Now that the warmer weather is potentially making an entrance and biker season is about to kick off, you might be thinking it’s about time you got yourself a motorbike. There’s just something about blazing down a country road in the sun, no passengers, just you and the bike.
There are loads of benefits to owning a motorbike. You look badass, you feel good, you’ve got the freedom a car doesn’t have. It’s fun, simple, and let’s face it, you do look quite sexy.
That said, we wouldn’t advise just going out and forking over your savings on a bike on a whim. There’s a lot more to bike ownership you should be aware of before buying some wheels. Today, we’re going to have a walk-through of motorbike ownership and cover some of the most important things you should be considering before purchasing.
Motorbikes generally get better mileage than cars, so for solo drivers who never need the luxury of a back seat or a boot, a motorbike might be perfect for your commutes. However, that’s not to say bike ownership is cheap.
The bike itself is only the start. You’re also going to need insurance, which for a younger driver with no no-claims bonus can be pretty pricey. And then of course there’s petrol, maintenance, and safety gear. But let’s start at the beginning.
Lessons and training
A provisional license costs around £34 if you apply online. However, if you’re looking to just drive around on your L plates for a bit, this can be around £130-150. If you’re looking to get your ‘non-learner’ full license, you’ll also need lessons. Prices for lessons can vary but autotrader predicts, all in, your lessons, test, L plates, and theory (£23) will cost around £960.
However, if you want to take an ‘accelerated access’ course which lets you have your full test two weeks after starting lessons, this can cost between £1,200 and £2,500.
Now, obviously, the bike is going to be the bulk of the cost, but that doesn’t mean you need to break the bank. There’s a lot of range in price for buying your first bike. You might have really nice mates who sell you their old bike for a steal, or you’ve spent weeks browsing online marketplaces for a good deal.
When choosing a bike, you need to consider what you want it for, long distances, short commutes, long country roads, etc. Or maybe you want a high-performance bike to mod yourself. RaceTorx are great for performance parts.
You can pick up a reasonable second-hand bike for around £2000. But, if you want something brand new and under warranty, you’re looking at closer to £6000. The point is, that there isn’t a ‘right’ price to pay.
Another thing to consider when choosing your first bike is your long-term budget. You need to find a bike that is going to fit your long-term budget and not cost loads to run. Also, you need to choose a bike that is comfortable to you, so make sure you give it a test ride.
Ultimately, the choice of bike is completely up to you, just make sure you’ve done all your research before buying. If you’re struggling where to find a good dealer, we recommend CF Motos, they’ve got loads of great bikes on offer.
Once you’ve got your bike, you’re going to need to invest in some safety gear. You might be inclined to go all out with full leathers, but they’ll set you back around £250. Good alternatives are things like kevlar-lined jeans, for about £100.
At the very least, you’ll need a good helmet that meets ECER22.05 standards, gloves, motorcycle boots, and a hi-vis jacket. A new rider kit like this will set you back around £350, but it’s worth shopping around to see what deals are out there. Bikerswear are another brilliant Birmingham-based biker company selling loads of quality clothing and equipment.
Or, Bikelifeclothing for your clothing needs and key tags.
If you’re on a budget, it’s worth shopping second-hand for some stuff though. Just make sure it’s all still safe enough to wear on the road and will give you the protection you need.
Another worthwhile investment is a motorcycle dashcam. Works just the same as a car dashcam but is secured to your helmet. These are your best mate if you’re caught in an accident or any other incident. They’re also brilliant at capturing some of your rides. We recommend Innovv for motorbike cameras.
Maintenance and ownership
It’s hard to accurately predict ownership and maintenance costs. Like all vehicles, anything can crop up and end up rinsing your bank account. So, keep that in mind.
On average though, you can expect a yearly service to cost about £200, but obviously depends on the service provider and what you get done. Your MOT, on the other hand, is much cheaper, about £30. This will depend on if it passes or fails though, so try to service and maintain your bike often to avoid expensive repairs at MOT time.
Other maintenance costs can include repairs, new tyres, and any mods you might like.
Next, you’re going to be looking for insurance. Again, this is going to depend on the provider, age, previous claims history, your location, the bike, and probably even the weather the day you make the quote. For insurance, it’s definitely worth shopping around and gathering a few quotes
Motorbike security products
Now, our time to shine. Motorbike security is absolutely essential. It wouldn’t be an Image4 blog without harping on about the importance of motorbike security.
That said, now that we’ve highlighted the costs of getting started, it should be more apparent than ever that motorbike security is essential to keep your bike safe. After spending all that money to actually get on the road, you don’t want to be taken off the road by a thief.
Luckily, we’ve got loads of security products for at home, or on the go.
For everyday use, no matter where you are we have a load of locking security products, security chains, and alarmed products. Really, we recommend that these are the bare minimum of your security armoury. The best chance you have at protecting your new wheels is to layer your security.
For enhanced, at home security, we have our impressive garage barrier: a telescopic garage door bar that stops your bike from being wheeled under or pulled over the barrier.
As well as our impressive Apex Pro ground anchor. Our Apex Pro is the only ground anchor on the market to receive a Diamond Sold Secure rating and a great bit of kit for your garage security. Ground anchors are exactly that – anchored to the ground. Your bike is secured to the anchor via a security chain and will keep your bike secure. Just remember to layer multiple security products for the best protection.
And for that extra, final layer of garage security, we’ve got the Garage Defender. Our Defender comes in two variations: for roller shutter door and up & over garage doors. It works by sitting outside the door and prohibiting it from opening.
You should already know this by now, but you should be spending 10% (of the total of your bike’s cost) on security products. So, if your bike was 6k, that’s £600 or more to be spent on security products. For more information on how best to secure your bike, you can read our blog here.
For more enhanced security, bike trackers are a brilliant idea. Datatool are our partners offering the best in bike tracking.
If you’ve been victim to a bike theft before, you’ll probably already know that the best way to get your bike back is to have it marked. Marked bikes are much harder to sell for parts and give you the best chance of getting it back. Datatool again are a great company offering bike marking for around £90.
To sign off, we’d like to inform you all that we’ll be attending ABR Festival from 23rd-26th June. It’s going to a brilliant event to get bikers together, raise awareness of how good our products are, and ultimately connect with like-minded bikers who just love the sport.
If you see us there, come and say hello! You can test our products, ask us whatever you want, or buy us a beer if you like. We’re well excited, see you there!
So, that wraps up our blog on everything you need to consider before actually buying a motorbike. Ultimately, owning a bike is a commitment and often an expensive one, so make sure you’ve really done some thinking before you take the plunge.
And if you do decide to become a biker after all, make sure you’re correctly securing your bike, especially at home. The idea is to make it as hard as possible for a thief to steal your bike. If they do still decide to have a go at pinching it, you want them to be as loud and careless as possible to take as much time as possible and to make as much noise as possible in order to alert you. Browse our motorbike products here.