AdviceBuying & Selling

Getting the best price for your motorbike

Getting the best price for your motorbike involves putting some effort into the way you sell it. You obviously want to get the best price possible, but what factors affect how much somebody is willing to pay for it and how much it’s worth? Alan Charnock from lays out the basics.


Probably the most important thing that’s going to affect the price of your bike is what kind of condition it’s in.

If your bike looks like its best days are behind it, then prospective buyers obviously aren’t going to be willing to part with much cash for them. It all comes down to how well you’ve maintained it, which hopefully is brilliantly given it’s likely been your pride and joy.

At the very least you need to give the bike a good clean and carry out some basic checks before selling, such as whether the chain lubricated and properly adjusted.

When it comes to any more notable damages, you have to weigh up whether it’s worth having the issues fixed, or whether the cost of repairs is just going to wind up eating into the bike’s value.

If this is the case, it’s best to be up front and advertise the bike as damaged and let buyer’s know what issues there are. Honesty is always the best policy here.

Any insurance claims that have been made will also affect the resale price of the bike so having a clear picture of the bike’s history is also important.

Mileage is also necessary to consider, but in most instances not as much as the overall condition.



Depending on what model of bike you’re selling, the level of demand is going to vary. Just like with anything else, if it’s a common model, the value may suffer, however, if it’s a highly-sought after one, you’ll likely be in a position to ask for a higher price.

The rarity of a model will also play a part in its value, and some bikes which were only manufactured in small numbers may find themselves becoming much more popular in coming years.

If you’re struggling to make a sale, and aren’t in any rush for the money, in some cases, it might be worth hanging on for a couple of years, as nostalgia starts to play a part in people’s minds, and bikes become more desirable as the years pass by. The market for classic motorbikes is booming, with recent two-day auctions grossing over £3.5m.

Ad Copy and Images

Before anyone gets to look at your bike in person, all they’ll have to go off is the advertising copy and the images that you’ve supplied on any listings.

Obviously, you don’t want to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes, but this is your chance to really sell your bike and add some value to it; showing it in its true glory.

Be sure to be as descriptive as possible to try and give potential buyers a good idea of the bike and take care when taking pictures.

Make sure all your snaps are taken outdoors, in good light and with nothing else in shot distracting people from the bike itself. Don’t rush and think carefully as to how you can show your bike at its best.



While some buyers may be on the lookout for heavily modified bikes, the majority will likely want the bike to be as close to its original state as possible.

Especially in the case of older bikes, many spare factory parts can be difficult or impossible to come by, so the closer the bike is to how it came off the production line, the better.

If you have modified your bike at all, it’s probably a good idea to return it to as close to stock condition as possible if you can, and you can then sell on the parts too.

However, in some cases, some extras may make your bike more desirable, depending on the model and the quality of the parts that you’re adding.


While there’s no exact science to this, bikes sales generally do tend to suffer during the winter months, when fewer people are out riding and, as a result, less inclined to be dreaming on their next purchase.

This links back to the previous point about supply and demand and, of course, some bikes will be in demand all year round.

If you can though, you’re probably best waiting until summer, when you can (in theory) get a better price.

At the end of the day, the value of your bike rests upon the condition, demand and the model itself, however by taking the time to ensure you put together an ad which makes it stand out from others; you’ll ultimately find it easier to make the sale and command a higher price.

There are more articles in our Buying and Selling section.

This article was produced in association with Motorbike Trader.





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