Tips to Help Sell Your Motorcycle

For many people, a motorcycle is the ultimate form of personal expression. Riding with the wind in your face and the freedom to be outside the confines of a car and one with nature is amazing. But maybe, just maybe, it’s come time to trade it in, to sell it for a bigger, better ride. Or maybe, you’re cold, and it’s time to trade her in on a car? We know, it’s shocking, but it happens to many owners. Truly, though, there’s a great deal to know about selling a motorcycle that’s not just common knowledge. Read on for a few tricks of the trade and alternatives to consider.


In the beginning, it’s important to establish why you’re selling your motorcycle in the first place. Are you looking for the most cash possible? Or perhaps you’re looking for money the quickest way possible. It could be you want to find the perfect new owner who will treat your “baby” as well as you always did. The answers to these questions can set up the way you sell the bike. For example, if you’re looking for the most money for your vehicle but aren’t in a huge hurry, you may want to set a higher asking price and offer not offer any wiggle room on the price. This will also give you time to spruce the cycle up, making it look even better for prospective buyers. If you’re looking for fast cash now, then the mechanics about selling a motorcycle change. You might want to go with a company that allows you to sell them your motorcycle or open up the room for haggling a bit on the price. 


Much like buying a car, it’s just not a simple transaction of passing cash and providing a receipt. Paperwork is the most complex part of the entire sales transaction and sellers are often so put off by it they decide not to sell the bike at all. While it is a bit daunting, it shouldn’t keep you from going full steam ahead with the sale. Consider the following: 

–Motorcycle Title: This piece of paper is critical in any sale of a motorized vehicle, showing that you are, in fact, the owner, and have the right to sell the motorcycle. This legal document will contain pertinent information such as the year, make, model, and VIN of the bike, as well as the owner’s name and address. Assuming the cycle is owned outright, and there is no money still owed on it, transferring ownership to the new owner is as simple as the owner and seller signing the back of the title in the specified spots. 

–Bill of Sale: While yes, the title is the most crucial piece of documentation, a bill of sale is also a good idea. The bill of sale covers both the buyer and seller during the time period it takes to register the motorcycle in the new buyer’s name with the Department of Motor Vehicles. It’s good to have two copies of the BOS that both the owner and seller have signed. Bill of sales can be obtained online from various outlets. 

–Vehicle ID: Also known as the VIN, all street motorcycles have one. It is suggested that you put this number in any advertisements or listings to make it easier for prospective buyers to research your vehicle. This will give them peace of mind that the year, make, and model are all correct and will help them obtain insurance quotes before purchasing. To find your VIN number, take a look at your current title or on your insurance card. 


Numerous tips can help you prepare the motorcycle for sale. 

  • Be sure to shine up the bike very well, having the upholstery on the seats repaired if it’s been damaged. Take a look at the saddlebags. If they’re worn, dull, or have rusted chrome accents, just take them off. It’s much better to sell the bike without them as the damaged look will detract from the overall appearance. Disassemble the bike, getting into all the crevices to clean and polish. Use WD-40 to remove tar spots off pipes and crankcases and retouch any imperfections on the frame that have been rubbed. Take the time to touch up the chipped off paint. Finish off with a wax to give it a new appearance. 
  • Crank up the bike, making certain it runs smoothly and is mechanically sound. It’s also a good idea to have a mechanic check out the bike prior to showing it to a potential buyer. This allows you to provide the receipt to the buyer reinforcing the bike’s good condition. 
  • Bikes often sell better when left in stock form. So, take off any of the extras you’ve already put on the bike and have them available to the buyer should they want them. 
  • Pictures pique the interest, so take a photograph of your bike in front of a solid, uncluttered background. Take several shots from different angles and make sure to get close-ups of any damage that you won’t be fixing and of the odometer. 

Once you have some interest in the bike, it’s time to take a few more steps. First of all, pick a safe meeting place if you’re concerned about the person knowing where you live or coming to your home. Then, set up a safe test drive. Take a picture of their driver’s license or ask for a monetary deposit before handing over the keys. Some people even ask for complete payment first before allowing a test drive to be performed, with the guarantee of their money back if not satisfied. If your state requires it, be sure to remove the license plates upon sale. Lastly, verify funds if the buyer is paying with a personal check. In fact, if possible, meet at his bank to close the deal; this way he doesn’t have to arrive with cash in hand and you can obtain a bank check for the purchase. Further, the bank can provide a notary if needed for the title transfer. 

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