The Evolution of Motorcycle Value: How to Keep Up with the Market

For motorcycle owners, understanding the value of their machine is crucial information. Whether you’re planning to sell your motorcycle or simply curious about its worth, knowing its value can help you make informed decisions. However, determining a motorcycle’s value isn’t as simple as looking at its age or mileage. In this blog post, we’ll explore what factors determine motorcycle value, how it has evolved over time, and how you can find the current market value of your motorcycle. So buckle up, and let’s dive into the world of motorcycle value!

Definition of motorcycle value

Before we delve into the details of motorcycle value, it’s important to understand what it actually means. In simple terms, motorcycle value refers to the monetary worth of a motorcycle in the current market. This value is influenced by various factors such as the year, make and model, condition, mileage, location, demand, and supply. It’s important to note that the value of a motorcycle is not fixed and can fluctuate over time based on the market conditions. By understanding the factors that determine motorcycle value, you can get a better idea of what your motorcycle is worth in the current market.

What determines motorcycle value?

Brand or make

One of the most important factors in determining motorcycle value is the brand or make of the motorcycle. Some brands hold a higher value than others due to their reputation and popularity in the market, not only because of their original purchase price. For example, Harley-Davidson is known for its quality and is often associated with a higher resale value. The popularity of brands changes not only over time, but also regionally by location. It’s important to research the brand and make of your motorcycle to get a better understanding of its value in the current market.

Model and year

The model and year of a motorcycle are also crucial factors in determining its value. Typically, newer models tend to have a higher value than older models due to their advanced features and technology. However, some vintage models from popular brands may have a higher value due to their rarity and collectability. Just like with most cars, motorcycles lose value over time until a certain point, when they don’t anymore, as they become vintage motorcycles or classic motorcycles, which outweighs their technical inferiority.

The specific model of a motorcycle also impacts its value. For example, a sports bike model from a top brand may have a higher value than a cruiser model from the same brand due to its performance parts and capabilities. It’s important to research the model and year of your motorcycle to get a better understanding of its value in the current market.


The amount of mileage on a motorcycle is another important factor that determines its value in the market. Generally, motorcycles with lower mileage are considered to be in better condition and are therefore valued higher than those with higher mileage. This is because higher mileage can lead to wear and tear on the motorcycle's engine and other components, resulting in a decrease in overall performance and reliability. However, it's important to note that the mileage alone doesn't always determine the value of a motorcycle. Factors such as maintenance history and overall condition also play a role in the determination of motorcycle value. Therefore, it's crucial to consider all these factors when evaluating the value of your motorcycle.

Condition and modifications

The condition of a motorcycle is a significant factor in determining its market value. A motorcycle that is in excellent condition, with no wear and tear or damage, will have a higher market value compared to one in poor or fair condition. Additionally, customized motorcycles, with unique features or modifications, may also have a higher value in the market. However, it's important to note that not all modifications increase the value of a motorcycle. Some modifications can actually decrease the value if they negatively affect the look, trustworthiness, performance or reliability of the motorcycle. Try to stay clear of modifications that do not add any extra value to the motorbike and look just like a result of an accident. Therefore, it's essential to consider the overall condition and modifications of your motorcycle when evaluating its value in the current market.

Market demand and supply

The market demand and supply of motorcycles also play a crucial role in determining their value. If there is a high demand for a specific make or model of motorcycle, its value will increase due to the limited supply available. On the other hand, if there is an oversupply of certain models or types of motorcycles, their value may decrease. It's important to keep an eye on market trends and demand to get a better understanding of the current value of your motorcycle. Factors such as the overall economy, consumer preferences, and industry trends can all impact the market demand and supply of motorcycles. By staying informed and aware of these factors, motorcycle owners can make better decisions regarding the value of their machine.

Historical trends in motorcycle value

Historical trends in motorcycle value have shown that certain makes and models tend to hold their value over time. For example, vintage Harley Davidson motorcycles have consistently held their value and even increased in value over time. Other factors such as the state of the economy, gas prices, and consumer preferences have also impacted the evolution of motorcycle value. During times of economic recession, for instance, the demand for motorcycles may decrease, resulting in a drop in their market value. However, in recent years, there has been an increase in demand for motorcycles, particularly among younger generations, resulting in a more stable and potentially increasing value for certain types of motorcycles.

We all recall the recent history around the covid-19 pandemic, when 2 things happened on the market. Staying at home people had much more free time and looked for new ways to spend it, while disrupted supply chains had a negative effect on the supply of new motorcycles, ultimately resulting in bigger demand and higher prices for used motorcycles.

How to find the value of your motorcycle

Online valuation tools

Online valuation tools are a convenient and accessible way for motorcycle owners to determine the current market value of their machine. These tools use a variety of factors such as make, model, year, mileage, and condition to provide an estimated value. In the USA you can easily find out your motorcycle blue book value using some popular online valuation tools for motorcycles including Kelley Blue Book, NADA Guides, and Cycle Trader ( has both motorcycle value and used bike classified ads section). It's important to keep in mind that these tools provide an estimate and are not always exact, as the final value will depend on market demand and supply. However, they can provide a helpful starting point for motorcycle owners in determining the value of their machine.

In Europe you have to search for real sales prices in classified ads on websites like, which ultimately is the best way anyway to get a real time reflection of your current motorbike value.

Dealership trade-in values

When trading in your motorcycle at a dealership, it's important to keep in mind that dealership trade-in values may be lower than the market value, as they are also factoring in the cost of reselling the motorcycle. It's always a good idea to research the current market value of your bike before trading it in at a dealership to ensure that you are getting a fair deal.

Private sale values

Private sale motorcycle values can vary greatly depending on factors such as the make, model, year, mileage, and condition of the bike, as well as the current market demand. When selling your motorcycle privately, it's important to do your research and determine a fair asking price based on these factors. It's also important to consider the cost of any necessary repairs or maintenance that may be needed to increase the value of your bike, or reflect any defects in your asking price, as well as disclosing them properly in the pictures and descriptions. Keep in mind that the final sale price may be negotiable, but it's important to set a realistic asking price to attract potential buyers. Overall, determining the private sale value of your motorcycle can take some time and research, but it can result in a more profitable sale in the end.

Auction values

Motorcycle auction values can be a great way to determine the current market value of your bike. Auctions provide a real-time glimpse into the demand and supply of certain models, and can often result in higher sale prices than private sales. It's important to research the specific auction and its reputation before selling your motorcycle, as well as to set a reserve price to ensure that you are getting a fair deal. Keep in mind that auction fees and commissions may also affect the final sale price of your motorcycle. Overall, auction values can be a helpful tool in determining the current market value of your motorcycle.

Tips for maximizing your motorcycle value

Regular maintenance and upkeep

Regular maintenance and upkeep are vital to maximizing the value of your motorcycle. Keeping up with routine maintenance can help prevent larger, more expensive issues from arising down the road. It also shows potential buyers that you have taken good care of the bike and increases its overall appeal. By investing time and money into regular maintenance and upkeep, you can ensure that your motorcycle maintains its value and potentially even increases in value over time.

Avoiding modifications that decrease value

It's important to be cautious when making modifications to your motorcycle if you want to maintain or even increase its value. While some modifications, such as upgraded exhaust systems or suspension components, can increase a bike's value, others can have the opposite effect. For example, modifications that significantly alter the appearance or performance of the bike may not be appealing to potential buyers who are looking for a stock model. Additionally, modifications that are poorly executed or that compromise the safety or reliability of the motorcycle can greatly decrease its value. If you're considering making modifications to your motorcycle, it's important to do your research and consult with experts to ensure that they will enhance, not detract from, the bike's value.

Timing your sale for optimal market conditions

Timing the sale of your motorcycle is essential for maximizing its value. You should aim to sell your bike during peak riding season, which varies depending on your location. In general, spring and summer are the best times to sell a motorcycle. During these months, the weather is good, and people are more likely to be looking to buy a bike. On the other hand, selling your motorcycle during the winter months can result in a lower sale price since there is usually less demand. It's also important to keep an eye on current market trends and adjust your price accordingly. If you notice that similar models are selling for higher prices, it may be a good time to put your bike on the market. By timing your sale for optimal market conditions, you can increase your chances of getting the best price for your motorcycle.


In conclusion, understanding the value of your motorcycle is crucial for both selling and maintaining your machine. Factors such as age, condition, mileage, and market demand all play a significant role in determining the value of a motorcycle. Regular maintenance and avoiding modifications that decrease value can help maintain or even increase the value of your bike over time. Timing your sale for optimal market conditions can also help you get the best price for your motorcycle. By keeping these factors in mind, you can stay informed about the value of your motorcycle and make informed decisions that benefit both you and your machine.