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MCN  says:

You Ask/You Answer: Selling my first bike

"I'm selling my CBR125R, and will be stepping up to one of the new CBR500Rs, and obviously need as much money as possible from the sale of my 125. It's the first vehicle I've ever owned and sold, and I'm looking for some tips about getting the best sale possible. "What products will get it the cleanest, what should I look...

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  • Posted 2 years ago (10 April 2013 10:28)

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Sep 10

Posts: 836

CBR11X says:

I think provided the bike is clean, has a complete service history and doesn't have any crash damage you should get good money for it. Check all the adverts and compile some stats. Pitch your bike towards the upper middle quartile price wise and leave wiggle room for negotiating. Before you post yopur advert, keep an eye on which bikes sell and for how much. You may want to ring some advertised bikes and enquire like you're a buyer.

The advert is important too. Use clear photos and lots of them from many angles. Put as much info as you can about the bike and write a professional blurb. Don't use text-message shortcuts for example. A nice catchy headline is good.


Cleaning wise, Get a toothbrush and kero to clean the back sprocket and chain, and anywhere there's grease. I use a good furniture polish and clean rags after a gentle wash with warm water and a sponge for the shiny bits. Motorcycle cleaning products are a bit of a rip-off and produce no better results than good old Mr Sheen. I avoid using high pressure water as you can f@ck up electricals if the hose gets away from you.

Good luck and I hope you get a fair price.

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Feb 12

Posts: 242

Titosfuneral says:

When someone comes to view the bike, have the paperwork there, ready and ordered for them to view. Don't fall for the old trap of letting them leave their car keys with you while they take a test ride. If they have to have a test ride, it's as pillion to you.. but only if you're confident they can't bung you off the bike and nick it.

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Jul 12

Posts: 4

Tito, I've only sold a couple of bikes but each time I allowed a test ride, only on condition that I had the full asking price in my hands before they got on the bike. That way even if they did do a runner I had the full price, before any haggling, and so was covered financially anyway.

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Aug 09

Posts: 233

flatspots says:


Emphasise the good points of the bike, one owner, F.S.H, well maintained etc. Clean the bike thoroughly and make sure the basics are carried out. Chain adjusted, oil/brake/water fluid levels are correct to give the impression of a caring owner.

If consumables are worn, brake pads/tyres etc, expect to be marked down by the buyer. Not keen on test rides before the purchase because of the risk of damage and theft, however If you know the bike is straight and rides good you could give them that assurance. If a test ride is necessary at least get a deposit or something in writing to say the rider will make good any damage.

Finally have a bottom line price you want for it prior to the viewing and expect to haggle.   


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Sep 09

Posts: 897

Rogerborg says:

Be as honest as you need to be

Don't claim it's immaculate if it's not. An obvious lie will make buyers question everything else you've said about the bike.

Scrupulously list any flaw or wear that buyers are likely to notice.  Anything else is caveat emptor.

An eBay auction is asking to have your time and money wasted by fantasists. If you must go eBay, use a classified ad. If you go via Gumtree, expect to be offered job lots of hatstands or Staffie puppies in exchange, although there are plenty of real, honest punters there too.  If you have to re-post your adverts, do not go off on one about "re-posted due to time wasters".  That's of no interest to genuine buyers and makes you sound like a mental.

Don't be put off by foreign gentlemen offering you a sack of cash to put your bike in the back of their lorry.  It's common enough now, and their money is as good as anyone else's.

Negotiating tips: don't agree to accept a figure unless they're actually offering to put it in your hand - ask if they are.  Make that mistake and they might "go away to think about it", then come back later (or send a mate) and start haggling down again from there.

Sell to the first person who actually puts money in your hand.  Don't "hold" a bike for someone who might be on the way to see another half dozen.

Test pilots need to have 3rd party insurance to ride the bike. You're (also) committing an offence by letting them ride if they're not. It's an absolute offence, there's no defence of "reasonable belief", and having them sign a statement is likely to affect the sentence, not the conviction. Get (genuine) details from them so that if a NIP and s172 comes through the door two weeks later, you know who to point at.

When the deal is done, hand over the new keeper slip and always complete and send off the V5C yourself, never trust the buyer to do it.  Its your responsibility, not theirs, the DVLA will come after you.  Get (and keep safe!) a free "certificate of posting" from the post office, in case Royal Fail or the Department of Various Lost Articles do what they do best.

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Dec 12

Posts: 1454

Diablere says:

Part ex it

if your buying a new bike then they want the sale,and you'll get the best  BOOK price that way. without the hassle or cost of advertising,or any of the (in honesty rare) problems that you can get from private sales.

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Oct 05

Posts: 133

romford4 says:

Like Rodger says

the prospective buyer requires a minimum of 3rd party insurance, otherwise you're committing an offence yourself by letting them ride the bike.  Two important things before giving out any test-rides:  (1) Before any test, ask them for proof of ID - something like their driver's licence so that you can see it's them, their address, and that they are actually licenced to ride your bike;  (2) the full asking price of the bike in cash, in your hand, with the proviso that 'You bend it, you've bought it', and 'If you bring the police back here because you've been caught riding without insurance, you've also bought it... your bike, your problem'.

Most buyers should know the score, so be wary of anyone who doesn't.

One final thing... on a 125cc, find out what the dealer will offer you for it.  These bikes in good nick are usually an easy sale for them and they tend to offer fair prices.  Weigh up the cost of an advert in BikeTrader or MCN, think whether you could be doing a few hours extra overtime instead of being at home to show people your bike, and then decide whether you'll be much better off still doing a private sale.

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Oct 11

Posts: 2640

Piglet2010 says:


I would trade the bike in at a dealer - the time, hassle, and risks of private sales are not worth a few hundred dollars (or Pounds, Euros...) to me.  As always, YMMV.

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Apr 07

Posts: 1554

shuggie1 says:

If clean, and trading up try the dealer

Avoids potential issues listed above, plus they may be only scouting and pop back later to remove it when it's dark and quiet.

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Sep 10

Posts: 120

daveire says:

I had my bike on an Irish bike site for the last two weeks and so far all I got was time wasters and joy riders. I always ride easy through my local village but last week I have stories of my bike going through it at "crazy speeds". This pisses me off as I will get a bad name locally and possibly get my bike reported to the police. So I decided to remove the ad possibly wait a couple of months and trade with a dealer.

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