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How to Sell a Motorcycle

How to Sell a Motorcycle

Sep 20, 2019

If you’ve been thinking of selling that vintage motorcycle or modern cruiser you’ve been riding to get yourself a new one, you’re not alone. Most motorcycle owners sell their bikes at some point. But selling a bike can be a challenge when so many people also have theirs on the market. How do you research the market and prepare yourself for a smooth selling experience?

Here’s our simple guide on how to sell a motorcycle without complicating the process:

Know Your Price By Doing Some Research

Man doing research on how to sell a motorcycle on his laptop

The first thing you need to do before selling your motorcycle is to determine its market value. You might love your bike and think it will sell well, but that particular bike model or style may not be what buyers are looking for. A bike in great condition may also have small scratches, dents, and even minor mechanical issues which can affect pricing. The color of the bike may also not be currently popular.

Whatever the case, the most important thing is to do extensive research to compare similar bikes in your city, state, or region. Search for completed listings in local classified, national motorcycle-specific classifieds, and websites so you can gauge the value of your bike. Balance your asking price to ensure you’re getting serious offers from potential buyers.

Prep Your Bike for Potential Buyers

Picture of a clean motorcycle taken from the front

One of the most important things to do as you learn how to sell a motorcycle is to prepare your bike before you even start advertising it. It needs to be in good condition to be seen and inspected thoroughly by prospective buyers. Start by  cleaning your bike and focus more on areas that you overlook when doing your usual cleaning.

  • Clean the seat where dirt may accumulate.
  • Scrub the battery terminals to give them a cleaner look.
  • Get rid of surface rust on metal and chrome parts.
  • Buff off light scratches.
  • Give your bike a new coat of wax.
  • Apply some touch-up bike-specific paint on any worn parts.
  • Tune your bike for quicker starts and easy braking.
  • Check the condition of the tires, electronics, lights, fluids, stands, seats, and other parts.

With your bike in good condition, you can now get started with how to sell a motorcycle.

Pick Effective Selling Venues

A bunch of motorcycles with focus on a purple motorcycle

You can choose to sell your motorcycle in one venue or different venues, depending on your type of bike and the level of exposure you want. For instance, if you’re selling a low-value bike that is common in the market, Cycle Trader or Craigslist would be a good option. But if you’re selling a high-value bike like a vintage or a customized bike, consider eBay and special local or out-of-town selling venues where deep-pocketed buyers frequent.

Different motorcycle buyers hang out in different places, so going where your potential buyers are likely to show up greatly maximizes your exposure while increasing your chances of success for your “how to sell a motorcycle” learning curve.

  • For handbuilt custom v-twin cruisers, try Chopperswapoper or Cycle Dope.
  • For rare motorcycles on the market, visit forums like or
  • For vintage motorcycles, a local AMCA swap meet is an opportunity you can try.

Advertise & Market Your Bike

Large group of motorcyclists driving across a bridge

When it comes to advertising and marketing your bike, start by writing down clear and relevant information about your bike. This information will be included in your advert including the make, model, price, mileage, major services done, repairs, aftermarket parts, and accident damage if any. Make sure to take high quality photos of your bike in different dimensions. Mention whether you’re also offering extras like the owner’s manual, parts, tools, and accessories.

There are different platforms to advertise your motorcycle. Choose one effective platform to focus on and use other marketing platforms to increase exposure. Local papers that specifically advertise autos are considered the best way to find buyers. If you’re new to learning how to sell a motorcycle, you can also contact a local motorcycle club, a dealership board, or a national motorcycle selling website. Provide as many details as you can and be honest about it.

Clear Your Schedule & Work With Buyers

Man shaking a virtual hand

Once you have your adverts running or your word out there, expect to get responses from prospective buyers. You’ll want to clear your schedule so you can give buyers enough time to check out your bike. Set appointments with buyers at your own convenient time or plan how to handle buyers in advance as you might face challenges when you have multiple buyers scrambling to see your bike. Choose an ideal and safe meeting point too.

Be ready to work with buyers when offers start coming. Make sure you have all the necessary paperwork for your bike, including receipts for recent services, inspection reports, proof of ownership, finance details, service history, remaining warranty, and others. Also, as you plan to sell your bike, allow for test rides and ensure you have planned how it will be done conveniently.

Get Paid Safely


Once you’ve agreed on a price with a buyer, finalize the sale by filling out a bill of sale, after which you can transfer the title. It’s advisable to check with your state’s requirements regarding the process of selling motorcycles, so you’re sure about compliance. Once you’ve completed everything, you can mail the transfer of ownership information to the buyer immediately.

So long as you’ve done your research well, prepped your bike, picked an effective selling venue, created a comprehensive ad, and prepared to get offers from buyers, learning how to sell a motorcycle should not be a challenging process.

Customize Your Bike to Improve Value

If you’re looking to get the best out of your motorcycle sale, you can consider adding some quality aftermarket parts and accessories like a  new exhaust kit, a more comfortable leather saddle, a windshield, fairings, or new motorcycle tires. These small upgrades will help you improve the market value of your motorcycle. Shop the custom parts and accessories you need for your motorcycles at West End Motorsports.