08 Dec 2022

Discover the fascinating reasons behind why most bikes do not come equipped with a reverse gear. Read on for more information.

There are times when an individual feels a lack of reverse gear on a bike example, when it is parked and requires to be taken out. It often leaves us questioning the lack of reverse gear on bikes.

Some bikes like BMW K1200LT, Honda Goldwing (not all models!), a few Moto Guzzi models, Ural Sidecar motorcycles, Harley-Davidson trike motorcycles, and Piaggio MP3 (trike) do have a reverse gear. But the majority of the bikes on the road do not. Before you buy your new bike and get its two-wheeler insurance, let us look at why bikes don't have reverse gear and whether you even need it in your next purchase.

Why no reverse gear?

The following are the reasons why most bikes do not have a reverse gear:

• Size of motorcycles

Bikes have a compact size and weight. Therefore, any circumstance that requires it to go in reverse gear can be easily dealt with by turning it around, thus eliminating the need for it to be reversed. It is another factor for reasonable two-wheeler insurance costs.

• Weight of motorcycles

The weight of a motorcycle is less, making it easy to handle and move with our physical strength. Therefore, one can easily turn it around whenever one needs to reverse it.

• Balancing the bike

A motorcycle's front fork has a rake angle which helps balance the bike while it moves forward. However, this mechanism doesn't work in reverse and hence would make it more difficult to ride it backward. With lower risks, the bike insurance premiums also stay low.

• Low cost

Having no reverse gear mechanism is a crucial factor in decreasing the cost of the bikes and making them affordable traveling companions for many. It also lowers the cost of maintenance.

What if bikes had reverse gear?

Now, we have enumerated why bikes don't have reverse gears. Let us also take a look at what would have happened if they had one: -

• The transmission would be complex: - A bike gears work by shifting the gear paddles in front and backward. Since both of the directions are previously aligned to different gears, a reverse would make transmission more complex. A reverse would have resulted in higher maintenance costs and heavy price tags. Bike insurance companies would also charge more.

• Weight and size of bikes: - With reverse gear, the weight and size of the bike would increase, which would subsequently affect the ease with which a bike operates. The primary function of a bike, i.e., easy to turn & move physically, would be negatively impacted. Hence, the last thing a bike manufacturer would want is too heavy bikes.


Now that we have clearly understood why bikes don't have a reverse gear, one can easily relate to the disadvantages of having a reverse gear and managing without one. However, if one needs to reverse, they can get themselves luxury bikes with an electric motor for reverse gear attached to them.

Related Blogs

All about hypothecation in bike insurance

Fine for riding a bike wearing sandals and steps to pay traffic challan online or offline

All about claiming for minor scratches for bike insurance

Team Kotak GIC

The content of this blog has been created and carefully reviewed by the esteemed team at Kotak General Insurance, with the sole purpose of providing valuable guidance and sharing insights on the importance of general insurance. Our objective is to assist users in making informed decisions when purchasing or renewing insurance policies for their cars, bikes, and health. Our expertly curated information aims to empower our readers with the knowledge they need to protect their valuable assets and financial interests.