How Much Does it Cost to Own a Motorcycle?

There are a lot of costs that go into owning a motorcycle besides just the cost of the bike itself. The prices of the motorcycles themselves vary widely, commonly ranging anywhere from $4,000 to $35,000. However, a responsible motorcycle buyer should anticipate the other costs, both immediate and long term, that come with buying and owning a motorcycle.

Motorcycle Permit

The very first motorcycle-related cost you will face before you even purchase your motorcycle will be the cost of your permit. Before you go to the DMV and begin going through all the steps of obtaining your M1 license, you will be required to pay an application fee of $38 for your M1 license.

Motorcycle Insurance

Although insurance may seem like an annoying cost that you hate having to pay, consider the role that your insurance plays in the case of an accident. Without coverage, you would have to pay thousands of dollars out of your own pocket to cover the cost of damages, medical bills, etc. So do not feel bad about insurance costs, and don’t choose the cheapest route if you can afford otherwise- it is a necessity!

Most states, including California, require motorcyclists to have insurance, with each state having a different minimum requirement for the amount of insurance that drivers/riders must obtain before legally driving on the road. In California, the minimum insurance requirements are:

Bodily injury liability coverage: $15,000 per person / $30,000 per accident minimum
-Property damage liability coverage: $5,000 minimum

Motorcycle Gear

It is crucial to invest in the proper gear for your motorcycle. At the very least, you need a helmet, because your safety is and always should be your top priority. The state of California requires all riders to wear a safety helmet that meets U.S. Department of Transportation and state safety standards. A helmet can range anywhere from around $80-$300+ for a basic ECE and DOT compliant helmet to up to $1,000 for top-of-the-line helmets.

Necessary motorcycle gear does not start and end with just helmets. Proper gloves, boots, as well as a motorcycle jacket are crucial. Protective gear is just as important for the rest of your body as it is for your head. Riding at high speeds on your bike without protection for your skin and body can cause severe damage to the skin. In the case of an accident, you will have no protection from injuries. 

Maintenance and Equipment

Regular maintenance should be done about every 5,000 to 20,000 miles, but this depends on the type of motorcycle and its needs. On average, maintenance for your bike will cost you around $1,000 a year, and maybe even more. This number is only a rough estimate of the average cost of motorcycle maintenance, as everyone’s cost is different based on their bike and how much they ride.

As a result, you should anticipate having to maintain and replace things like:


As with any other vehicle, motorcycles require fuel before you can go anywhere! An average motorcycle gets anywhere from 35-60 miles per gallon. The average rider rides somewhere around 3,000-6,000 miles per year. These numbers are, of course, different for each rider, as well as the gas prices in your state.

Is it worth buying a motorcycle?

The average cost of owning a motorcycle is much cheaper than that of owning a car. Whether you are looking into new transportation methods, or want to join the awesome motorcycle community, it is worth it. Expenses of owning a motorcycle should not scare you, but should remind you of the value of owning a motorcycle. With them, they bring the luxury of being able to ride your bike whenever and wherever you want. That, to us, is priceless!