I am thinking of purchasing a Ducati motorcycle. Its price, including taxes, is about $22K.

I don’t own a car so I have no car payments. I had a $50k education loan which I paid off. I have about $10k of credit card debt which I expect to pay off in 3 more months, at which time I will be debt free. Is it a good idea to finance this purchase and take on $300 to $400 per month in payments?

I am worried about the crazy insurance costs for this Ducati bike. When I looked up the cost on the Progressive web site, it estimated that basic coverage would be $12k per year. I think that this is insane since I could buy a motorbike every year for that price!!!

I am 25. I live in SoCal and I don’t have a driving history. If I decide to buy this motorcycle, how much of a down payment should I make ?

I'd appreciate some feedback. Thank you.

  • 2
    How much motorcycle experience do you have? (Apparently "zero".) How much disposable income do you have? (With that much debt: zero.) And you want a luxury bike on a six year loan. If you were my son, I'd completely sympathize with your desire to get what is certainly an awesomely cool bike. And then tell you that you already know that it's a foolish idea, since otherwise you wouldn't be squawking about the $1000/month insurance, and asking us for advice.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Jul 28, 2018 at 19:55
  • 1
    I would definitely start with less bike ; drive it for awhile and see if you really love it. I had a 360 cc which could go faster than I could . I have a brother and two sons that all have multiple big bikes now ; all started small. Commented Jul 28, 2018 at 20:00
  • @RonJohn I have been driving a motorcycle since I was 13 (I am from India) I moved to Usa at the age of 19. I have a fair share of experience with motorcycle. As I don’t have a motorbike in Usa, I couldn’t drive it and hence as per Usa records I don’t have any driving history even though I got my license in ÇA a couple of years ago. :) But as you mentioned, paying $1000 per month is futile on insurance and is foolish for sure! I will consider your comment as a valuable advice. Thank you so much for sharing your wise opinion :)
    – ShellZero
    Commented Jul 28, 2018 at 20:03
  • Shell, you can always get a cheap, used, small Japanese bike... :)
    – RonJohn
    Commented Jul 28, 2018 at 22:22
  • 1
    @RonJohn I am definitely gonna do that :)
    – ShellZero
    Commented Jul 28, 2018 at 22:22

4 Answers 4


You have two different decisions: whether to purchase the motorcycle in the first place (which also requires insuring it), and if so, how to finance the purchase.

The motorcycle you describe sounds like a luxury item and there are probably much less expensive ways of meeting your transportation needs. In particular, the insurance estimate is telling you that the combination of your driving (in)experience and the characteristics of this vehicle is (perceived to be) quite dangerous. (You mention that the insurance cost seems excessive, but remember it is not just for damage to your own vehicle, but for liability for damage and injury to others.)

How well you can afford it should be evaluated in relation to your income and savings (having $10k credit card debt already is not a good sign). If you are successful in paying off your debt and building savings, it might be your choice to splurge on this motorcycle. What kind of loan to get and what down payment to make are relatively minor issues compared to whether you truly want to spend $22k (plus interest) on this. Do not be fooled by thinking only of the monthly payment -- think of what else you could do with $22k.

  • Thank you so much for your advice. Really appreciate it :) Whatever you mentioned makes sense.
    – ShellZero
    Commented Jul 28, 2018 at 18:14

My answer: No.

Other than when it makes sense for investment reasons, do not borrow for things that are not necessities. This bike clearly is not a necessity.

  • Yup. Not gonna take it :) thank you so much for your opinion on it :)
    – ShellZero
    Commented Jul 29, 2018 at 4:04

This motorbike is both expensive and very powerful. Very powerful means very dangerous both for the driver and anyone else. That's reflected in the insurance cost, $12,000 per year means that the insurance expects you to cause $11,000 a year in damages to yourself and others that they need to pay for.

If you have no or little experience driving motorbikes, I would seriously recommend starting with a bike that is a lot less powerful and a lot cheaper. You can only enjoy the benefits of the more expensive motorbike once you have plenty of experience. And you don't know if you will actually enjoy riding a motorbike. Much better to spend $5,000 on something that you might or might not enjoy than $22,000. Wait spending the big money until you are sure it's what you really want and until you can handle that bike.

  • Actually a over 90% loss ratio would already be considered a loss by the insurance. Also don´t get fooled by the mean vs. the individual. Chances are that the insurance expected you to make no damage on average but really expensive ones when you do!
    – Daniel
    Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 8:01

Answer: impossible to say. What's your income? $1k a month or $100k per month?

That being said, I'll place my bets that you are making a terrible mistake. If you mention a $50k debt as if that's a problem, then you are probably not pulling in enough to make this a smart decision.

Better idea: buy a used Ninja 250, a Rebel 250, a GZ250 or a GS500 for $1000-$1500, and ride it for a season. Insurance is cheap, gas is cheap, maintenance is DIY or cheap, and you are statistically more likely to still be alive in a year.

Creds: I have owned around 15 motorcycles over the years. When I sell, I make $100-$1000 per bike. Currently driving an '82 Yamaha Seca XJ750, purchased in bad shape for $300.

Yes, my bike is less than a single month of payments for some sport riders.

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