The Best Ways to Sell a Motorcycle

Selling your motorcycle is possible by incorporating a few key tips.
Selling your motorcycle is possible by incorporating a few key tips. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Perhaps you are trading in your two-wheeled vehicle because the safety of an SUV has become more appealing. Maybe you are only selling your existing bike because you want to upgrade to a bobber with more accessories and a higher cylinder count. Whatever the reason, the likelihood of selling your motorcycle is increased by making an advertisement complete with images, specifications and attention to details.


Visibility of your flier is one of the most critical components of selling your bike. In addition to posting in classifieds section in print and online, make fliers and distribute them in locations most likely seen by other motorcycle enthusiasts: bike repair shops, motorcycle rallies and body paint shops are a few examples. Ask shop owners if you may park your motorcycle at the corner of the parking lot near traffic with a "for sale" sign complete with the price and your contact information. Ensure your bike remains polished, free of dust and isn’t parked next to a comparable bike of lesser value.

Specifications and Cost

List the specifications of your motorcycle. Include the class, color, year, make, model, cylinder count, any chrome accents, fork specs, lamps, mount, windshield availability, the type of fuel injection system, security system, clutch control, fuel tank size, miles per gallon, and the type of engine. If you are unsure of certain technicalities such as the type of brake pads or the engine specs, take it into a dealer and ask for a full list. Upload this list of specifications as an image and post it to the ad. Determine a price based on the Black Book value and checking auctions for the cost at which comparable bikes have sold. List a value above your optimal price, but have an acceptable range in mind; most buyers expect to get the bike at a cost lower than the listed price.


Take pictures of your clean, polished motorcycle in an attractive location. It might be more convenient to take pictures of the motorcycle parked next to your other cars in the garage, but go to a scenic location for the photo op instead. Take pictures of your bike with the backdrop of a nature preserve, mountainside or lake. Take five photographs, each capturing a different angle. Use a free photo-editing program such as to improve the photographs. However, also take pictures of any dents or noticeable damage and include them in the ad. Buyers should be forewarned about any aesthetic damage and most will inquire if the bike has ever been laid down.

Style and Layout

Don’t shy away from using personality in your classified ad. If your motorcycle has a name, include it. Mention how well she held up during motocross rallies, cross-country trips and if she turned heads when taking her for a spin around the neighborhood. Incorporating personality into the ad may mitigate any negative quirks. For instance, “Lolita is a smooth, stable ride but she will only switch to second gear with a very firm kick.”


If you have the extra funds, invest in a complete tuneup and repair any dents or dings visible to the eye. Motorcycles, like homes, can yield a greater return from investing in these small repairs than selling the asset as-is. At the very least, gather all of the service records for prospective buyers to review. If you have additional accessories such as helmets, jumper cables, saddle bags or a riding jacket, throw them into the deal as extras. Compile a bullet-point list of these accessories as well as their used value, then list the total value buyers receive as a bonus of purchasing your bike.

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