That one-of-a-kind chopper in your garage cost tens of thousands to design and build. It also is more susceptible to theft they any other type of motorcycle. Give your hog the protection it deserves invest in custom motorcycle insurance, safeguarding it from damage and theft on and off the road.
What are custom motorcycles...
Custom motorcycles are cruiser bikes built to spec by custom shops. They are often designed to resemble the modified highway bikes of the '60s, featuring low saddle seats, extended forks, "ape hanger" handlebars, and "chopped off" components. Originally, the term chopper came from the practice of halving the rear mudguard to increase bike speed. Harley Davidson is now synonymous with the chopper because it commercialized its look. Custom choppers also are sold as kits to be assembled by the rider.
Custom motorcycles cost more than factory bikes from major manufacturers due to their construction, specialty parts, and premium paint jobs. Chopper motorcycles can retail for $40,000. A new, high-end Harley can sell for $20,000.
Do-it-yourself custom choppers are harder to register and insure than standard bikes or custom choppers manufactured by a recognized custom shop. In most states, kit bikes or "Special Constructions" must be inspected for safety by a highway authority. If the bike passes inspection, it then can be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Some states also require custom motorcycles to pass semi-annual safety tests.
How does custom motorcycle insurance work...
Not all carriers provide custom motorcycle insurance. The primary reason for this is that custom motorcycles, especially kit choppers, often lack established bluebook values. Custom bikes from older shops with name recognition are more insurable as these companies' bikes often have historical-pricing data.
Some carriers avoid custom choppers because of their high replacement cost. Simply put, insurers do not want to pay the high cost of replacing these bikes if they are stolen or damaged.
Some insurers just sell liability insurance for custom motorcycles and Special Constructions, denying custom motorcycle riders collision or comprehensive coverage.
Dos and Don'ts of custom motorcycle insurance...
Use the Internet to compare custom motorcycle insurance quotes. Often motorcycle insurance rates for similar policies from different carriers will vary.
Shop specialty motorcycle insurance companies who understand custom bikes, less likely to erroneously base a rider's motorcycle insurance rates on engine size, which is appropriate for sport bikes, but not cruisers. They also will provide towing and roadside assistance.
To lower premiums and insurer risk, some custom motorcycle riders just carry personal liability and property damage insurance, covering damage or injury they cause to other motorists. However, this requires paying cash for the bike, as collision coverage is required for motorcycle financing.
Store your bike inside and perform regular maintenance. Customs parked outside are more prone to theft, increasing custom motorcycle insurance risk. Deteriorating bikes break down more often, raising rates.
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