Why selling a modified bike isn’t the best idea…

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Selling a modified bike? Put it back to stock and sell the parts separately says Neil Murray

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As a rule, I tend to avoid modified bikes. Generally, this is because they are changed to one particular person’s idea of what they should be, do or look like, and that limits their appeal. Another reason is because so many are bodge jobs and few people are capable of significantly improving a manufacturer’s product. Yet another is that they increase your parts hassles, unless you know exactly what has been done.

Changing things like rear shocks and other service items is one thing. But say you buy a 1200 Bandit that’s had a GSX-R front end fitted. What model? K4? K7? And what are the brakes from? And that master cylinder doesn’t match anything you’ve seen. And then you find that the calipers are from a Yamaha…


The real issue I have, if I’m trying to buy and sell something, is that people think throwing thousands at a bike magically increases its value by whatever they’ve spent. I have a stock answer for that: you can spend twenty grand gold-plating the thing, but that doesn’t mean it’s worth twenty grand to anyone.

People expect a stock product to perform to a certain standard.  If you have spent a lot of money to improve that standard by, say, 10% – a 10% increase in top speed, or a 10% improvement in economy, handling etc then for the average buyer, that might justify a price premium of 10%.  But it can cost a hell of a lot to achieve a 10% improvement in anything. If you’re selling a bike that’s been modified, try and put it back to stock and sell the various bits separately.

Also catching my eye this week

1973 CZ 380 classic motocrosser £2950
Seller says Completely rebuilt/restored three years ago, just completed three seasons’ racing.
Neil says CZ’s competition bikes were world class. Perfect for classic racing.

2005 Triumph Daytona 650 £2400
Seller says 6400 miles, lovely condition, UK model with Polish plates.
Neil says Short lived model before Triumph ditched fours, but very competent. And Prince Harry had one.


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Read the latest stories causing a buzz this week in Promos…

Neil Murray

By Neil Murray

MCN Used Bike Expert