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drthompson65 07-19-2003 10:10 AM

Re: Sluggish Used Bike Market?
Wow, first post. I think the whole bike market is sluggish. Motorcyclist magazine stated that even Harley is having a hard time selling bikes. I was shocked to walk into a local dealer and weasal him down to MSRP on a night train in a matter of seconds. I personally have always ridden sport bikes. Most of my bikes I've sold took over a month. Have you tried ebay? Do you have good records? I've found all of this really helps. I was planning on selling my RC51 this month but I'm thinking now I'm going to sit on it. Anyone else noticing a slow bike market?

Hrap 07-19-2003 10:44 AM

Re: Sluggish Used Bike Market?
I sold a 12-year old BMW in late March - took 3 months to sell it. Had plenty of phone calls, one tire-kicker, and finally one buyer. But also know a friend who has been trying to sell a 2002 GSXR600 with no luck ...

vfr44 07-19-2003 11:53 AM

Been watching some Honda's on e-bay - Superhawks, VFR"S and CBRXX's - hardly any of them have been reaching reserve or had bids climbing much over Kelly Blue Book ( trade-in.

Zero bids if the initial bid is set near retail - even for clean ones w/ lots of nice aftermarket stuff (corbin seats and the like - not referring to squid stuff like mini turn signals ). Expecting nada retail in a private sell is very high expectations with the likely result being what you are seeing.

Surprisingly accessories like GIVI bags, Ohlins, Heli-bars, etc. are going very hi - maybe 70-80% of new prices at online low price dealers.

Everything sells at the right price - you just won't like the "RIGHT" price. I'm expecting a real firesale of leftover new bikes this fall - should be fun.

Abe_Froman 07-19-2003 11:57 AM

Re: Sluggish Used Bike Market?
I think the problem with late-model Japanese sportbikes is that they're a dime a dozen, and yes, you could go into a dealer and spend a couple thousand more and buy a brand-new one.

I see ads in Cycle Trader all the time for R1's with several thousand miles for 7500 or $8000, so when you can go buy a brand-new one at Chicago Cycle center for $1000 more why waste time with a used one? Sportbikes are almost a disposable commodity these days; at least that's how I look at them. I love my R1 but it is merely the latest and greatest of its time and it will be replaced eventually. It's a 2000 with 11.5K on it, in great shape, but I wouldn't be asking more than $6000 and I would probably get even less.

Lowrez 07-19-2003 12:21 PM

Re: Sluggish Used Bike Market?
Obviously, selling a bike in two hours is luck. At least in this part of the country (Detroit) this is the wrong season to sell a bike. The rush of new buyers is over and now theres heavy competition for sellers. Dealer's that have too much stock and folks who realize they've only ridden 200 miles since April are selling bikes and trying not to lose their shirt.

My best advice, ride it out to a street squid hang out with a for sale sign. Otherwise, you'll probably have to sit on it till next spring in order to get a fair price.

Oh, and sport bikes are definately a pain to sell because:

a) They're cheap new

b) They're easy to find

c) Owners tend to mistreat them and no one wants an abused bike.

sqidbait 07-19-2003 01:50 PM

Re: Sluggish Used Bike Market?
"Great color, average mileage. It's priced around NADA retail "or best offer," so I don't think price is the problem. "

That is the problem. Why would anyone pay listed retail to a private party? I sure wouldn't.

There are people out there with the cash for a used bike - I'm one of them - but it's a buyer's market and we're all patient.

If you want to sell it, take your lumps and drop the price to something reasonable. It'll sell then.

-- Michael

electraglider_1997 07-19-2003 03:40 PM

Re: Sluggish Used Bike Market?
And the motorcycle magazines always make everyone believe that the latest model is so much better than any before it. How can the little tweaks they make to each successive year be "so much better handling" than last years model which was the best ever?

nbyers 07-19-2003 06:48 PM

Yep, Price is the Thing
I'm selling my 1990 CBR1000F in a very lazy kind of way; I've done minimal advertising, had lots of interest.

But it's super-clean, has some primo extras and most importantly I'm only asking $2600. I can't find another one like mine for that cheap.

I test rode a couple of used bikes before buying a new 2002 R1 (at a screamin' deal) about six weeks ago. Those used bikes are still for sale, so I think that here in Seattle the used bike market is not all that great.

As VFR44 said, anything will sell at a price....the seller just might not like the price.

seruzawa 07-19-2003 07:14 PM

Re: Sluggish Used Bike Market?
Retail price is just that. Retail. It's not the price a private seller should expect. Dealers sell at retail.

Look at it this way. If I had a choice of buying the same bike for the same price from a dealer as a private party would I go to a dealer who may allow a return policy, will provide financing and will do the paperwork for me or do I go to a private party who will never do any of the above? Many people need the financing and don't want to hassle the inspections and DMV visits. This is why private parties who think they're going to get retail are usually disappointed.

TuneREX 07-19-2003 07:15 PM

Re: Sluggish Used Bike Market?
Yup, you're right. Why pay near retail to a private party? There's a ZX6E on Cycletrader right now [in CA] and the guy's asking $8500! Crikey, I was just quoted $8799 OTD for a new, orange ZX-7R. Granted, it's a bit of a dinosaur, but the same price for a ZX6E? Not gonna happen.

rwoo56 07-19-2003 07:38 PM

Re: Sluggish Used Bike Market?
I have 3 bikes listed for sale on various boards. I think you hit the nail on the head: Bad economy = buyer's market, great financing on new bikes and finally, bikes are generally for recreation, not a necessity. Have you looked at the unemployment rate??

detansinn 07-20-2003 02:37 AM

Re: Sluggish Used Bike Market?
A few years ago, I had a similar experience selling my Hawk GT. I posted an ad on Cycle Trader and within a couple of days I had a few dozen calls. This was in the time before the SV650 and Hawk demand was still very high. The bike sold within a week.

Recently, I had decided on reducing the number of bikes in the garage. I posted both my Ducati and Cagiva up for sale. It took more than a month to get a real response on the Ducati. I received emails from prospective "buyers" that were BELOW WHOLESALE blue book. Many of them didn't merit a response.

The Ducati sold after about a month and a half. A buyer showed up at my place with cash and we did the deal.

The Cagiva was a different animal. I received alot of offers BELOW WHOLESALE. It was almost as if the bike attracted bargain hunters and deadbeats. Most frequently, I was dealing with folks who wanted my bike using other bikes for sale on eBay as a price reference. On two occassions, I had to explain the concept of "RESERVE NOT MET" .

I was a weary seller. More weary after dealing with THREE NO SHOWS. "I'll be there with CASH and a trailer to pick it up this weekend". Sure, sure you will. After sitting in the driveway detailing my bike for a few hours, I decided to abandon selling the bike. It's a great machine and I get far more value from riding it around than I would giving the bike away.

Obviously, your mileage will vary -- especially if you're selling a Japanese sportbike. You might also want to consider that you're at the end of the riding season in some markets. (SHUTUP YOU FOLKS IN CA, LUCKY BASTARDS)

BTW: Watch out for the SCAM artists trying to buy your bike outside the country. ZX6E demand is quite soft in Liberia.

pplassm 07-20-2003 03:00 AM

Location, location, location...
I've moved around the country quite a bit, and found buying/selling habits to be quite different from place to place.

For instance, the above poster with the $2600 1990 CBR1000F would have no problem selling it at that price in my present location (Richmond, VA) as liter bikes sell for a premium around here.

There are factors that others have already touched on, like the almost-new/new decision a buyer makes.

Your previous sale of a VX800 is an interesting comparion. That bike was fairly limited in production, and has a semi-fanatical base of followers (almost like the old Honda Hawk). It was no surprise to me that it sold quickly.

Your ZX-6E, however, despite outperforming the VX800 in all performance regimes, is pretty dang ubiquitous, Kawasaki having produced it, unchanged, for several years now. American riding habits being what they are, a buyer could expect to buy an older bike with very low mileage, for a substantial discount over yours, with a mere year number to differentiate.

I generally deal at the lower end of the pond, and I can tell you that buyers' appetites for decent running bikes in the $1500 remains strong.

BTW, it ain't the economy. Haven't you heard the news? The recession ended 2 years ago!

Nyuk, nyuk,nyuk!

charuhas 07-20-2003 03:50 AM

Do your homework, MO
I'm surprised that MO would quote Kelly Blue Book prices, since most dealers use NADA and consider KBB numbers useless happy-talk. And, you all quoted wholesale trade in value, not retail. KBB retail is $5940.

NADA average retail for a 2002 Kawi ZX-6E is $5190. I'm asking $4999.

HighsideHarry 07-20-2003 03:51 AM

Re: Sluggish Used Bike Market?
I was pretty much bowled over when, out of curiosity, I checked out the price on my 2002 R1 at a few days ago. I mean, we're looking at a 3k drop from retail, and that's after I'd knocked the dealer down almost a grand at the outset!

Surprisingly, you don't see that many literbikes here in San Francisco (my theories go on for days!) which rules out saturation, but I do believe that the manufacturer's "Wait To You See What We Have For You Next Year!" has a lot to do with it. I mean, who wants to lay out over 10k for the latest-and-greatest, only to find out that Sport Rider is telling you that a V-6 is in the works with some manufacturers?

Guess I shoulda stuck with my old 250 Duc I had laying around the garage. Slow as hell, but at least it didn't depreciate!

sarnali 07-20-2003 04:02 AM

Re: Sluggish Used Bike Market?
You're priced too high. If you are anywhere near retail it's not going to happen. If you want to sell you have to be at least $500~$1000 below everyone else.

What you want to look at is trade-in value not retail to determine a price. Pricing high then putting OBO doesn't do any good because buyers are going to try and bargain anyway, if your over priced from the start they will see you as unreasonable and won't bother

Also unless someone has to have an '02 ZX6E they'll see if the dealers have any other 600's left over for near the same price and buy whatever is on the floor. The only way a private party is going to out sell a dealer, is to have a rare hard to find bike or offer a substantial savings to make up for the added hassle of doing all the paperwork themselves and having to deal with finding your house and setting up a time, only to find out the "'02 GSXCBRRR IN EXCELLENT SHAPE" is actually beat to death, slid down the road and spray canned, never had an oil change, no service ever done, etc,,etc,,

I'm not saying thats the case with yours, but it does happen. Before a dealer takes a used bike in in trade he's going to have his mechanic check it over pretty good. That gives buyers a little more peace of mind buying through a dealer. The only way you can beat that is to undersell them.

Buzglyd 07-20-2003 04:26 AM

It's interest rates
Used auto sales are in the tank right now too. It's not the economy. New bike sales are still pretty strong. It's just that if you can buy a new car or bike with special financing (0% interest, no payments, etc.), why would you purchase a used bike where financing is more difficult to get and interest rates are higher.

Used bike financing is about 12% interest at my credit union. It's a buyers market if you've got cash though.

Maybe it's time for that used R1.........

dmcelvain 07-20-2003 05:15 AM

Re: Sluggish Used Bike Market?
Selling a used sport bike is tough. There are so many bikes out there that have been crashed (damage varies), have a huge bald strip down the middle of the rear tire. (stoplight racer boy) have been modified (and how many know what they're doing when they whip out the wrenches?) Plus, as has been mentioned, cutting edge bikes have the shelf life of unrefrigerated lunch meat.

I bought a '98 YZF600R in 2000. It was December, and the seller was in VT. I watched it on cycle trader as it languished. A huge snowstorm rolled through New England and I e-mailed the guy the next day. I pitched a lowball offer and he took it. I had the bike shipped to my place and I rode it for 2+ years. I put 15K mi. on it., but kept it completely stock and clean. I gave it a *really* good detail job and put it in the paper @ KBB price 2 mos. ago. It was sold for full price (cash) in 5 days. I rode it for 2 years and ended up *making* $200 on the deal. The buyer commented that she'd looked at lots of bikes, but mine was the only uncrashed /unmodified bike she'd found and was willing to pay for it.

Look at your bike from the buyer's point of view, using this guide:

Then be patient!

Good Luck!

detansinn 07-20-2003 05:29 AM

Re: Do your homework, MO
"useless happy-talk" aside. You're going to have a tough time selling a used ZX-6E at that price point. NADA, KBB, whatever, it doesn't matter unless someone pays that much for it.

Think about what other bikes folks can pick up at the price; especially with the glut of leftover models and new models being discounted. I think the number that MO provided is much closer to the "true market value" for your motorcycle.

southwindphoto 07-20-2003 11:02 AM

Re: Sluggish Used Bike Market?
Regardless used bikes, cars or boats for that matter manufactures are stimulating their economy with fantastic financing offers. The problem is it makes the used market fall like a rockÂ…

With interest rates at an all time low, do not expect the used market to turn around anytime soon. It is a buyers market and anyone looking to by used is price shopping.

So like many of the others have said, lower you price to a few dollars less than trade in and place another ad in your local or nearest larger city paper.


Purchased a new 2003 Heritage soft tail early this year and sold my old Harley in one week for a fair priceÂ… about $2,000 under KBB

triumph900 07-20-2003 01:18 PM

Re: Do your homework, MO
I would never give retail for a bike from a private seller. Trade in is the target here. Most buyers understand that the seller is only going to get trade in value at a dealer (IF they are lucky), so why buy a premium to the seller? It is a very tough market now, and many new bikes can be had well below MSRP, and many with very cheap financing. Those are the main reasons the used bike market is slow.

Lowrez 07-20-2003 03:52 PM

Minor Exception
That darn Ninja 250 sells above trade-in value and it sells fast. At least, that has been my experience in the Detroit area. I mentioned off hand to a BMW dealer that my wife had a Ninja and he made me an offer on the spot. We weren't even selling it!

NotoriousDJW 07-20-2003 06:34 PM

Re: Do your homework, MO
KBB may be useless happy talk but you have a bike that is as bland as can be and the marketplace does work for these things. Lower your price and be amazed!

BTW, I just helped out the used bike market by ridding it of a meticulously maintaned 1990 VFR750 with 15k miles and the cleanest white wheels you've ever seen. Just $3500 for what was once the sweetest bike made!

Gabe 07-20-2003 08:02 PM

Some Thoughts:

Betamax 07-20-2003 09:58 PM

Sluggish New Bike Market
It's a comparatively sluggish new bike market as well this year...that's not just my opinion, but what I've heard from several people in sales.

To combat this trend, dealers are dropping new prices, especially on left-over '02s, but even on new '03s. In fact, I've seen new '03s going at left-over '02 prices...amazing.

And so the second-hand market is even more sluggish---because private owners are selling their bikes based on what they paid for the bike when new, but you can buy a new bike for not much more than what they're asking.

Dealers understand that prices are market-driven, but private owners want to sell at a price based on their original purchase price, whether there's a market for it or not.

I bought a new left-over VFR for only $500 more than a private owner was advertising his VFR with 10k miles on it. So why buy second hand?

jamesohoh7 07-21-2003 02:42 AM

Re: Sluggish Used Bike Market?
No doubt!... I agree... it's fun to watch the ads.

I imagine that they would chalk it up to: 2.3748% better 'x' is still -better- (where 'x' is whatever metric they are touting this week). Whether the typical rider can discern this improvment is up for debate, and no doubt I could not discern it either! :) This is why I ride a collection of two-stroke grey-bikes from the late 80's and early 90's and not the latest-n-greatest, b/c for me, they (my bikes) are the peak and I will likely never out-ride them all. (RZ350, TZR250, RG500).


Buzglyd 07-21-2003 03:42 AM

Re: Sluggish New Bike Market
How does it compare to an SV650 or Concours?

cbordeleau 07-21-2003 04:26 AM

Re: Sluggish Used Bike Market?
I am now shopping for a used bike but might be switching to new bike shopping...

Most people selling 1-3 year old bikes want as much & sometimes more the the dealers are charging new... Now maybe its me but a three year old bike that is listed for $100 less the what the dealer offered an 03 for seems a bit out of line. No one wants less then kbb for anything and to make people an resonable offer that is 25% below what they are asking makes me feel like an ass.

People selling bikes this time of year figure they still have a month of strong bike sales time left... but I would be hard press to buy anything to close to the end of the season (live in western NY season is kinda short) that I would just be packing away in a couple of months...

It has been a longs July of used shopping... just wanted to vent a bit.


seruzawa 07-21-2003 05:19 AM

Re: Sluggish Used Bike Market?
Maybe it's the easy availability of KBB and NADA prices over the internet in recent years that has contributed to the ridiculous asking prices for used bikes. I've noticed a huge increase of would-be sellers claiming that their clapped out 79 400 Hawk or their 73 YZ250 (a crappy dirt bike in the first place) is a "collector's item". Before the rise of the internet people used to price their bikes more in line with what they thought they themselves would pay for it. Now everyone seems to think that they are Cal Worthington or that their abused hunk-a-junk is a rarity.

20 year old bikes with asking prices of more than original purchase price are not uncommon. Is it mass delusion? What poses people to think that their 6 year old Intruder that sold for $7000 originally is going to sell for $5000? I've seen idiocies like this. I don't care if it's only got 3K miles on it. It's 6 freakin' years old fer crissakes! And since it's seldom ridden there's a good chance that the seals are dried out and soon to leak.

Too much self-esteem? Too much marijuana? What makes people think that their used stuff is so valuable?

torrnado 07-21-2003 05:20 AM

Re: Sluggish Used Bike Market?
"You might also want to consider that you're at the end of the riding season in some markets. (SHUTUP YOU FOLKS IN CA, LUCKY BASTARDS)..."

he he he

-Lucky Bastard in Sandyeggo

captainwhoopass 07-21-2003 05:24 AM

Re: Sluggish Used Bike Market?
To add to your first point, an additional problem, especially with any kind of smaller sportbike (especially 600's) is that many of the ones you see have had the snot kicked out of them by the previous owner(s), and many people now are getting wise to that, and are hesitant to buy unless there's some kind of warranty, service history, or something to let them know it has been taken care of.

captainwhoopass 07-21-2003 05:31 AM

Re: Sluggish Used Bike Market?
Yeah '73 YZ250's were really crappy- so crappy, in fact, that they didn't even bother making them until two years later!

nbyers 07-21-2003 05:47 AM

Yep, sold it.
Sold the abovementioned CBR on Saturday to a very enthusiastic buyer. He was properly appreciative of its clean original condition (original pipes, even the seat looks new) so I was glad to sell it to him. No haggling, he just paid cash.

Lobotomy_Boy 07-21-2003 05:57 AM

Re: Sluggish Used Bike Market?
I don't know about the rest of the country, but in the Midwest there is a massive price war taking place. The big Chicago shop drives much of that price war. In the Minneapolis area you can pick up R1s, GSX-R1000s, 954s, and even one of the few ZX-9Rs that dealers ordered for under $9K out the door, including tax and license. A careful shopper might be able to find a 954 for right around $8K out the door. That makes it darn hard to sell a used bike for $7K. Especially when the dealer can offer low-interest financing and monthly payments of $150 or less.

Right now it seems the only way to sell a used sportbike in this area is to take it in the shorts on the price. I've been seeing a lot of 2000-2002 ZX-6R Kawasakis in the paper for $4,500 or less. It would be hard to get more when local dealers are advertising ZX-6RRs for $6700 and ZX-6Rs for $7200.

If anyone ever asks my advice on selling a bike in the current market, I answer, "Don't." Right now it's damned hard to sell a late-model sportbike for enough to pay off your loan.

nbyers 07-21-2003 06:04 AM

Two Kinds of People....
My experience is that there are two kinds of people: The kind who think their stuff (bike, car, house, stereo, etc.) is worth much more than it is, and the kind who think that it's worth less than it is.

There seem to be very few people who are in between.

My recommendation is to buy your used stuff (bike, car, house, stereo, etc.) from the second kind of person, of course. Skip the guy/gal with the 1998 Kawasaki ZX900 (a great, underrated bike) with the rusty chain and chipped plastic who wants $6000 and travel straight to the guy/gal with the same bike which has been maintained and garaged for $4500.

A great place to overview the used market is CycleTrader. Searchable on line in seconds; if you're looking for a specific bike you can watch the ads for a couple of weeks. Overpriced/underwanted bikes will stay posted and this will give you an idea of what the market actually is. Then as the buyer you can be confident on what is a fair and/or good deal.

Unfortunately for my wallet, I'm definitely one of the second type of person.

Lobotomy_Boy 07-21-2003 06:10 AM

Re: Sluggish Used Bike Market?
Sometimes a seller will have better luck with an oddball bike like the ZX-6E than with more popular bikes, but luck is the key. There aren't a hell of a lot of people looking for the E model because the R model is just about as comfortable, has a more tractable engine, and offers loads more performance.

The selling point for the E model is that it has a very low seat height for a sportbike. Because of this, a lot of short people, chicks mostly, dig the E, and when they get their hearts set on buying one moving heaven and earth won't dissuade them. For a lot of inseam-challenged riders, the ZX-6E is their only ticket into the sporty bike market.

The trouble is dealers order very few E versions so it's damned near impossible to find one in a showroom. They don't order many of these bikes because hardly anyone wants to buy them, but for those short people who do want one, often the used-bike market is their only option.

Thus, the poster may well be able to get a decent price for his or her ZX-6E, provided he or she is lucky enough to be selling it at the exact same time a short person is looking to buy such a bike. $4900 is unrealistic, but if the bike is really nice and well-maintained, $4500 is not unthinkable, though $4000-$4300 is probably more likely.

wfowade 07-21-2003 06:32 AM

Re: Sluggish Used Bike Market?
If the bike is in pristine condition, average retail from a private party is reasonable. The key is visibility. Buying from a private party vs a dealer should not really impact the price just the time it takes to sell it. Dealers receive lots of walk in traffic and some folks actually buy on impulse. As a long time rider, I have owned lots of bikes but bought a RC 51 just because it was there and available at the time. Condition is the biggest factor in determining price. Beyond that, it's getting a qualified buyer to look at the product. This is true whether you are selling homes, bikes, cars, boats etc.

TuneREX 07-21-2003 06:44 AM

Re: Sluggish Used Bike Market?
I'm in exactly the same bind. I've been watching Cycletrader and my local sites [Bay Area] since April. I'm getting fed up with seeing used bikes priced 85-90% of new. With any used bike, I start my offer at 60% and go downward from there. Mind you, I have a year-round season and can afford to wait a coupla months. But my local dealership is packed with leftover bikes and buying used is getting less and less interesting.

RickZ 07-21-2003 07:17 AM

Re: Sluggish Used Bike Market?
It depends on the bike, I think, but yeah, the market in general has tanked. Tried selling my 2001 R1100RT, but haven't had any luck. It didn't help that the 1150 came out, and now the Twin Spark. Not to mention that BMW chose to offer low financing to celebrate their 80th just as I needed to sell my bike. Thanks a lot, BMW. :( Tons of 1100RT\'s are on the market now, and nobody is getting what they want for them.

Betamax 07-21-2003 08:51 AM

Re: Sluggish New Bike Market

It\'s OK, except that it was manufactured by Honda...which according to MO lately is the Anti-Christ...

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