Custom bike-building may have hit the radar screen of popular culture with the wave
of reality TV shows featuring everyone from Jesse James to Orange County Choppers,
but custom motorcycles have always been - and will always be - an important part of
Whether you build or own a custom chopper, bobber, cafe racer, streetfighter, dirt
tracker, or any other custom creation that you plan to make street-legal, you have
probably wondered about how to insure it. After all, all but three states now require
that any motorcycle riding public roads carry liability insurance. The exact amount of
coverage is varies from state to state, and the policy must protect against liability both
for personal injury and property damage.
Of course, to get motorcycle insurance for custom bikes - or any bikes for that matter
- your insurer will typically request a VIN number. Now, most customs are at least
based on an existing bike or frame. So even though the frame may have been chopped,
hard-tailed, raked-out, and given completely new mechanicals and a different engine
from stock, you should be able to register your bike as a '75 H-D Sportster, an '82
Yamaha XS650, or whatever it started as.
In the case of custom frames, you typically need, at the very least, an MSO
(Manufacturers Statement of Origin). Usually an insurance rep can work with you to
get the bike insured.
If your bike has many aftermarket or custom accessories that substantially enhance
the value of the bike, you should also speak to your insurer about CPE (Custom Parts
& Equipment) Coverage. Usually, an insurer will allow you to purchase up to $30,000
worth of additional CPE insurance.
To get the best rates on your custom bike, you really need to perform a comparison of
policies. To do so, you might employ a free online service such as this: Motorcycle
Insurance Quotes. When insuring a custom bike, the last thing you want to do is leave
savings on the table. Just because your bike is custom doesn't mean you should pay