Friday, April 19, 2024

1. Auto Trader for Used Motorcycles

Probably the #1 most popular go-to place online for buying used motorcycles. You can search through endless classifieds for motorcycles in your area, whether you’re looking to buy from established brick and mortar stores, or from private sellers like you and me.  They break down dealers by city, in your specific location, and give you their details. They seem to only list the authorized dealers that are well established and official. So, why is Auto Trader the most used source for used motorcycle shopping? It’s simply the sheer amount of a selection they have coupled with the high level of information they provide.  They literally list every make and model imaginable, including classic ones, and make it a breeze for you to find your most specific of choice. When you’ve found something, then you’ll notice how exhaustive their descriptions and information are, including helpful photos, mileage, VIN numbers, and just general thorough detail. If this were a dating site for motorcycles, you bet your ass you would know enough about the ride to be able to go on that first date. “No blind dates” should be AutoTrader’s motto.


The sheer amount of listings they have makes it easier for you to find something online here, than with any other site.  If you live somewhere more remote, or a smaller populated area, and are looking to get something rather specific like a vintage model, your chances on finding that will be higher on Auto Trader than pretty much anywhere else.  


They also let you sell your motorcycles by creating your own listing. They let you be as creative and descriptive as you’d like, in order to get the most interest.  That kind of customization is valuable when you’re trying to stand out among the pack.

2. Cycle Trader for Used Motorcycles

What separates this site compared to something like AutoTrader, is just simply the ease of use combined with it being a damn good “other” source for your search.  CycleTrader is straight up simple to navigate and use. The whole searching and browsing experience is made to be as clutter and fat-free as possible. Further, they list over 300,000 motorcycles, new and used, which you can browse by keyword, location, make, model and more. Somehow, you never feel overwhelmed, even when using the “advanced” search option.  This goes without saying, but their database has all the best and most popular brands, like Harley-Davidson, Honda, Triumph, and more. When you’re browsing, they even go the extra mile by giving you monthly payment projections, coverage quotes, and notifications about any listings you’ve favorited.


You can even sell your own motorcycle.. Put it up as a used motorcycle, with free setup and everything.  Once you’re registered, you can create your own listing quite fast, and I can personally attest to that. The setup is self-explanatory as you’re guided through step-by-step, and once your motorcycle is live,  just sit back and let the site do the work for you.


The only complaint we’d have with Cycle Trader would be their availability in some areas of the country.  We’ve seen some lack of representation in smaller towns, as far as selection and trying to find more specific choices, like more vintage-type rides for example.  

3. Craigslist

Hear us out on this one. If you’re totally risk averse, read no further. If you’re willing to take on some risk but with big potential, then Craigslist might be the place for you when it comes to getting the cheapest used motorcycles for sale. There are definitely horror stories of the random scammer, but overall, we have plenty of positive experiences and stories that have come our way.  If you feel like your area isn’t covered well by the Cycle Traders and Autotraders of the world, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the sheer number of listings in even the most underrepresented towns and areas.


Sure, you may have to be more flexible than you’d like. You are dealing with real people who are amateurs at selling, but if you can work schedules around, then it shouldn’t be too much of a hassle, as the amount of dedicated and responsible people far outweigh the bad apples.  The only real negative that you have to deal with consistently is the whole “sales final” aspect. There isn’t as much liability here as compared to real dealers. Two main pros, however, when it comes to using Craigslist for user motorcycle purchasing are as follows:


  • Cheap, Cheap, Cheap – often, these prices can’t be beat because the transaction is pure, with no fees that you may encounter with dealers and resellers.  
  • Rare Rides – Expect to find the unexpected sometimes, or simply your most specific needs.  Whereas the dealers and resellers from Autotrader & Cycle Trader are often posting the more popular used motorcycle brands, here you’ll find some diamonds in the rough, some classics you may not see anywhere else.

One tip we recommend, is that even if you consider yourself a motorcycle expert, it will always help if you bring a friend, or mechanic, or anyone for that matter.  This person can help you comb over the motorcycle and make sure all is right and in order. That second eye in an inspection could mean the all the difference between a lemon and your perfect deal.

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