What is a custom bike?
Pretty much as it says on the tin, really. A custom bike is a motorcycle that has been modified to the owner's tastes/requirements. Creating a custom bike can be something as small as adding your own paintwork and a few bolt on bits such as exhausts and different bodywork. Or a custom bike could be completely custom, built from the ground up from a unique frame, unqie bodywork and everything in between.
Why do people customise their bikes?
The reasons can be different for everybody, but everybody has their own tastes, and perhaps standard production bikes don't tickle their fancy. Custom bikes are not only unique to the owner, but they also stand out from the crowd and get attention, which could be another reason people customise their bikes.
Common custom modifications
Perhaps the most common modification owners make to their bikes is to fit an aftermarket exhaust. Almost all aftermarket exhausts are lighter than those fitted at the factory and offer a slight increase in power and torque, as well as making the bike sound much nicer.
Bodywork modifications are also popular. This doesn't necessarily mean completely custom bodywork, but can include things as simple as taller screens, fitting a seat cowl, and fitting a tail tidy.
Popular bikes that get the custom treatment
Most models of motorcycle get customised in some way, but perhaps the manufacturer most synonymous with customisation is Harley-Davidson. Harley offer a huge range of official accessories for their bikes, and there are thousands more from aftermarket manufacturers as well.
With the recent surge in custom motorcycles however, no make or model seems to be off limits, and some of the popular bikes at the moment include old air-cooled BMWs as well as slightly less obvious bikes such as the Yamaha Virago and Honda Dominator.
Why is custom bike insurance sometimes more expensive?
Custom bike insurance is sometimes more expensive because custom bikes tend to be unique. If your bike is an off-the-shelf custom, that is, based on a standard model, with pretty basic modifications, then insurance companies won't have any trouble providing a quote. But if your custom bike is a little more unique then it would be wise to ring up insurers and make sure they fully understand what it is they're insuring, so they can provide and accurate quote.
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You can also check out our top tips on getting cheap motorcycle insurance for your bike, and find out some clever ways you can cut the cost of your cover.