Why would you ever want to sell your dirt bike?!

OK, lots of reasons exist. Whether you're saying goodbye to your first "friend" because it's time to move on or you simply hate the damn thing because every time you ride something goes wrong - eventually you're going to be in the position of selling your used dirt bike. Hopefully it's for a brand new bike but as we've all felt in these trying economic times sometimes it's the best way to get much-needed cash.

Selling a used dirt bike is similar to selling a car. You'll want top dollar, you'll need to protect yourself and there's paperwork involved.

If you're unsure of how much to sell your dirt bike, check out Kelley Blue Book.

Where to Sell Your Used Dirt Bike

The easiest and friendliest method to selling your dirt bike is at the track. That's where you'll find common ground and people less likely to wheel-and-deal you. You'll run into any number of people looking to save money when buying a "new" bike for their kid or themselves. Often there's a bulletin board where people post flyers of bikes for sale. Make this your first stop. Include nicely presented photos, specs and of course, contact information.

Great example of a photo used to sell this 2003 Suzuki RM125 by a MotoSport employee

Your second stop would be local dirt bike riding clubs. If you're already a member of one then make this your first stop. It's very likely someone you already know wants a used bike or someone knows someone else who is looking for a well maintained used dirt bike. Local online dirt bike forums would be a third choice. The same riders who peruse those sites are often the same ones you're riding against.

If you fail to get hits or a decent offer for your dirt bike the next step is Craigslist. Check it out, there are lots of used dirt bikes for sale on Craigslist. Keep in mind you're dealing with the internet and while most people who use Craigslist or other online websites to sell a dirt bike have a positive interaction read this article on selling safely if you're new to the site.

In order to stand-out among the rest you'll have to be seen as a bargain and probably need to lower the price if you failed to get offers at the track.

Regardless of where you post your dirt bike for sale it's important to include at the very least general information. It also helps to include the brands of individual parts because they can be a deal breaker for some buyers or enhance the sell value.

General information should include:

  • Model year
  • Brand
  • Model
  • Engine Size
  • Engine Type

The Paperwork

When it comes to the actual sale it bolsters your case for the amount asked if you have all paperwork. Most dirt bike owners perform their own maintenance so in this case it really is up to you to be honest about the frequency of oil changes and other routine needs. Any upgrades or trips to the mechanic should have documentation.

If a potential buyer wants to test ride and/or have a mechanic check it out first don't be alarmed. That's actually a good sign. If a test ride is wanted meet them at the track. If they want a mechanic to check it out it's best if you tag along. You can always hang on to their driver's license to ensure they don't steal the bike but if your state doesn't require registration then you won't have much proof.

Once you've agreed on a price you'll need to fill out paperwork. This is where it gets tricky. As stated, some states require registration others don't. If you have at any time bought a new dirt bike from a dealer than you'll already know your state's requirements as the dirt bike buying process would be similar to purchasing a car and you'll have a title.

To be on the safe side, check with your local DMV to see whether your state requires dirt bikes to be registered. If so, you'll need to pass over the title to the new owner and present a bill of sale. If your state doesn't require registration then you'll only need a bill of sale. (Do check to see if your DMV can also provide any additional paperwork to finalize the sale of your dirt bike.)

It's important to have all the necessary paperwork completed so in the rare event the new owner injures someone or gets injured you're not liable. Technically, even if you've sold the bike but a transfer of ownership is incomplete you could be held liable.

Payment - Cash or Check?

Cash or an agreed upon trade is most desirable for payment. Taking a personal check is risky and most buyers likely won't even ask. A cashier's check is a viable option but even those are becoming targets for fraud. This article explains how to avoid getting stuck with a fraudulent cashier's check.

After reading this, you may simply change your mind on selling. It's always best to protect yourself from worst case scenarios and ensure you not only get payment for your used dirt bike but that you are released from any liability. It's really no different than selling a used car. A last resort is to check with a dealer that might buy/sell/trade used dirt bikes. You won't get near to what you're asking but there's no price on peace of mind and it's relatively hassle free.

In reality, the dirt bike community is a niche and Craigslist is likely to be a last ditch effort. If you'd rather "keep it in the family" then don't stop trying at your local track or stay in touch with those dirt bike clubs and sooner or later you find someone looking for a new, but used, ride.