Five tips for selling your bike privately with UsernameKate

buying your first motorbike

Bikesure ambassador UsernameKate, AKA Kate Ralph of Bolton in Lancashire, reveals how to sell your motorcycle privately.

And her advice comes with huge experience because the rising YouTube star has held sales roles for some of the world’s top bike brands, such as Harley-Davidson, Ducati and, since March 2020, BMW. Here Kate details her five expert tips for selling your bike.

As a few of you know, I sell motorbikes for a living so I’d like to think I have a little bit of knowledge to share when it comes to selling motorcycles! I’d feel that some of the principles can be applied to a seller looking to sell their motorcycle privately.

1. Do your research

If you’re going to try to sell your motorcycle, you need to have a realistic price in mind that you are going to advertise it at. 

In the trade, we have valuation tools we use as a base line such as glasses guide or cap, however if you’re selling privately – have a look on AutoTrader or eBay.

Look for the same models, same model year, similar specifications and mileage.

A bonus tip would be to search for your bike’s model on eBay but select the ‘sold’ category. This will show you what bikes like yours have sold for. If they’re all advertised at £6,000 – £6,500, but there are lots that have sold for £5,500, it will help you manage your expectations as to what you can realistically command for your machine.

2. Descriptions are important!

Have you ever clicked on a bike on eBay, scrolled down to the description to see there are only two sentences populating the description box? Massive red flag.

We want descriptions, mileage, service history, MoT history, whether we’ll need to change the tyres after 300 miles or if there’s plenty of life left in them. We want to know if there’s a genuine reason for sale and to know about all the great parts and specifications about the bike. We even appreciate it when bad parts are highlighted. A lengthy and honest description will go a long way with a potential buyer!

3. Everyone loves a bargain


There is a saying… ‘Shy kids get no sweets’ and believe me, potential buyers want those Bassetts jelly snakes. 

‘What’s the lowest you’ll go mate?’ and ‘I only have a budget of…’ are phrases you will hear when trying to sell your bike. Sometimes it is good to set your price a couple of hundred pounds higher than what you are willing to accept. That way, your buyer feels like they’ve got themselves a deal and everyone is happy.

This tip might not always apply – for example, if you aren’t in a rush to sell, you have a bit more power to be able to stand firm and wait for the right person who will buy it for what you want to sell it at.

Also, it may not apply if you’re selling something a bit more niche or specialist, like a limited edition Ducati or a classic bike, for example.

4. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression!

It is important to present your bike in the best condition you can. If you enjoy cleaning and keeping your motorcycle in tip-top condition, a potential buyer will see that you treat it with care and are more likely to think they are buying a good bike. 

If you aren’t the best biker cleaner in the world and just prefer to ride them, then throw them in the garage when you’re back from a mucky ride, I’d absolutely advise hiring a professional valeter so you can present it in the best light possible. I’ve seen some valeters charge £60 and do a cracking job, so it’s worth asking biker friends who they’d recommend and check out Facebook motorcycle valeter pages, but be sure to check the reviews.

5. Get it out there – make it visible

The more eyes that can see the bike and see it’s up for sale, the better your chances are to sell it. It’s a numbers game right? 

If your budget allows for it, get it on eBay, get it on MCN or stick it on AutoTrader. 

If you are looking to sell it without paying for advertising, try selling it to your friends, take it to busy bike meets with a big sign that says ‘for sale’ along with your contact details, advertise it on Facebook marketplace or join biker groups on Facebook that allow you to advertise motorcycles.

If you want half a chance at selling it, you have to get eyes on it!

I hope you have enjoyed these tips and if you’re in the process of selling your bike… may the biking Gods be with you.

Good luck! 

Motorbike insurance you can trust

Whether you’re upgrading your bike or you’ve decided not to sell, Bikesure can offer you great deals on your motorbike insurance. Call 0333 271 6958 for a no obligation motorcycle insurance quote or book a callback at a time that suits you.

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August 8, 2023