10 Tips for Selling A Used Motorcycle

FUN Motorcycle Training wants to share some tips with you for selling a used motorcycle. Here are 10 tips we hope help!

10 Tips on Selling a Motorcycle

1) Know your vehicle – If a buyer knows more about it then you do he or she is at a big advantage, and even worse, your buyer will start to doubt your credibility and the maintenance of the vehicle. A seller who can clearly explain the benefits of his/her motorcycle is one that will impress buyers both with the attributes of the machine, and as someone with first hand experience.
2) Be prepared – Have all your documentation ready, examples include:
Ownership – the legal document with your name and the motorcycles VIN #.
Used Vehicle Information Package – this is a document in Ontario which has information such as the list of previous owners, title status of the vehicle (clean, salvage, write-off), and more. This document will change names based on province or state.
Bill of Sale – samples can be found online, but at a minimum the bill of sale should clearly state the date, the VIN#, the purchase price, the names and signatures of the buyer and seller.
Safety Certification – Vehicles can be sold either certified by a mechanic, or “as-is”. Generally a certified vehicle can be insured and then plated immediately, but a vehicle sold “as-is” must be certified before it can legally be put on the road.
Past History – Whether you’ve maintained your motorcycle at a dealership, garage, or yourself, you should have some receipts for service, or at the very least oil filters. These will prove to your buyer your vehicle has been as carefully maintained as you say it has.
Various miscellaneous – Extra keys, owner’s manual, etc.
3) Sell to everyone but carefully choose who gets to ride – List your bike in every free classifieds you can. Kijiji, Craigslist, Trader, and local niche sites and at your local motorcycle meets. I adopt a “test rides only with money in full in my hand” policy but will sometimes make exception if I go for a ride with the buyer and find he/she is a competent rider.
4) Be flexible – Not everyone can have $Z available on one hour’s notice. I’ll usually take a cash deposit to hold the motorcycle for someone for a specific amount of time. You can write them up a receipt, similar to the Bill of Sale, which says they’ve left a non-refundable partial payment for X amount and have Y amount outstanding which must be paid for by a specific date. This protects both the buyer and the seller.
5) Make an ad that says it all – Share the history, condition, lots of pictures, any changes. This will save you time down the road, and people gravitate towards ads with lots of pictures. The less surprises and hassles, the happier your buyer will be. No one likes asking for pictures of the scratch or the ding. Share them from the start.
6) Understand that no one cares about your mods – More often then not, modifications are a sunk cost as soon as you want to sell your motorcycle. You may have spent thousands getting that engine bored out and a custom paintjob to boot, but to many buyers that translates into a bike that is potentially less reliable, and may have too much of the previous owner’s personality for their taste.
7) Consider selling extras seperately – I spent weeks this fall trying to sell my 2007
Harley-Davidson Sportster. Week after week got colder and colder and there was no way I was going to get $6,000 for my Harley. I removed used extras which could easily sell for $750, dropped my price to $5,500 and had the bike sold in a matter of days.
8) Be realistic – You’ll get plenty of low-ballers offering you pennies for your precious ride. In some cases these buyers are out to lunch on pricing, but sellers can be as well. Look up what other motorcycles of the same model, and other models in its class are going for on your local classifieds.
9) Identify your buyer’s interests and speak to them – Is your buyer looking to make a logical purchasing decision? If so, talk about the practical features of your motorcycle and its purchase. On the other hand, many motorcycle purchases are impulsive, and buyers’ minds need help justifying what the heart wants. Recognize your buyer’s motivations and make your vehicle relevant to them.
10) Have fun – Above all else, have fun. Make it an enjoyable experience both for you and for your buyer. The less frills, the more bills. The bigger the smiles, the happier the miles.

FUN Motorcycle Training hopes these tips help and we look forward to seeing you out on the road!