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Selling Your Bike Privately? Don’t Forget About Safety

Individuals often express concern over their safety when selling any type of vehicle privately. They don’t worry as much about valuing the vehicle, advertising it, or preparing it for sale. They want to ensure they remain safe when potential buyers come to view the vehicle and negotiate the price. This holds true whether the person is selling a passenger car, a motorcycle, or a commercial vehicle.

As a result of this concern, a person may have numerous questions regarding how to carry out this task safely. Should they allow people to visit their homes to view the vehicle or meet in a public place? Test rides may or may not be allowed, as the seller doesn’t want someone to take their vehicle for a ride only to have them never return.

American Motorcycle Trading Company recommends sellers take precautions when selling a vehicle privately. The goal remains to have the seller remain in control of the process from start to finish. How can they accomplish this goal?

Gather Details

Never allow a potential buyer to visit the home without gathering basic information from them. This includes their name and phone number at a minimum. The seller can then contact the potential buyer if needed to ensure they provided accurate information. When the individual arrives to see the vehicle, request their driver’s license to verify the information and feel confident they are who they say they are. This will be of importance if the sale moves forward.

When the individual arrives to see the bike or other vehicle, take note of the vehicle they arrive in. Get the license plate number, make, and model, and text this information to a friend or family member. This added level of protection ensures someone knows who the seller was with if something goes wrong and they must contact law enforcement.

Meet During the Day

Never meet someone at night. Always schedule the appointment during daylight hours. In the past, experts would recommend meeting at the seller’s home. Setting up a meeting elsewhere could make the buyer suspicious, as they may also be taking precautions when meeting a stranger to see a vehicle. If the viewing will take place at the seller’s home, it never hurts to have someone else present.

If the seller wishes to meet elsewhere, choose a public place where others will be present. Many law enforcement agencies today offer a safe meeting place on their premises, thanks to the uptick in online sales. Consider using this option and scheduling multiple viewings in proximity to each other. These tips become of great help when meeting a stranger for a viewing or online sale.

Keep Security Measures Private

When meeting with a buyer, never share information about how and where the bike or vehicle is stored. They may request this information and the seller can provide general details, such as whether the bike is stored in a garage or outdoors. However, never provide specific information or allow the buyer to see any locks or additional security measures if meeting at the seller’s home.

Trust Your Instincts

If something seems off, remain cautious. Don’t hesitate to walk away from a sale if something appears off. It’s better to lose out on a sale than to be scammed by a buyer. Furthermore, remain wary of people who are overly aggressive, such as those who attempt to negotiate a lower price before they have even seen the bike. Nothing says a seller has to meet with a potential buyer if the buyer makes them uncomfortable during the initial contact.

Test Rides

A person may wish to ride the bike before making a purchase. Most sellers choose to not allow test rides, although they may be willing to take the buyer for a short ride with them on the bike also. Insurance rarely covers any damage incurred as a result of a test ride. If the person harms the bike in any way, it falls on the seller to make the necessary repairs.

The individual interested in purchasing the bike may offer to leave a deposit in cash to cover potential damages, but this isn’t enough to cover the seller. They may find weeks later that the individual received a ticket they are now responsible for because the bike is registered in their name. It’s simply not worth the risk in the eyes of most sellers to permit test rides.

A pillion ride is often enough to satisfy a potential buyer. They can learn what they need to know about the bike during this ride and feel confident in their purchase. However, refuse this ride if there is any doubt about the authenticity of the buyer. Furthermore, don’t show off during this ride. Make it short, sweet, and smooth to increase the odds of them wishing to buy while ensuring everyone returns from the test ride healthy and happy.

Don’t Be Pushy

A person may take a test ride and then find they wish to take some time before deciding if they want to purchase the bike. Allow them time to inspect the bike and answer any questions they have regarding its condition. They may wish to start the engine or have it inspected at their cost by a mechanic. Permit them to do so at a predetermined time and place. By being open and honest about the entire process, the seller increases the odds of a successful transaction that leaves both parties satisfied with the outcome.


Expect to negotiate with a potential buyer. They want the best deal while the seller wants a fair price for the bike. When an agreement is reached, discuss payment. Cash, online bank transfers, and in-person transactions at a bank remain the best options. They help to ensure the funds are legitimate.

Selling a bike doesn’t have to be a hassle. However, if a person doesn’t feel confident doing so, they may wish to sell the bike to a broker that deals in motorcycle sales. Consider this option if you have concerns about a private sale, as your peace of mind always needs to be the top priority.

About YouMotorcycle

YouMotorcycle is a lifestyle motorcycle blog to be appreciated by those who see motorcycling as a lifestyle and not simply a hobby, sport, or method of transportation. Most of the posts on the site are written by past and present motorcycle industry staff. We remain fiercely independent, innovative, and unconventional. Our goal is to encourage more people to enjoy the world's greatest outdoor sport by helping new riders get started and inspiring current riders to get out more. We motorcycle, do You?

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