Woman taking a photo of her motorcycle with her phone.

How to sell a motorcycle

Whether you're selling a motorcycle now or perhaps you're just thinking about it, here are some tips that can help when you're ready to sell it.

Key takeaways to sell your bike

  • Prep your bike
  • Decide on your price
  • Choose how to sell it
  • Pick a safe meeting place
  • Allow a test drive
  • Don't forget items after the sale

Prep your motorcycle for sale

  • Start your motorcycle to see that it runs smoothly and is mechanically fit. Consider having a mechanic check the bike over and provide a receipt to share with possible buyers.
  • Many buyers prefer motorcycles left in stock form. If you've added personalized pieces, replace them with the original stock parts or make the original parts you removed available with the sale.
  • Thoroughly clean and detail your motorcycle.
  • Take photos of your bike against an uncluttered background and from different angles. You'll also want to take photos of the bike's mileage and any damage it may have.
  • Gather up documents for the bike such as manuals, service history and the title.

Determine the value of your motorcycle

Consider checking pricing guides, like Kelley Blue Book or J.D. Power, or online motorcycle forums. Remember to be realistic about the price you're asking. Potential buyers might want to negotiate your price, so you may want to determine the lowest offer you would accept before the negotiations start. Or, if you don't want to negotiate, list the price as "firm" in the sales listing.

Choose a sales process

You can use newspaper ads, magazines, online sites or your local classifieds to list your bike. Another option is to co-sign the sale to a local motorcycle or car dealer, or use motorcycle auctions like Mecum Auction. And gather all the pertinent documents, such as the title, current registration and bill of sale.

Creating a motorcycle bill of sale when selling your bike on your own may help protect both you and the buyer. You will need two completed copies that include specifics like date, price, odometer reading, VIN, make, model, year, color of the bike, along with the name and address of both parties and any conditions to the sale. Check out your local DMV site for a template and to see if a bill of sale in your state must be witnessed by a notary before signing.

Where to meet when selling a motorcycle

You may not want potential buyers coming to your home. Instead, pick a safe, public location like the parking lot of a local business. You can also check with your local police department to see if they offer their parking lot as a safe place to conduct these meetings.

Host a safe test drive

Test driving a motorcycle is a little different than test driving a car because you likely can't ride along with the potential buyer. That's why many people have money in hand before allowing any test rides. This may include some type of written and signed sales agreement stating if the potential buyer isn't satisfied after the test drive, and the motorcycle isn't damaged, the money will be refunded. Check that the person test driving your bike is licensed and experienced. You may want to take a photo of their driver's license and the vehicle they came in, just in case. Before you allow the potential driver to take a test drive, check with your insurance agent to see that you're covered should anything happen while a potential driver is going for a test drive.

After the sale

When your bike is sold, don't forget to remove your license plates if they don't stay with the vehicle in your state. And, contact your insurance agent to let them know about the sale and to discuss your motorcycle insurance.

These few simple steps can help you safely and successfully sell your motorcycle. Good luck!

Neither State Farm nor its agents provide tax or legal advice.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

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