Selling Your Bike: How to Freshen up Your Ride and Seal the Deal


Over the summer months here in Aus most riders will back down their time on the bike — the days are hot and after a long year of racing you need a break. It’s also the perfect time to sell your bike and turn it over for a fresh one if you’re in a position to do so.


Plenty of serious racers aim to turn their bikes over at the end of every season so that they can start the following year fresh and on the latest equipment. By keeping a bike for only a year you will minimise the gap it will cost you to purchase a new one, too, so if you can, it’s not a bad option.

Actually selling your bike can be tough. Plenty of people struggle to sell their bike for the money they’re after. If you place an ad for your bike, more often than not there will be plenty of others just the same and asking the same price; it becomes hard to stand out from the crowd. Here are a bunch of tips for you to consider next time you’re ready to offload your race bike for a fresh one.


How your bike looks is by far the biggest factor when you try to sell it and the graphics will make up major part of that. You don’t want to go out and spend hundreds on a fresh set of graphics right before you sell the bike, so get a little creative. If your graphics are mostly intact, use a scouring pad and some contact cleaner to remove any scuffs or marks. Carefully trim off any worn edges or sections that may be peeling with a Stanley knife. A slightly trimmed graphic will look nicer than one that’s peeling off. If your graphics are really bad, sometimes the bike can look better with none, or you may have to find the cheapest kit available to throw on before the sale.


This is a cheap and easy one and something I’ve always done when selling bikes. You can have a bike that’s all clean and looks nice but a set of old-looking grips with the ends torn off them will make it look flogged. A fresh set of grips for 10 to 15 bucks will make a big difference to your bike’s appeal.


Make sure you clean your air filter and airbox before you sell your bike. If the person buying it doesn’t lift the seat off and check, which they should, at least you’re sending it off in a good state, which will mean there is less chance of a problem that may come back to bite you.


Just like the air filter, drop the oil and replace it with some fresh stuff. On a four-stroke, throw a new oil filter in there, too. Not only are you doing the right thing but these are all great things to mention in your ad or when you’re talking to a potential buyer. The majority of riders looking for a second-hand bike will also appreciate the fact they can ride for a while before they need to lay a hand on their new purchase.


You don’t need to throw brand-new tyres on the bike but make sure they’re decent. This is one thing that a potential buyer will look at as a cost to them, so if the tyres are good that might last the average rider for six to 12 months.


This is another area that can really change the perception of the state your bike is in. One ride in some sand or mud and your chain and sprockets can make your bike look like it’s done five times more work than it really has. If they’re really bad, find a cheap new chain and sprocket combo and throw it on there; it may be the difference that sways the buyer to your bike rather than one that has a crappy old rusted chain.



Once it’s ready to go, the last thing to do is hit it with a silicone spray product like Shine & Go. It will freshen everything up and give it a nice finish. I always spray the bike then wipe it down with a clean rag — that way it removes of any excess spray and gets rid of the real greasy look.



You are more than likely going to need some photos of your bike to sell it so take some time to get some good ones. Place your bike in front of a plain background and try have good natural light on it. Don’t try to hide anything in the photos because the buyer will eventually see it. The better the photos, the more appealing your bike will look. Take a couple of detail shots, too — the more you can upload to show people the better.


Always keep your address private. Your best bet when selling a bike is to meet the buyer at neutral location. Take a mate with you and don’t let the purchaser take the bike for a test ride. I don’t recommend handing out your address — way too many bikes get stolen the night after someone’s come to look at a bike.


This is always a little tricky. You don’t want to make the buyer sound like a criminal but you need to make sure you get the funds for your bike. Cash or a bank transfer is the best bet if it’s possible. Be wary of cheques, including bank cheques, as they can be forged and leave you with nothing.


If you want a quick sale and can afford to, set your bike’s price two to three hundred dollars lower than others that are similar. Hopefully, that will catch the attention of buyers and then the rest of your prep we’ve mentioned will seal the deal. Good luck!