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How to Calculate a Fair Price for a Used Motorcycle

How to Calculate a Fair Price for a Used Motorcycle

1. Introduction

Buying used motorcycles is very common nowadays. Some people buy used motorcycles because the new ones are too expensive, while others buy used motorcycles because the model they want has been discontinued by their favorite company. Every person can have a different reason for wanting to buy a used motorcycle but there is a common problem faced by all people regarding how to calculate a fair price for a used motorcycle.

2. Factors That Affect the Price of a Used Motorcycle

There can be many reasons why a motorcycle will not start. It could be due to a clogged petcock, a blown fuse, or an issue with the spark plug. The most common reason why a motorcycle does not start is because of a drained battery.

2.1 Model and Releasing Year

The most important factor that affects the price of a used motorcycle is its age. The older a bike is, the less value it will have. An older bike will have traveled more, be more worn down, and have had its parts replaced or damaged. Technology can get old and outdated, resulting in the bike’s value lowering.

2.2 Physical Condition

To some riders, a motorcycle’s appearance is the most important factor when choosing a used motorcycle. Surely a motorcycle with good and clean looks is worth more than a bike that looks ugly and has poor value. However, some factors affect a motorcycle’s appearance, but ultimately, the overall physical condition of a motorcycle depends on the rider.

Rim and Tires:

A motorcycle with original rims and tires that are neither flattened nor worn out will provide an appealing look and improve its value. Most used motorcycles have dents and rust on their rims and tires making replacing them on cruisers, sports, touring, and adventure bikes a costly investment.


Cruisers, touring, sports, and adventure bikes have fairings attached to them. However, café racers and the naked motorcycle may or may not have fairings attached. Damaged or broken fairings negatively affect the bike’s overall value.

Frame and Body:

If a motorcycle is used with care, its body and frame should stay in good form. Normally, used motorcycles have gotten into a few accidents, resulting in a damaged frame or body. A damaged motorcycle frame and body can reduce the motorcycle’s price. The cost of repairing the motorcycle’s body is not expensive, but making alterations to the motorcycle’s frame can be costly. Hence, a motorcycle with a damaged frame has less value.


Handlebars that are neither damaged nor rusted will ensure an appealing look, resulting in the motorcycle having a better value and price.

Fuel Tank:

A common problem among used motorcycles is that their fuel tanks have dents or scratches. Fuel tanks may also have rust inside them which could negatively affect the engine and fuel pump, resulting in poorer performance and value for the motorcycle.

2.3 Performance

A motorcycle’s appearance can be changed easily and will not affect the vehicle’s overall functionality. Some important factors that affect a motorcycle’s performance and price are provided below:


A motorcycle with a bigger engine displacement size has good value and provides a good riding experience. On the other hand, a motorcycle engine that has poor performance will result in the motorcycle having less value.


Normally, suspensions do not suffer serious damage for a long time. For heavier riders, good suspensions are a must. A motorcycle that has good suspensions will not get stuck while moving nor will the shocks produce any weird spring sounds. Having good suspensions increase the overall riding experience a motorcycle provides.


The brakes need to be replaced at least once per year or more depending on how frequently you use your motorcycle. However, the brake discs do not need to be replaced for a long time. A motorcycle with damaged or broken discs results in the bike’s value decreasing. A damaged disc plate can also damage the motorcycle’s brake pads.

Chain Gear Set:

When a motorcycle is used for a long time, its gear set becomes rougher or the teeth of the gear set become thinner, which may produce an unpleasant grinding sound and negatively affect the motorcycle’s overall performance of the motorcycle, especially when shifting gears.

However, some motorcycles have a belt drive system instead of a chain gear set. For these motorcycles, a damaged or broken belt may negatively impact the motorcycle’s price.


The transmission gear set is the soul of the engine. No one wants to buy a motorcycle that feels stiff while shifting gears or has a hard transmission when shifting gears. Changing the transmission gear set or repairing the gears can be very costly. Hence, a motorcycle with a damaged transmission gear set will negatively affect the motorcycle value.

Distance Travel:

How much distance a motorcycle has traveled also affects the condition of the engine. If a motorcycle has been operated a lot, its engine efficiency decreases over time, resulting in the motorcycle’s value decreasing in the market as well.

2.4 Aftermarket Parts Availability

There are certain countries and states where aftermarket parts for some motorcycle models are not available. In such countries, the price of that specific model is also not very good. For aftermarket parts, people have to visit online stores or contact dealerships able to provide them with the aftermarket parts they need.

2.5 Performance

A motorcycle’s resale value depends on the aftermarket parts available for that specific model. Its resale value also depends on the popularity of that specific motorcycle. Harley Davidson has a strong following in America and several other countries, therefore Harley models have very good resale value. However Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki, and Yamaha are Japanese motorcycle-manufacturing companies, therefore they only have good resale value in Japan and other countries where these companies have dealerships.

3. Online Website and Guides

Looking at online websites and guides is a very convenient way to calculate a fair value for a used motorcycle. There are online motorcycle selling stores, where anyone can see the current value of a used motorcycle in a particular region. However, there are some online websites that calculate the price of a used motorcycle based on all the factors discussed earlier. But they do not calculate the price of a used motorcycle on the basis of available aftermarket parts or the popularity of a motorcycle, despite these two being important factors in calculating the price of a used motorcycle.

4. Conclusion

All the factors mentioned above are important but the major factors that determine whether the price of a used motorcycle is fair are the motorcycle’s performance and available motorcycle aftermarket parts.

There are some online stores that provide good quality aftermarket parts for the motorcycles like saddlebags, sissy bars, crash bars, handlebars, fairing, luggage racks, motorcycle trunks, etc.

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