Top 5 Reasons to Sell Your Current Motorcycle Before Buying the Next

If you’re reading this post, you are most likely planning to purchase your next motorcycle. What an exciting journey to be on! You’ve probably had your eye on a new ride for a while now and are ready to make a move. 

If you’re not sure whether to buy your next bike now or sell your current one first, you’ve come to the right place. 

We recommend that you sell your current motorcycle before you buy the next one. For many, the pros of selling first will outweigh the cons. This applies to purchasing new motorcycles as well as “new to you” motorcycles. 

If you’re interested in learning the reasons why you should sell before you buy, continue reading below! 

1. To Prioritize

One reason to sell your current motorcycle first is to avoid jumping the gun. Soon after buying a motorcycle, some of us already have our eyes on the next. 

Buying a new ride is an exciting experience. Just make sure you’re not chasing “buyer’s high.” But why does it feel good to buy something? Luckily, science has the answer.

Dopamine, a neurotransmitter, is released in the human brain when we do something we enjoy, like eating a slice of pie or spending time with someone special. It tells our brains that an experience is positive, so that we know to repeat it. 

Studies show that our dopamine levels also increase when we are excited or are in anticipation of something. Behavioral psychologist Susan Weinschenk Ph. D. states that dopamine is responsible for the feelings we get when we are shopping in a store, shopping online or awaiting our purchase in the mail.

Therefore, the process of searching for a bike, making the purchase and/or anticipating its arrival may give us a feeling of gratification.

If you don’t want or wouldn’t benefit from having two bikes at once, it’s likely that you are making a rushed decision. It may make more sense financially for you to sell your current bike first.

To avoid buyer’s remorse, ask yourself a few questions before making your next motorcycle purchase. 

Do you have outstanding payments on your motorcycle? 

If your plan is to only finance one motorcycle at a time, you should sell your current motorcycle first. If you wouldn’t benefit from having two bikes at once, there’s no reason to increase your financial load. 

If you don’t mind financing two bikes at once, you can forgo this advice. There’s nothing wrong with having options. 

Is there a lien on your motorcycle? 

If your current motorcycle has a lien on it, it’s best that you remove the lien before making another large purchase. If your lender filed a lien due to missed payments, your motorcycle may be at risk for repossession. Needless to say, removing the lien takes priority over buying a new ride. 

If you have overdue payments on your motorcycle, your credit score has likely taken a hit. Therefore, it’s unlikely that your current lender would loan you additional funds for another motorcycle. It’s also unlikely that a new lender would finance you. Plus, bearing the financial load of a second motorcycle, while your first is on backpay, would definitely decrease your credit score even further. 

A Word of Advice: 

If you feel comfortable financially, despite the lien, and are eager to buy your next ride, don’t fret. You still have options. 

Normally, the only way to remove a lien is for you to pay off the remaining balance. However, typically, someone does not have hundreds or thousands of dollars to pay off a lien upfront. Fortunately, there are buyers that are willing to buy a motorcycle with a lien on it

There’s a chance the lender would allow the buyer to pay off the lien in exchange for the bike. The lender may agree to meet with you both, take payment from the buyer and transfer the title directly to the buyer. Of course, this would depend on the lender. 

Are you riding your motorcycle regularly? 

Many times, our emotions prevent us from giving things up. Your motorcycle holds many memories. So, of course, it’s normal to feel blue when you think about selling it. 

However, consider how often you are using your motorcycle. Is it not as exciting to ride anymore? Is it beginning to develop noticeable wear and tear? These may be signs that it’s time to get a new bike. 

But, don’t let the current one waste away in the garage. A bike in storage still needs regular maintenance. The last thing you want is for your motorcycle to be taken over by rust or pests.

If you’re going to have to maintain it, you might as well ride it. And, if you’re not going to ride it, you might as well sell it. 

Take a moment to think about the pros and cons of owning two motorcycles. If you personally don’t see any major disadvantages to owning two motorcycles, you can hold on to your current one a bit longer. 

A Word of Advice: 

Just don’t hold on for too long. Check the Kelley Blue Book® value of your motorcycle. Keep in mind, this number will continue to decrease over time. A motorcycle can decrease in value by 30% in as little as 5 years. 

For this reason, many riders recommend trading in or selling your motorcycle every 2-3 years. This way, the resale value is decent and you get a new ride routinely. 

This leads us to our next reason to sell before you buy. To avoid depreciation. 

2. To Avoid Depreciation 

One significant reason to sell your current motorcycle before buying a new one is to avoid further depreciation of the current bike. Depreciation is “the loss in value that naturally occurs as an object is put to use or ages.” 

The factors that affect the depreciation of a motor vehicle are year, make and model. 

A motorcycle loses value the second it is purchased and taken off the lot. And, depreciation never stops. Consequently, the value of your motorcycle will continue to decrease each year. 

For example, according to Kelley Blue Book, a 2018 Harley Davidson® Road King®’s average cost is $17,300, while its dealership trade-in value is $13,950. 

Don’t procrastinate. If you are financially ready to buy your next motorcycle, get on with it. The sooner you sell your current motorcycle, the more it’s worth. 

A Word of Advice: 

There is only one exception to the depreciation rule. A motorcycle can appreciate (increase in value) if it becomes a classic or an antique. Many riders think their motorcycle will increase in value after 10 years or so. Unfortunately, this is not true. 

The consensus amongst the biker community is that a classic motorcycle is 25+ years old and an antique motorcycle is 35+ years old, uncustomized.

For example, a restored 1917 Harley Davidson 11F can be sold for a whopping $110,000. That’s 100+ years of patience and many years dedicated to restoration and maintenance. Needless to say, if your motorcycle became a hundred-year-old antique, you wouldn’t be selling it, your grandchildren would. 

However, if you’re sure that your bike will be valuable in the future, you can hold on to it and buy another. I’m sure your loved ones would appreciate the small fortune. 

3. To Make a More Informed Purchasing Decision

After buying your first motorcycle, you have a clearer picture of the things you like and dislike. You also are reminded of the features you loved, wished you had and could do without. Now that you know your preferences, you can make a more informed purchasing decision. 

However, it can be hard to remember specific preferences. For example, when you’re test driving a car, touring a new apartment or looking for a new cell phone, it can be difficult to recall all the things you love and hate about your old one. 

You can be proactive by using the selling period to record your preferences. Then, when you go to purchase your next bike, you’ll get exactly what you want. 

When selling privately, steps such as washing your bike, taking photos of it and writing its listing description may remind you of the things you like and dislike about it. You can write your preferences in a journal, list them in a word document or text them to yourself. Then, refer to your list when you are searching online or browsing at a dealership.

4. To Put the Sale Money Towards a New Motorcycle

If you choose to sell your current motorcycle first, you can put that money towards your next one. This can lower costs and, in turn, reduce stress. 

Make a down payment to make financing easier.

You may choose to finance your motorcycle. If this is the case, consider making a down payment. 

Making a down payment is when you pay a portion of the purchase price upfront. Most financiers will only take cash or cash equivalents, such as checks, money orders or debit cards. 

There are many financing options, such as dealer financing, rider-to-rider financing, bank/credit union financing, etc. In many cases, a large down payment will lower interest rates and monthly payments. 

Buy a better motorcycle. 

If you have great credit, you may not need to make a large down payment to lower interest rates or monthly payments. If this is the case, you could use the profit to buy a better motorcycle. Perhaps one that would typically be outside your price range. 

If you have been saving up for a new motorcycle, it’s possible that your profit and savings combined will be enough to buy your next bike in full. 

This leads us to the next reason it’s best to sell your current motorcycle first. You can use the money from the current bike’s sale to buy your next bike, debt-free. 

Pay in cash to save money. 

Private sellers are wary of potential scammers, and rightfully so. If you offer to pay the seller completely in cash, they may even accept an offer below their asking price. 

Paying in cash also means that you don’t have to pay interest. A major cost savings! 

A Word of Advice: 

If you would like to use the profit from your old bike to purchase the next bike, you will need to know how to properly sell your motorcycle. If you plan to sell your motorcycle online, there are several ways to increase your chances of getting what your bike is worth. 

Use the tips below to create a quality listing. These tips are also linked to sources with additional information. 

5. To Minimize Your Expenses 

Double the motorcycles could mean double the fun. But it can also mean double the expenses. It’s completely up to you to determine if it is worth the money. 

You will not need double the fuel, unless you are buying the next motorcycle for someone else, such as your son or daughter. Similarly, you may not need two sets of safety gear or accessories. 

However, you can expect double the maintenance, repair and insurance expenses. Some insurance companies offer multi-motorcycle insurance. This way you don’t have to pay double the monthly rate. However, even with multi-bike insurance, the new rate would, of course, be more expensive than the single bike rate. 

In Conclusion 

Now that you know the top five reasons we recommend selling your current motorcycle before buying the next, you can make an informed decision.

Comment below and tell us if you’d buy a second bike first or sell your current bike first. If you currently own more than one motorcycle, share the pros and cons below!

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