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If you’ve decided to sell your motorcycle, this is a great time to do so. Reports show that motorcycle sales are at their highest point in more than 20 years. Though some people are strictly in the market for new models, many are more inclined to buy used bikes. Potential buyers are also interested in various types of motorcycles. That means no matter what type of used motorcycle you’re hoping to sell, there’s most likely a market for it.

Having said that, you’ll need to understand just how to sell your motorcycle. Knowing the finer points of selling will help you get the most money out of the process while experiencing as little hassle as possible. Read on for some expert tips on selling used motorcycles to help you along the way.

    Frequently Asked Questions

Make Sure You Have a Title

One of the first and most important steps in selling a motorcycle, or any vehicle for that matter, is making sure you have the title on hand. Titles serve as proof of who owns a vehicle and is legally allowed to sell it. They also transfer to the buyer, giving him or her proof of ownership. Without a title, the buyer wouldn’t legally be able to ride the bike on the road.

In most states, it’s illegal to sell a vehicle without a title though there are some exceptions to this rule. We’ll discuss those shortly. Many prospects won’t even consider buying a bike if there’s no title to go along with it. Should any questions arise down the road, serious legal repercussions could ensue for those on either side of the transaction.

What Are the Exceptions to the Rule?

As mentioned, there are exceptions to the rule. In some states, motorcycles that are more than 15 years old don’t have to have a title. Other states go back a bit further, such as 25 or 30 years. In those cases, you’ll need to provide the buyer with a Bill of Sale. Be sure to check the laws in your state to be on the safe side, though.

What If I Don’t Have a Title?

It’s a well-known fact that paperwork tends to get lost over time. That’s certainly the case when it comes to vehicle titles. If you can’t find the motorcycle’s title, you may be able to get a replacement. Start by acquiring a title application form from your local DMV. You can download the form from the DMV website or visit in person to get it.

In addition to that vital form, you’ll need proof of ownership. This could include a Bill of Sale from the person or dealership that sold you the bike. Past tax and tag receipts, registration showing the bike is listed in your name, and insurance cards may also serve as proof of ownership. There’s a fee for replacing missing titles, too.

Though you can mail the necessary paperwork and title replacement fee to the DMV, it’s usually best to handle all of this in person. If there are any questions or concerns on the part of the DMV, being there in person to address them could help you avoid extensive delays. Keep in mind, getting a replacement title isn’t an instant process. Once you submit the paperwork, it’ll take several weeks for the new title to come in the mail.

Can I Sell My Bike If It Has a Lien on the Title?

In short, yes. It’s possible to sell a motorcycle with a lien. Certain measures should be taken before selling it, though. If there’s a lien on the title, that means the title can’t officially be transferred to the new purchaser until the lien is taken care of. As such, you’ll need to pay off the lien to make the entire transaction legal.

Sellers have a few options when it comes to selling a financed motorcycle. You could pay off the balance owed on the bike while waiting for a buyer to show interest. At the same time, you could have the buyer pay you upfront for the bike and use part of the money to take care of the lien. That would give you a clear title to pass along to the new owner. Either way, it’s essential that you let the buyer in on the situation.

You could also sell the bike to a dealership rather than conducting a private transaction. Dealerships tend to be more willing to work with liens than private buyers. Some even pay off liens and simply subtract the balance paid from the money they give the sellers. If you’re selling a bike with a lien on the title, going through a dealership may be the easiest way to go. contact us

Know the Bike’s Value

Once you locate the title, or while you’re waiting for a replacement to arrive, take some time to research the value of your bike. Like most bikers, you’ve probably developed a relationship with your motorcycle, so it holds a great deal of sentimental value for you. That doesn’t factor into the monetary value, though. Don’t let all the memories you’ve made cloud your judgment here. Doing so could ultimately get in the way of making a sale.

Start by going to a trusted source to find out approximately how much the bike may be worth. Some of the best options here are Kelley Blue Book and NADA Guides. Both of those resources can give you a rough idea of how much bikes like yours could be worth. You could also search the internet for similar models for sale to see how much they’re listing for.

What Factors Affect a Bike’s Value?

Remember, all of those research options are meant to give you an estimate of how much money the bike might be worth. They can give you a general idea of how to sell your used bike for the right price. Other factors will come into play as well, though. They could make your bike worth more or less than the norm.


Age is one of the aspects that affect motorcycle values. If the bike is an older model, it probably won’t be worth as much as a newer one. On the other hand, if it’s a rare model that’s in high demand, it could be worth more because of its age. Some prime examples are the 1972 Kawasaki Z1, the 1957 Harley Sportster, and the ‘94 Ducati 916 SPS. If you’re selling a classic, it could hold far more value than a run-of-the-mill model.


Appearance is another important factor. No used motorcycles are in perfect condition. Whether they’ve been ridden extensively or left to sit in a barn for several years, they’re going to show some signs of wear and tear. Minor dings and scratches are to be expected; however, buyers don’t always see things from that perspective.

Bikes that are in near-pristine condition generally sell for more than those that look worse for wear. If yours is extremely worn or has cosmetic issues, you can’t expect to get top value for it. Even something that’s easily replaceable, such as slick tires, could make your bike less desirable in the eyes of potential buyers.


Though appearance is part of a bike’s overall condition, it’s only one variable. The condition of the frame, mechanical parts, and electrical components factor into the equation as well. If you’re wondering how much should I sell my Harley-Davidson for, everything from the pipes to the handlebars will help determine its value.

Running condition matters too, as you probably already know. Bikes that don’t run aren’t going to sell for nearly as much as those that do. Odd noises coming from the engine will detract from the value of the bike as well as its sellability. If it skips and sputters while it’s running, cuts off unexpectedly, or doesn’t stop as quickly and easily as it should, prospects are going to be leery of it. They may not be willing to pay as much as they would otherwise. They may not be willing to buy it at all.


As is the case with all vehicles, mileage matters. Generally speaking, acceptable mileage for motorcycles is around 2,000 to 3,000 per year. If the mileage of your bike falls into that range, you may be able to get the average going price for it. On the other hand, if it has far fewer miles on it or has been ridden more than the norm, it could be worth more or less respectively.


If you’ve altered the bike in any way during your time with it, those changes will affect its value, too. Some drive up the value of motorcycles. These might include having special tour packs added to them, replacing standard exhaust systems with amped-up pipes, and having custom suspension installed.

Other alterations can bring down a bike’s value. Potentially detrimental changes could include removing factory parts that add to its appearance and performance and not replacing them with better options. Shoddy paint jobs and subpar engine modifications could easily make your bike worth far less as well. A personalized paint job that explicitly reflects the current owner’s unique interests may render a bike less attractive to buyers no matter how impressive and well-done it may be.

Certain types of modifications could go either way. Custom handlebars, like ape-hangers, could draw in certain prospects while driving away others. This can also be said for custom seats. Some types of changes may enhance the appearance and comfort of the bike but not appeal to all buyers’ tastes.

Spruce Up the Bike

With all those value-impacting points in mind, take a long, hard look at your bike. For those who are wondering how to sell a motorcycle for more money, this is a key step. If it looks or runs a bit rough, consider having some repairs carried out before putting it up for sale.

If you’ve replaced factory parts with aftermarket accessories and they ultimately detract from the bike in some way, think about putting the factory parts back on. That’s assuming you still have them. If not, you could certainly sell the bike with the aftermarket parts on it, but it may sell for less. Some buyers just prefer to stick with factory features rather than added accessories.

Perhaps you’ve spent a great deal of money on aftermarket parts. Obviously, you don’t want to lose that investment by replacing them with the original factory parts. You could always sell the aftermarket components separately. All in all, you might actually get more money out of them that way than you would by trying to sell them as part of the bike.

Additionally, non-essential accessories could boost or hamper the value of a motorcycle. For example, saddlebags make a bike more convenient and functional. If they’re in good shape, they can even add to the bike’s appearance, so leaving them in place could be a helpful selling point. If they’re scuffed and the studs are rusty, though, they’ll have the opposite effect. In a case like that, it would be better to remove the saddlebags and sell the bike without them.

Take into account all the factors that might detract from the bike’s looks and performance. You probably don’t want to put a great deal of money into it before selling it. Doing that would eat into your profit. Still, putting in a little time, effort, and even money to make some small improvements would work out in your favor. At the very least, give the bike a tune-up and a good bath. That, alone, could make a major difference.

Pick Your Price

As you’re discovering how to sell your motorcycle most effectively, you’ll need to name your price. Use the previously mentioned guides and prices of similar motorcycles for sale as frames of reference. Take into account all the aspects we’ve mentioned here as well. You can also factor in the amount of money you may have spent to get the bike into sellable shape to an extent. Keep in mind, though, you may not be able to recoup all of those expenses.

Don’t be afraid to ask what the bike seems to be worth based on all the relevant factors. Even if you’re hoping to sell the motorcycle as quickly as possible, pricing it too low isn’t in your best interest. You’ll be sacrificing part of your profit, and it could even raise suspicion among prospects.

Avoid asking a lot more than the bike is worth, too. Asking too much could turn off many buyers who otherwise might have been promising prospects. It could also cause you to get your hopes up only to be disappointed in the end.

There’s no harm in listing the bike for a bit more than what you’re actually hoping to get out of the sale. After all, most potential buyers enter the situation with the intention of haggling. Adding a bit to the asking price would give you a little wiggle room to allow buyers to “talk you down”. They’ll feel like they’ve accomplished something by getting you to come off of your asking price, but you’ll actually be getting what you’d hoped for all along. contact us

What Is the Best Way to Sell a Motorcycle?

All that brings us to the question of how to sell a motorcycle most effectively. You have a few choices here. First off, you’ll need to choose between a private sale and selling to a dealership. Each option has its benefits and downsides.

Private Sales

Some people swear by private sales. This is often the best way to sell a motorcycle for a bit more money. Dealerships have to purchase motorcycles at low enough prices to be able to turn a profit. That means they may not offer you as much money as you’d be able to get through a private sale. By selling the bike yourself, you cut out the middle man.

That being said, private sales require a great deal more time and work than selling to a dealership. You’ll have to list the bike in the classifieds or on an online marketplace. That involves posting pictures and a description of the motorcycle.

Pictures Are Important

Be sure to take pictures in good light and with a relatively attractive background. You don’t want the light to be too bright or dark. Either extreme could detract from the looks of the motorcycle and hide its positive features or highlight its negative ones.

Having the wrong background could make or break a sale as well. You don’t have to take the bike to a photographer for professional portraits, but putting some thought into the pictures is advised. Clear away any trash or junk that might be sitting around the bike before snapping a photo. Move it around a bit to see which lighting and angles are most flattering. Overall, you’ll need to get a good shot of the bike that shows what buyers want to see.

Be Descriptive

Chances are people who are looking for a used motorcycle don’t want to read an extensive write-up about your bike. They do want all the important facts, though. Be sure to add the make, model, year, and mileage to your description for the ad. Don’t provide a long list of problems the bike may have, but don’t try to hide any serious issues, either.

If you don’t have a title or the title has a lien on it, consider mentioning that in the ad as well. This may seem counterintuitive to selling a motorcycle. In reality, though, it’s the best way to go. It’ll show honesty on your part and help avoid wasting your time as well as that of prospects who aren’t interested in purchasing a bike with title issues.

Contact Information

You’ll also have to provide your contact information so prospects can get in touch with you. It’s important to understand that some will try to get in touch with you while you’re at work or eating dinner with your family. They may even attempt to contact you in the middle of the night. Many of them will set up appointments to see the bike in person, but they’ll never show. Some will try to haggle the price to a point where it wouldn’t even pay you to sell the bike.

No doubt, there’s a buyer out there for your motorcycle. Finding him or her may take time and patience, but it’s bound to happen. You simply have to weed out the serious prospects from those who are just wasting your time.

Additional Considerations

On top of all that, you’ll need to decide whether to sell your motorcycle locally or nationally. Advertising only to local buyers is the simplest route, but it may take longer to sell that way. Conversely, listing the bike on national marketplaces could lead to a faster sale, but it could mean arranging for shipping and paying extra to get the bike to the buyer.

Also think about timing when selling a motorcycle in a private sale. Bikes tend to sell more quickly and for more money during riding season than they do when the weather is less than pleasant. Consider waiting until spring to list the bike. You’ll most likely come out better for doing so.

Selling to a Dealership

Maybe you’re saying, “I want to sell my motorcycle fast.” If that’s the case, a dealership could be the better option. You might spend weeks or months waiting for the right buyer to come along with a private sale. Dealerships generally make offers and purchase motorcycles on the spot.

A dealership may not give you as much as you want to get out of the sale, but you won’t have to deal with multiple people contacting you at all hours of the day and night. You won’t have to haggle with each buyer and arrange for numerous viewings. Setting up shipping and paying those extra costs won’t be an issue, either.

Getting the Most Out of a Motorcycle Sale

If you’re ready to sell your motorcycle, there are undoubtedly people out there waiting to buy it. Knowing exactly how to sell a motorcycle is the key to getting the most money out of the transaction while avoiding unnecessary hassles and delays. Keep all these points in mind as you’re planning the sale and deciding how to go about the process. They’ll help you make the most of the situation and give you a better chance of having a positive experience.