What factors impact the value of my motorbike?

25 July 2016

What factors impact the value of my motorbike?

When selling a motorbike, you'll obviously want the best possible price you can get for your two-wheeled treasure, so it's important to know what factors influence the resale price before you set a figure in your mind of what you'd like to make back from it.

National Sales Reports

Every month the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) prints a report available on their website which details the total sales of motorbikes across the UK, the popularity of each manufacturer, numbers sold and more importantly the most popular models are all listed here allowing dealers to guage the appeal of each one. Having historical data like this is a great start for building an overall value of a bike. Cross-reference this data with the known technical issues reported by users and dealers such as ElectroSport and you've got a good idea which models are worth investing in, and which ones to avoid. It's a bit like wine merchants knowing which years were good for growth , the region the grape was grown and the producer of the wine itself.



Again, this is closely connected to the above - common faults, liklihood of rust, corrosion or commonly wearing parts are all a consideration of the bike's age. At webuyusedbikes we generally don't deal with any bike older than 10 years, purely because older bikes come with more issues. The advance of production methods, improved technology and safety measures makes newer bikes more appealing to new buyers and seasoned petrol heads.


Book Price

Many automated valuation websites will use a service such as MyCarCheck (also used for bikes and any other UK registered vehicle) which, for a one-off or monthly subscription they can access the details of the vehicle's history including:

  • Outstanding finance - whether the bike is wholly owned by the person or is covered by a finance agreement.
  • Imported - imported bikes often vary from the UK models and as such have a whole range of different quirks that come with them. Not to mention the availability of foreign parts.
  • Plate changes  - discovering a plate change could be an indication of a disqualification (especially Q plates), which raises questions about the rider.
  • Colour changes  - it's fairly easy to respray a bike, but whenever you change the colour, you must inform the DVLA. Resprays may also hide more expensive accident damage underneath.
  • Stolen - a check to see whether the bike is reported stolen.
  • Written off  - Cat A must be crushed, Cat B must not be returned to the road, but parts can be resold, Cat C and D are repairable and may be resold.
  • VIN/Chassis number check - Ensuring the vehicle is the same one stated on it's V5 can be checked using this unique serial number on the chassis.
  • Scrapped  - again, relating to the 4 categories of 'write-offs' this check is a must for anyone buying a bike.
  • Exported - criminals often use the details of exported bikes to clone stolen UK bikes as a cover for their true identity.

You can perform a free check at WiseBuyers who let you select make, model and year to give you a 'book price' for your motorbike.




As true bike lovers, we want to put our own stamp on the bikes we own but some customisations can affect the resale price of used bikes. As a general rule, you'll never get back the value of any modifications you spend your money on - especially when it comes to selling your bike on. Some might argue that it's only real bike enthusiasts that spend time and money on their bikes and so this must make them more appealing, however there are no guarantees as to the workmanship, quality of parts or to the improvements they are meant to provide. Have a look at the answers to the same question asked on Quora. - "Do modifications to a sport bike increase or decrease it's value?" 



An obvious one, but the better the condition, the nearer market value you will get for your bike. Tell-tale signs of abuse will be picked up by any seasoned motor trader so be honest with your prospective buyers.



The popularity of your bike can also determine it's used value. For popular or desirable bike models such as BMW R1200 GS, Honda NSC110 WH, Yamaha MT-07 ABS and the BMW S1000 RR (listed in the top 10 best selling bikes of 2015) dealers can sell on much faster, so you're more likely to get a good price. This is because the dealer can get a fast turnaround on your bike, reducing any price depreciation while others may be sat waiting in the showroom.



While we try to remain impartial, we retain the right to back out of any purchase if we feel uneasy about a person's demeanour. We pride ourselves in providing a professional service at all times and honesty is always the best policy. We have a number of checks in place to avoid being 'duped' and want you to be as stringent with buyers too if selling privately. It doesn't happen very often thankfully but a person's body language can tell you a lot about the bike they're selling, and if something's not right we're happy to walk away! Be upfront about any damage, known history, work done, engine problems, electric problems and you'll score points from the start. Trust is hard to guage over the internet, which is why we prefer to asssess every bike enquiry we get ourselves. We don't automate our estimations, we do things properly so that you get the best price and we get a quality bike for our showroom.



© Copyright webuyusedbikes.co.uk 2020