A Motorcycle Bill of Sale is the heart of the motorcycle selling process, providing the buyer of a dirt, street, cruiser, café racer, or adventure motorcycle with official proof that they are now the official owner of the bike.
A motorcycle bill of sale is a relatively simple form that acts as a purchase agreement, giving the buyer a verifiable slip that proves they legally obtained their motorcycle. The form, in addition to the title, are both required for registering a newly acquired bike. The bill of sale will only be viewed as valid if it contains the electronic or hand-written signatures of both the buyer and seller.
Blowing the dust off and giving the bike a thorough clean will allow you to see scuffs, damage, dry rot, missing parts, and anything else that may need to be replaced prior to listing the bike. Not to mention the pictures taken for the ads will come out substantially better. So long the bike runs well, the tires are inflated, and there’s nothing mechanically dangerous, take the bike for a ride. Feel the suspension, shift through all the gears, and test the front and back brakes. If the bike is un-inspected, getting it inspected prior to listing will increase buyer activity significantly, as an inspection sticker is a badge saying the bike has third-party approval that it’s in riding condition.
Common post-winter issues:
If you’re selling your bike after it’s been sitting for the winter (or longer), the areas that tend to need attention are:
- Carburetor (doesn’t apply for fuel-injected bikes) – if you didn’t drain your carbs prior to letting it sit, they’re most likely gummed up from the sitting fuel. Depending on the severity, it could need a general take-down and cleaning, to needing a
- Chain – a rusty chain should be replaced if it’s beyond surface rust. Otherwise, slightly rusty or dirty chains should be both cleaned and lubricated.
- Dead battery – Remove the battery and put it on a trickle charger. If it takes a charge, reinstall it and start the bike. If it doesn’t take a charge, replace it.
- Dry-rotted tires – Cracks along the sidewall or a telltale sign that the tires have dry rot, and should be replaced.
- Cables – The clutch and/or throttle cables may to be lubricated or replaced if they are sticky. The clutch cable should have slight play in it before the clutch engages.
Get the paperwork sorted out
Don’t put this off until the last second. If you don’t intend to sell to a dealer, you’ll need to make sure the motorcycle’s lien is paid off (if applicable). This is because the bank holds onto the bike’s title until you’ve paid off the loan in-full. If you already have the vehicle’s title,
This part should be simple, but is clearly overlooked by the majority of online sellers. One doesn’t need a high quality camera to take great pictures. The majority of iPhone and Android phones can take decent photos. Hold the phone/camera steady and take photos from all angles of the bikes. Take up-close pictures of the tires, chain, gauges, and any damage/scratches/dents. Don’t try and hide things from the buyer – being up front and honest will only make the selling process easier.
The season in which you’re selling (especially-so for northern states) has a heavy impact on the price motorcycles sell for. Demand for motorcycles is the highest in the spring/summer months. To get a good grasp of the price you should set your motorcycle, consult the following resources:
Checking the online marketplaces for motorcycles listed in Step 4 is most likely the best option. This allows you to see what your same make, model, and year motorcycle is selling for.
Listing your motorcycle online provides you with significant exposure, and lets you keep your motorcycle safe inside or under a cover. The following are sites with a large user base of motorcycle shoppers:
- Craigslist – $5 per listing.
- Facebook Marketplace – No listing fees.
- eBay – Fee varies.
- CycleTrader – Free for 2 weeks, $29.95 for 6 weeks + more photos.
- Motorcycles.Autotrader – Starting at $39 for 2 months.
- Motorcycle.com – Classifieds – Starting at $4.99/month.
Live in a high-traffic area? Displaying the bike outside with a “for sale” sign can be a great way to pick up leads. However, long-term outdoor storage will introduce rust, sunspots, critters, and a host of other issues.
So long the motorcycle is priced right and has well-shot photos, you will begin receiving inquiries and requests to view the bike through email and/or text. Filter out the spam and respond hastily to those that reach out with clear and concise language. Don’t be afraid to start-up the bike and let the interested person test all of the switches and electronics. The bike should be started from cold, as many issues can be hidden by starting the bike after it’s already warm.
Should you let them give the bike a test ride? This is 100% your call. If the potential buyer seems trustworthy and has years of experience, it may be a worthwhile move. Play it safe by requiring the buyer to complete a Test Drive Agreement.
Once the buyer makes an offer on the bike, you can either counter or accept the offer. You should already determined a minimum amount you would accept for the bike from Step 3, so only sell if the buyer’s price meets or exceeds your requirement.
Once you and the buyer come to a deal regarding the price, you should collect payment first. Then, you’ll need provide the title and completed the bill of sale to the buyer. Both parties will need to sign their name onto the bill of sale for it to be usable (use eSign to create legally-binding signatures for free). The buyer will need to purchase insurance, register their motorcycle with their state’s DMV (using the bill of sale + title), and inspect the motorcycle (if needed).
Step 1 – Date & Parties
Beneath the title of the form, enter the date the form is being completed. Then, enter the price in which the motorcycle is being sold for, followed by the name and address of the seller and buyer (starting with the seller).
Step 2 – Motorcycle Information
Enter the following information regarding the motorcycle changing hands:
- Make (“Ducati”, “BMW”, “Yamaha”, etc.);
- Model (“Monster”, “S 1000 RR”, “XT250”, etc.);
- Year (ex: “2012”);
- CC (ex: “600”);
- Color (“Red”, “Blue/white”, “Purple”, etc.);
- Odometer (ex: “1250”); and
- VIN (a 17-character code specific to the motorcycle).
Step 3 – Signatures
On the three (3) lines provided, each party will need to:
- Write their printed name;
- Sign their name (by hand or via eSign); and
- Date their signature.
Step 4 – Notarization (Optional)
If desired, either (or both) the buyer and seller can have their signatures notarized. To do this, the party/parties must hold off on signing until they are with a notary public, whether they are using an online notary or an in-person one. The notary public will direct when the signatures can be written. Having signatures notarized is typically optional, and is simply a way of further proving that one signed a form. For example, if the exchange was high-value, and the buyer was worried about someone questioning their ownership, having the seller’s signed name notarized is a worthwhile step.