May 19, 2020

How to Get the Most for Your Used Motorcycle

Jo Kelley

Selling used motorcycle: Tips on how to get the highest offer for your bike

There’re a lot of things that people do for entertainment and enjoyment, but selling your used motorcycle isn’t one of those things. Unless you do your research and find a simple system and outlet to accomplish it (hint hint, wink wink, RumbleOn) you’re going to spend a lot of time waiting for the fish to bite. Not only that, but when buyers are seemingly interested in your bike, you then have to prepare yourself for the bidding process. It’s more of a headache than anything else, which is why so many neglected motorcycles collect dust in their owner’s garage.

And while selling your bike is going to demand saint-like patience, there are some things you can do to help ease the process into a more straightforward task. And unless you have a family friend that’s gung-ho about buying your bike, and you can trust that they won’t expect some “family discount,” odds are the majority of you are just going to have to roll with the punches of the traditional process to sell a motorcycle.

But I like to help, and I think all motorcycles deserve to be ridden and feel the wind against Wheels? Here are some key points to remember when selling your bike so that you can get the highest offer for it:

Keep it clean and take good photos.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and you need to take that analogy to heart when you sell a motorcycle online. The images you showcase to buyers is going to be their first impression of your ride before they come see it in person. If your bike looks like it hasn’t been cleaned in years and the pictures include your fingers partially covering the lens, you’re not going to get any serious buyers.

cleaning motorcycle

They’ll think, “well, this guy can’t even manage to wash his bike or learn to take a decent photo, so it’s probably not in the best riding condition.” And are they wrong? Sure, life gets busy, and sometimes you forget to wash your beauty. But at some point, that forgetfulness becomes laziness, and laziness isn’t exactly a word people like to hear. So clean your ride off until you’re sure the shine of it will blind your buyers, and take some quality photos.

Get it inspected.

This is a little bit of a hassle, sure, but if you can ensure potential buyers that your bike has been inspected recently, you’ll get more serious offers. Now, your word isn’t enough, because there are tons of people that don’t have any issue with lying. If you can provide proof (like a receipt or inspection form) that your bike has been in for its check-up recently, people will appreciate that and show that appreciation through a higher offer. It shows that you care about your bike, and owners that care about their belongings tend to keep them in better condition than those who don’t.

motorcycle inspection

Offer as much detail as possible.

No, I’m not talking about plastering your Social Security Number all over the page. But the more detail you include about your ride, the more serious buyers you’ll get. Selling your bike yourself involves a lot of wasted time. You’ll get buyers who are interested but then pull away at the last second because of a small piece of information you forgot to include.

You need to be more efficient with your time, which means being honest and upfront about everything related to your bike. The more informed that potential buyers are about what they’re getting themselves into, the more likely they are to not drop out at the last minute. The more time you take creating a good ad with detailed information, the more likely buyers are to see you as a serious seller.

selling motorcycle

Have the title.

This is more of a joke, but it doesn’t take much browsing on the internet to see how many sellers are trying to get rid of “their” bike, without a title. Do not, under any circumstances, buy a bike without a title. The seller needs to be able to prove that they own the bike because if they don’t own it, they’re not legally within their right to sell it. And trust me, you don’t want to be the new owner of a stolen bike. If you’re selling a bike without a title, there’s a reason, and very few of them make you look like a law-abiding citizen.

If you lost the title in a move, or it was destroyed in flood, it’s a pretty simple matter to get it replaced. So, do that.

motorcycle title

Mention any recent work that's been done.

Just because someone owns a bike, doesn’t mean that they’ve taken care of it. There are plenty of people out there that own things  they don’t put the time and effort into, and it shows. If you’re a seller that cared about your ride and making sure it could keep riding, you’ll have some maintenance records of recent work that’s been done. This will show buyers that the bike was well taken care of, so they don’t have to anticipate a variety of problems showing up when they buy the bike.

Anything that makes you look like a more credible seller will encourage buyers to take you, and your asking price, more seriously.

motorcycle maintenance

Be realistic.

You need to be honest with yourself, as a seller. If you attempt to sell your bike for more than it’s worth, you’re going to lose a lot of interested buyers. You’re not going to sell your bike for the retail price, nor should you expect to. You’ve put miles into the bike, worn the tires, and spent days under the sun that could have faded the paint. Oh, and that Kelly Blue Book quote? It’s also not accurate.

Do your research, be honest about the quality your bike is in, and offer it for a fair price. The more out-of-range your price is, the less likely people are going to take you seriously.

So, have at it! And if you want to skip all the hassle that comes with selling on your own, take the easy road with RumbleOn!  

Note: RumbleOn is an Amazon Affiliate, dedicated to reviewing the best and safest gear and more, for riders everywhere. We may receive commissions if products are purchased from them.

Sell your motorcycle for cash - cash offer in minutes