News from Oakland Harley-Davidson

How can I get the most money for my trade?

Posted by Oakland H-D Contributor on Mar 29, 2020 10:00:00 AM

So you have a motorcycle and you are thinking about upgrading to a different motorcycle. And you want to get rid of your current motorcycle to make room for your new one. You have two options. You can sell it on the private market (Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace or similar) and deal with all of the things that come with it. Or two, you can trade it in at the dealership where you purchase your new bike. And you are probably thinking to yourself "How can I get the most money for my trade?". We've done hundreds of trades a year for many years and we would love nothing more than to give you top dollar for your beautiful motorcycle. So we have come up with 7 tips that anyone can take advantage of to get the most money for their trade.


  1. Show us the motorcycle. In order to give you the best value for your motorcycle we need to see it. Quote values you receive online, without at least sending pictures in, are typically not accurate. How can they be? The dealer has not seen your motorcycle! They are counting on the fact that there is probably something wrong with your motorcycle.

  2. Keep your service records. If you have documentation that your motorcycle has been serviced by a Harley-Davidson Authorized Technician, that maintenance was performed according to the owner’s manual, that recalls were taken care of in a timely fashion, and accessories were added properly then we can pass that information along to the future buyer. Peace of mind for them means greater value in your motorcycle for us and a better trade-in value for you.

  3. Have an extended service plan. The Harley-Davidson Extended Service Plan protects the rider from costly repairs on covered claims for up to 7 years and unlimited miles. Should you decide to sell your motorcycle, you can transfer any remaining coverage to the next owner. This can easily increase the resale value. You can also use the remaining balance of the Harley-Davidson Extended
    Service Plan towards the down payment of your next H-D motorcycle.

  4. Invest in protection plans. Programs like Guaranteed Asset Protection, Tire and Wheel Protection, H-D Appearance Protection and Pre-Paid Maintenance can also increase the value of a motorcycle.1201928_MW_MY20_191302

  5. Bring us your paperwork. Bring it all. Especially your bill of sale. We are happy to help you decode it in the event that you aren’t sure what protections and plans you purchased way back when.

  6. Keep your stock accessories. Parts and accessories can add value to a motorcycle because you have probably done a great job customizing your bike to reflect your personality. In some cases though, it’s nice to have the accessories that came stock on the motorcycle. You might love that Solo Reach Seat you had installed but it’s possible the guy looking at purchasing your motorcycle is 6 feet tall and loves riding with his wife on the back. Having a stock exhaust system can sometimes be worth more than having an aftermarket exhaust set up.

  7. Calculate the difference price. The difference price is the total price of the motorcycle you are going to purchase, plus dealer fees, sales tax and licensing MINUS the equity in your trade. You might get one dealership to give you a very high trade value on your motorcycle and a high price on the new motorcycle while another dealership wants to give you a lower trade value and a fair price on
    the new motorcycle. Your difference price is the number that doesn’t lie. Read all about how to calculate difference price here.

Want to get started with your trade?

Get started by letting us know. Then let's find a time when you can bring your motorcycle down to our shop and let us take a look at it. 

Find Out What My Trade Is Worth

Ready for more information on buying a motorcycle? We've compiled some of our most popular articles into The Definitive Guide to Buying a Motorcycle.

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Topics: Motorcycles, Current Rider

News from Oakland H-D

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Our team of experts at Oakland Harley-Davidson strives to keep you up-to-date on:

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