An Easy Guide on How to Sell a Motorcycle

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Are you planning to sell your motorcycle, because you’ve decided to give up riding or maybe because you’re looking to buy a new one? Whatever your reason, if you want to make top dollar while selling your motorcycle, you’ve come to the right place. 

Being an avid motorist myself, I have had to say goodbye to many of my own motorcycles. However, through the process I have made a significant amount of money and have learnt more about pitching a good sale.

With a little bit of time and effort, you too can learn the skills for it. In this article, I’m going to share some tips and what I’ve learnt through my experiences on how to sell a motorcycle.

Prepping The Bike

Before you plan to sell your bike, you need to make sure it is clean and shiny. While this may seem like a tiny detail, remember that presentation is key! 

A clean bike is likely to signal to a potential buyer that the bike is in good condition. So clean the chains, the engine, the body and even the seats. Remove scuff and boot marks.

Polish the body and chrome pieces using a good cleaner, as this can help make your bike look as good as new.

Inspect your bike for any visible damage such as dents or scratches. Fix leaks or any other issues the bike may have. Make sure to remove any corrosion from battery terminals.

Touch up on the paint, if you have to. Any visible damages will drastically reduce the price of your bike, so make sure to replace and fix them during the prepping process.

Know Your Price

You need to examine and research what similar bikes sell for. You can refer to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) website or Kelly Blue Book (KBB) website to get a better idea.

You can also check ads of similar bikes from classified sites to help you determine an average price. 

Your pricing needs to be just right. If you list your price too high, you won’t be getting any offers. Price it too low and you’ll be leaving money on the table. 

1. Determine a Firm Selling Price 

For this you’ll need to look at the average selling price of a bike like yours. You need to evaluate the condition of your bike to come up with a price.

If your bike is well maintained and in good condition you will be able to justify a high price. If not, you may have to settle for less.

Whatever the condition of your bike, you need to come up with a firm selling price, which is the lowest amount you’re willing to sell the bike for.

Remember, after-market modifications and parts don’t add to the value of the bike. You will be better off removing the parts and selling them separately.

2. Listing The Motorcycle

You need to list the bike a few hundred dollars more than your firm selling price. This will give you room to negotiate with potential buyers.

Most buyers will try to bargain for a better deal, which is why it is best to list the bike for a little more than what you’re willing to accept.

Advertising The Motorcycle 

When considering how to sell a motorcycle,  the most important thing would be to create a good advertisement.

For this, make sure to compile relevant information about the model, make and mileage of the motorcycle.

The advertisement should have proper formatting, correct spellings and clear sentences which make for easy reading. Don’t forget to list the price and payment methods you’re willing to accept.

Make sure you describe the bike in detail. Mention any parts or after-market modifications that are there on the bike. Also, it’s best to be honest and mention any issues, if present. 

1. Take Photos

Take several photos of the bike from different angles, including close-ups of the gauges and clusters. It is important to take the photos in good lighting, in order to provide buyers with valuable information on the condition of the bike.

If there is any damage or flaw, you need to include pictures of it,  to give the buyer a realistic overview of the bike’s condition.

2. List The Bike Online 

You need to advertise your bike online. You can choose sites such as Craigslist or eBay. There are also other motorcycle specific sites such as, cycle dope or chopperswapper, where you can list your bike. You can also advertise your bike on social media to reach a bigger audience. 

Dealing With Buyers

Now that you’ve advertised and listed your bike, you will be getting calls, emails, etc. from potential buyers. Most buyers who ask questions that are already available in the advertisement aren’t serious buyers.

Buyers that have more specific questions and have basic knowledge about motorcycles are usually the ones seriously interested.

Also, beware of scammers, such as the people who  ask you to ship or deliver the motorcycle without making any payment for it.

1. Meeting Buyers

After a discussion with a buyer over  phone or email, you will need to meet with them, to close the deal. You will have to make time to meet the buyer on a day that suits them.

 For the meeting spot, choose a public place, which is close to your house,  like a supermarket or a local convenience store. It is usually safer to meet a buyer in a public place rather than at your home. Any ill-intentioned buyer would not prefer to meet in a public place, thus allowing you to filter them out.

2. Allow Test-Rides

Some buyers may even ask for a test ride after inspection. You may allow the buyer to have a test ride, but you need to make sure they have a license first. 

It is also advised to ask the buyer for collateral before you allow them a test ride. As a collateral you can keep a copy of their license and the full amount you’re asking for the bike.

3. Sealing The deal 

After the negotiations, when the buyer makes you an offer that you’re happy with, it is time to seal the deal. Make sure all the paperwork is done before you hand over the keys.

You will need to write up a bill of sale, which  should  include the new owner’s name and contact information. 

Make sure you remove the license plate and keep the registration card of the motorcycle. You will  need to provide the new owner with the title to the motorcycle, along with any pertinent documents such as maintenance records and manuals.

Once all the paperwork is done and the payment has been made, you can hand over the keys to them. You can shake on it, seal the deal and say a final goodbye to your bike! 

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Emanuel Smith

Emanuel Smith

Emanuel has a degree in mechanical engineering and a great interest in the workings of bikes. His articles are always well-researched and are supported by his good knowledge of how bikes work.
Emanuel Smith

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