Author Topic: Fixing up bikes to sell.  (Read 1005 times)

Online Scout63

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Fixing up bikes to sell.
« on: December 04, 2022, 09:51:06 PM »
At the risk of exposing our underbellies, how much fixing up do you do when you decide to sell a bike.  Obviously getting it running is a big value enhancer. But what about small or hard to fix things?

Im moving to selling my G5 in fits and starts. Im already three or four thousand dollars upside down, so any time and money into it is pretty much wasted. I tore off the rear end today to replace a pitted rear drive flange.  That will cost me three hours plus gaskets and oil. Just to fix a small rear end oil drip.

Also, there is a dent in the newly painted tank from a garage drop.  Its not fixable according to my body guy so Im going to have another tank bead blasted and painted.  This is not as big a deal for me since the current tank was striped and signed by a good friend who passed away recently. The tank is going to go up in the rafters on display.

But why fix things that wont add value? 
Ben Zehnder - Orleans, MA USA
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Offline 80CX100

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Re: Fixing up bikes to sell.
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2022, 09:57:37 PM »
But why fix things that wont add value?

     We're all different;

     I do what's right for the bike,not for the deal.,,,probably also why I don't sell any,lol

      :laugh:
« Last Edit: December 04, 2022, 10:15:05 PM by 80CX100 »
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Offline n3303j

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Re: Fixing up bikes to sell.
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2022, 10:03:52 PM »
The few bikes I've sold I told the buyer they were most likely ready to ride cross country and back. I always fixed them to that level because that's how I wanted them to be when I rode them. None were beautiful or perfect. But they all were good. I told the buyer about any minor issues. Making the bikes pretty and perfect were for the next owner. Beauty and perfection are time consuming and expensive. Beauty and perfection get in the way of more riding. Never really profited from any sale. But my cost per mile was in a range I was happy with.
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Online Canuck750

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Re: Fixing up bikes to sell.
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2022, 10:10:27 PM »
Its a tough call on when you have gone far enough. I have sold a half dozen of my bikes over the years, most everything I could think of was done and in most cases I was upside down on the $$$ side.

What I wont do again is sell a bike thats not running 100%, I sold a bike before I had it fully sorted and it resulted in a buyer less than thrilled. I ended up returning money to help the buyer get it sorted, its the only time I wish I had not sold a motorcycle.
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Re: Fixing up bikes to sell.
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2022, 10:10:27 PM »

Offline nc43bsa

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Re: Fixing up bikes to sell.
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2022, 12:10:35 AM »
I'm in the same quandary concerning a Thunderbird I'm considering fixing/selling.

Do I spend a couple of thousand on fixing it, and if I do, do I ultimately keep it or sell it?  Or do I sell it as is, with a list of what I know needs repair?

Hmmmmm.
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Online blu guzz

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Re: Fixing up bikes to sell.
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2022, 06:08:59 AM »
For me, it's have it running.  Then disclose what I know (not being a possessed of ESP, I can't know everything) and remind them that they are buying an old bike and it is not perfect.  Being in the legal field, I hand write a contract/bill of sale with the price, date, etc. as well as the point that it is an old bike and that it is "as is" and get their signature.
Take it for what its worth.  Also, never made money on a bike sale if you consider all expenses. 
Blue Guzz

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Re: Fixing up bikes to sell.
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2022, 06:27:21 AM »
I'll usually pull the wheels and tank and just "go thru it".  Change the Oil, filters, brake fluids, coolant (if equipped).  Pull the Swingarm, shafts, etc.  Brakes & bearing inspections.  Fix whatever shows up.

And, since previously being in two branches of Military service - I clean, detail, and polish everything.  I simply cannot help myself.
 :boozing:

Old Honda or Yamaha motorcycles offer the most pleasant experiences.  They're not as cool as some others, but they're likely parked there dead because of a fuel or minor electrical issue.   

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Online Travlr

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Re: Fixing up bikes to sell.
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2022, 07:19:25 AM »
I don't mind buying a bike that needs work as long it was disclosed up front.  However my experience is that bikes that need work get beat up pretty bad on selling price.  "If one thing is bad how many other things are bad" seem to be the mentality.

Mike
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Offline cliffrod

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Re: Fixing up bikes to sell.
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2022, 07:33:01 AM »
Ive never extensively rebuilt or restored any machine with the expectation of selling it for a profit.  I think spending more to make less is a waste of money and time.  If youre not looking for profit, just spend what it costs to have fun.

If youre into it for a profit, realistically look at the percentages (not the dollar amounts) and make your decisions.   Buying for $500 and quickly selling for $1000 is infinitely wiser than buying for $500, spending $5k and struggling to sell it for $6k to net the same $500 return.
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Online Ncdan

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Re: Fixing up bikes to sell.
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2022, 09:20:03 AM »
Its such a huge blessing to buy a preowned motorcycle from guys like you, essentially for people like me that has very minimal mechanical skills.
Most motorcycle people can tell right off the bat when looking to buy a motorcycle from someone if the seller has taken their time and money to bring the bike being sold to a respectable spec and the buyer will be more apt to give extra money for a bike they feel is ready to hit the road upon purchase, I know I would.
If I were the seller Id keep a list of everything I did to the bike to make it all it can be, all well as the cost in time and my labor of love.


Offline n3303j

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Re: Fixing up bikes to sell.
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2022, 09:57:23 AM »
I make up a small (4x5) log book for each bike. On the inside cover is the date and mileage at acquisition  as well as basic tuneup specs and oil capacities. The book contains every maintenance, repair or improvement performed with a time, date and mileage stamp on the event. It's an aid for this old guy dealing with multiple machines to maintain. It's a nice thing to hand to a buyer as evidence that I was invested in keeping the machine in proper order.
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Offline Kiwi_Roy

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Re: Fixing up bikes to sell.
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2022, 10:03:03 AM »
I bought a flying Brick once, it had a dead in tank fuel pump,  it was just varnished up from sitting so long, as soon as the pump started rotating it never looked back.
The seller deducted $100 or so from the advertised price because the pump had stopped working working. by the time I got to the bike (in NZ) my Bro Kiwi Kev had the pump fixed, I think he just thumped it on a piece of wood with 12 volts applied.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2022, 12:36:48 AM by Kiwi_Roy »
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Online blackcat

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Re: Fixing up bikes to sell.
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2022, 10:11:29 AM »
"That will cost me three hours plus gaskets and oil."

You factor in your time as a cost?   :grin: :wink:
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Offline Groover

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Re: Fixing up bikes to sell.
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2022, 10:37:04 AM »
It's not a cumulative return for sure. I think there is a cutoff point in what is essential for running and safety (I think that all or mostly comes back) then there is personal preference on things on what the conditions should be, and that hardly ever comes back unless it's something super rare out there, and even then, you'd have to find the right crowd of buyers (not the Guzzi crowd....). A perfect bike is only to the owner, hardly to the buyer.
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Offline guzziownr

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Re: Fixing up bikes to sell.
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2022, 11:43:57 AM »
Fixed up and sold:

'00 Jackal -$2,500; '79 V50 Monza -$1,000; '72 Eldorado -$2.500

Purchased and Parted out

'76 T-3 +$600; '79 SP  +$500; '79 SP +$1,000

Small sample size but you get the idea.
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Offline n3303j

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Re: Fixing up bikes to sell.
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2022, 12:17:49 PM »
I fix them because it's fun and satisfying.
When I sell I'm happy if I get over original purchase price.
I consider the time and materials the cost of my fun.
I've never put less than 20,000 miles on anything I've resold.
So most of the time my loss at sale divided by 20,000 ends up being relatively cheap fun per mile.
'98 MG V11 EV
'96 URAL SPORTSMAN
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Offline egschade

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Re: Fixing up bikes to sell.
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2022, 12:30:10 PM »
For me it's doing a full maintenance and cleaning (refurbished?) so I know how well the bike runs and what it still needs. I adhere to the 'it's only original once' and keep the bike that way, only replacing somethings that's damaged or worn to an unsafe/useless level. This way I can tell the buyer exactly what they're getting for their money.
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Online Scout63

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Re: Fixing up bikes to sell.
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2022, 12:57:55 PM »
"That will cost me three hours plus gaskets and oil."

You factor in your time as a cost?   :grin: :wink:

Humor noted Blackcat.  I bill my time as an attorney jealously at 450/hour, but lose endless hours in the garage without complaint. Im not sure how I classify that hour I just spent looking for that rear drive flange I bought last year from MG Cycle and is nowhere to be found.
Ben Zehnder - Orleans, MA USA
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Online blackcat

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Re: Fixing up bikes to sell.
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2022, 01:32:22 PM »
Fixed up and sold:

'00 Jackal -$2,500; '79 V50 Monza -$1,000; '72 Eldorado -$2.500

Purchased and Parted out

'76 T-3 +$600; '79 SP  +$500; '79 SP +$1,000

Small sample size but you get the idea.

Jealous, I just buy them and think that I can sell them.
1968 Norton Fastback
1976 Lemans
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1993 1000S
1997 Daytona RS
2007 Red Norge

Online kballowe

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Re: Fixing up bikes to sell.
« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2022, 06:17:13 PM »
Sometimes ya catch the little things before they become bigger things.





and then there's the time that ya misjudged an issue.     :boozing:


« Last Edit: December 06, 2022, 06:22:25 PM by kballowe »
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Offline John Croucher

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Re: Fixing up bikes to sell.
« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2022, 09:01:48 AM »
I would do a good detailing of a bike before selling. This makes a big impact to the potential buyer.  Spend a couple of hours with some mineral spirits, various paint brushes to remove grime.  Put a towel under the bike.  I seldom use water and detergent to clean a bike.  I found that soap and water washing still requires detail wiping.  So I just wipe from the start. 

Online Scout63

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Re: Fixing up bikes to sell.
« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2022, 09:39:32 PM »
I tend to sell them cheap if I like the buyer.  Someone told me about WD40 for cleaning up bikes.  A liberal amount on a rag really cleans, degreased and leaves a nice finish.
Ben Zehnder - Orleans, MA USA
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Online kballowe

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Re: Fixing up bikes to sell.
« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2022, 09:24:43 AM »
This one sat in a barn for ten+ years.  Lots of dust, dry rotted tires, etc etc.  Only 3,xxx miles though.  Luckily, zero rust tank.  Pitted aluminum wheels, but we took tare of that, once removed.  Chrome polish and a buffer wheel on the frame.  The paint was another challenge.

Replaced a few bent -n- dent pieces, added accessories from my "stash", and gave it the usual "once over", polishing as it went.

That's Griot's Show Car wax on everything right there.  Good stuff.   :boozing:








« Last Edit: December 08, 2022, 09:26:55 AM by kballowe »
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Offline Phil/TX

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Re: Fixing up bikes to sell.
« Reply #23 on: December 08, 2022, 01:25:20 PM »
Although its a labor of love sometimes, for me most of the time its for a profit. For the last ten years, I have looked at the local CL, and other adds, for fixer uppers! Most of the time Im looking for higher dollar older bikes (98 to 2019). These were top line when new, but most have set for several years. I look for the ones inside or under cover, they require less cleaning.
Mostly tires ,cleaning, and oil and chain maintenance. Usually I can make $500 to $2500 per bike. But Im finished now, because I have kept the profits, and am waiting on my new V100 S, paid in full.😃😃


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Online Petrus Rocks

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Re: Fixing up bikes to sell.
« Reply #24 on: December 09, 2022, 02:00:01 PM »
I have bought and sold bikes for years.  Started doing it to pay for off road racing.  Sell bikes and quads, buy a new racer and equipment every couple of years.  I almost always make money now because I pay attention to what people want and the typical price the bike's worth.  A clean bike  says a lot to a buyer.  To me, brakes, tires, controls, no significant problems.  If something's wrong with a bike being upfront about it is imperative.  I don't worry about all the cosmetics unless it increases the value.  I have lost money on the way to learning, considered it paying for an education  :bike-037:

 


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