Differences in used motorcycle prices

Differences in used motorcycle prices

Motorcycles are not too much different than cars or jewelry in one important respect; all lose significant value the moment you walk out of the store or drive off the lot. For some, the unmistakable smell and feel of a new car or bike is worth the extra $1,000s; for others, not so much. If you fall into the latter camp, finding a good used bike is worth taking a bit of time and effort.


The difference in used motorcycle prices can vary widely based on a number of factors. Geography plays a part, as does the type of bike, miles and overall condition. With that said, even when all things are equal the prices can and will vary. Why? As with any personal item, the emotional attachment an owner has with her bike can result in a seller having an unrealistic view of value.


Used Bike Lots

There are both advantages and disadvantages of strolling the lot of a used bike dealer. The biggest advantage is probably your state?s Lemon Law, which most have nowadays. Though originally instituted to protect car buyers from unscrupulous dealers (shocking, I know), these also apply for motorcycles.


Essentially, these require bike dealers to attest to the condition of the bike. For example ensuring it is safe to ride, the miles have not been tampered with and all state licensing and DMV regulations are met. There?s some measure of comfort there for a buyer, but certainly no guarantees. And the used motorcycle prices will reflect these requirements, as well as the simple fact these guys are in the business of making a profit.




The proliferation of online auctions and sites that act as intermediaries for buyers and sellers of bikes has resulted in a whole new marketplace. Sites like eBay Motors and Motorcycle Auctions Online allow folks to compare used motorcycle prices from all over the country. This is a good thing of course, to an extent. But if you live in Maine and you find the perfect bike in Arizona, either you have a flight to catch or shipping expenses that can run well into the hundreds of dollars.


There?s also the small matter of not being able to test ride the bike to get a feel for it before you buy. For a lot of riders, some bikes just feel better than others and there?s only way to be sure, and that?s to jump on and take it for a spin.


Private Party

One of the least expensive ways to secure the best used motorcycle prices is going through a private party. Of course, there are ups and downs here too (no one said this was going to be easy). On the one hand, there are a hundred different reasons people sell their bikes, sometimes for well less than fair market value. If someone?s just lost their job, rent comes before riding and a buyer can get a killer deal.


But there are no Lemon Laws in effect between private parties, and the history of the bike is really based on the word of the owner. Not that they would lie mind you, but they may inadvertently omit critical facts, so beware.


A quick suggestion, if you don?t know bikes inside out, take someone along with you that does. Or in lieu of that, contact a local bike mechanic and run it over for an inspection as a condition of the deal. These usually aren?t too expensive, and the $50 or $75 it?ll cost may save you hundreds down the line.



Whether you?re going online, talking to a used bike dealer or going through a private party, your first step should be researching your soon-to-be-new used bike at the National Auto Dealers Association (NADA) and Kelly Blue Book internet sites. Both are noted for providing information on new and used cars of course, but they provide the same information for bikes.


If nothing else, these will give you an acceptable range in terms of value to begin your negotiations. Good luck and safe riding.