Insurance for first bike in London - SO EXPENSIVE!


My two penneth for what its worth.

Buy second hand because it’ll depreciate faster than you can calculate by how much and sooner or later you’ll either drop it or get knocked off it. It happens to the most careful of us especially if you’re commuting during peak hours.

Buy something that’s comfortable to ride (upright riding position) and reliable (low revving engine) over what it looks like because you want it to get up and go when your ready not when it feels like it.

Buy from a dealer because you’re less likely to end up with something less than desirable. It doesn’t have to be a main dealer, all dealers are bound by Law to offer motor vehicles of a certain standard, roadworthy and fit for purpose. Top tip here ask the dealer if this motorcycle is suitable for commuting 10,000 miles per year!

Buy a Euro 3 compliant motorcycle because of ULEZ 2021 is just around the corner and you’d expect any ride to last for more than a couple of years.

Don’t buy a commuter to save time or money over public transport because if you take all things into consideration public transport wins every time.


for the hornet not much can go wrong as long as it has had regular servicing.
somethings i’d look for:
make sure the clutch is ok - doesnt slip
no leaks from forks
camchain doesnt rattle too much (it shouldnt sound like a ducati)
and check for rust (doubt youll find much)

also other things to negotiate price down:
squared off tires
little life left on chain/ breakdisks/breakpads

also dont be afraid of high milages- my CB1K has 55k now and runs like a dream


ps loads of good info here


I’ve been riding over twenty years and I see my premiums climbing inexorably upwards. I’m hampered by my postcode. Having a garage, ground-anchor, tracker, CCTV, all helps chip away the premium a little but it keeps increasing.

30 bikes being stolen every day is the real problem. In fact it is affecting my bike usage. I have to go to a meeting in Hammersmith this afternoon; no secure parking where I’m going, I checked Streetview and decided I’m gong to cycle instead. Doubtless better for my fitness and better for the environment but it’s the sort of journey which would be ideal by motorbike if only I could trust parking it on the street.


I’m probably biased but if I was commuting in London again I’d look no further than a little Honda CBF 250, an air cooled, single cylinder, cheap as chips to buy, service, insure and run mo’cycle that’s tougher than old boots. Its bigger slightly more expensive but still cheapish to run brother the CBF600 is also a good call. There is also a CBF500 twin but I’m not sure this meets the 2021 ULEZ standard.

Must haves for me would be half fairing, ABS and centre stand.


Apologies if this is something already mentioned in the comments but there’s too many of them to read through!

I don’t live too far from Stratford so our premiums are probably the same when it comes to the postcode. All I can say is that unfortunately you’ll have to persevere through the first 2-3 years until you get reasonable quotes.

My first bike was an MT-09 and it cost me £1300 to get TPFT. Fully comprehensive I think was almost twice that. I think even the Honda CBF125 I had before that was around £450.

No too long ago I sold it and got myself a brand new GSX-R750 and the following year my premium went down to £1150, then £850, £650 and two weeks ago I insured it for £325. Mind you, I’m not commuting on it anymore and it’s declared as social and domestic (without commuting) so I think that makes a huge difference. It’s also stored in a locked gated compound and I’m halfway through my thirties, which also probably makes a difference.

I know that not a single insurer was willing to insure a 1000cc sports bike in Stratford 3 years ago when I was looking at selling mine (even a 5 year old one) so unfortunately I’m not really surprised at your premiums.

Being older, having 5 years of NCB and not commuting drops the premium significantly.

You’re lucky you have so many options to choose from. For some reason (maybe 'cause it’s a sports bike) I still only get MCE. No-one else wants to touch my money with a pole.


I managed to negotiate my insurance down to 2,100 this year after paying 2.5k for 2 years.

i was told if i had a garage it would have instantly dropped to £800…

I feel your pain.

BMWFS700 (From new) 3 YNC Buisness CSDP no accidents incidents or citations. SW London


It’s not a grey area it’s very balck & white. If you’ve told the insurer you only want to be covered for SD&P as you wont be using it to commute on, then you won’t be covered if you do.


Damn, thats a colossal reduction for garaging. Mine is kept in my back garden through a locked gate, and my insurers treat that is being kept on the drive!


@Cypher @National_Treasure @Panagiotis great stuff, thank you for all the detail!

I think I’m probably going to put the idea of getting a bike on hold for a while because the cost is just so high and I can’t really warrant it. I’m not going to be commuting on it much from where I’m currently live, and I’m considering moving from Stratford to one of the new builds in Elephant & Castle, which I can walk to my office from in 25 mins.

So annoying as I’ve got such a burning urge to experience the pleasure of having a bike I can jump on whenever I want now that I have my licence! However, I’m glad I’ve got my test out the way so I can use my licence when travelling or in a few years time when I may not live in London anymore.


Such a shame about not being able to feel confident about where a motorbike is left :slightly_frowning_face:.

Sounds awesome about your extra security. How did you tell the insurers about that? I only got asked about immobilisers and tracking, but not CCTV, ground anchors or other security devices like that. The comparison sites allow you to put in multiple security accessories you have, but a couple of the ones you’ve mentioned were not on there. Quite a few of them wouldn’t even let me put in the DataTool Tracker that came installed as a limited time offer on the Hondas.


bennets only wanted the two best… and i’ve got 7 plus a small barky dog who apparently isnt thatcham rated - but should be!

carol nash wanted to know where i parked it at work not just at home

sorry your putting your bike on hold :frowning:


I think you’re seeing the costs high because you’re limiting yourself to a new bike only

You could have plenty of fun on a old SV650 and being a reasonably understressed v-twin they handle miles well.