The new-ish Gold Wing is now in its third year of production. Yes, some Wingers have little interest because of its reduced luggage and fuel capacity, aesthetic design, abundance of technology or some other reason. They would rather hold on to their prized GL1800, GL1500 and older models which is understandable because they’re great motorcycles. Many of you, however, have already made the leap. You’ve sold (or kept) your Old Wing and embraced the New Wing. Everyone we have spoken with who owns one absolutely loves their new bike and we couldn’t agree more!
If you want to see Rick’s initial reaction, check this video out. You can also see his First Ride Review below:
And then there are those who are on the fence or perhaps intend to purchase a 2018, 2019 or 2020 Gold Wing but haven’t yet for one reason or another. Maybe they need to sell their Old Wing to help pay for the new one. But what’s the best way to sell a used Gold Wing so that you get what it’s worth?
Here’s our 2 cents on the subject:
Before we get into the process of selling your Wing on your own, we need to at least mention the option of simply trading it in to a dealership. You will most certainly NOT get what it’s worth in return - we all know that, right - but you will avoid much of the headache that we will discuss below. Let the dealership handle the DMV paperwork, haggling with prospective buyers, worrying about damage to the bike during the dreaded test ride and on and on and on. Sure, you might lose out on some extra cash for those farkles you’ve had your eye on, but what’s your sanity worth, really? Have I swayed you at all?
Keep reading to find out, on average, how much less you get from trading in your ride.
Many Wingers opt to turn their bike in and ride away with a brand new, shiny Gold Wing and never look back. They don’t regret the money lost. They appreciate their time gained and stress reduced. If you feel this method is best then more power to you! It’s all about what works for each of us. So if this isn't your jam, then feel free to move on to Rick’s Rides, Rick’s Reviews or Rollin' with Rick and consider this one of the shortest articles you’ve read.
If, on the other hand, you’re the kind of seller who wants to get as much value out of your beloved Wing as humanly possible, read on, my friend. Read on.
Have you meticulously cared for and maintained it? Do you have detailed records of upkeep? Do you keep it securely housed in a garage (or perhaps you dedicate one of your bedrooms to it)? Is it really in mint or near-mint condition or might you be biased a little bit? If you’ve ridden it tens of thousands of miles over several years, chances are it isn’t pristine, but that’s expected and most riders will understand that. It’s important to be honest with yourself (and prospective purchasers) about its condition. It will save you time and wasted appointments with unhappy buyers who aren’t willing to pay an inflated asking price. Having a generally accurate idea of your bike’s condition will help with your research (detailed below) as you determine how much to ask for it.
Chrome and lights and pegs, oh my! Accessories are a great addition for any Wing, but they won’t necessarily increase the worth of your ride. Yes, you may have spent a lot of time and money customizing your Wing, but the prospective buyer may or may not care about such things. If they do then great! They just might pay more for it. But it’s just as likely they won’t care for all the added chrome. Generally speaking, the closer a bike is to its original condition, the more it will be worth.
If you are willing to put in a little extra time and effort, one possibility is to offer to take off any add-ons the buyer isn’t interested in and sell them separately on eBay, LetGo or the various GL Forums. You might actually end up making even more money that way!
Kelly Blue Book has traditionally been the go-to site to find out what you might get for your ride. More recently, however, NADA Guides has gained popularity as a reliable resource for valuing motorcycles. Take a look at one or both sites as a starting point in terms of determining the asking price for your specific bike model and condition.
Next, see what dealers and individuals are selling used Wings like yours for online. Check out Craigslist, CycleTrader or whichever listing platform you prefer. We suggest you definitely price your Wing well below any dealer price and a bit under the prices of those selling their Gold Wings on their own.
Another great resource when it comes to pricing for a sale is Gold Wing forums. There are a lot of friendly Wingers who are more than happy to help out when they can. Just keep in mind that there might also be dealers on forums and individuals looking to score a great deal and might suggest you sell your Wing for less than its value. That’s why it’s important to research several different resources and not just one.
Don’t list outside of riding season unless you absolutely have to. Why? Because demand is almost zero unless you live in a region (we’re talking about you, California and Florida) that stays warm enough to ride year round. Most of the time, when someone gets a killer deal on a motorcycle, it was probably sold in the winter. With this in mind, if you want to earn top dollar on your sale, be sure to list it around springtime or just before riding season starts.
When listing online, give as much detail about your Wing as possible and provide more than one photo. As a general rule, the more detail and the more quality photos there are in the listing, the more buyers will gravitate toward that listing. By “quality photos” we’re talking about large, clear, in-focus pictures. Don’t be the guy who throws up a small, blurry thumbnail image of your bike. It communicates to buyers that you don’t care that much about your motorcycle or selling it.
Providing accurate details and nice photos will save you from unwanted, annoying phone calls asking about the bike’s condition and history. It will also help you avoid appointments to see your Wing, but people not being prepared to actually buy it yet. Listing the pertinent info will result in serious buyers who are ready to make a purchase.
Many private sellers forget to provide important details. Don’t be like them. Remember to include:
- If you are the original owner. If not, how many owners have there been?
- What is the bike’s condition? Does it run? Be honest about it.
- What repairs have been done? What repairs, if any, are needed?
- Whether or not you still have the title.
- What maintenance have you done? Do you have records?
- Modifications or accessories added
If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of haggling, set a firm price and let buyers know in your listing. Make sure it’s easily identifiable. If someone shows up and offers less than what you’re asking for, you’re still free to accept their price if you want to, but don’t be afraid of politely declining and sticking with your set price. Just keep in mind that having a firm price will probably reduce your pool of potential buyers.
If, on the other hand, you’re open to negotiating…
Be realistic. List it for a bit more than what you hope to get. Remember, everyone wants a deal. Everyone (but the seller) wants to negotiate. Let them walk away feeling like they bargained a great price.
Be flexible with your asking price but don’t be hypnotized by the all-cash offer. On the flip side of the transaction, we all know that making an offer with a wad of cash will more often than not result in a better deal for the buyer. As a seller, use this to your advantage. Go into it expecting an all-cash offer. That way you will be prepared and can respond rationally instead of singing, “Money, money, money!” in your head. Don’t ever be afraid to think on an offer.
Think ahead and decide beforehand how you want to handle the test ride. Should it happen before or after money changes hands? From the buyers perspective, they don’t want to shell out a chunk of change BEFORE they take the bike for a spin. What if there’s something wrong with it? Will the seller really give the money back or simply say it was fine before the buyer took it. From the sellers side of things, they don’t want to let a perfect stranger ride off with their motorcycle without some sort of collateral. What if they take off and never come back? Or worse, what if they crash and total it. Rock, meet hard place.
Our recommendation is to agree on a price, have the buyer pay said price (contingent on a test ride), then allow the buyer to take it for a spin. If they bring it back and want to back out for whatever reason (and the motorcycle is in the same shape as when it left) then return the payment and move on to the next buyer. If all goes well after the test ride and both parties are satisfied, finish the paperwork and look longingly as you see your beloved Wing ride away forever. However you decide to handle the test ride, be sure to communicate your expectation clearly BEFORE you close the deal.
Also, before they take your Wing for a test spin, make sure they have a valid driver’s license, motorcycle insurance, etc.
Last thought…Avoid selling your Wing to a newbie. In the course of conversation, find out if the prospective buyer is a beginner or experienced. If they’re new to riding, we suggest you politely decline their offer, whatever it may be. We all know the Gold Wing is a large and powerful bike that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
That’s it. Now go spruce up your Wing. Get it washed, polished and looking pretty for its next owner.