When buying a new or used motorcycle, you definitely want to know how much it will cost up front. More importantly, you should consider how much maintenance will cost after you buy it. While your motorcycle will definitely save you money with fuel efficiency, you could find those savings go straight to upkeep. To give you a better idea of the costs involved, we have compiled details on the three motorcycle brands with the lowest customer satisfaction ratings for cost of maintenance and repair, according to a 2019 survey conducted by Consumer Reports.
Can-Am is best known for their Ryker and Spyder three-wheelers, which have become a popular on-road option for motorcycle enthusiasts since they hit the market in 2007. Prices for Can-Am’s newest models currently run from $8,499 for the newer Ryker model up to $23,299 for the Spyder RT cruiser. Used Can-Ams cost anywhere from $8,000 to $31,000, depending on the age, model, and condition.
A detailed estimate put Can-Am costs for maintenance after 2 years and approximately 50,000 miles at $1,800. Typical repairs for Can-Ams stem from problems with rear shocks, brake pads, and the transmission.
BMW has been a popular brand for high-quality motorcycles in a wide range of styles since 1921. New BMW bikes range anywhere from $6,000 for a simple Urban scooter or Adventure dirt bike model to their $26,000 luxury Tour models. With a broad number of models on offer via used car sites, you can often find used BMW motorcycles as low as $1,100, while custom-made bikes can go for over $100,000.
Since BMW has such a variety of motorbikes to offer, it can be difficult to pinpoint a price range for repairs. New motorcycle maintenance through BMW dealers and mechanics can be expensive, sometimes as much as $700 per visit, and parts for luxury and custom models are at a premium. Some components for smaller and less expensive models are easier to source and less expensive.
Harley-Davidson is synonymous with American motorcycles, and is one of the most popular motorcycle manufacturers in the world. They currently offer a wide selection of bikes which range from $6,899 for a simple street model to their most expensive Ultra Limited tour model, which starts at $28,699. Used Harley-Davidson motorcycles are available from $1,100 up to luxury custom models over $1 million.
With such a wide range of models, it is no surprise that Harley-Davidson has varying maintenance costs, based on location, model, and mileage. Shops that offer maintenance services for Harley-Davidson bikes will often provide service pricing lists outlining standard costs. Basic oil changes are easily over $100, and scheduled service visits over $300. The cost of parts tends to be higher for Harley-Davidson bikes, owing at least, in part, to the brand name.
Reduce your motorcycle maintenance costs
On the whole, it appears that motorcycles with the highest maintenance costs are the pricier and unique models on the market. It is no accident that parts for a BMW are more expensive than parts for a Honda. Just like any other product, you pay a premium for brand name recognition.
However, money isn’t everything. According to Consumer Reports, while Harley-Davidson and BMW have the highest average cost for maintenance and upkeep, they received some of the highest overall satisfaction ratings from polled owners. In the same survey, motorcycle owners expressed satisfaction with the styling, acceleration, and handling of their bikes. So, a low maintenance cost rating should not necessarily dissuade you from getting the bike you want — just keep your long term budget in mind.
If you are looking for a motorcycle that is more affordable to maintain, you can opt for a smaller bike with readily available components that are easy to install. Regardless of the bike you choose, you can significantly reduce maintenance costs by performing the upkeep yourself. Follow the maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual, and use quality materials. A late oil change or overlooked alignment issue is a much bigger problem when you’re dealing with a motorcycle, so if you decide to perform your own maintenance, make sure you do it in a timely fashion.