How To Sell a Motorcycle Yourself

open road ride on a motorcycle

There comes a time in most motorcycle owner’s life when they need to figure out how to sell a motorcycle. Whether you want to buy a different model or your days of owning a bike has come to an end, taking the steps to sell your motorcycle will allow you to get the most money possible for your particular model.

Before you can sell it, you need to figure out the value of your motorcycle, make sure it’s nice and clean, and list it at a fair price. Taking the proper steps does take a bit of time but it will be worth the effort when you see the buyer riding away, leaving you with cash or a check in hand.

Determine the Value of Your Motorcycle

The first step to being able to sell your motorcycle is determining a fair price for it. In order to get the most money out of your bike and either breaking even or even make a profit it’s important to ensure your bike is as clean as possible, in proper working order, and checking a few websites for an estimated appraisal.

Detailing Your Bike

In order for your motorcycle to catch the eyes of potential buyers, putting in a bit of elbow grease and getting it nice and clean will do wonders. When buying a motorcycle, buyers don’t want to purchase something they need to clean themselves. Making sure it looks great when they ride away is a great way to put your bike above similar used bikes for sale in your area.

Remember, when you are detailing your bike, there is more to it than just cleaning the body.

  1. Make sure the chain, engine, and wheels are nice and clean. Not only will this make the bike look better to your target audience, a clean chain and engine help with the performance of the motorcycle as well.
  2. Clean the body of the bike, including the seat. If the seat is leather, following up with a high-quality leather conditioner is a great way to make the seat shine and keep it moistened, resisting drying and damage that comes from the sunlight and weather conditions that the bike will experience.
  3. Make sure to remove any boot marks and scuffs. Any chrome pieces should be polished to make them really pop.


During the process of cleaning your motorcycle, you should take a look at the parts and take note of any damage that you see. This includes dents, scratches, chips in the paint, and rust. Anything that is broken or visibly worn should be fixed or replaced in order to get the most for your bike. The better the condition, the better price you’ll be able to get for your motorcycle.

  • If you notice corrosion on the battery, clean it up or replace the battery
  • Touch up any areas of the paint that are in need of attention
  • Repair and replace damaged parts; consider upgrading parts if the cost isn’t too much
  • Check the brakes; if worn, you can replace the brake pads

Check Appraisal Sites

Once your motorcycle is in the best condition possible, it’s time to check out the appraisal sites to see how bikes in the same or similar condition are priced. There are a few places you can check for these prices. It is best to check all 3 sites and find the average.

Auto appraisal sites:

  • National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA)
  • Kelley Blue Book (KBB)
  • Auto Traders

Each of these sites has options that you can select, including the make and model, what condition the bike is in, and what modifications have been made, among other criteria.

Decide on Your Listing Price

Once you have determined the value of your motorcycle, it’s time to figure out your selling price. One thing to remember is that any customizations and aftermarket parts that you chose to add won’t necessarily increase the value of the bike. These are essentially a perk for the potential buyer that won’t affect the NADA or KBB estimates. There are a few things to consider when you are deciding on the price.

  1. The average selling price of the bike in the condition it is currently in.
  2. The cost of any modifications and what you’ve put into the bike.
  3. Any damage or maintenance that will need to be done by the buyer.

To choose the sales price, you should consider the bottom dollar amount you are willing to take for your bike. The selling price you list the bike for should be a few hundred dollars more than your absolute bottom. Listing it for a higher price will give you some wiggle room so you and potential buyers can negotiate. Make sure not to go too much higher than your firm price, since people often overlook vehicles that they thing are listed at too high of a cost.

Listing Your Motorcycle

Now it’s time to advertise your bike to sellers! There are several places that you can list the bike, such as Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and even your local newspaper. When typing up your ad, transparency, and honesty is important.

Here’s what you should include in your listing:

  1. The first things you should list are:
    • Make and Model
    • Mileage of the Motorcycle
    • Listing Price
    • Acceptable Payment Methods
  2. Next, describe the motorcycle in detail. Try not to make this too wordy, as many people will skim over longer ads and contact you, asking questions answered in the ad. Short, sweet, and to the point is the way to go.
  3. Mention any recent repairs, newer parts, and any aftermarket accessories or parts.
  4. Be honest and be sure to mention any issues that the potential buyers should be aware of.
  5. Take several photos and include them in the listing. Get the front, back, both sides, close-up shots of the gauges, and any damage so your audience is aware of issues.
  6. Don’t forget to include your contact information so buyers can contact you to view the bike in person or to ask any questions they may have.
  7. Post your ad!


All in all, selling your motorcycle is easy! Once you figure out how to sell a motorcycle, you’re on your way to getting a new bike or having the sales money to invest in a new vehicle. Whatever reason it is that you’re selling your bike, getting the most money for it is much easier than you’d think!