How to Prepare Your Motorbike Before Selling It

17th July 2019

If you’re looking to sell a motorbike, we can make the process as quick and simple as possible here at We Want Your Motorbike, and while we’ll always offer you a fair price, there are always some small steps that you can take to ensure that you get the best deal possible on your sale.

Whether you’re selling with us or privately, it’s important that you put some proper time and care into preparing your bike for sale, in order to make it as presentable as possible and make it as appealing as possible to whoever is thinking of buying it.

Here’s our guide to everything you need to know about preparing your motorbike before selling it.

Steps to Preparing Your Bike for Sale

Deep Clean

First things first, get the bike looking sparkling clean with a good, thorough clean. Whether you want to have it done professionally or do it yourself, make sure that you’re using proper cleaning products.

A little bit of extra work at this stage could wind up adding a fair amount onto the final number that you receive, so it’s definitely worth it.

First impressions count for a lot and an otherwise perfectly functioning bike won’t be anywhere near as appealing if it isn’t looking its best.

Repair Any Damage

Where possible, try to repair any minor damage or replace any parts that need it. Obviously, you don’t want to be going out of your way to be repairing any major issues, as the expense could wind up simply not being worth it.

It’s up to you to make an assessment on how much work you want to do here, but lots of minor issues such as scratches and chips can be sorted out very easily.

Remove Any Modifications

Someone buying a bike will usually want it to be as close to its original condition as it would be if they were buying it new, so it’s important to remove any form of modifications that have been applied, either by you or a previous owner.

If you’ve purchased any aftermarket accessories, hopefully, you’ve kept hold of the original parts and can refit them.

If you are able to do this, you can always offer the aftermarket parts to the buyer as part of the deal, or keep hold of them and sell them on yourself.

As well as actual parts, be sure to remove any stickers and decals that have been added to the bike, although always be wary that previous owners may have used these to cover up more serious scrapes and scratches on the bike.

Road Test the Bike

Especially if you haven’t ridden it in a while, be sure to give your bike a proper road test before selling it, to ensure that everything is still in good working order.

Make sure that it starts and idles properly and test out everything, including the brakes, gears, clutch and throttle, right down to the indicators and headlights, before taking it out for one last spin to ensure everything is running ok.

Finally, be sure to top up all the fluids and properly lube the chain, so that the bike is ready to do for whoever ends up buying it.

Sort Out All the Documentation

Make sure that you have all the relevant documentation for your bike ready before you try to sell it.

This includes the logbook, documents from when you purchased it, any service history and receipts for parts that you’ve purchased and the MOT certificate.

If you’ve only got a few months left on the MOT, it might be a good idea to have a new one done, just to put potential buyers’ minds at ease.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the questions that we get the most from people who are in the process of preparing their bike for a valuation from us.

What if my bike has private registration plates?

We don’t specialise in private plates, so won’t offer more because your bike has them. But, with that caveat… We’re happy to buy bikes with private plates. We’re also happy if you prefer to keep your private plates. But please note that it’s your responsibility to arrange this with the DVLA before selling the bike to us. They can reassign the plates to a new vehicle, or provide a retention certificate so that the plates can be reassigned later.

Do you buy motorbikes that are non-runners?

Unfortunately, we can’t buy any bike that are non-runners, which is why it’s very important that you ensure everything is running smoothly before getting in touch.

What if the address on my V5 doesn’t match the rest of my documentation?

We understand that this can happen often and it’s easily solved. Simply show our motorbike expert proof of your address to prove that you once lived at the address on your V5, plus similar proof for your current address.

Can I sell to you if the V5 registration document is not in my name?

The rule is that we only buy motorbikes from the person named on the logbook/V5. This is necessary to avoid fraud, but we do try to be flexible. If there’s a good reason why you’re selling without being the registered keeper, contact us with full details. We’ll do our best to make it work, including telling you what documentation you need.

Can I sell to you without the V5?

No, we only ever buy motorbikes with the correct V5 registration document (logbook), but don’t despair if you’ve mislaid yours. Go to the DVLA website and you should be able to get a replacement, although it can take up to five days to arrive.

My motorbike has been modified. What do you need to know about its new features to give me an accurate valuation?

Simply email a list of your bike’s modifications and new features, along with photographs of them, to All your motorbike’s standard features will be automatically known by our valuation system when you type in your registration.


Here are some reviews we’ve received from satisfied customers on Trustpilot:

Be honest with your assessment of your…

Be honest with your assessment of your bike and they will give you the money quoted – no hassle or trying to knock a few quid off. I’ve sold two bikes with this company and have no complaints whatsoever. No grief, a fair price, and they collect. By the time you factor in the cost of advertising and your OWN time, there really isn’t a massive difference. I would definitely use again.

Mark Barnard

Five stars all the way through

Easy to follow website. Spoke to Craig and he was friendly and polite. The process was explained well and I was updated at every step. Had a call from the transport to confirm collection day and time and then a call from the driver Charlie to reconfirm his arrival. Charlie was really nice and very professional. Got a fair price for my bike and would definitely recommend to friends and family. Overall a very positive experience.


Great selling experience

I thought about selling my bike last week but didn’t want people just kicking tyres and wanting to pay less than I wanted. I phoned this company and told them all the good bits, the odd bad bit, and they booked an appointment to see it. They looked round the bike and gave me the amount they said they would over the phone. I owned the bike for eight years and they gave me £2,000 less than I paid for it. That’s the best selling experience I’ve ever had, and I highly recommend them.

David Mead

Great company to deal with

Great company to deal with. No messing about. We agreed a price & they paid in full before they loaded the bike in their van. They also gave me time to check that the bank transfer had gone through ok. Their offer was more than I expected. Can’t fault them but you have to be honest about your bike’s condition. If it’s as you describe they’ll pay you & won’t haggle (unlike most other dealers).

Julie Whiteside

How to Sell Your Bike Online

Once you’re satisfied that you’ve fully prepared the bike to be sold, what’s the next step? Well, you could choose to sell privately, through channels such as eBay, Autotrader, Facebook and Gumtree, but this can be a minefield.

While you might end up getting a better price this way, you really don’t know who you’re going to end up dealing with and the whole process can be quite time-consuming.

You’ll likely spend a lot of your time negotiating and haggling here and you’ve got to keep on your guard for any potential scammers. Remember that with platforms such as eBay, you’ll also be charged seller’s fee too.

Of course, the alternative is that you choose to sell with an online service such as We Want Your Motorbike instead, where we promise to offer a much simpler and quicker sale.

We aim to have your free, personal valuation with you within 24 hours of you entering your registration and if you choose to accept, we can send somebody to pick the bike up and have the money in your account the next day.

Of course, this might not be the best option for you and your bike, but if you need a quick and hassle-free sale, then it’s definitely worth considering!

If your motorbike is fully prepared and ready to be sold, simply enter your registration number to get started or click here to enter your details and our team will get to work calculating your personal valuation within the next 24 hour.

Get your free valuation now

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