State law, except in Montana and Florida, requires motorcycle owners to purchase liability insurance coverage.
In addition, most lenders require some motorcycle insurance if you're financing the purchase, according to Marcy Gray, motorcycle product manager at Progressive Casualty Insurance Co. in Mayfield Village, Ohio.
Sport/high-performance bikes are typically the most expensive to insure partly because there are so many claims from accidents, says Progressive spokeswoman Cristy Cote.
"And larger engines are more costly to insure than smaller ones," Gray says.
Touring bikes also are high on Progressive's list of expensive bikes to insure. That's because owners ride them on long-distance trips, putting more mileage on them than other bikes. They're also expensive to repair to their pre-accident condition because owners tend to customize them, says Gray.
By comparison, motorcycle insurance costs on cruisers like the Harley Sportster, Suzuki Boulevard and Honda Shadow are less, says Gray.
Meanwhile, Gray notes that dirt bikes and on/off-road bikes are more affordable to insure, partly because they're ridden off-road and less likely to hit a car or an uninsured motorist.