I often get emails from visitors asking how much their bike is worth. Some simply say, “I have a 1980s Honda, how much is it werth?” This week, Jamie L. sent me a little more comprehensive email, so I thought I would try to help. Jamie wrote:
“I am ready to sell my Harley. It is a 883 100TH ANNIV. It has approx. 4000 miles, garage kept, and has never been in the rain or in an accident. I would like to know what it is worth. Would you give me an idea. It also has added items.”
Here are a few ways of finding out what your motorcycle is worth / what your motorcycle’s resale value is.
Realistically, there’s no way of answering Jamie’s email without more information. He never told me where he is. Location plays a huge role in determining the value of a motorcycle, so asking strangers on the internet won’t be too helpful unless they’re from your area.
Why is location so important to the value of a motorcycle? When Quebec made reforms to their license plate rates on motorcycles based on engine displacement, larger motorcycles saw a huge spike in cost of ownership, so their value decreased immediately. Contrarily, in Ontario, a 600cc supersport would cost much more to insure than an 1,100cc cruiser because 600cc supersports are charged a premium in the province.
Local motorcycle policies can affect the value of your motorcycle significantly, as can local laws. All of my motorcycles have modified exhaust pipes. If laws were passed and there was a crackdown on loud exhaust pipes the value of my motorcycles would drop, unless I sold them elsewhere.
So how do you find out what your motorcycle is worth online?
- Look at your local classifieds. These include craigslist, kijiji, autotrader, etc. The keyword here is local. Ignore national and international websites like eBay. If you’re selling your bike to a local market, price it according to the local market.
- Call a motorcycle dealership and a shop or few. As in, don’t call just one. Your local motorcycle dealers and shops can tell you what they think your motorcycle is worth, offer to sell it for you on consignment, or make you an offer to buy it from you. Be sure to first ask in that order.
Ask the locals. If you check out your local motorcycle events, motorcycle clubs, or motorcycle meetings, you’re going to find local motorcyclists. These folks are into motorcycling enough to make it a part of their social life, so odds are they can give you an educated guess on what your two-wheeled lover is worth.
- Bluebook it. Online bluebook websites such as kbb, bluebook trader, and nadaguides exist. These may or may not be local, so you might have to do some digging around. Ask your local dealership what they use. That should be a local guide. If you manage to get your hands on a blue book, remember that there is the wholesale section (what a dealership would buy the bike for), and a retail section (what you could sell it for).
You’ll need to consider year, condition, miles/kilometers on your bike, damage, service and service records, and modifications when determining how much your motorcycle is worth relative to the local average for your motorcycle.
For more info, read my post on How to Sell Your Motorcycle. Have your own tips on how to find out what your motorcycle is worth? Leave a comment!