What Are The Cheapest Motorcycles to Insure In The UK?



A question we always hear is: What is the cheapest motorcycle to insure? 

This is usually posed by new riders, younger riders, those planning on buying their first bike, or somebody who is choosing a motorcycle as a means of transport for commuting.

When you have sourced some motorcycle options to suit you, an Insurance Comparison Engine will help gather quotes from the leading motorcycle insurers to help you get the best price. 

Let’s get into the key points to think about. 

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The smaller the capacity, the cheaper the insurance (most of the time)

A good starting point for affordable motorcycle insurance, and a significant factor, is that the smaller the bike, the less your insurance will be.

So naturally, the order of things is, therefore:

  • 50cc
  • 51-125cc 
  • 126-650cc
  • 651cc and above

There are some caveats with this, though, as 16-year-old new riders looking for 50cc moped insurance may still struggle to find reasonably priced insurance depending on where they live and other factors. 

Check out our article on moped insurance to better understand the factors affecting young riders’ insurance. 

Another key point is that if you are a rider with 10 plus years of riding experience, who never made an insurance claim and never had a riding conviction, your insurance will be low regardless of the bike. Especially when compared to a rider with less experience or who has had to claim previously. 

With these two points noted, if you are looking for a middleweight bike, stick around the 300-500cc capacity mark. Insurance companies consider these bikes less powerful compared to the 650s on the market. You could look at something like the Honda CB500F. 

If you need more power (if you do some motorway commuting, for example), don’t immediately think you need 1000cc plus; opt for a 750cc or 800cc, something like the Yamaha Tracer 7 GT. 

Working with the mindset that less is more will keep insurance costs lower. 

The type of bike is a factor

The next important factor is the type of motorcycle you buy. 

There are almost too many types of motorcycles these days to mention, so I have broken things down very simply; most bikes fit into the following categories:

  • Cruiser
  • Adventure
  • Sports
  • Dual-Sport
  • Off-road
  • Naked
  • Scooters/Mopeds

Sports bikes ranging from the 125cc variants up to the 1000cc plus bikes are, at the very least, built aesthetically for speed. They are performance-focused and usually have a track-only model from which they have been derived. 

Insurance companies regard sports bike riders as more likely to be involved in an accident and therefore make a claim. 

The good news is that many motorcycle manufacturers tend to produce naked versions of their flagship sports bikes. For example, the Kawasaki Ninja range is complemented by the Kawasaki Z range. 

Therefore, the best thing to do is opt for the naked version. The main differences are the riding position and ergonomics, so you won’t lose power. A good choice based on being less powerful and a naked version of a leading sports bike would be the Kawasaki Z400. 

Adventure bikes, smaller-capacity cruisers, and dual-sports are also good choices for keeping insurance costs down. 

Used motorcycles equal cheaper insurance

Another simple philosophy is that a used motorcycle usually makes for cheaper insurance. 

By opting for a used bike as opposed to a brand new one, not only will you save money on the motorcycle itself, but you should save money on the insurance for it too. 

Some common sense applies here, and you need to factor in the other points we have covered. 

Being a newer rider who has just obtained the full licence, you probably still won’t want to choose a 2019 Ducati Panigale; with 211 horsepower, insurance companies will charge a premium even if it is a couple of years old.

A good choice would be to go for a bike that is no longer in production, one that has been replaced or moved on to the next generation. For example, in the cruiser segment, you could look at the 2002-2015 Triumph America, the Yamaha Virago 535, or a Suzuki Intruder 800. 

If the bike is cheap to buy, the insurance should be cheaper, as the value won’t be super high should the insurance company have to cover it in the event of an accident. 


Your insurance premiums will be lower if you secure your bike using Thatcham-approved locks and chains and store it in a garage. Take a look at our simple guide to securing your ride.

There is one thing you can do to deter thieves that insurance companies know about, and it is pretty simple, just choose an unappealing motorcycle.

Just like cars, some are more popular for thieves to steal than others, so avoiding bikes with high theft rates should mean your insurance is cheaper. 

According to the Met police, in 2021, 5,680 motorcycles were stolen in London alone. The most stolen brands during this period were as follows:

  • Honda – 3,345
  • Yamaha – 1,057
  • BMW – 214
  • Suzuki – 135
  • Kawasaki – 123
  • KTM – 111

Key models and trends that stood out from the data:

  • The majority of stolen Honda models were small capacity 125 variants of both motorcycles and scooters
  • The same goes for Yamaha, except for the MT-07 and MT-09 having high theft rates too
  • The BMW models stolen were primarily made up of the big capacity GS models like GS1250

Of course, choosing a bike that you think won’t appeal to thieves isn’t a foolproof plan as it can be subjective to the area and current trends, but when factored in with our other key points, it can’t hurt when making your choice.

Good options

With all that said then, here are some suggestions for new and used bikes that make a good choice for you when shopping for a bike to keep your insurance lower:


  • Yamaha XSR 125 – Used
  • Yamaha YBR 125 – Used
  • Herald Classic 125 – New or Used
  • Lexmoto Michigan – Used
  • Suzuki GN125 – Used

Look at our Top 10 Learner Legal Bikes guide for more options. 

Bikes up to 650cc

  • Honda CB500F – New
  • Honda CRF250L – Used
  • Kawasaki Z400 – New
  • Suzuki SV650 – New or Used
  • Yamaha R6 – Used
  • Kawasaki Versys 650 – Used
  • Royal Enfield Classic 350 – Used

Bikes over 650cc

  • Harley Davidson Street 750 – Used
  • Triumph America/Speedmaster – Older generation up to 2015
  • Yamaha Tracer 7 GT – New
  • Harley Davidson Sportster – Used
  • GSX-R 1000 – Used
  • Yamaha Fazer 1000 – Used

Final Thoughts

Of course, there is not one motorcycle I can categorically say is going to be cheap to insure as it is all so specific to the individual rider, but by considering our key points, hopefully, you have a place to start when shopping around for a new bike.

When in doubt, shoot for a smaller capacity bike, try to avoid sports bikes, particularly as a newer rider, look at used bike options and focus your search on some less popular models. 

When you have settled on the motorcycle you want, remember to check out the Insurance Comparison Engine, built to help save you time and money when shopping for motorcycle insurance.