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Why Motorcycle Riding is an Expensive Hobby

Why Motorcycle Riding is an Expensive Hobby

Modern motorcycles are equipped with several advanced features to ensure a smooth and comfortable riding experience. They are fitted with dual-channel ABS, riding modes, electronic throttle control, high-performance suspensions, LED lighting, and large-displacement engines. These features make modern motorcycles a luxurious mode of transportation. If you need a motorcycle to commute to work, an old and cheap motorcycle should suffice. However, suppose you love to go on long-distance rides, motorcycle tours, and off-road adventures as a hobby. In that case, you will need a motorcycle capable of off-roading and traveling long distances. These include cruisers, touring bikes, and adventure bikes. Read this article to learn why motorcycle riding is an expensive hobby.

1. Why Are Motorcycles So Expensive?

Motorcycles have become a popular mode of transportation worldwide. To ensure better safety, comfort, and performance, modern motorcycles are equipped with several expensive ride-assist and safety features. Modern high-performance motorcycles like super sports bikes, performance cruisers, touring bikes, and baggers are powered by large-displacement engines and are equipped with stock motorcycle parts and features. These modern high-performance motorcycles are more expensive than most cars.

2. Why is Motorcycle Riding an Expensive Hobby?

If you want to start riding a motorcycle as a hobby, make sure you know all the expenses that come with it. Almost every rider wants their motorcycle to be more powerful, comfortable, and stylish. However, the cost of the motorcycle alone does not make motorcycle riding an expensive hobby, but rather the expenses to be eligible to ride a motorcycle, including a license, safety courses, insurance costs, maintenance costs, and motorcycle riding gear. Not to mention the additional costs of customizing your motorcycle and a garage to store your motorcycle.


The expenses that come with riding a motorcycle as a hobby include:

2.1 Motorcycle Costs

New Motorcycles

If you are an experienced rider and want to buy a high-performance motorcycle, keep in mind that the cost will be very expensive. Modern cruisers, touring bikes, super sports bikes, and adventure bikes are quite luxurious. However, if you are a beginner and have a tight budget, you can buy a beginner-friendly motorcycle powered by a smaller engine or a dual-sports bike. However, you may want to switch/upgrade to a new motorcycle after your riding skills improve.

Used Motorcycle

You can save a lot of money by buying a used motorcycle. You can find a used motorcycle in good condition for about $4,000-$7,000. You should perform several inspections before buying a used motorcycle to make sure there aren’t any major problems with it.

2.2 Maintenance Costs

If you want your motorcycle to last longer and perform better, you must keep your motorcycle well-maintained. If you do not want to spend a lot of money on replacing a motorcycle part or a complete overhaul, make sure you regularly maintain your motorcycle. Maintenance requires both time and money.


Almost every motorcycle part requires care and attention, including the engine, drivetrain, transmission, forks, brakes, clutch, cables, electrical system, and filters. Besides maintenance, cleaning a motorcycle regularly can also reduce the likelihood of the parts malfunctioning.

2.3 Motorcycle Licensing and Safety Courses

Every rider has to go through the licensing process and learn how to ride a motorcycle safely. If you are a beginner, you must enroll in motorcycle riding and safety courses to learn how to ride safely.


The cost of a motorcycle license, learning license, and safety courses vary depending on where you live. Different U.S. states require a different cost to get a motorcycle license. However, the average price of a learner license can cost around $30-40 and a motorcycle license and endorsement can cost around $15-35. However, to be eligible to receive a motorcycle endorsement and license, the rider has to take the safety course, which can cost around $200-500.

2.4 Motorcycle Riding Gear

Motorcycle laws state that it is mandatory to wear a good-quality helmet while riding a motorcycle to prevent serious head injuries in the event of a crash. A standard motorcycle helmet can cost around $150-200. However, a modular helmet with a retractable chin section can cost around $300-$1,000.


You are required to wear a leather jacket, pants, and gloves for safety. While riding in hot weather, it is recommended to wear a breathable textile jacket, pants, gloves, and an evaporative cooling vest to ensure better safety and to stay cool.

Average Costs of Motorcycle Riding Gear

Average Costs of Motorcycle Riding Gear
Product Average Price Range
Standard Helmet $150-200
Modular Helmet $300-1,000
Leather Jacket $300-2,000
Leather gloves $30-200
Pants $120-450
Leather Boots $300-500
Textile Jacket for the summer season $200-1,000
Textile Pants for the summer season $80-300
Gel Gloves $20-200
Evaporative Cooling Vest $30-150

2.5 Insurance Costs

Motorcycle insurance provides financial support in the event of an accident, theft, and natural disaster. It can pay for any bodily injuries you suffered and damage to your motorcycle due to a crash. Motorcycle insurance also covers injuries to other riders and damage to their vehicles if you are liable for the accident.


Motorcycle insurance costs can vary depending on the rider’s age, state, and type of motorcycle. However, the average cost can be around $60 per month. If you live in California, you will have to pay $151 per month. Meanwhile, the state that provides the cheapest motorcycle insurance is North Dakota, where a rider only has to pay $28 per month. Motorcycle insurance is more expensive in California because the riding season lasts the whole year.

2.6 Motorcycle Aftermarket Parts

Many motorcycle enthusiasts love to customize their motorcycles with various aftermarket parts. Some riders customize their motorcycles to improve the level of comfort on long-distance rides. Meanwhile, other riders customize their motorcycles to improve aesthetics and performance.


If you want to customize your motorcycle, you will find many large- and small-scale brands with aftermarket parts available. Motorcycle manufacturers also produce original aftermarket parts that last longer but are quite expensive.


If you want more comfort on long-distance motorcycle rides, Viking Bags has good-quality aftermarket parts, including sissy bars, sissy bar pads, seats, handlebars, crash bars, and fairings. To carry more stuff when going on a motorcycle tour, Viking Bags also offers a wide range of motorcycle luggage bags, including saddlebags, backpacks, tank bags, and handlebar bags.

2.7 Riding in a Group

Riding in a group or joining a motorcycle club can also increase your expenses, particularly fuel expenses as you will have to attend meetings, go on motorcycle tours, and contribute to the club’s expenses. Most motorcycle clubs offer membership to riders who own motorcycles from a specific brand. You also need to keep upgrading your motorcycle to keep up with the rest of your riding group.

3. Why is Riding a Motorcycle a Good Hobby?

Riding a motorcycle can have several health benefits. If you ride regularly, it can help you stay in shape and relieve stress. A recent study by the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) concluded that riding a motorcycle increases the level of dopamine (happy hormone) and decreases the level of cortisol (stress hormone). Riding a motorcycle also helps you develop your brain by improving responsiveness, reaction time, cognition, and decision-making skills.


Motorcycle riding may not help you build muscles, but being a light exercise, it can help you adopt an active lifestyle and tone your muscles. Riding a motorcycle can also help you interact with the environment and improve your social life.

4. Final Words

Motorcycle riding is an expensive hobby as modern motorcycles are more expensive nowadays. You are also required to pay for insurance, maintain your motorcycle, and wear appropriate riding gear. In addition, if you love customizing your motorcycle and riding in a group, motorcycle riding can become even more expensive. However, you can save a lot of money by buying a used motorcycle.


Despite being an expensive hobby, motorcycle riding is beneficial to your physical and mental health. It can improve your lifestyle and reduce stress. However, to make motorcycle riding safer, you must wear a good-quality helmet and leather gear.

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