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It was a bitterly cold winter the year I was 11. My stepdad wanted to work on his motorcycle, but the temperatures outside were so far below zero that my fingers felt stiff inside my gloves.

“It’ll be fine,” my stepdad said. “I’ve got a propane heater we can use.”

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It was three hours of misery as he removed the engine from his bike and put in a new one. I stabilized the holding equipment, turned what seemed like endless bolts, and tried to stay in from of the heater for as long as possible.

Once the work was over, there was a big smile on his face. It disappeared the next day when he was pulled over for speeding. Once the ticket made it to his driving record, the insurance company voided his policy over the engine swap.

List of Potential Motorcycle Mods That Could Negate Your Policy

Modifications to your motorcycle can affect your insurance coverage. Some mods can even void your insurance policy.

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Here are some common modifications that can impact your coverage.

  1. Engine Modifications

Upgrading the engine or making changes to the exhaust system can impact the performance of your motorcycle. If you don’t inform your insurance provider about these changes, it could lead to the voiding of your policy.

Motorcycle insurance quotes are partially based on the engine displacement rating of the make and model you ride.

If you have a 250cc motorcycle and upgrade the engine to a 650cc design, the power and speed of your bike receive significant increases. That outcome adds risk for the insurer, so the coverage would likely be voided.

  1. Suspension Modifications

Altering the suspension system of your motorcycle can change how it handles and responds to changes in the road. This update could impact your monthly payments even with custom parts and equipment coverage.

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You must immediately contact your agent or broker to ensure the policy isn’t unexpectedly canceled.

  1. Cosmetic Modifications

Adding aftermarket accessories or customizing your motorcycle’s appearance can impact your insurance coverage. These modifications may increase the value of your motorcycle and require higher protection levels to safeguard the bike’s total worth instead of focusing only on the stock components.

  1. Safety Modifications

Adding safety features like anti-theft devices, brake locks, or alarms can lower your insurance rates. If you don’t tell your insurer that you’ve made these changes and what they are, then the policy could be voided since the information doesn’t match what you ride. Even if helpful, some mods in this category could cause the bike to no longer qualify for operating on public roads.

When you modify a motorcycle, you change the insurance contract you’ve made after requesting a quote. That doesn’t mean you can’t get coverage, but you need to contact the company to update your bike’s information. It’s better to void a policy with a conversation and request a new quote than to have a claim denied because the data was misleading or incorrect.

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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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