There's a unique thrill to riding a motorcycle, an unmatched blend of excitement and freedom each time you venture onto the open road. If you've always wanted to get one, now is the best time of the year, as you can find great prices on new and used models during the colder seasons.
However, before rushing to the dealership, it's crucial to know the true cost of purchasing a motorcycle—beyond the initial ticket price. From safety gear to maintenance, we break down all the expenses below.
The Cost of The Motorcycle
Choosing the right motorcycle is easier said than done. Prices for beginner-friendly models can vary from $5,000 to over $10,000. However, buying a used unit, which is often just as reliable, can help you save a lot of money.
There are many kinds of motorcycles, like cruisers, sports bikes and adventure bikes. This can make picking the right one for you a bit tricky. But as a beginner, try focusing on finding a bike that’s not too heavy, not too powerful, easy to handle and lets you touch the ground with both feet when you’re sitting on it.
The Cost of Safety Gear
Safe riding requires proper gear. Experienced riders suggest you set aside $1,500 for essentials like riding boots, durable riding pants, a protective jacket and gloves—all of which can help protect you during a crash and shield you from environmental elements like rain and sun.
While there's some leeway in selecting gear, one item is non-negotiable: your helmet. It's mandatory nationwide to wear a helmet, which must adhere to specific safety standards such as ECE, DOT and SNELL. In Ontario, for instance, fines for not wearing an appropriate, safety-certified helmet start at $260.
The Cost of Maintenance
Routine maintenance is vital for your motorcycle's longevity and your safety on the road. Experts recommend performing oil changes, lubrication, tire pressure checks and other preventative services every 6,400 km. Owners can expect to spend between $800 to $1,500 annually to keep their ride in peak condition.
Speaking of maintenance, don't forget about your tires. Most bikes require tire replacement between 6,400 km and 17,700 km. For context, the average rider travels between 4,800 km and 8,000 km annually, meaning new tires are a common expense. The cost of tires can range from $50 to well over $500 each, depending on the make and brand of your vehicle.
The Cost of Licensing & Insurance
Before you can drive your motorcycle, you will need an M-Class license. There are three types of licenses: one for fast, standard motorcycles, one for mopeds and scooters and another for three-wheeled motorcycles.
To obtain a license, you must complete several steps, including a knowledge test and multiple road tests. It's a process that takes 20 months at minimum and costs around $170 in total. The cost may be higher if you need additional training or private lessons.
Insurance is also essential, providing coverage for you, your motorcycle and others in case of accidents, property damage or medical emergencies. The insurance cost varies, but on average, you can anticipate an annual premium ranging from $200 to $500.
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