call us at 1-866-288-6010. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation.

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1 Sansome Street, Suite 3500 San Francisco, CA 94104
P. 415-788-3900

1999 Harrison Street, Suite 600 Oakland, CA 94612
P. 510-663-6000