review stars
95% of Reviewers recommend The Bike Insurer (based on 8940 reviews on as at 03/05/23)
revier logo

What is a classic motorcycle?

There’s no hard rule on how old a motorcycle has to be before it’s seen as ‘classic’, with each insurer having a different view on the cut-off point. This can range from 15 years old to 40 years old. Generally, though, if your bike was manufactured in the 70s or 80s, it’ll be defined as a classic.

Typical examples of motorcycle manufacturers that are known for their classic rides include Harley Davidson, Triumph, and Royal Enfield.

When a motorcycle gets really old, it might fall out of the classic bike category and be seen as a vintage motorcycle instead. But don’t worry, you can still usually get insurance for vintage motorcycles.

There are also future classic motorcycles – more modern bikes that are expected to become classics soon. Some insurers offer dedicated motorbike insurance policies which provide specialised coverage for future classics.

See how much you can save

Compare quotes from 37 insurers

What’s different about classic bike insurance?

Insuring a classic bike is a little different to covering a newly manufactured one for a range of reasons, including the type of coverage needed.

Classic motorcycle riders will generally be putting in fewer miles on their treasured bike, instead of using it for day-to-day riding. They’ll also often have safe storage solutions, whether that’s a garage or a secure car park, which means there’s less chance of theft.

Insurers will also likely consider that, if a bike has managed to stay on the roads for 30 years already, chances are it’s been well maintained. This is a signal of good ownership, which can also affect the premium you’ll end up paying.

It’s worth noting that some insurers might have a minimum age requirement for a classic motorbike insurance policy.

Insurance description

Modified classic bike insurance

One of the big downfalls of owning a classic bike is that replacement parts and touch-up paints are hard to come by.

That means that classic motorcycle owners often end up having to use replacement parts that aren’t manufacturer approved, which are technically classed as modifications by insurers. Make sure to be transparent about any non-approved parts when you’re comparing classic quotes to avoid getting an invalid policy.

Agreed value policies for classic bikes

Classic motorcycles can be eligible for agreed value policies, where you reach an agreement with the insurer about the value of your bike instead of using the market rate.

While an agreed value policy might end up being more expensive than a regular classic motorcycle policy, it can sometimes work out better if you feel your bike is being undervalued by the market.

See how much you can save

Compare quotes from 37 insurers


How do I know if my motorbike is a classic?

Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing for sure if your motorcycle is viewed as a classic or not without getting quotes, because the definition of a classic motorcycle is different from insurer to insurer. However, motorbikes that are 20-30 years old are most likely to be classics.

What’s the difference between a classic and a vintage motorcycle?

Vintage and classic are both terms used by insurers to classify older motorcycles that have unique qualities that might affect how they’re insured. Vintage motorcycles are older than classic motorcycles, although at what age a motorcycle becomes vintage rather than classic varies across different insurers.

Is classic bike insurance cheap?

Insurance policies for classic motorcycles are generally cheaper than for new bikes, for a number of reasons. They tend to be well looked after by enthusiast owners, cover less mileage, and are also much harder to steal and sell on. All of these factors reassure insurers that the risk of insuring a classic bike is relatively low. As always though, policy prices depend on a huge range of factors so there’s no guarantee on how much it’ll cost.

Should I choose an agreed value policy?

Choosing whether to opt for a regular classic policy or an agreed value policy, where you come to an agreement with an insurer over the value of your bike, can be difficult. Generally, if you think that the market value of your motorcycle is too low, an agreed value policy could be a good option. Otherwise, you might find you’ll get a lower premium on a regular policy. Do some research to determine which is the best option for you before choosing insurance.