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The make of bike, cubic capacity and power can make a big difference. But there are anomalies. A 750cc or 1,000cc British pushrod classic might well generate a higher insurance quotation than, say, a classic Japanese 250cc or 500cc two-stroke. We all know that the Jap bikes offer a more "hooligan" riding experience and are arguably more likely to end up bent.

But the computer is often (but not always) interested only in the fact that the seven-fifty, or thousand, has a greater cubic capacity. Simply put, someone with no specific knowledge of bikes programmed questionable information into the computer, and you’re paying for that ignorance.

You might well experience the same problem with a custom bike or a special project. On paper, your wheels suggest one type of riding experience. But in the real world it's a very different story. The solution? Change your wheels or shop around or just pay. Irritatingly, you might well find that next season, your bike is viewed in a totally different light by the same insurer.

But specialist brokers really are the key. And don't limit your search to the big and obvious names. There are lots of smaller players out there, and they're hungry for business. You can often get far better deals just by looking not only on page one of your Google search, but by looking on page three or four.

Ultimately, you can't expect your insurance premiums to make sense. You just have to keep making the calls or pressing the online buttons until the price is acceptable.

Do insurers know that you're going to run out of patience sooner or later (and probably sooner) and simply accept a "rip-off" quote? Of course they do. That's why so many stand their ground. You, in turn, have to stand yours and try and wear them down.

Lastly, if you're considering a lesser known, or otherwise unknown, brokerage, run a few basic searches on the internet. There are a few pop-up crooks in the market. Look at their credentials. Don't take their information at face value.

Be shrewd, and haggle like mad.



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