How to get the most from selling your motorcycle

Five simple steps that could add up to a big difference in sale price

How to get the most from selling your motorcycle

By Alan Dowds

YOU may have noticed that Visordown is now offering FREE classified ads – so there's no better place to sell your bike. And in celebration of our new classified section, we thought we'd give you some advice on how to get the most from the buying and selling process. Here's the first part – getting your bike looking good.

1: Make an honest assessment

Try to imagine you're seeing your bike for the first time – what stands out about the cosmetics, in a bad way? It might be useful to get a mate round for an independent view. You've probably got used to that blue tinted windscreen, scratched carbon yoke protector and purple wheels. But they might not be to everyone's taste.

Prioritise the jobs and be realistic about what's economic – there's no point spending a load of time and cash that you won't get back at sale time. Removing the carbon stickers and refitting the stock screen is free and easy – but it's better to knock £50 off for the purple wheels than to spend £150 getting them re-powdercoated.

  • Find the ad for the 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000R pictured above here.

Be honest. Does your bike look like this?

This seems obvious enough, but we've been to see plenty of utterly minging bikes for sale over the years. A good clean doesn't cost anything other than time, and a thorough job will pay dividends. Spend a few hours on it – get right in about the wheels, forks, brakes, and scrub all the grime away. Give the clocks, screen and mirrors an extra clean with proper glass cleaner, so they sparkle.

  • Find the ad for the clean-looking 2010 Triumph Daytona 675 pictued above here.

Don't leave it like this.

Once it's clean and dry, even just a can of Mr Sheen will add some shine – but a proper bike polish will do even better. Concentrate on obvious parts like the fuel tank and front fairing. Metal polish will lift tarnish and deposits on exposed metal bits like exhaust headers and silencers.

One top tip is a light spray and wipe of SDoc100 Colour Refresher spray (WD40 also works) onto black plastic covers, engine cases, frame rails. This freshens up dull, old plastic parts a treat. Run the bike for a bit afterwards to burn off any overspray on hot parts – you don't want the bike smoking when the buyer starts it up.

  • Find the ad for the nice and shiny 2003 Yamaha R1 pictured above here.

Give it a bit of this.

People pretend they're really radical and live close to the edge. But in reality, there's a definite tendency towards the safe and conservative. As an example, plain black or white helmets are almost always the top sellers in a firm's range, with the wild primary-colour graphics often left on the shelf.

So when selling your bike, clean and standard will sell best. Take off any stickers, worn tank pads or old rim tape you might have added. Swap out any coloured anodised bolts for plains ones and after-market parts for orginal where practical. 

  • Find the ad for the Triumph Bonneville T120R pictured above here.

'And this is completely standard, you say?'

Research the bike's value to avoid under-selling. Do this by checking how much machines of the same model and similar and condition and age are typically advertised for. 

Motorcycle dealers have guides like Cap Green Book which do this work for them, and they use them to protect their margins. As a private seller, you'll have to do a little more legwork by browsing ads, but it will be worth it. 

Start by searching Visordown Marketplace.

  • Find the ad for the Yamaha MT-07 pictured above here.

Click here for more Visordown how-to guides.