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How to price an older motorcycle?


Limecreek

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Hi BMWSTers - I need some help pricing my 1995 R1100RSL. This is the bike my son and I refurbished/restored 4 years ago. That story is here.

 

Here is the pricing challenge I am facing - how do I price a 22 YO motorcycle with a book value of $3500 that has essentially all new parts with the exception of the short block and gearbox?

 

Thoughts and advice is appreciated.

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Start by asking book value but specify clearly you are considering serious offers.

If it goes unsold for two months, drop price and still consider serious offers.

Rinse and repeat until sold.

 

If you are in a hurry to sell it, ask three grands for it or best offer and sell to the first person offering over two grands in cash.

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Book values are a guide, not absolute. More important to newer models where bank financing might come into play.

Those interested in a '95 RSL in the condition yours is in shouldn't need to finance it. They should have an idea of what money has been put into it. If they want an exceptional example, they know they will pay over a "book value".

But that person is sometimes hard to find or simply not in the market. It takes time to find them. Advertising on bike trader, BMW sites, and so forth will net results. But this takes work.

Bottom line is that unless that bike is very collectable, you are not going to come close to getting your money back. I have sold some cars, and helped others to sell them that are in a similar circumstance. Spend some time looking online for other examples of that bike and what it is priced at. Look at what you have invested in it for parts and bike purchase. IF, and that is not always going to happen, if you can get half of your money back you are about where the average is.

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$5000 firm

 

As Terry said, price is not the primary concern for these types of purchases. It only has to be reasonable and a $1500 premium is not unreasonable for what you have created. It might command more, but it depends on how quickly you want to turn it.

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Guys - appreciate the guidance so far. I am a realist and never expected to get back what I invested in the bike - that was the price of the experience and the fun I had with my son.

 

Here is another thought - sell off the bike in parts. The Ohlins struts alone are worth $800 in the used market. But what a PITA to take it apart, photos, shipping - ugh. Plus it would be sad to see a near perfect RSL come off the road for good.

 

Please keep the comments coming. I need to come up with a reasonable price to start with and get it listed.

 

Why am I selling, you may ask? I am returning to one bike, selling the K16GT too and will purchase a modern R bike.

 

Cheers!

 

Cheers!

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Remember, many don't recognize the RSL.

From faulty memory of oilheads

RT mid 50,000 sales

RS mid 20,000 sales

RSL I believe about 1200 imported (It was the RS elsewhere)

That said, your restoration has merit also.

To someone who recognizes the bike as a part of the marque history, a premium wouldn't deter price north of $4k.

I forget if you added rails and bags? That would add obviously.

When Iowned mine, I would check national ads and rarley found one for sale. They were almost all "beaters". Mine was super low mileage, and I put @40,000 on it before buying the K and selling to Matt/Diane.

So, take great pics, advertise over at MOA, it isn't a BMW model you will encounter very often, appeal to the rider wanting something out of the ordinary, and of course, it rides great/has the early I ABS, simple to work on.

Best wishes.

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It has bags with city cases and accessory lights that stay with the bike along with Wonderlich head protectors, Skene rear lights, fuel nanny and Aeroflow windshield.

 

142654292.jpg

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Going to be difficult to price. Even if we think it's worth 5 or 6K, someone looking for a 1995 isn't thinking going that high. They're going to have book value in their head ~ $3500. I'd say you could try to get $4000, but expecting someone to appreciate all you've done to it AND pay the premium for that is not going to be easy.

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OK ... here are my thoughts .... first DO NOT part it out! That bike is too nice and you have too much work and love in it to not see it go to a good home. As folks have said "value guides" are just that guides. My bikes are always in pristine condition and when I sell them I know the sale will be slower as most folks are looking for the best "deal" which they believe is the cheapest price. Bikes like yours take time to find the right buyer. Having a "story" really helps and lots of photos and details and then lastly PATIENCE. Bikes like yours must be seen to photos really help. I just today sold my 2006 R1200RT and not for a song but it tool 2 months to sell albeit it was the fall /winter. If you can get someone to create a web link that helps a lot too. Here is the web page I used to sell my RT. Good luck!

 

http://www.americade.info/Ed-BMW/2006-bmw.htm

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Really a shame to part out a good bike. It should live on for a new owner's enjoyment if you can swing a reasonable sale. Maybe find some used OEM shocks for it and sell off the Ohlins for a bit of extra cash?

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...

Here is another thought - sell off the bike in parts. The Ohlins struts alone are worth $800 in the used market. But what a PITA to take it apart, photos, shipping - ugh. Plus it would be sad to see a near perfect RSL come off the road for good...

 

 

As one who has parted out two R1100RTs and an R1150RT you are 100% correct that parting your bike out would be a major PITA and a huge time suck. I made a surprising amount of money on my part outs, but I had space (garage and toy hauler) for the parts, and since I was retired I also had the time. Answering messages and calls, packaging, and then sending out the parcels takes A LOT of time and it is expensive. I spent thousands in shipping and was very fortunate to find buyers for the tupperware who were able to pick up the parts since shipping these are really expensive due to the large irregular sizes. I started with a complete disassembly on bikes that had seen their better days and would be near impossible to find someone who would actually want to buy one to ride it, unlike yours.

 

The other thing I found is that the used market, especially ebay, had become flooded with RT parts, and prices had dropped dramatically. With your rather unusual model you would have a much more difficult time finding buyers who need the parts unless they were applicable to the RTs. The flood of parts and lower asking prices brought my parting out to an end.

 

Get what you can and move along. You'll make some buyer very happy, give them a good story to tell to their friends, and besides, like you mentioned, you already got the value out of the bike with the time spent with your son.

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Wow, what a true labor of love. Great job on the re-build and restore. Different areas of the country and different times of year command different prices. Where I live, everything is greatly discounted, hardly ever expect to get "Book Value" in other parts of the country it is quite different. The sale price is always predicated on the axiom, "What a willing buyer is willing to give a willing seller." So, I would suggest that you set your opening price accordingly. You will know soon enough what range a willing buyer is valuing your bike. Good luck.

 

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... I need to come up with a reasonable price to start with and get it listed.
Well, I still think $5K is a reasonable price but its also a good starting point (i.e. the infamous OBO). And yes, I have some idea of the ins and outs of buyers' thought processes. For 10 years I was in the car business selling new and used vehicles. :Cool: If you just want to dump it, well any price will do. If you have a bit of time, there is a buyer for unique, quality work.
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I was faced with a similar situation when considering selling my 1996 RSL to purchase an Aprilia Caponord. The bike simply wasn't going to bring much on ebay or craigslist. It was worth more to me than what I could sell it for. To my surprise, the dealer (not BMW) offered me $ 1,000 more as trade-in than I could have reasonably expected to sell it for. And the Aprilia was not over priced either. Maybe an exception because of the relative rarity of both bikes but that dealer has had other examples of RSL's and Caponords go through their store.

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...

Here is another thought - sell off the bike in parts. The Ohlins struts alone are worth $800 in the used market. But what a PITA to take it apart, photos, shipping - ugh. Plus it would be sad to see a near perfect RSL come off the road for good...

 

 

As one who has parted out two R1100RTs and an R1150RT you are 100% correct that parting your bike out would be a major PITA and a huge time suck. I made a surprising amount of money on my part outs, but I had space (garage and toy hauler) for the parts, and since I was retired I also had the time. Answering messages and calls, packaging, and then sending out the parcels takes A LOT of time and it is expensive. I spent thousands in shipping and was very fortunate to find buyers for the tupperware who were able to pick up the parts since shipping these are really expensive due to the large irregular sizes. I started with a complete disassembly on bikes that had seen their better days and would be near impossible to find someone who would actually want to buy one to ride it, unlike yours.

 

The other thing I found is that the used market, especially ebay, had become flooded with RT parts, and prices had dropped dramatically. With your rather unusual model you would have a much more difficult time finding buyers who need the parts unless they were applicable to the RTs. The flood of parts and lower asking prices brought my parting out to an end.

 

Get what you can and move along. You'll make some buyer very happy, give them a good story to tell to their friends, and besides, like you mentioned, you already got the value out of the bike with the time spent with your son.

 

Good advice Ed.

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There's a buyer out there. Figure out what you've got into it, and simply start there. Put it on craigslist or ebay or whatever, and let it sit. The key is not being in a hurry to unload it. Somebody's out there, with the dough, and the desire. But you just need time.

 

You can always lower the price every once in a while. but don't get frustrated when nothing happens. If you start getting frustrated, you'll end up selling it to the first guy with $1000 in his hand.

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There IS a limit to that way of thinking Eric. No matter the condition and what's been done to it, there's a limit as to what someone will pay. There may not be someone out there.

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You will never get out of it what you think it is worth. The trick is to at least get them to come an look at what you have for sale and compare that to whatever they already have looked at. Most buyers are shopping on price alone unless you get a chance to meet them.

 

I just sold my wife's 99 R1100R with as much in accessories as I got for the bike plus I provided a complete 36K service including alternator belt and two new tires. She decided she was done with the bike and my kids didn't want it. (I would have given it to them) In any case look at Craig's list to see what other asking prices are.

 

Right now the deals seem to be on 1100/1150 RT's. $3500.00 will get you one with about 25000 miles and nice condition, all the bags, a few accessories and what the owners call "up to date service" I always take that one with a grain of salt.

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Nice looking bike ! I didn't see mileage listed but if it isn't to high you should be able to get $4,000 for it easily. Start high , you can always drop the price if need be.

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  • 5 years later...
George S.

I’m back on this site after a few years of detours from BMWs.

(I just bought an ‘02 R1150R with 10K on it. Waiting for the shipper to pick it up and deliver to me)  

Somehow came upon this thread while looking for something else from my past threads. 
Curious as to what it sold for? 

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Whenever you invest money in refurbishing an old bike expect to lose money unless the bike is considered a classic that's in high demand. Project bikes are fun but usually they're money pits so you can ask whatever price you think the bike is worth so maybe a good starting place is to checkout cycle trader and see what others are asking or google R1100RSL for sale and see what comes up. Personally I'd calculate how much money I had invested in the bike and price the bike accordingly, you can always accept less money.

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