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Motorcycle Insurance For Custom Built Bikes

Motorcycle Insurance For Custom Built Bikes

If you have a custom built motorcycle, you are probably searching for a company that specifies in providing coverage for custom bikes. Before you assume that you need to choose a provider that caters specifically to customized cycles, you should consider all of your options. Most mainstream insurance companies provide coverage for all types of bikes including those that are custom built. Although not every provider will accept your bike for one of their policies, you will eventually find some coverage.

What is a Custom Built Motorcycle?

A custom built motorcycle is a bike that has structural or stylistic changes that exceed the standard limitations of a “mass-produced” model from various motorcycle manufacturers. Custom bikes may be made under unique circumstances and created in limited quantities. Although motorcyclists have made customizations to mass-produced bikes since they were first produced, the first officially “custom” made bikes appeared in the 1950s.

Various artists like Arlen Ness and Ben Hardy were among the pioneers of motorcycle customization. They began their work in the early 1960s and the industry has since grown significantly in terms of popularity. By the 1990s, people like Jesse James were making major news with their “West Coast Choppers.” Other popular companies experienced a rise to fame during this time including Orange County Choppers.

Certain motorcycle manufacturers such as Honda as well as Harley-Davidson have decided to include the word “custom” as part of their model names. Factory customizations have become increasingly popular as manufacturers attempted to create a better experience for their customers. Among the first of factory customizations included the 1971 Harley-Davidson “Super Glide” which was designed by Willie G. Davidson. At the time, it was an innovative design that combined the frame of an Electra Glide with the fork of a Sportster – this was a brand new “custom” style for that day.

Other various manufacturers of custom built bikes include American IronHorse, Bourget, Big Dog, and BMC. These bikes must always be built to meet federal safety standards as issued by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation. Factory-created custom motorcycles allow individuals to tweak everything from the engine, to the frame style, to the paint coloring. Although factory customs are great, they do not typically have the same degree of uniqueness that home built bike has. Below we will discuss some types of custom built motorcycles.

Types of Custom Built Motorcycles

It should be clear that there are many types of custom built bikes on the roads. Not all customized cycles are classified as “choppers.” Although you may have heard of businesses like Orange County Choppers or American Chopper, there are more styles of bikes than are on those shows. You should also know that some people create their own “home built” bikes. Below are various styles of customized motorcycles that you may encounter.

  • Bobber: A customized motorcycle that typically has the front portion of the fender completely removed, with the rear fender “bobbed” or made smaller. All unnecessary parts are also usually removed to help reduce its overall weight.
  • Café Racer: This type of custom bike was created in the early 1960s by the British. These were typically used for quick transportation from one “coffee bar to another” – hence the term “cafe racer.” These were most common throughout Europe.
  • Chopper: This is a classification of customized bike that is modified from an original design or built from scratch for maximum uniqueness. This style of motorcycle typically features elongated frames, lengthy front ends, extended forks, and larger wheels. These also feature a “sissy bar,” as well as grinder and springer forks on the suspensions.
  • Cutdown: These are customized “scooters” that have been stripped of various parts. Examples of this style include the Lambretta and Italian Vespa. These rose to popularity throughout the early 1970s as people were seeking quick transportation.
  • Home Built (Kit): These can come as “kits” or can be completely unique. There is no set style when it comes to “home built” bikes. People can use all frame styles, handlebars, wheels, etc. The variations among home built bikes are significant. As long as these meet standards set by the Dept. of Transportation, you can make your bike look however you want.
  • Rat Bike: These are classified as motorcycles that have fallen apart – but fixed up for little cost. These have many modified parts and may end up looking completely different than the original model. Due to the significant number of changes that have been made to these bikes, they are considered to be customized.
  • Scrambler: These are customized motorcycles that were developed for off-road racing. They are small and carry a light fuel tank for maximum speed. It should also be mentioned that the “Enduro” model of motocross bikes is actually street-legal in many cases as long as a horn, lights, and license plate are added.
  • Streetfighter: This is a customized sports bike that is characterized by removing the fairing. Other changes were made to the bike including adding large headlights, tall handlebars, and loud mufflers. This was all done so that the bike was viewed as having an “aggressive” style. These became very popular throughout Europe.
  • Tribsa (Tri-B.S.A.): These are custom built off road bikes that became very popular in the 1960s. It’s name was basically a combination of the Triumph and B.S.A. bikes – hence “Tribsa.” The style featured a combination of the “best” elements from each style of bike – typically a Triumph engine with the BSA frame.
  • Triton Motorcycle: This was a model of hybrid-developed bikes that were built in the 1960s. In most cases, these were privately built, but some dealers in Europe offered these for sale. Tritons typically featured Norton frames with Triumph engines. The name “Triton” is a combination of Triumph and Norton.

How to Get Motorcycle Insurance for Custom Built Bikes

If you own a custom built motorcycle, you may be completely puzzled about where to get insurance. You think that because you have a customized bike you will likely be turned down for coverage by most major providers? Well you’re completely wrong. These days, most insurance companies are up-to-date with various customizations and styles. As long as your custom built bike fits the legal definition of a “motorcycle,” you will be able to purchase insurance for it.

1. Find Providers In Your State

The first thing you need to do is find motorcycle insurance providers. Most companies that offer insurance will offer insurance for your custom built bike. Sure there are smaller independent companies that may cater to customized motorcycles, but just because they are small does not mean that they will offer the best deals. To find the leading insurers in your area, use the free Zip Code tool on this website.

2. Gather Quotes from Various Companies

The next step you should take is to gather quotes. It may take some time out your day to gather quotes from all of the providers in your area, but it will be the only way to find out who is truly offering the best prices.

3. Determine Coverage: Do They Provide Custom Motorcycle Insurance?

Once you have gotten quotes, narrow down your search to a few companies that you would consider for your policy. Determine whether they have insurance for custom motorcycles as well as whether they have the coverage that you need. Certain companies may offer higher coverage limits than others for customizations.

4. Compare Policies

After you have determined the cost for a policy as well as the coverage, you should do a thorough comparison of companies that you are considering. If you need help determining which companies are good, you can read various reviews throughout this website!

5. Choose An Insurer for Your Custom Bike

When you have finally done all of your comparisons, you can select an insurer to be your provider. You should select a company that you think will provide the best overall protection for your customized cycle. In your search, you will see that many companies provide insurance for custom built bikes as long as they are street legal!

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