5 Myths of Motorcycle Ownership – Debunked

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When it comes to owning a motorcycle, there are many widely held half-truths that may steer you away from buying a bike. On the other hand, myths, like “it’s always cheaper than buying a car”, could prove particularly costly. As with other potentially murky financial topics, we’re here to set the record straight!

Here are 5 common myths surrounding motorcycle ownership and the reasons that they’re just not true… so you can move forward with your dream of owning a motorcycle. 

Myth #1: You Can’t Negotiate A Buying Price Like You Would A Car Or Truck

Truth is, most motorcycle dealers are willing to negotiate to get sales, like other vehicle salespeople. While the margin between the MSRP and the dealer cost is less than other vehicles, you could still pay less than sticker price. If you do your homework before you enter the dealership and play your cards right, you might walk out paying a slightly lower price –  or at least get them to throw in some extra gear at no additional cost.

Myth #2: Motorcycle Insurance Is Always Cheaper Than Other Vehicles

Not so fast on this one. Like other insurance offers , your state of residence, driving record, and the motorcycle’s value may add up to higher premiums. For example, if you use a loan to pay for a new model year motorcycle, the lender will likely require that you carry comprehensive and collision insurance. Conversely, you could purchase a lower-priced used car for cash and only need to pay for collision insurance.

NOTE: Virginia law allows you to legally drive a motorcycle without insurance if you pay the Virginia Uninsured Motor Vehicle fee.

Myth #3: Motorcycle Safety Options Are All Built-In

While motorcycles must pass safety checks before dealers can sell them to the public – that doesn’t mean the bike you have your eye on has features that match your skill level. For example, if you’re a new rider, you may need to purchase extra mirrors. Or, if you’re interested in an older model, it might not include stability control or other safety features that come standard on new bikes.

Myth #4: Personal Safety Gear Is Optional

One thing we see a lot is buyers not factoring the cost of purchasing personal safety gear when they purchase a motorcycle. Unlike a car or truck, which you can drive while wearing slippers, regular blue jeans, and other casualwear, you need special riding gear to protect your body. Be sure to budget for a helmet, gloves, eyewear, footwear, and a jacket. Some states, like Virginia, require motorcyclists wear an approved protective helmet along with a face shield or safety goggles.

Myth #5 – You Can Take Your Time Updating Your Driver’s License.

Most states have laws that require drivers to obtain a Class M or similar driver’s license designation before operating a motorcycle. For instance, Class M designations in Virginia limit the type of motorcycle you can legally operate. If you’re unable to present a valid license to law enforcement, you could face up to six months in jail and pay up to $1,000 in fines.

Some states also require the completion of a rider-training program before a license is issued. Check your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles website for details.


Leisure vehicle loans from Call Federal feature low interest rates and flexible repayment terms that make motorcycle ownership more affordable, so you can hit the open road while staying on track financially. Secure your budget-friendly loan for a new or used motorcycle by applying online, calling us at 804-274-1200, or stopping the branch location nearest to you.

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