With thousands of miles of highway passing through wide-open plains and over mountains, Montana is a motorcycle rider’s paradise. Purchasing a motorcycle insurance policy and learning the state’s rules of the road are great ways to help protect yourself and others each time you ride. We’ll help you get started.
To legally ride your motorcycle on Montana public roads, you must be at least 16 years old and have a motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license. Earning that endorsement is straightforward—you’ll just need to pass motorcycle knowledge and road tests and pay the required fees.
Whether you’re a first-time rider or you’ve spent decades riding the state’s roads, be sure you’re familiar with the Montana’s motorcycle traffic and equipment laws, including:
Helmets: All motorcycle operators and passengers under 18 are required to wear a DOT-approved helmet while riding. If you’re 18 or older, you’re not required to wear a helmet, but we strongly encourage you to. Start by finding a motorcycle helmet that works for you.
Headlights: Your headlights must always be on when you ride, even during daylight hours.
Noise restrictions: Your bike must have a street-legal muffler.
Passenger seats and footrests: To carry passengers, your motorcycle must have a designated passenger seat and footrest.
Lane-sharing: Motorcycle riders are entitled to the full width of a lane of traffic. You’re not allowed to ride side by side with another motorcycle in a single lane.
Montana is one of three states where motorcycle insurance coverage is optional. While riding without insurance may sound like a good way to save money, keep in mind that Montana is an at-fault state. This means if you’re deemed at fault in an accident, you’re required to pay for the damages and injuries your victims sustain. Without motorcycle insurance, you could end up paying tens—or even hundreds—of thousands of dollars out-of-pocket.
To help protect you and your assets if you’re held liable following an accident, Montana motorcycle insurance companies offer a range of motorcycle coverages. State law requires insurance companies to offer these minimum motorcycle coverage limits:
$25,000 for bodily injury liability or death of one person
$50,000 for bodily injury liability or death of two or more people
$20,000 for property damage liability per accident
Keep in mind, these are just the minimum required limits. You can purchase higher liability coverage limits to help protect yourself following major accidents with serious damages. In Montana, these maximums are:
$500,000 for bodily injury liability or death of one person
$500,000 for bodily injury liability or death of two or more people
$100,000 for property damage liability per accident
Review our guide to buying motorcycle insurance to learn more.
Bodily injury and property damage liability coverages are important, but remember, they won’t cover you or your bike in case of an accident. Other optional coverages can do just that, however, including:
If you’re involved in an accident with another vehicle, chances are your bike will need a mechanic’s attention. Collision coverage can help take care of your motorcycle’s repair costs after a crash.
Collisions aren’t the only incidents that can damage your motorcycle. Vandalism, theft, and weather events like hailstorms can also lead to repair expenses. In such instances, comprehensive insurance can help cover the costs.
Because Montana is an at-fault state, if an uninsured or underinsured motorist injures you, you have a right to claim damages. However, court processes can be financially draining and time-consuming, and there’s no guarantee the at-fault person is financially capable of compensating you.
These coverages can help minimize that risk by helping cover medical bills and damages you incur following an accident.
Unlike cars, motorcycles don’t offer much in the way of safety features. This means if you’re involved in a crash, your injuries may be serious and you might need urgent medical attention. Medical payments coverage helps pay for such emergency medical bills—and, in worst-case scenarios, funeral expenses.
Customizing your motorcycle can help it feel truly unique to you. But what if it’s damaged in an accident? Optional equipment coverage can help pay to repair or replace parts that aren’t factory standard, such as custom paint, fitted sidecars, and towable trailers.
If your motorcycle is less than three model years old and is damaged beyond repair in a crash, replacement cost coverage can help pay to replace it with a new bike.
If you need to pause your ride because of mechanical issues like a flat tire or empty gas tank, roadside assistance can help you get back on the road quickly—and cover many of the costs of a tow, replacement tires, and other related expenses.
Rental reimbursement coverage can help pay for expenses you incur when you rent a car or motorcycle to use while yours is being repaired due to a covered loss.
We’re committed to helping you add value to your policy with our money-saving motorcycle insurance discounts. Here are several discounts available to Montana riders—talk with your agent to determine how many you qualify for.
Operator safety course
Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) member
Montana is known as the Treasure State, and not just because of its mineral reserves. For motorcycle enthusiasts like you, the state is filled with countless opportunities for sightseeing and outdoor recreation. Here are three to get you started.
The 50-mile Going-to-the-Sun Road passes through the heart of Glacier National Park, connecting Saint Mary in the east and West Glacier in the west. You’ll want to make it a full-day excursion to fully soak in the panoramic views along the road. Stop for lunch and a stretch break at the Rising Sun Campground for unobstructed views of the iconic Wild Goose Island.
Beartooth Highway is an epic 69-mile route that starts in Red Lodge, travels through Wyoming, and ends in Cooke City, Montana.
Among the most beautiful motorcycle routes in America, this highway makes for a thrilling ride composed of switchbacks, sharp hairpin curves, and steep slopes. Plan for at least two hours to enjoy the scenic sites along the highway as you travel through several national forests, including Shoshone and Gallatin.
The sweeping curves of this route from Missoula, Montana, to Lewiston, Idaho, take you through the scenic Lolo and Nez-Perce Clearwater National Forests. You’ll see plenty of historical signposts, hiking trails, and camping spots along the way.
While motorcycle insurance isn’t required in Montana, purchasing it can help protect you and your assets if you’re involved in an accident—and provide invaluable peace of mind each time you set off to ride through Big Sky Country. Enter your information below to start a quote online or call 866-324-7952 to talk with a Dairyland® agent.