Cost of bike ownership

Wrote an article for local group on cost of bike ownership having just traded in my Kwaka after 8 years.

Spreadsheet nerds might appreciate the workings. :sunglasses:

Page 30 on latest mag (March)


Seriously, I do NOT want to know :joy::joy:


An interesting read in the March SAM Observer. I’ll have a peek into my spreadsheet and let you know the cost of running The 250 for 65,00 miles over 10 years.

In the meantime I’m reminded of the London Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) 1970’s comparison of costs in running a new cab for two or three years and trading it in vs running an older cab into the ground for two or three decades. Their surprising conclusion was the costs were more or less equal, however, new cab won the day because it attracted a better tip ratio and spent less time in the garage and more time on the streets of London fleecing city gents, high class hookers and play boys.


“having a smooth owner and a well-oiled chain” !


I did think of you/yours and the ability to self service is clearly going to help too. You’ll defo have one of the cheapest costs per mile out there.

Ref the old cabbies - is exactly what happens with old cars - you get to the point where the repair bills are so high that you’re better off moving on. I probably should have traded my bike a year ago and saved the big bill for disc brakes.

But either way I don’t see myself chopping every couple of years - just so expensive. So many guys up here seem to have new wheels every so often and these are like £15k-20k bikes too.

Nah, get some real use out of them but don’t kid yerself it’s a cheap form of transport - those days are lang gawn as they say in these parts.

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Are some people just replacing every few years due to them being on PCP schemes and are comfortable with the monthly payments on the bike and don’t want to buy it (pay the remaining lump) at the end , so just refinance it.


Something in that am sure Gav. Issue for me with those deals is they tend to be very low mileage, like 4k per year, with high charges if you go over them.

Price them for sat 8-10k miles and the prices go up a fair old whack.

majority of bikers don’t do the mileage we all do. lucky if they hit 3K a year if they only ride in dry warm weather.


I enjoyed the article. No idea what my cost per mile is but it has to be low because I only paid £7K for it new. I need to ride it more really.

I think some people like new things and some people like old things. Some of the guys at work change their car every 2 years. I’ve had mine for 16 years and I still like it. I told one of them it costs about a grand to run annually. He was shocked as that’s 2 months of payments for him.

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It was more complicated than I thought to calculate the cost of motorcycle maintenance, even with a spreadsheet to hand. What to include? What not to include? I broke it down some and I’ve not included the 55 mpg fuel costs, modifications that make a motorcycle mine or the annual costs for MOT testing, Vehicle Excise Duty & insurance.

That leaves a total spend of £5,337.97 for everything else including the initial purchase, 64,000 miles and 10 years of DIY servicing as per the manufacturers service schedule (and then some) which includes all service parts, fluids, consumables, sundries and all other parts (drive chain & sprockets, tyres, brake pads, stators, valve shims, wheel bearings, headstock bearings etc.).

I make that 8p per mile as a keeper or 7p per mile if I sold it tomorrow for the bargain price of £1,000!


If I were keen on knowing the ownership cost of the bike I’d include absolutely all costs, fuel, tyres, depreciation, the lot.

However, I’m not keen and until I can’t afford it anymore I’ll keep on. There’s no guarantee I’ll live a long life so I’m working on having a good life and doing the things I like!


Of course, all costs are relevant to ownership.

Yep and to fully compare the full costs of a chopper or keeper then the cheaper insurance (keeper) and the cost of tyres will need to be factored in

Also the chopper has impact in terms of all the bells and whistles. You won’t get the cost back for all the toys that go on, though some can of course come off

Them there’s the issue of funding. The cost to finance Vs leaving your Dosh in the bank or the borrowing cost is a factor.

Think the main thing is how we kid ourselves our bikes only cost x but in reality it’s ridiculous how much we pay now. Insurance is through the roof (and I know I am lucky not living in the sticks), maintenance costs high and bike purchase costs high.

A motorbike is largely becoming the preserve of the wealthy middle aged man and the manufacturers know that and develop their bikes accordingly.

Still, Mr Hunt has just knocked 2p off our NI charges so all good :rofl:

Try calculating the cost per riding hour! I tried once while re-filling the petrol tank, eye watering.

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That’s me well and truly fuked
My bike is 2 half years old with 50k miles on it
Was looking at changing it in September for the new M1000xr

Fucking hell, think I’ve done less than 1000 miles in the last year

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Interesting article - a few years ago, 2012? I bought a 2007 Ducati Sport Classic 1000 - retro looking Cafe Racer loosely based on the 70’s Ducati 750 Sport…it was never appreciated in the market and Ducatisiti looked down on it for not being a modern Supersport. To cap it all off the “greybeards” who might have been interested hated the radical riding position that played havoc with their wrists.
So Ducati dealers hated it and it was discontinued and heavily discounted to shift them - especially the Paul Smart versions.
So I paid £5k for a beautiful low mileage example which I had wanted ever since the Hairy Bikers tooled about with them in one episode,

Roll on a couple of years and the Cafe Racer scene took off (2025-2016?) - I had put 3000 miles on it and I couldn’t ignore how much used prices had shot up…I Ebay auctioned it and got £8750 for it - Result!!!

So in a few years the bike had cost me nothing and I made £3750 on it - I calculate that beauty PAID me £1.25 for every mile I rode her (mind you my maths is crap)…Never happened before or since …ps I regret selling it really!


But is this because they usually spend the other 50 weeks of the year in bits while you “improve” them?


Quick and dirty calc puts me at £3200 last year not including depreciation or buying random bits of biking kit. Depreciation has been minimal due to rising new prices but could be a grand. Kit? Dont know what I bought. So easily over £4k.

Had some great trips home and abroad so on balance I’d say it was worth every penny…whilst I can afford it it’ll continue.

I was quoted £10k(!) to change to a new model so I’ll be keeping the bike for a good while yet


I bought my 748 for £5,000 and sold it 17 years later for £2,000. I kept all the service records so it was easy to tot them up, I made a guess at the typical annual insurance costs and the mpg spread over the mileage done.

It totals £13,426 or £0.93 per mile.