Parting with a loved one is never easy, but when it comes time to put out to pasture your two-wheel friend, there’s no reason you shouldn’t get the best price for it. If you’re like us, you’ll want a good home for the bike that’s been a part of numerous fond memories. Unless, of course, you crashed it. At that point it’s too late. Sell it to anyone with a pulse, swallow the the loss, and move on to greener pastures.

10. Clean & Repair

Looks aren’t everything, but they do mean a lot. Take some time to wash, wax, and repair any cosmetic damage. Not only is a clean bike more attractive, but it conveys to a prospective buyer that you took proper care of your machine.

9. Tune-up

No need to do a complete engine rebuild, but you’re going to be asked to start the bike, and it’s embarrassing – as well as hard to explain – when it doesn’t. Adjust the chain, bleed the brakes, check air pressure, change the oil, etc. To be certain everything’s in working order, refer to the MSF’s T-CLOCS inspection list, and you’ll have your bases covered.

8. Pictures

When there’s 20 of the same model listed, a good photo can make the difference in compelling someone to click on your posting. After you clean and repair the motorcycle, take it somewhere pretty that’ll compliment its colors and/or style. Make sure the background is clean of distractions. Take shots from different angles, and lots of detail photos that prove the bike is as clean as you claim.

7. Service Records/Receipts

Hopefully you’ve kept the records/receipts of all the maintenance performed on the motorcycle. Nothing beats a paper trail to prove good stewardship. Even if you’ve performed some maintenance yourself, it’s a good idea to make a log of date, mileage and work performed.

6. Collect Original Equipment

Like maintenance receipts, hopefully you’ve kept any and all stock items you’ve removed from the motorcycle. The replacements may look or function better, but there’s no reason to keep items belonging to a bike you no longer own, and offering them to the prospective buyer adds value to the deal.

5. Advertise

When it comes time advertise utilize all the tools at your disposal. There are many free sites, like right here on MO, or Craigslist, and then there are pay-to-play sites. Some work better than others.

4. Use Brand Names

If you’re bike is outfitted with recognizable, brand name items – whether stock or aftermarket – be sure to flaunt the name. Brand names such as Öhlins, Brembo, Marchesini, etc., add value, and are good items to revisit when it comes time to negotiate (see #2).

3. Test Rides

Allowing a test ride before money is exchanged is just a bad idea. A prospective buyer may seem honest and claim a solid skillset, but too many things can go wrong. Besides, if the two parties involved can’t agree on a price, the test ride was nothing more than unnecessary risk.

2. Negotiate

The ad you placed may have said “firm,” but nobody believes that’s the case. Haggling is just part of the game, so maintaining a margin between the list price and the amount of money you’ll accept is a good idea. Don’t roll over immediately, no matter how much you’re wanting to make the sale. Some people enjoy haggling just for the fun of it. Some don’t, but you can never be sure. Don’t forget to mention the brand names again, the maintenance records, stock components you’re including, etc. Acting out the pain over the price being offered can also help.

1. Be Ready To Sell

If the negotiations are a success, be ready to finalize the deal. Have the title, registration, any other necessary paperwork ready to go. If you’re not prepared, the deal may be lost. Have a bill of sale, nothing fancy, but something with basic information and signatures. Don’t accept checks, wooden nickels or bitcoins – cash is king.