Top Tips for Trading in Your Bike

Bike Trade-in

Whether you’ve owned motorbikes for most of your driving life or just for a couple of years, you’ll probably decide at some point that it’s time to trade up.

Perhaps you’ve been finding your feet with your first bike and now feel ready for something more challenging, or you’ve come into a fortuitous windfall and can afford the bike of your dreams. Whatever the reason, there’s a time in every motorcycle riders life when they consider the virtues of a younger model.

Bike Trade-in

The first decision to make is whether to buy new or second hand. Obviously if you’ve got your sights set on a particular make and model then that will be a decision maker, but otherwise there are a few important things to consider.

Like cars, new bikes depreciate once they’ve left the showroom. Unlike cars, however, bikes often aren’t ridden as many miles a year, so a three-year-old bike may have depreciated by a few thousand pounds – but be in great condition.

If you’re buying second hand, then previous care is important. Bikes require a lot more maintenance than cars. And whilst a well maintained bike can easily handle 100k on the clock, a badly maintained one may struggle to make 30k. For help with examining second-hand bikes, read this motorcycle buying guide.

Bike Trade-in

Pre-registered or Ex-demo?

A great way to get a good deal could be to buy a pre-registered or ex-demo motorcycle. A pre-registered bike will be one whose first registered owner was the dealer, so in the logbook you would be the second registered owner. Pre-registered bikes should be brand new and will only have delivery mileage on the clock. They’re a great way to get a top bike at a knock-down price.

Ex-demo bikes will have more miles on the clock than pre-registered ones, but the price will be even more significantly reduced. If you’re considering buying an ex-demo bike, check it carefully for damage and ensure that it was properly run in.

When’s the Best Time to Trade Up?

When you buy and sell could make a big difference. Bikers looking for a good deal tend to buy in the winter – with December offering some of the best bargains. Prices tend to be highest in the summer, so for the best trade up deals you’d ideally sell in June, July or August and buy in the winter (although this leaves you with a gap of six months without a bike or with two bikes in the garage for six months.)

The downside of buying in the winter is that whilst you save money, your new bike may be sitting in the garage for a few months without being used. So waiting until spring to buy and sell might be the best all-round solution.

Selling your Old Bike

Naturally, you want to get the best price for your old bike and a decent insurance deal for your new one. Therefore, clean up your motorbike and make sure it’s running OK. The better it looks and sounds, the more likely you are to get the price you want. Get all the paperwork sorted, including servicing receipts and details. The more information you can provide buyers, the easier it should be to sell.

Naturally, a good photograph will help generate buyer interest. Photograph your bike against a plain background. Don’t include shots with people. Don’t get your husband, wife or girlfriend to pose next to it seductively. This’ll likely turn people off, not on. You want potential buyers to think of it as their bike, not yours.That is, if you can bring yourself to let it go.