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The Dos and Don’ts of Selling a Motorcycle

Whether you’ve got your eye on a newer, sleeker model or you just need the extra cash, selling a motorcycle can be an exciting and rewarding experience. However, the whole process can also be overwhelming, too. The process of selling a motorcycle involves more than just listing it for sale and waiting for a buyer to come along. It requires careful prep, effective communication, and a keen understanding of the market to ensure a successful transaction. Knowing where and how to get started is key, so pay attention to these dos and don’ts before handing over your beloved bike.  



When you want to sell your motorcycle, get out the chrome cleaner and scrub off all the mud stains. Thoroughly clean and polish everything from the handlebars to the fenders, making it look its best and creating a lasting first impression to potential buyers. 

  • Using a dedicated motorcycle cleaner or mild soap, completely wash your bike, removing all dirt, grimes (and BUGS!) from the surfaces. 
  • Scrub out the wheels and tires
  • Polish the paint, restoring shine to the bike. Remove the smaller scratches from the paint and polish with a soft cloth. 
  • Condition the seat after cleaning it. Leather cleaner and conditioner are your friend, preventing cracking and fading. 
  • Chains and sprockets should be cleaned and well-lubricated.
  • Detail the engine and clean the exhaust, removing any tarnish from the exhaust pipes. 
  • KEEP IT CLEAN after all this hard work! Store it in a clean, dry spot and cover it when not in use. 


When selling your motorcycle, high-quality photos are essential for attracting potential buyers and showing off your bike in the best possible light. 

  • Pick an uncluttered spot to take your shots, using natural light and NOT in the dingy garage. 
  • Take multiple angles of your bike: front, back, side, and top-down.
  • Use a tripod to ensure stable shots.
  • Edit your photos before posting on sites. 


Be honest with your buyers, coming clean about the condition of the motorcycle when selling it. Let them know of any engine issues or damage that’s not visible. Disclose this in the listing and when you talk in person. Communicate the condition as a basis for the fair price you’ve set, taking into consideration make, model, age and condition. 



While you certainly want to get as much cash for the bike as possible, you don’t want to overprice it either. Do your research and base the price on market conditions and the honest condition of the bike. 


It’s easy to become emotionally attached to your “baby,” but an emotional attachment to the motorcycle will cloud your judgment, making you turn down a counteroffer since you view that as an insult. It’s not. Accept a reasonable offer, even if lower than your original price point. 


We all know you want to sell the bike, but don’t be pushy with a buyer who’s on the fence about purchasing. You’re not a used car salesman and you don’t want to come off as such to buyers.  

Selling a motorcycle can be a bit daunting, but by following these dos and don’ts, you can help ensure a smooth and successful transaction. Remember to be honest, upfront, and fair throughout the process, and don’t be afraid to walk away from a deal if it doesn’t feel right. With a little patience and persistence, you’ll be able to find the right buyer for your beloved motorcycle and move on to your next adventure with confidence.

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