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An Iowa Teen’s Guide to the True Cost of Motorcycling

You been working after school and you finally have enough money saved for a motorcycle. It’s great timing; the weather has finally warmed up and you’ll be able to ride all summer. You can’t wait.

Unfortunately, you may not have enough money. Many young riders are shocked to learn that riding a motorcycle is more expensive than they think. Are you ready to find out what your first motorcycle will really cost?


The good news is that motorcycles are cheaper than cars. A new motorcycle can cost $7,000 to $36,000 or more. You can get a used motorcycle for a few thousand dollars, but the cheaper the bike is, the more likely it is to need work.

Repairs and Maintenance

If you are buying a used motorcycle, you may need to make some initial repairs. Get a repair estimate before buying the bike.

New bikes also need maintenance. If you are buying a new bike, you should expect to need a tune-up after your first 500 miles.

Motorcycle Insurance

If you are involved in an accident, you must be able to show proof of insurance. Iowa motorcyclists need $20,000 in personal injury liability insurance for one victim, $40,000 in personal injury liability for all victims of a crash, and $15,000 in property damage liability. The cost of insurance can range from $200 per year to over $1,000 a year depending on your age, your experience, and your motorcycle. Get a quote from your parent’s insurance company on any bikes you are considering.

Motorcycle Gear

Iowa is one of three states with no helmet law. We believe that wearing a helmet is a choice. However, you parents may opt to make that decision for you. A motorcycle helmet can cost $100 or more. Falling off your bike at 35 miles per hour will be very painful if you don’t have skin protection.


Your motorcycle won’t work without gas. Fortunately, motorcycles use a lot less gas than cars.

While you are enjoying your first bike, you want to make sure that you know your rights as a motorcyclist. Get a free rider’s Rights Card from Hupy and Abraham. This wallet-sized card is easy to carry and will help you protect your rights in a respectful manner. Use the link to request your card.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham
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