How to Trade Your Motorcycle For a Pre-Owned Harley Davidson

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Upgrading to a bigger, better bike can be incredibly exciting. There are few things more enjoyable than riding out of a dealership on a brand-new, or new-to-you, Harley Davidson, but going through the hassle of selling an older model motorcycle is usually anything but fun. Thankfully, most Harley dealerships will accept trade-ins, and those old bikes don’t even have to be Harley-Davidsons.

Where to Trade-In an Old Bike

Riders who prioritize quality know that Harley-Davidson is the most trusted name in the motorcycle world. The local H-D authorized dealer should receive a similar level of trust. Local Harley-Davidson dealerships carry a large inventory of motorcycles, including different new and used Harley models, and will usually take trade-ins even if they’re from other manufacturers. Plus, a Harley dealership is the only place riders can buy certified pre-owned Harley-Davidson bikes.

How to Determine Trade-In Value

It may be tempting to assume that a motorcycle’s trade-in value will be the same as its average list price or retail value, but that’s not necessarily the case. The trade-in value is the amount of money a dealership will take off a new purchase when a buyer brings an older bike in for trade, and it’s not usually the same as a motorcycle’s actual cash value. When a dealership offers a discount off a new bike in return for the rider’s unwanted older model, factors such as the motorcycle’s condition, whether it’s in high demand in the area, and how good the buyer is at negotiating will all come into play.

By far the easiest way to learn a motorcycle’s potential trade-in value is to head to the dealership. That said, some people like to have a general idea of what to expect in advance. There are several ways to get an indication of the average trade-in value of a particular make and model, but the easiest to use is Kelly Blue Book or NADA’s online valuation tools.

All riders have to do to get an idea of how much their motorcycles will fetch at a dealership is enter some basic information. These two reputable sites draw data from sources like dealership and auction sites, wholesale value charts, and others to determine an average. Just keep in mind that a motorcycle’s condition can strongly impact its trade-in value, and these tools only offer ballpark figures.

How to Maximize Trade-In Value

Whether a rider knows exactly what motorcycle to buy or wants to shop around and take multiple models out for test rides before choosing one that’s in his or her budget, maximizing the trade-in value of an old bike is a great way to expand options. Most experienced riders recommend trading in used bikes during the off-season when dealerships aren’t doing as much business and may be willing to offer a better deal. Riders should also consider these tips:

  • Remove all customizations and mods before bringing the bike in for an evaluation.
  • Consider fixing minor mechanical problems.
  • Clean the bike first to make it easier to see what condition it’s in.
  • Be willing to negotiate.
  • Shop around, if there’s time, but stick to official Harley-Davidson dealerships.

Research New Models Online Today

Ready to trade in an old motorcycle for a new Harley, but not sure what make and model will be the best fit for a specific use or lifestyle? The best thing riders who are on the fence can do is perform plenty of research online and take multiple bikes out for test rides before making a final decision.