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My grandfather loved riding his 1974 Indian around the deserts of Carson City. When I was growing up, we’d spend the weekends together in the sagebrush, carving new trails on public lands while talking about the week’s challenges.

Back then, my friends always made fun of my grandfather because his bike was seen as the first option for new riders. Once they saw how he could tear things up, it became a mad scramble to join us on those weekend trips.

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I inherited his SE74, and it’s the closest thing I’ve had to own a classic motorcycle. I quickly discovered that finding insurance for it wasn’t as cheap as I thought it would be.

Insurance Costs Depend on Your Activities and Other Factors

For the 1974 Indian SE74, the dirt bike isn’t meant for public road use or on highways. It has a 70cc two-stroke engine with a single-cylinder design. The cost for my insurance was higher than a standard dirt bike policy because of some custom additions and the need for OEM parts for repairs to ensure it retains its value.

The average motorcycle insurance cost in the United States is $60 monthly or about $720 annually. That assumes you are over age 25, have a clean driving record, more than three years of experience as a rider, and the agreed-upon value isn’t significantly higher than the MSRP of a modern bike.

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Your quote depends on the coverage options you want. If you have something over two decades old that you want to use for exploring the open road, you’ll need the same protections as any other rider.

Here’s a look at the possibilities you could request with a classic motorcycle insurance quote.

If you want full coverage for a classic motorcycle, you’ll need liability, comprehensive, and collision on the bike. Some locations or jurisdictions require personal injury protection (PIP) or MedPay, which are included with your requested quote.

When you have additional requirements, such as custom parts and equipment, your insurance rates for a classic motorcycle can be 15% to 30% higher than a standard bike. If the agreed-upon value is significantly higher, the comparative increases can be 40% or more for some riders.

Custom Parts Coverage Can Drive Costs Higher

A quote for motorcycle custom parts and equipment insurance can vary widely. The rate you receive depends on several factors, including the bike’s value and how much replacement parts cost.

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Additional factors include the coverage levels needed and the insurer selected to underwrite the policy.

Generally, custom parts and equipment insurance can add a few hundred to several thousand dollars annually to your policy. It’s best to contact insurers directly and provide them with detailed information about your make and model to ensure the accuracy of the quote you receive.

When determining your insurance premiums, insurance companies may also consider other factors, such as your driving record, location, and further personal details.

It’s essential to ensure that you have adequate coverage for your custom parts and equipment to protect your investment in case of damage, theft, or other losses. Be sure to carefully review the policy terms and conditions and consider different insurance options to find what meets your needs and budget.

Even if you have a dirt bike like me, you’ll find that a comparative quote can be significantly higher if you need custom replacements or rare OEM parts.

How Can a Classic Motorcycle Insurance Policy Be Cheaper?

If you rarely drive your classic motorcycle, it is not necessary to maintain complete liability coverage throughout the year.

You can purchase a comprehensive policy to safeguard against unexpected issues, then add temporary collision and liability when you’re ready for a ride.

This structure works well if you take your classic bike to shows or ride an occasional tour but leave it in storage the rest of the time.

I’ll still take that SE74 out to the desert when I can. The only difference is that I’m more mindful of the insurance I need when sharing these moments with my family today.

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Mike Navarette has more than a decade of experience in the auto insurance industry, but that's not his true passion. He loves getting on a motorcycle to explore roads he's never traveled. You'll find Mike in the garage working on something when he isn't helping clients or leaning into curves. It's sometimes a side hustle, more often a favor, but it keeps his hands busy doing something productive. Since the first time his father strapped on his helmet and took him for a ride, Mike has loved bikes. That passion, along with a desire to help others through a deep understanding of insurance policies, led to the creation of Motorcycle Ride Coverage.

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