So, You Want To Sell Your Bike?

Jan 08, 2014 View Comments by

So, You Want To Sell Your Bike?We know where we want to finish, with the bike sold and money in our pocket, or maybe the bank. One word: Advertise!

At no time in memory has it been easier to do so, with the computer we can run off our own color flyers to post in every Laundromat, motorcycle garage, coffee shop, and bar that will let us in. Keep it simple, just the facts: year, make, model, mileage, and condition. Then, you can bullet point the extra equipment that makes your bike better and with more “bang for the buck,” than the red one just like it on the same board. Also, please put down the price!

I know, it’s hard to come up with the price. You can check the guides, but they vary with location. Instead, cruise the Internet to see what bikes like yours are listed for. One thing to remember is that “asking ain’t getting.” Several things come into play here, one, how much do you owe on the loan, and are you willing to take that just to get out of debt? Don’t try and get what you’ve got “in it.” Not everyone is going to be pleased by that $1,200 paint job, or those cat skin bags. You may even have to sell at a loss, take less than you owe, and less than it’s worth (that’s a killer), but if it gets the creditors off your back it might be worth it.

How about the Internet? I cruised my local Craigslist (Milwaukee). There were 3,800 bikes listed, 627 were Harleys, 868 were Hondas (64 VTX 1300s), 560 Yamahas, 385 Suzukis, 399 Kawasakis, 83 Ducatis, 100 BMWs, and 778 others. Standing out in this bunch is not easy; your best hope is that the buyer is focused on your make and model. That way he’ll make a defined search for Honda VTX 1300s, and only 64 pop up. If you don’t have a photo of your bike, take one, more is even better! I will not read an ad without a photo, or call one without a price.

Okay, you have your motorcycle listed online, and flyers have been put up in every Dunkin’ Donuts and four bridal shops. Really? (It cant’ hurt.) But you’ve gotten little to no action. Now what? Well, if there is two feet of snow out there this could be your problem, although studies have shown that convertibles sell best in February. (Must be  spring fever kicking in). Have you considered “consignment” at your local dealer? Sure they take a percentage, but they also take all the risks that come with so many buyers, like money. This also puts your machine in a place where people come to shop for motorcycles and accessories—like the ones already on your bike. This is a focused environment of motorcycling fun, with a sales crew who can help “light their fire.” Think about it. It’s where my bike is, all toasty, warm, and dry, no bites yet, but I am hopeful.

If all else fails, there’s only three things left to do: Wait for spring and put it at the end of your driveway with a sign on it. Trade it in on what you want, or keep it. They say love is better the second time around. Ride on.


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About the author

A Wisconsin farm boy, I learned how to ride a cow, before a horse and way before a motorcycle. I first started riding on my 16th birthday and I took my first real ride at my party: I pulled a wheelie and dug a trench in the lawn, which sent the bike in one direction and me in another. I was irrevocably hooked!