How Does Kelley Blue Book Determine Motorcycle Values?

Kelley Blue Book (KBB) is a popular and reputable resource for finding vehicle values. While the brand’s primary focus may be on cars, they have built a robust section for motorcycles and off-road vehicles.

If you’re wondering how KBB collects information and calculates these values for motorcycles, continue reading below.

How data is gathered

Kelley Blue Book has a reputation for being accurate, and for good reason. They state on their website that they collect data “directly from auctions, dealer sales reports, and dealer surveys,” as well as “dealer and consumer listings and sales transactions nationwide.”

Once this data is obtained, KBB staff studies and analyzes the information to determine which numbers are the most reliable. They also take current economic and market conditions into consideration to provide more precise results.

What conditions do KBB appraise for?

Vehicle conditions are limitless. While it’s possible to frame them as excellent, great, poor, etc., it’s more nuanced than that. It’s possible to sell anything from a barn find to an immaculate, showroom condition bike. Not to mention everything in between.

Because of this, it’s impossible to assess all conditions for each individual motorcycle. Kelley Blue Book provides an amount based on a motorcycle in good, clean condition with original standard equipment for each unit.

What about mileage and upgrades?

It should be noted that KBB does not factor mileage into their equation. Overall condition is much more important. A motorcycle that has been maintained consistently with higher mileage is worth more than a motorcycle that has been abused with fewer miles.

On select models, KBB offers a section for additional equipment. Some examples include alarm systems, navigation systems, engine guards and custom seats. Each option comes with a price point to add to your price. KBB also assumes these accessories are in good, working condition. 

Trade-in value vs. Typical listing price

Kelley Blue Book’s pricing tool stands out because they don’t give you just one flat price and expect you to go from there. Instead, they provide two values using the data they collect and evaluate.

Sellers may be more interested in the “Trade-In Value,” which illustrates approximately what a dealership will pay out on a trade. “Typical Listing Price” reflects a general figure that buyers can expect to see on that model when browsing at a dealership.

Motorcycles not listed on KBB

If a motorcycle does not appear on the KBB website, it is most likely due to a lack of data. Without enough transactional statistics in the marketplace, it is not possible to find accurate values for some used motorcycles

KBB states on their website that there are several reasons for insufficient data on select units. These include models with low production numbers, models that are newly introduced, and models coming from brand-new manufacturers.


Now that you know how KBB determines motorcycle values, check out our blog post on how to use Kelley Blue Book’s tool. If you are familiar with the process, head to the KBB website to see what your motorcycle is currently worth!

Have you used the Kelley Blue Book website when buying or selling a motorcycle in the past? How do you think their suggestions stack up against other valuation tools? Let us know in the comments below!

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