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How to Sell a Motorcycle Yourself

May 22, 2017 12:40:36 PM / by Logan Reed

“Help, I need to sell my Motorcycle!”

I get it. No one really wants to come to terms with selling their bike.But, if the time has come, do you know how to sell a motorcycle online? Maybe you could use some assistance?

Here are twelve tips to sell a motorcycle, maybe they can help make the process a little less painful... maybe:


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1) 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. You don’t want to be caught off-guard by any questions, and you should be able to provide all information at the drop of a hat.

There is nothing more discouraging to a potential buyer than saying “I don’t know” or having to do a quick Google search on your phone. If you can’t answer simple questions about your motorcycle, how could a buyer possibly trust that you maintained your bike all this time?

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 will post your motorcycle for sale on some sort of listing site. As far as where to sell a motorcycle fast, on sites such as eBay and CycleTrader, it’s all about the pictures.

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. Make sure you 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. Upload your pictures of choice and your best photo as the main one so that it will show up in search results.

beautiful motorcycle-1

3) Price it right.

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

If you think that your bike could earn a sky-high price, and anything less is considered 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. Be prepared 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.

Once again, this falls under research. What kind riders are partial to your type of motorcycle? Who will be buying a motorcyle online? If you find out what kind of market you need to cater to, then getting their attention will be a whole lot easier.

5) Don’t short the details.

Your ad should be all-inclusive and should have all the basic information 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. Buyers will want to know everything they can before they go out of their way to see the bike, so painting an accurate and informative description will be worth the effort.


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.

7) Be prepared with the right sale documents.

This should go without saying, but if you want to sell a motorcycle, then you should be ready to sell it. Have all of your sale documentation ready, this includes:

  • Title: Of course, 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, or Vehicle Identification Number: The VIN consists of numbers and letters and can be located either on the steering neck (below the handlebars) or 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) Compromise if you need to.

It’s your objective to get the most amount of money when you sell your motorcycle, but sometimes, you need to be willing to compromise. If you do not budge from a sale price that is not seen as feasible for a prospective buyer, consider whether or not the hurt-for-money outweighs the need to sell. If you want to sell a motorcycle fast, it might be in your best interest to relent on the price. 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. 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? Will he steal it?

Realistically, we can never see the future, and 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 particular situation.

  • Request that 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, 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 that 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) Transparency iskKey.

Always be upfront with information, and don’t hide anything. The Golden Rule comes into play here: how would you feel about sales-lies if you were the one buying the bike? Be fair. Tell the truth.

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 that you would request if you were to buy a motorcycle for yourself, someone else deserves the same respect when they buy yours.

12) Sell a motorcycle for CASH with RumbleOn.

The truth is, 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 and sell a motorcycle fast. You could have money in your pocket within a day The best part? Your motorcycle stays in your garage until you are paid, then RumbleOn will come pick it up for free. We can help shit your new motorcycle to your door and you'll receive fast payment. Not to mention great customer service, too!

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


Sound like something you want to do?

Get your free cash offer. After you get paid, we'll come pick up your motorcycle for free! 

Get a cash offer to sell your motorcycle

Topics: Articles, Motorcycles, The Brain Bucket

Logan Reed

Written by Logan Reed

Rider. Writer. Harley life-r. Follow my coverage of everything from tips for motorcycle riders, to motorcycle humor, and everything else to do with living life on two wheels.

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