7 Surprising Reasons Why Motorcycles Are So Expensive

When it comes to powersport vehicles you’ve probably noticed that they’re quite expensive. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get one!

It just means you might wonder about the cost and just why they’re so expensive. The truth is, there are a number of different expensive powersport vehicles. And in general, you’ll find that motorcycles are relatively more expensive than vehicles even, and we’re going to talk about why.

Why Motorcycles Are So Expensive?

In general, motorcycles are expensive because of seven reasons that we’re going to go over throughout the rest of this article. They include:  

  1. Motorcycles are luxury items
  2. Smaller parts don’t necessarily mean cheaper parts
  3. They are powered by high-performance engines
  4. They feature many bells and whistles
  5. Liability issues
  6. Much lower production numbers
  7. The market willing to pay the high prices (the main reason!)

Let’s dive in and look at each one in more detail!

1. Motorcycles Are Luxury Items

Even though they’re quite popular as a primary mode of transportation, motorcycles are still considered recreational vehicles and luxury items. As a result, they have a higher price tag than you would normally see with a luxury item. After all, it’s not just about getting a machine. It’s about the lifestyle that goes along with the bike!

The motorcycle lifestyle is one that many people enjoy, but it’s something that you’ll need to think carefully about joining in with because it is expensive and you could find yourself struggling to keep up if you’re already a bit overwhelmed with the cost of the bike on its own.

2. Smaller Parts Don’t Mean Cheaper Parts

You might think that because a motorcycle is smaller than a car it’s also less expensive all around. But that’s not the case at all. In fact, a motorcycle can be as expensive as a car in some instances. And that goes for all those tiny parts as well.

Motorcycle manufacturers invest a lot in R&D, pay for overhead costs, fixed costs, regulatory costs, and of course the overall design and manufacturing. Not to mention transporting the bikes and the cost of actually selling them. All of this is going to mean that the bike itself is actually quite costly and anytime you have to get repairs done you’ll be paying more as well.

3. High Performance

When you buy a car you want it to perform well, but you mostly want it to be convenient and economical. With a motorcycle, however, you’re looking for a whole lot more performance.

So, you want to make sure that you’re getting a bike that can do everything you’re looking for. That’s going to take a little more money to achieve than a car would cost.

High-performance engines are the main part of the cost and they have a whole lot of special components. Plus, they have to be lightweight!

All of those things together mean that the motorcycle is definitely going to cost a lot more to make and that’s going to get passed on to you.

4. Bells and Whistles

Modern motorcycles are also going to have a lot of different features. When you want bells and whistles you’re going to pay more for them because they’re more difficult to design and install. The more you want your motorcycle to do the higher the cost is going to be.

When you buy a brand new motorcycle you’re going to pay for all the time and effort it took to develop those parts and make sure that it’s safe and ready to go.

You’ll spend more trying to fix your motorcycle if something goes wrong with any of those parts as well, so make sure you’re considering maintenance costs when you buy that next bike.

5. Liability Issues

There is a level of liability involved when a manufacturer builds a motorcycle because they are taking someone’s life into their hands.

That means they need to meet some very strict quality controls and they absolutely need to make sure that anyone riding on it is going to be safe (at least to a certain level).

So, they pass the cost of all that extra testing and safety features on to you.

6. Much Lower Production Numbers

A car is generally produced in huge quantities because just about everyone has one. There are around 300 million registered vehicles in just the United States. But motorcycles are at only 8.5 million! In order to account for the fact that motorcycles are more expensive to make because of these lower quantities, the costs are actually higher.

When you make a car in batches of hundreds and thousands at a time the per car price is actually lower.

However, because there aren’t as many motorcycles being produced the per motorcycle price is higher than you might expect.

7.The Market Willing to Pay the High Prices

Finally, riders are willing to pay the money. Yes, one of the major factors that affect the high price of motorcycles is that the motorcycle manufacturer is just able to do it. Because so many people want a motorcycle and will pay the price the company increases the price. Basically, it’s about supply and demand!

All those costs that are associated with production and other concepts that go into getting this particular product ready for market are definitely going to impact cost, but what people are willing to pay is going to make it even more.


For those who are interested in buying a motorcycle knowing why it’s so expensive may not be quite all, you want to know. After all, you really want to get out there on the open road but spending a lot on your new machine may not be quite what you want. So, make sure that you take a look at what goes into that bike!

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