• Kenneth Powell

Can I Let a Friend Borrow My Motorcycle?

A new motorcycle is always an exciting addition to one’s life. It’s a fast, impressive machine that runs smoothly and looks so much better than any other vehicle. However, this aesthetic appeal is exactly why so many family members and friends ask motorcycle owners to lend them their rides.

It's a simple request that a car owner would not hesitate to fulfill. However, this type of vehicle comes with its own set of rules and requirements all owners should know before lending it to friends and family. First, the owner needs to find out if their friend has a motorcycle license before letting them ride their vehicle.

Then there’s the second and arguably more important question—in the event of an accident, especially if it's one involving dying in a motorcycle, does the owner’s insurance cover damage done to the vehicle if they weren’t the ones riding it? What’s more, does the insurance cover the rider, if said rider isn’t the owner? These are just a few conundrums motorcycle owners need to resolve before letting their friends borrow their motorcycle.

How Motorcycle Insurance Works

How Motorcycle Insurance Works

Before considering lending their ride, owners need to understand the specificities of motorcycle insurance. For the most part, it’s a lot like any other car insurance. Motorcycle insurance is a legal contract that ensures owners can fix their vehicle if they or another party cause an accident.

Like car insurance, there are several different types of motorcycle insurance as well. First of all, there is liability coverage. This policy covers the motorcycle owner if the accident that had occurred was their fault. The policy will help cover the cost of the other party’s vehicle damage, as well as any bodily injuries.

The second type of coverage owners can choose is comprehensive coverage. This policy covers the motorcycle for theft. It also includes other things that the owner isn’t at fault for, such as vandalism, fire, and damage caused by natural disasters.

The third type of coverage is slightly less popular but equally good to have. In the event owners get into an accident with someone who doesn’t have sufficient insurance or any coverage at all, companies will cover damage to the motorcycle itself as well as the cost of injury that’s inflicted to the owner. This type of insurance is called uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.


For the most part, motorcycle insurance covers almost everything car insurance does. However, owning a motorcycle doesn’t just involve owning the vehicle itself. It also involves safety apparel, saddlebags, and custom parts. Because of this fact, many companies offer owners the option of customizing their insurance policy.

Owners can include collision coverage, which covers collisions with other vehicles or a stationary object like a wall or a tree. Other options include towing coverage, accessory insurance, and insurance coverage for a motorcycle passenger.

But it’s important to note that these are all custom options that usually don’t come with standard coverage packages. Owners need to ask for these custom add-ons themselves, which doesn’t always happen, especially if they’re unfamiliar with their options.

Should I Let a Friend Borrow My Motorcycle?

As established, motorcycle insurance is tricky and doesn’t always cover every scenario. This is especially true if the accident happened while someone other than the owner was riding the motorcycle. Depending on the type of package the owner has, their insurance company may cover the damages, even if the owner’s friend was the one behind the wheel.

In the event the policy is insufficient to cover all the costs, the friend’s own insurance may cover some of the costs as well. However, this coverage may be limited to just the friend’s injuries and not the damage done to the vehicle. If the friend is uninsured, then the owner can expect to spend even more to cover the inquired costs by themselves.

Then there’s the issue of license. If the friend in question doesn't have a motorcycle license, then the owner will be liable for all sorts of things if an accident occurs. For one, an insurance company can use the fact the friend was unlicensed to reduce the owner’s claim. They may even go so far as to deny the claim altogether.

Overall, lending a motorcycle to friends can be a costly mistake, especially since the chances of an accident occurring are high. Motorcyclists account for around 14% of crash-related fatalities, even though motorcycles make up just 3% of all vehicles on the road. Therefore, even if owners trust their friends to be responsible drivers, they should err on the side of caution and avoid letting others ride their vehicle.

To Sum Up

Motorcycles may be impressive machines, but they can be dangerous too, especially for inexperienced riders. Motorcycle insurance is much more complex than standard car insurance, and any accident that occurs may end up costing the owner more than they bargained for. Therefore, owners should be very cautious about lending their vehicles, even to friends they trust.

What’s more, they should consult with motorcycle accident attorneys to stay up to date on their insurance options. For owners in the St. Louis area, Powell Law Firm is always ready to offer any information and specialized assistance when they need it. They can also help with other issues other than vehicular accidents, such as how to settle a dog bite case.