Ever sit up at nights wondering how you're going to come up with the dollars to insure your motorcycle this spring? Or why you're paying so much for motorcycle insurance? Well if you're an Ontario motorcyclist and you feel that you're paying too much for insurance, you probably are.

To get some insight in to insurance rates, I compared four bikes. Take a look and tell me what you think.

The compared motorcycles

First up, a 2011 Kawasaki Ninja 650R, a popular sport bike for everyday commutes to work or school. Estimated price is $7,199

Next up the 2009 Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom. Does size matter? Not quite a cruiser due to its small body, but its engine size certainly appeals to heavier riders. Estimated price is $10,299

Also a 2009 Honda CBR125R, which is more of an entry level motorbike, billed as one of the best beginner motorcycles. Estimated cost between $1,500 and $3,000 used.

Lastly, I chose a 2009 Triumph Street Triple 675. More of a popular bike used in metropolis areas and for everyday commuting. Estimated price, roughly $8,699:

Overall impressions

After comparing each of these bikes and the insurance rates someone my age, and location would come across (22, Toronto), I was surprised to find some of the following facts.

First of all, some insurance companies won't even insure riders unless you fit their minimum requirements. For example, Riders Plus won't insure you unless you're at least 25 years old. State Farm won't even insure you unless you've had a G license for a minimum of six years! Don't even bother with Allstate if you have a sports bike, they don't insure you period.

One insurance company was able to give me an abundance of quotes and seems to be a good fit for riders of all ages. Under Primmum Insurance, a 25-year-old living in downtown Toronto will pay roughly $1,411.00 per year for the Kawasaki. While a 45 year old with 20 years riding experience will pay roughly $764.00 for the same bike. Just about half as much as the new rider.

Age isn't everything. If we take that same 25 year old and move him out of the city to Muskoka, Ontario, insurance drops by $400. The 45-year-old will pay $200 less. In this case, a Toronto address seems to drive higher annual rates.

Since two well known motorcycle insurance companies in Ontario don't seem to cater to people my age (Riders Plus and State Farm), lets pretend I am 25 years old living in Toronto with six years of a G license under my belt. Under Riders Plus, I would pay roughly $1,940.00 a year for the Kawasaki. If you think that's shocking, imagine what I would pay for the Harley (1200cc)! Well $3,477.00 seems to be the average annual rate for this bike in Ontario. Also, I was surprised to find that Riders Plus doesn't deduct your annual rate if you reside outside the city, contrary to Primmum. In fact, if I moved to Muskoka my rate would increase to $3,923.00 per year for the Harley under Riders Plus.

How about we look at a middle aged rider with a little more experience. For example, under Riders Plus, a 45 year old with over 20 years riding experience living in Toronto will pay roughly ** $875.00** for the Kawasaki, and $1,156.00 for the Harley. These numbers still seem quite high and they don't change across motorcycle insurance companies.

The Triumph, I discovered demanded the highest rates after plugging my info into Riders Plus, as a 25 year old new rider living in Toronto, I received an estimate of ** $3,532.00** per year. A 45 year old with 20 years experience will pay roughly ** $1,294.00** per year. Not bad.

To avoid such high annual rates for someone my age, I think it's a good idea to stick to the Honda. With a 125cc engine, you won't be doing long road trips, but after a few years of safe driving you'll find yourself with relatively decent rates. For example, under Primmum, a 25 year old will pay $1,167.00 per year while living in Toronto. Back in Muskoka he'd pay roughly $781.00 per year.

What actually affects how much you pay for motorbike insurance?

  • Age after a certain point won't make much difference but obviously insurance companies favor older riders
  • Your level of license level doesn't seem to be affected
  • Where you live will impact your rates, that is urban riders pay more
  • Taking a certified motorcycle training course doesn't seem to impact annual rates (which really sucks)
  • Sport versus cruiser will have an impact, sport bikes cost more and some insurance companies don't even ensure sport bikes!
  • The engine size or cc of the motorcycle will impact insurance rates - the bigger the more expensive
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  • kris416
  • 2013-03-05T08:41:42-05:00

Hey cool comparison. I am a new rider and had a hard time getting quotes from people. I did everything through email, and found that AllState and John Duffy insurance were the quickest to respond and willing to give quotes. I only have an M1, am 32 years old, and bought a 2000 Yamaha Vstar Classic 650cc. John Duffy quoted me at $1700 for liability and comprehensive (no collision). i asked if the fact that i am getting my M2 and doing it through RTI would help my rate and she said "No"... that seems ass backwards. So you're analysis is pretty bang on, Lucas.

  • alex
  • 2012-03-15T07:05:55-04:00

I'm a forty-year old in Toronto and have been riding for 18 years now. I do have a street triple (2010) but pay $1400 for it and more for my Tiger 1050. I need to call my broker...