Are Motorcycles High Maintenance? (The Answer Is No)

What’s the first thing every parent and spouse worries about when someone says they want to get a motorcycle? Safety. People’s minds tend to go to the worst-case scenario when visions of motorcycles start to dance in their heads. 

Still, with the right safety practices, hopping onto a Harley, Honda, or Ducati can be just as safe as sliding into the seat of your new Subaru Outback. (They’re always noted for their safety ratings, aren’t they?)  

But, once the safety issues head out the door, the general cost of the upkeep and maintenance enters the scene. Typically, a motorcycle is a secondary vehicle, so it’s worth considering how much you’ll have to go out of pocket to realize your dreams. 

Below, we’re going to give you a brief overview of important, routine maintenance items. We’ll show you how they’re easier to assess than anything car-related and give you the low-down on a couple of rough estimates.

Get ready to saddle up, friends. You’re already one step closer to the ride of your life.  

The Sticker Price

Before we get to the maintenance itself, let’s discuss the cost of purchasing one first. New motorcycles for beginners can be as affordable as $5,000.

Of course, brand names like Triumph motorcycles, Indian motorcycles, or Harleys might come with a few more zeroes, but you are paying for the brand name. 

Can you imagine seating yourself in a new car for as little as $5,000? It just doesn’t happen. But, when starting out with a bike, it’s totally within the realm of possibility.  

The Price to Stay Safe

Once you’ve secured the wheels, there are a few safety items that are not only required but, in our opinion, necessary. DOT-compliant helmets can range anywhere from $70 to over $300. 

After you’ve secured a helmet, you’ll want to consider boots, pants, a jacket, and gloves. The goal here is to keep your skin safe, should you ever come off the bike and slide across the pavement. 

Serious riders can spend upwards of $1,000 on gear. But, again, you can shop around here and choose what level of safety you’d like to abide by. 

Regular Maintenance

With the basics out of the way that can afford you a pair of wheels, let’s take a look at the cost of maintenance. 

Oil Change

Like your trusty ol’ four-wheeler, your motorcycle will need routine oil changes. For bikes with conventional oil, you should have it changed about every 3,000 miles. Those that have synthetic oil can go as long as 5,000 miles.

The process here is far more simplistic than the oil change in your car, in case you want to DIY. Still, if you don’t want to do the work yourself, the average cost of an oil change is about $25. 


Most riders take heed to the five-year test. But, you’d do well to eyeball your tires long before the five-year mark.

The legal tread wear limit for a bike is 2/32nds. Of course, just like you don’t want to plop down into that $5,000 car, you never want to see your treads get that low. 


Cleaning the chain is important and it varies situation by situation. If you cross over dirt roads to get home, you’re going to want to take a look at your chain more often than someone who’s just a city slicker. 

Here, you’ll lift the back wheel, pop the gears into neutral, and get to cleaning. A gentle brush will do the trick. Once you’ve spot-cleaned the whole chain, you’ll want to lubricate it. Just be sure it penetrates all the way down to the joints. 


Checking your brake pads is pretty straightforward, too. All you have to do here is rotate the wheels and inspect the thickness of the discs and calipers.

What you’re looking for here are any signs of warping, wear, or rust. Also, if there are any places with excessive dirt buildup, take out that handy brush again and wipe that away. 

Brake pads can run you about $30 to $50. Rotors, however, are a lot more expensive. These can clock in at a couple hundred dollars per set. Still, this is a fairly easy swap out and, if you don’t want to DIY, you shouldn’t have to pay for more than an hour’s worth of labor. 

Annual Servicing

If you just don’t have the time (or the inclination) to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty, we totally get it. Since a motorcycle is typically the second vehicle in the house, not everyone’s able to devote a lot of time to its upkeep.

So, if you plan for an annual servicing, you can bundle all this up (and more) for about $1,000. Let the pros get down and dirty, and look at every valve, pipe, pad, and chain link for you.

A thousand dollars for the peace of mind that comes with a safe ride is worth its weight in gold and it’s not a bad way to check every box in your maintenance checklist. 

Motorcycles for the Win

In our opinion, we’re glad to save up a thousand dollars a year for the upkeep and maintenance of our motorcycles. When you consider how much we save on gas, it’s an easy win.

Learning how to maintain your bike for yourself is completely within your reach, too. Again, a lot of this is far more simplistic than routine car maintenance. 

And, of course, it’s not all about safety. It’s primarily about safety, but it’s also about comfort. So, what’s the number one thing that can ruin a great ride? A bad seat. That’s where we come in. 

Here at Wild Ass, we’re the kings of ergonomic air cushion seats. Our air cushion was designed using proven interconnected air cell technology.

What this does is eliminate painful pressure points and promote circulation by utilizing adjustable interconnected air cells that conform to your shape, regardless of weight or seating position.

Wild Ass is recommended for anyone who would like to see a reduction in painful pressure points, increased circulation, reduced vibration, shock absorption, heat and moisture reduction, and greater overall comfort whenever you sit.

So, once your bike is road-ready, we invite you to come on over and check out all three of our models. We’ll help you figure out which one is just right for your ride.