Have you bought yourself a bike and are thinking about adding some modifications to it? Well, you’ll be pleased to know you’re in the right place!

In this blog we are going to discuss exactly what a modification is and how it may affect your insurance when you go to set up a policy.

So without further ado, let’s get into it!

What is a Motorcycle Modification?

A modification is considered anything that makes a cosmetic or performance-based change to the motorcycle.

Which modifications could void your motorcycle insurance?

The types of modification that can void your policy will vary between each insurance provider. However, some examples include:

Multiple and/or coloured headlights

As per the UK Government, it is illegal for you to have more than two white or yellow headlamps on your motorcycle or scooter. Failure to comply may mean that you will fail any upcoming MOTs, potentially lessen your visibility on the road, as well as run the risk of confusing other drivers/riders on the road.

Changing or modifying the engine

A lot of bikes have the facilities to have their engines swapped out for more powerful ones far easier than you would previously have done with a car. However, engine changes are often an immediate cause for removal from cover. Insurers have a designated vehicle rating list which is typically based on the power of the vehicle – a larger CC engine would render the grouping useless.

Which modifications are considered acceptable by insurers?

Most modifications will be considered acceptable to some degree, however, much like the ‘no-go’ mods, this will vary between insurers. Typically, modifications fall into three different categories.

Cosmetic Modifications

Cosmetic modifications as the name suggests are mods that make your bike look more attractive. For example:

  • Specialist paintwork
  • Carbon Fibre or Chrome Parts
  • Mudguards
  • Belly Pan

It is worth noting that some of the bodywork changes you make to your bike may well be considered a performance modification, so it is always worth having an honest discussion with your insurers.

Performance Modifications

On the other hand, performance modifications are considered as any changes you make to the overall performance of your motorcycle. An increase in performance can also increase the value of your bike which furthers the risk. Examples of this include:

  • Any adjustments made to the exhaust
  • Super/Turbo Charging
  • Engine Tuning & Tuning Boxes
  • Enhanced braking & suspension systems

Safety/Security Provisions

The last type of modifications we will be speaking about today are security and safety modifications. These are arguably some of the best adjustments to make to your bike, and on some occasions may be able to save you money on your insurance policy.

Examples of these provisions include:

  • Immobiliser/aftermarket alarm
  • GPS tracker/security marking
  • Power & Throttle restrictors

Modifications table

As you may have guessed, adding modifications or accessories to your motorcycle will come at a cost. But the question is how much. In this section we are going to be running through some of the most common modifications people make to their bikes, as well as the effect it may have on your insurance:

Modification type: Modification or Accessory? Category: Average Cost of Modification:   Impact on Insurance:
After Market Exhaust + End Cans (road legal) Modification Performance £400-£1200 Road legal after-market exhausts and end cans will generally be accepted by insurance companies providing it complies with Euro regulations.
Grips & Heated Grips Accessory Cosmetic £50-£300 There are a variety of reasons why people change their grips such as wanting to switch from standard grips, changing the colour, or even changing them to heated grips for the winter periods. Changing your grips should not impact your insurance - but may affect any claims.
Engine Change Modification Performance £N/A Changing the engine in your bike can cause a range of issues, making you are far higher risk to your insurers. Your bike may become trickier for you to handle, which is why insurers will tend to stay clear.
Replacement or Rebuild of Frame Modification Performance & Cosmetic £N/A Replacement or Rebuild of Frame Modification Performance & Cosmetic £N/A Again, much like switching the engine this type of modification poses a high risk to insurers. If you have either replaced or rebuilt your frame you more than likely may be refused insurance.
Aftermarket Alarms/ Immobilisers Modification Security £100+ Aftermarket Alarms/ Immobilisers Modification Security £100+ In some occasions, fitting an aftermarket alarm/immobilser can help you save money on your insurance. Recognised examples of security include those that are Thatcham-approved - however, this will vary between insurers so it is worth confirming before committing.

*Please note we have mentioned a small number of the most popular modifications and accessories that you can add to your bike, that will either void or alter your insurance quotation. If you want to know more about any other modification/accessory not listed, then it is advised you speak to your insurer and confirm.


Are modified bikes more expensive to insure?

Typically, modified bikes tend to be more expensive to insure due to their increased value, or performance of the vehicle, which when it comes to pricing up your insurance quotation are two very important insurance rating factors.

What’s the difference between a custom bike and a modified bike?

The biggest difference between the two is how they are made. Custom bikes are built from scratch or are heavily altered from the original bike and bears little resemblance, whereas modified bikes are altered versions of existing road bikes.

Do modifications add value to a motorcycle?

More often than not, adding modifications to your motorcycle will add to its value, however, how much it will increase will depend on the type of alteration you make.

Get in touch to see how Lexham can help!

So there you have it, we hope you enjoyed our rundown of everything you need to know regarding adding modifications to your motorcycle.

Last but not least, if you do have a motorcycle modified or not that you need to insure, make sure to get a motorcycle insurance quote direct with Lexham!