Tips for Selling A Motorcycle—What to Know

Selling any type of used vehicle carries with it a risk. Minimize that risk by following these quick Allstate used motorcycle seller guidelines to make sure selling your motorcycle goes as smoothly as possible.

A motorcycle parked by a wall.

Do Some Pricing Research

Before you go into negotiations with a buyer, know the expected fair market value of the bike. You can find market values of motorcycles at www.nadaguides.com. This can be more difficult and a bit tricky for custom bikes, so you may have to make some estimates. Check sites like www.craigslist.org, www.cycletrader.com, or www.ebaymotors.com to see what other comparable bikes are selling for.

You can use this handy "Allstate Motorcycle Value Worksheet" to help evaluate your bike and determine what its worth to you.

Preparing the Bike for Sale

Properly preparing your bike for sale can effect how quickly the bike might sell. Pay special attention to details because buyers will likely be looking at your motorcycle closely.

  • Clean Your Bike
  • Clean any "old" accessories that you have replaced with upgrades, so you can offer them as a part of the deal.
  • Repair any minor scratches or dents. This will help increase the value of the bike.
  • Tune up the bike. It should start quickly and easily. Run through the T-CLOCS checklist provided by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation to ensure that the bike is in safe riding condition.
  • Take several pictures of the bike from many angles. Think about the types of pictures you'd want to see if you were buying a bike.
  • Collect any service records and receipts that you can share with the buyer.

Post an Advertisement

Whether you post your advertisement online or in a magazine or newspaper or do both, a effective advertisement can greatly help in selling your bike quickly. Be prepared to have to pay small fees to post your advertisement.

Be sure to include the following:

  • Price: Know the value of your bike and be ready to negotiate!
  • Mileage: Be sure to provide an accurate mileage reading for the bike.
  • Details: Provide some of the bike's history along with make and model, color, etc. It's also helpful if you include information on how the bike was used - "one owner", "used for touring only" etc. so the buyer gets an idea of how the bike was treated.
  • Use Brand Names: Be sure to include brand names of any and all upgrades or replacement pieces that you have added to the bike. This ads value for the buyer.
  • Pictures: Be sure to include as many pictures from as many different angles as you are allowed. Potential buyers love to see photos of the bike and will e-mail you requesting them, so it's just easier to include them. Some important photos to include would be a picture of the odometer, as well as photos of any defects that you are aware of.

Working with Potential Buyers

When a potential buyer comes to look at the bike be prepared to answer questions and to show the bike. Here are a few things to have on hand and/or to think about:

  • Have receipts for any repairs or upgrades (if available). If the potential buyer questions an upgrade or repair you'll be able to show proof of the cost.
  • Be sure that the bike starts easily. When the potential buyer asks you to start the bike, there shouldn't be any hesitation.
  • Have "old" pieces and accessories packaged to show the potential buyer. After you've made upgrades to your bike, have the old parts cleaned and packaged incase the potential buyer wants to see them or wants to have them after purchasing your bike.
  • Test Rides. Think about whether or not you'll allow potential buyers to take your bike for a test ride in case the question comes up while showing the bike. Check with your insurance company about insurance coverage for the test ride.
  • Be ready to sell. Have a Bill of Sale and all of the motorcycle's paperwork ready for when you find a buyer.

Links provided for convenience only. Allstate does not endorse any of these websites or guarantee the quality, accuracy or truthfulness of any content, information or services accessed through this web site. We encourage you to read the Privacy Statements of each and every web site that you visit. Motorcycle buying, selling and inspection tips are for reference purposes only.

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