May 22, 2017

How to Sell a Motorcycle Yourself

Ericka Ellis

“Help, I need to sell my motorcycle!”

Desperate to sell your motorcycle but don't know where to begin or if you're even emotionally capable of doing so? I get it. No one really wants to come to terms with selling their bike.When it's time to finally face the music, I'm sure you'll want to go about selling your bike in the most convenient way possible. How about learning how to sell a motorcycle online?

Here are twelve tips to sell a motorcycle online that will make the process a little less painful (fingers crossed):

Tips to sell a motorcycle yourself

How to sell your motorcycle, step one: know your bike.

You live to ride, but when it comes to answering the questions of those buying a motorcycle online, your knowledge needs to be just as passionate. Research and learn all the ins-and-outs, be able to recite it all by heart, because there is nothing more discouraging to a potential buyer than saying, “I don’t know."

If you can’t answer simple questions about your motorcycle, it's unlikely you'll earn the buyer's trust.

2) Take high-quality photos.

Truth be told, pictures of your scoot can make or break the sale, and, in today’s digital world, it’s likely you'll post a motorcycle for sale on some sort of listing site.

Taking high-quality photos of your bike will attract buyers and keep their interest. Shine up your ride, make it look slick before you snap a picture. Take photos from multiple angles, including closeups and panoramas. Your photos should be well-lit and well-framed; if you have a shaky hand, use a tripod. Finally, upload your pictures (your best photo should be the main one) so your listing will show up in search results.

Tips to sell your motorcycle

3) Price it right.

Do your research on what similar bikes have sold for recently, and use those figures to settle on how much to sell your motorcycle for in that area. If you want to sell a motorcycle online fast, you need to find the fair market price of your bike by researching prices on Kelley Blue Book, NADA, and eBay, and then average them together. If you're happy with your calculated average, use it as a starting point for negotiation.

Before you dismiss someone's offer as an insult, remember to be realistic. It’s important to stick to the wholesale price for a motorcycle, but most shoppers aren’t in the market to pay a high asking price. Prepare to be flexible and at least consider all offers you receive near market value. Your ride might be your pride and joy, but bikes naturally depreciate over time. Even if you added all the bells and whistles, sometimes you have to make peace with budging from your original price.

4) Market to the right buyer.

Tips to sell a motorcycle yourself

Once again, this falls under research. What kind riders are partial to your type of motorcycle? Who will be buying a motorcycle online? Find out what kind of market you need to cater to and getting their attention will be that much easier.

5) Don’t skimp on the details.

Your ad should be all-inclusive and should have all the basic information about your bike and more. One of the biggest annoyances about posting a motorcycle for sale online is that you have to deal with the flood of emails, calls, and non-serious buyers that follow. Do you really want to answer the same questions a hundred times?

Better skip the hassle and include every bit of information that a buyer would want to know. Trust me, painting an accurate and informative description will be worth the effort (at least, it was when I was trying to sell my motorcycle).

6) Prep your bike.

Time to get your bike ready to be seen and inspected by potential buyers. Clean, prep, and cover all the details to get it looking slick (here are some tips to wash a motorcycle). You should also take this time to touch up any worn areas with paint, and give your motorcycle a tune-up if it needs one.

Tips to sell your motorcycle

7) Bring along the right sale documents.

If you want to sell a motorcycle, then you should be ready to sell it. Have all of your sale documentation ready, including:

  • Title: The title is the most important document in a title transfer. This serves as the official contract between buyer and seller. If you can’t find your title, you can apply for a duplicate with the DMV. Check with your state’s policies to determine how to complete title during a sale.
  • The motorcycle's VIN (Vehicle Identification Number): The VIN consists of numbers and letters and can be located either on the steering neck (below the handlebars) or on the motor near the bottom of the cylinders. You can also find the VIN on your motorcycle's insurance card.
  • Vehicle History Report: While not required, it’s recommended to have one of these when you sell your Harley-Davidson.
  • Bill of Sale: Some states do not mandate a Bill of Sale to sell a motorcycle, but it couldn’t hurt to complete one for your records. The bill of sale includes information such as the signatures of both the buyer and the seller, the sales price, and any “sold as is” clauses to avoid any later disputes (if need be).

8) Be willing to compromise.

It’s every seller's objective to get the most money when you sell your motorcycle, but sometimes, you need to be willing to compromise, especially if you want to sell a motorcycle fast. If you do not budge from a sale price that a prospective buyer deems impractical or unfeasible, consider whether or not the hurt-for-money outweighs the need to sell. If not, maybe you can hold out until you find a buyer willing to pay what you’re asking.

9) Consider selling upgrades separately.

This is a HUGE tip. As I mentioned before, even if you poured countless hours of effort into upgrading wheels, pipes, seats, and bars, extra doodads rarely add much to the selling price of a motorcycle. To be honest, custom add-ons are more likely to narrow your buying audience.

Tips to sell your motorcycle

If you want to make the most from the sale of your bike, sell all the aftermarket tidbits and additions separately. Granted, when you sell the parts separately, it could take much longer and you may not get the money all at once, but you might at least get some of your investment back.

10) Get Test Ride Security.

So, someone calls and wants to buy your motorcycle. You don’t know this guy from Adam's cat, but he’s asking if he can take your bike for a test ride. The logic in you is screaming, “NO!” What if he doesn’t know how to ride and he lays it over? What if he steals it?

We can never see the future, so, ultimately, it’s up to your discretion whether or not you will allow a test ride.That being said, here are some options to consider when faced with this situation:

  • Request they bring the asking price in cash, and leave it with you to hold before they take a test ride.
  • Be clear that if anything happens, they will be liable for the damages.
  • Ask them for a copy of their license, and take a picture of it.
  • Ask to see a copy of their insurance—take a picture of it.
  • Request that they have a license with a motorcycle endorsement. You may also request they leave the license with you.

If you aren’t comfortable letting someone test ride your bike before you sell it, offer to let them start the bike, rev it up, and sit on it. You really don’t have to let them take it around the block if you don't want to.

11) Be transparent.

Always be upfront with information; don’t hide anything. The Golden Rule comes into play here: how would you feel about being deceived if you were the one buying the bike?

Also be ready and willing to provide any and all relevant information or paperwork. Show receipts for recent service and inspection, remaining warranty, and maintenance history. If it’s information you would request if you were to buy a motorcycle for yourself, someone else deserves the same respect when they're buying yours.

Be fair. Tell the truth.

12) Sell a motorcycle for CASH with RumbleOn.

The process of selling your bike can be a hassle no matter what tricks you have up your sleeve. With RumbleOn, you can bypass all the hard work, sell a motorcycle fast, and have money in your pocket within a day! And, the best part? Your motorcycle stays in your garage until you are paid, then RumbleOn will send one of our Certified Transporters to come pick it up for free. We'll even ship your new motorcycle to your door should you choose to trade it in! How's that for Johnny-on-the-spot customer service?

Sell a motorcycle for cash with RumbleOn

Want some more info? Here're some frequently asked questions about RumbleOn, as well as some benefits of 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