Prepare To Sell Your Motorcycle

Tip #35 from the pages of The Total Motorcycling Manual

sell your bike, selling a motorcycle

As much as we hate to admit it, even the biggest garage (or budget) can only hold so many bikes. Here's what to do before that sucker—er, proud new owner—shows up to ride off on your former beauty.

WASH AND WAX Even if it doesn't run, at least clean it up. You may see a diamond in the rough; everyone else just sees the rough.

TUNE IT UP Unless you're willing to unload it for pocket change, money spent getting a bike to run right is almost always recovered in the sale.

CHARGE THE BATTERY Nothing kills a sale like a bike that won't start.

AIR UP THE TIRES Costs nothing, but can make a huge difference in the way a bike rides.

TOP OFF THE OIL If you see a bike with low oil, it's an instant pass—who knows how bad that engine is?

GET THE PAPERWORK Be sure you have the current registration and a blank bill of sale from your local motor vehicle department. And, finally, always fill out a transfer of ownership/liability form. Doing so will protect you from legal consequences if the buyer gets in a wreck 10 minutes after you sell the bike.

SHOW YOUR WORK Gather any maintenance records that show the bike was serviced regularly. If you do your own work, record it in the back of the owner's manual or shop manual.

FUEL UP Nothing says respect like a full tank of gas. With some of the beaters we've sold, a full tank probably doubled its value.