By claims professionals Erik Pierron, John Bowman and Steve Gronberg
Many motorcycle owners change or customize their bikes to transform them from a stock manufactured product to a unique one based upon their preferences. Motorcycle customizations can involve paint styles, engine sizes or general bolt-on accessories, but all can affect the value of the bike. Here are a few things to think about before customizing your motorcycle:
It's not the dollars you put into the customization, it's the enhancement value those customizations add.
When you're adding custom equipment to your motorcycle, the individual items add an enhancement value. For example, you may install a $700 new aftermarket exhaust system to your motorcycle, but the actual added value to the motorcycle may be less than $700. Why? If you add that new aftermarket exhaust system to your motorcycle, you must first remove the exhaust system that was previously attached to the motorcycle. In addition to the cost of the customized part being added, the age and condition of the motorcycle are also considered when determining the enhancement value.
Before adding new items to your motorcycle, think about how they will impact your bike's value. For instance, a windshield added to a motorcycle that did not have one on the base model, has a different enhancement value than a windshield of a different size, shape or color added to a motorcycle that already had one installed by the manufacturer.
Value is in the eye of the beholder.
Customizing your motorcycle too specifically to your liking may actually decrease the value of your bike. You may spend $3,000 to have a portrait of a loved one painted on your motorcycle. While you find it beautiful, it could mean significantly less value on the open market and to the market's potential buyers looking for your specific make, model and year of vehicle.
Labor is an incurred cost, but it normally doesn't add value.
When customizing your motorcycle, it's common to have a dealership or a motorcycle facility install your selected optional equipment. While it costs money to have someone perform the install, these additional labor expenses don't normally increase the appraised market value of your motorcycle.
If you have any further questions on how optional equipment affects the value of your motorcycle, or if you want to update the optional equipment coverage for your motorcycle, please contact Foremost at 1-800-752-2461.