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Top 10 Motorcycles with High Resale Value

Top 10 Motorcycles with High Resale Value

All motorcycles depreciate in value at different rates. Some motorcycle makes and models do exceptionally well, while others lose their value as soon as you leave a dealership and hit the road.

Most motorcycle enthusiasts sell their current bikes to upgrade to bigger, heavier bikes with better technology, fuel consumption, and performance. But if your bike has a low resale value, you cannot purchase a different bike even if include your savings.

If you plan to ride your bike for 10-15 years, then the low resale value might not bother you. But if you want to sell a bike within the next 5 years, then you need to know which models, brands, and motorcycle specs retain their value over 5-7 years. For example, Victory motorcycles depreciate quickly in value due to the company being discontinued by Polaris. Similarly, Honda motorcycles don’t retain their value for long since they are readily available on the market and produced in large numbers.

This unpredictable rise and fall in monetary values make it nearly impossible to know which motorcycles will retain most of their value. Bikes that cost $25,000+ can lose half their value overnight, while those that cost around $10,000-$15,000 lose only a couple thousand dollars in five years. Depreciation in value often differs between motorcycles based on their types and models. For a hardcore rider, the best bet is to buy a new motorbike to ride. Resale should not be the reason you want to buy a bike since the year might not be the same next year. Luckily, there are a few bikes considered “lucky exceptions.”

In this article, you will learn about the best motorcycle with high resale values.

1. Motorcycles That Retain Resale Value

Not surprisingly, some of the most expensive and popular motorcycle brands, such as Harley Davidson, have two-wheelers that retain their resale values better than any other ones on the market.

All the retention and depreciation rates of motorcycles listed below are collected from online resale valuation tools, including the J.D. Power. These figures are rough estimations, restricted to the year 2023, and are subject to change.

1.1 2023 Harley Davidson FXLRS Low Rider S

Motorcycle Category  Original Price  Retail Price  Resale Value 
Cruiser $18,399 $17,650  95% 

The Harley Davidson FXLRS Low Rider S has a powerful V-twin engine, a re-designed lightweight Softail chassis, a blacked-out look, and a high acceleration rate that makes it one of the most sought-after bikes. With its sleek frame and high power output, you can use this bike for riding around town and traveling long distances (200-300 miles) on freeways. This bike’s electronic cruiser control, comfortable saddle, upright riding position, and athletic build makes it a fun bike to ride. If you decide to sell it, you can get a decent resale price if kept in good condition.

1.2 2023 Harley Davidson Street Glide

Motorcycle Category  Original Price  Retail Price  Resale Value 
Touring Bike  $22,199 $21,380  96% 

The Harley Street Glide is one of the most iconic touring bikes of all time. Thanks to its original bagger styling, enhanced safety features, reliable big-bore engine, responsive suspensions, and stylish accessories, including fork-mounted fairing, saddlebags, and a passenger seat, you can regain a good percentage of your investment when you are ready to switch to a different bike.

1.3 2023 BMW R1250 RS

Motorcycle Category  Original Price  Retail Price  Resale Value 
Sports Tourer $15,695 $15,540  99% 

The BMW R1250 RS is a powerful sports tourer that owes its resale value to its boxer engine powered by CamShift technology. Its sporty character, natural seating position, and adequate wind protection make this dynamic bike perfect for traveling highways. If you have custom BMW Motorrad accessories installed, you can capitalize on their inclusion to negotiate a profitable deal.

1.4 2023 BMW R1250 RT

Motorcycle Category  Original Price  Retail Price  Resale Value 
Touring Bike  $19,695 $18,365   93% 

The BMW R1250RT is a powerful touring machine with a dual cylinder boxer engine, active cruise control, 10.25” wide TFT screen, and high acceleration rate. Factory-installed full fairings and side panniers can increase its resale value, so it is recommended you refrain from replacing the OEM parts with aftermarket accessories.

1.5 2023 Kawasaki Ninja 650

Motorcycle Category  Original Price  Retail Price  Resale Value 
Sports Bike  $7,999 $7,795 97% 

The Kawasaki Ninja 650 features a performance-oriented 649 cc motor, advanced technology, modern styling, upright riding position, TFT instrumentation, and optional OEM accessories. The 97% resale value allows you to recover a significant percentage of what you initially paid for the bike. However, you should sell this bike to a sports bike enthusiast and in states where they are in high demand, such as Nevada and California. 

1.6 2023 Honda Gold Wing GL1800BD DCT

Motorcycle Category  Original Price  Retail Price  Resale Value 
Touring Bike $25,600 $24,815 96.9% 

Honda motorcycles are known for their low resale value due to the company’s high production rates. However, the Gold Wind 1800BD DCT is an exception. This impressive touring motorcycle has a smooth six-cylinder 1833 cc engine, adequate storage space, stylish plastic bodywork for weather protection, and innovative technology. Though the bike features a six-speed transmission system, you can opt for the seven-speed transmission system to enjoy a smoother experience when traveling long distances. The Honda Gold Wing GL1800BD DCT’s rear trunk, side panniers, passenger seat, and infotainment section make it a bike worth buying. Consider selling this Honda model during peak touring seasons to get the highest possible resale value.

1.7 2023 Honda Rebel 500 ABS

Motorcycle Category  Original Price  Retail Price  Resale Value 
Cruiser  $6,749 $6,490 96% 

The Honda Rebel 500 ABS is a popular entry-level cruiser. Your potential buyers are new riders who want to practice their riding skills, people who commute on motorcycles, female riders, and shorter riders who ride to nearby campsites and recreational areas. Though readily available on the market, a well-maintained second-hand Honda Rebel 500 ABS is often in high demand. If your Honda Rebel 500 ABS is an older model, you can still get 50-60% resale value.

1.8 2023 Indian Chief Dark Horse (Colored)

Motorcycle Category  Original Price  Retail Price  Resale Value 
Cruiser  $17,999 $17,320 96% 

The Indian Chief Dark Horse is another high-performance cruiser. Potential buyers prefer getting a well-maintained, used version to avoid paying shipping charges. Moreover, newer Indian Chief Dark Horse models have the same features with only a few modifications. Hence, it makes sense to buy a used bike. Even if the Indian Chief Dark Horse depreciates over 5-7 years, you can still recover 60-65% of its resale value. 

1.9 2023 Indian Roadmaster (Black)

Motorcycle Category  Original Price  Retail Price  Resale Value 
Touring Bike  $30,499 $29,440 96.5% 

The Indian Roadmaster is a luxury touring bike with a powerful Thunderstroke 116 V-Twin engine. It also features a 36+ gallon storage capacity, stylish traveling accessories, high output speakers, full fairing, and a smooth six-speed transmission. With a 96.5% resale value, the Indian Roadmaster is a vehicle worth buying. 

1.10 2023 Yamaha YZF-R1

Motorcycle Category  Original Price  Retail Price  Resale Value 
Sports Bike $17,999 $17,990 99% 

The Yamaha YZF–R1 is a stylish sports bike and is the only one of its kind to feature an in-line four-cylinder engine. It is easy to maintain, reliable, and quite versatile, being suited for street racing, daily commutes, and long-distance highway rides. Thanks to its sporty nimble chassis, both beginners and experienced riders can enjoy this bike. If you know the strong points of your Yamaha YZF-R1 and the needs of the potential buyers, you can score a good deal with this bike.

2. How to Find Your Motorcycle’s Resale Value

You can get a fair price quote from reputable motorcycle trading companies nearby. Though not always accurate, some online tools can also help you get a rough estimation of your bike’s resale value. You would have to enter a few details about your bike, such as its make, model, mileage, and trim. If you want an authorized market evaluation of your bike based on the latest market trends, you can visit the same dealership you bought your bike from.

If you are selling a pre-owned/second-hand bike, then you can consult Kelly Blue Book or J.D. Power to get an accurate and free-of-cost price estimation. These websites are easy to use, only requiring you to enter your ZIP code and your bike’s make, year, and model.

You can also use the National Automotive Dealers Association (NADA) guide to find the original price and average retail value of your motorcycle.

3. Factors That Determine Your Motorcycle’s Resale Value

Just because you own a bike that has a high resale value does not mean you will get the highest possible price. There are several factors that determine your motorcycle’s resale value:

3.1 Model

Over the years, manufacturing companies introduce new changes in the chassis, engine, fuel tank, braking, suspensions, and paint jobs in their models. These modifications may be accepted or rejected by motorcyclists, with the response of the motorcycle community affecting your motorcycle’s resale value. For example, if your bike features a dual front disc braking setup while the newer model has a single disc front brake, most riders will likely favor the older model with dual front brakes, and this can improve the resale value of the bike. Similarly, if your bike features a carbureted engine, while the newer model has an electronic fuel injected system, then the resale value will decrease significantly.

3.2 Age

How long have you owned your bike? This is a question frequently asked by potential buyers. The longer you have owned your bike, the greater its value will be depreciated. If you bought a brand new 2020 Harley Davidson Low Rider S in 2021 and put it on sale after 6-12 months, you would get a better resale value than if you were to sell your ride after 3-4 years. After years of use, your bike will likely have worn tires, rust, a loose electrical system, a low-charge battery, and reduced engine performance. Luckily,some antique bikes can have a high resale value, provided they are well-maintained and have few modifications.

3.3 Customizations

Customized bikes can offer a good resale value if you attract the right buyer. If your motorcycle features original mechanical parts, aftermarket touring accessories, and advanced technological features, you can maximize its resale value.

However, if you paint your motorcycle with a custom design, it may lose some of its resale value since fresh paint hides damage and dents from collisions. Try to avoid getting quirky paint jobs if you plan to sell your bike. However, you can modify the bike to improve its finish and performance. Research whether the modification you plan to make is legal in your state, otherwise it will cause the value to depreciate further.

3.4 Level of Demand

There are riders who look for popular bikes that have been discontinued. For example, many Harley enthusiasts look for Dyna models discontinued by Harley Davidson, including the Dyna Wide Glide, Dyna Low Rider, and Dyna Super Glide. If your two-wheeler is a popular bike, make sure you set an appropriate price. Conduct market research, visit second-hand markets, and see whether enough individuals are asking for a bike like yours.

3.5 Book Price

Motorcycle dealerships use market prices to calculate the trade-in value or book price of a motorcycle. Your motorcycle’s book price can be affected by:

  • Import Status
  • Ownership Status
  • Previous Accident History
  • Previous Theft History
  • Status of Original License Plate and Paint Job

3.6 Maintenance

If your motorcycle is well-maintained, you can get a good resale value even for an older model. However, if your motorcycle has scratched paint, a deformed fairing, blown out tires, a snapped chain, rusty disc brakes, discolored exhaust pipes, and oil and fuel leaks, you will only get the scrap value. So make sure your motorcycle is in good condition before you put it up for sale.

Having a long service history can help increase your motorcycle's resale value. Even if you are selling an old motorcycle, the service history will help you strike a decent deal.

3.7 Sell During Peak Seasons

Motorcycles are not in demand all year-round. The peak riding seasons typically last from March to May and August. From September to October, sales start to decline. You can start advertising your motorcycle in the fall and winter (October to February), but you will only get the best prices during the peak seasons.

3.8 Location

In some U.S. cities, even poorly-maintained bikes are overpriced yet buyers still manage to sell them. On the other hand, if you live in a remote area, attracting a buyer for a well-maintained bike may be difficult.

Either you move to another location to sell your bike or reduce the price to attract more buyers.

3.9 Mileage

Most buyers use mileage as a way to determine your motorcycle’s condition. More mileage means more years on the road and more wear and tear. A 2022 Yamaha YZF-R1 with a mileage of 10,000 miles might get you about $10,000, but a similar model in the same condition but with a mileage of 8,000 miles might only get you about $13,000. There is no proof that a bike with a lower mileage will outperform one with a higher mileage, but many buyers use this standard to evaluate motorbikes.

4. Takeaway

Whether you buy a new or used motorcycle from a dealership, Its values can depreciate at an unpredictable rate. When buying a motorcycle, pay attention to its performance and features. Getting a good resale value would just be the cherry on top. You should get a resale value estimation every three months to determine when your bike is the most profitable when sold. When selling your bike, make sure you pay attention to and fulfill all the required legal paperwork for a hassle-free transaction.

Other ways you can benefit from your motorcycle’s resale value can include the following:

  • Invest in a bike like the Honda Rebel 300 or the Rebel 500 which typically costs around $4,500-$6,500. You can ride these bikes for more than five years, rent them out, and also resell them for a reasonable price.
  • If you want to buy a trendy motorcycle, such as the Harley Davidson Nightster Special, then get a used bike in good condition to avoid dealership fees and initial depreciation in value.
  • If you enjoy riding different bikes, consider renting one rather than buying it so you don’t have to deal with maintenance costs.

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