How to Sell a Motorcycle


Motorcycles have a tendency to multiply for many enthusiast – both riders and wrenchers alike.

Luckily, selling a used motorcycle is not too difficult. Use these tips to sell your bike.

Steps to Sell a Motorcycle

Selling a motorcycle is a fairly simple process.

  • Collect the agreed upon payment for the bike.
  • Hand over the keys.
  • Sign the release portion of the title and hand it over to the buyer.
  • Create, fill out, and sign a bill of sale (keep one for yourself and give one to the buyer).
  • Refer to your state to determine if the license plates stay with you or go with the buyer.
  • Complete a Notice of Sale and submit it to your state DMV.
  • Discontinue your insurance policy on the bike.

If you or the buyer need some more details, check out our state-specific motorcycle registration and title guides.

Selling a Motorcycle with a Lien

If your motorcycle is financed and the title is held by the lienholder, you can still sell your bike, you’ll just need to go through some extra steps.

You’ll need to contact the bank/lienholder as part of the title transfer. If there is still money owed on the bike, it will still need to be paid.

When is the Best Time to Sell a Motorcycle?

The best time to sell a working motorcycle is typically during the spring (late March to May).

As the snow thaws and the weather warms up, more people are interested in riding motorcycles. More demand = a better price for your bike.

If you’ve got a project motorcycle for sale, or a bike that needs work, you can often get a good price in late fall or early winter.

Months that are not ideal for riding are a great time to restore a motorcycle.

Should I let the Buyer Test Drive my Motorcycle?

It’ll be up to you whether or not you let your potential buyers test drive your motorcycle.

Here are some things to consider when allowing or denying a motorcycle test drive:

  • Trust-worthiness and seriousness of the potential buyer.
  • Whether or not they are wearing the proper riding gear.
  • If they are willing to provide you with some collateral or not.

If you decide to allow someone to test drive your motorcycle, be sure you keep yourself safe and covered.

Can I Sell a Motorcycle Without a Title?

Yes, you can sell a motorcycle without a title.

However, if you’re able to get a duplicate title, you can typically get a higher price for your bike and make the sale go a lot smoother.

Motorcycles with titles are a lot easier to sell than no-title bikes.

Selling a Motorcycle on Craigslist

Attracting potential buyers for your motorcycle comes down to where and how you advertise your bike.

Craigslist is a great place to buy and sell used motorcycles.

If you’re selling a motorcycle on Craigslist, follow these tips to make the sale as smooth as possible:

  • Take quality pictures of the bike.
  • Give a full, detailed description of the motorcycle and its condition.
  • List it at a reasonable price, and be prepared for buyers to try to negotiate. Know the minimum price you’re willing to sell for from the start.
  • Provide your e-mail and cell phone number for buyers to contact you.

Flipping Motorcycles

Do you have dreams of restoring old motorcycles and flipping them for a profit?

If you’ve got experience and know what you’re doing, this is can be a pretty good side hustle/hobie.

Before you jump right into it, there are some things you’ll need to know before you start flipping motorcycles:

  • If you have no experience rebuilding motorcycles, flipping them is going to be difficult.
  • You need skills, practice, and experience to restore and customize a motorcycle to a point where you can make a decent profit from it.
  • There are limits to how many vehicles you can sell each year before you need to register as a dealer with the DMV.
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