Want to increase the value of your old motorcycle?

Let's say you have an older motorcycle that dates as far back as mid 70's through early 80's. You want to sell it but you're finding the resale value is pretty low. Kelly Blue Book does allow you to find your motorcycle's value, but I never felt that those were accurate.

If you want to increase your motorcycle's resale value, then listen to what has worked for me. My 1981 Honda CM200 Twinstar was purchased for several hundred dollars. The original Craigslist ad showed she was asking close to $1000. But when I arrived, I rode the bike, saw all the imperfections and offered her (the seller) what the KBB value for that model. She was shocked that I had offered so low because she had put in so much into the bike that she was basically losing money on it. She reluctantly decided to take my offer and off I went.

So the KBB value of the CM200 was $740 at the time. I gave her $760 because she didn't have change. Now the thought was to flip the motorcycle and see if I can upgrade to a bigger bike. Well I found out that the AS-IS condition I bought the bike in didn't yield any interests on CL for an asking price of $1000. So I put some work into it, changed out to dragger bars, new brakes, clutch and cables then list it. I felt that $1500 would get some nibbles. It did! In fact, I had 3 people wanted to look at it. Hmm...so an investment of less than $150 would allow me to make close to $800 more than what I paid for.

Then I thought some more and figured the CM200 was a perfect bike to convert into a cafe racer. But I waited almost a year after the purchase to go ahead with the transformation. As you may have read, the total cost for the conversion was only around $240. Right after that, I listed my bike again on CL to see if I could get some interest on a "cafe racer."

I listed it for $2200 and notated on the ad that the price was firm. 3 days later I received an email from a person who was interested in seeing it. I really didn't have any plans on selling it. So I responded that I would show it to him but he needs to understand that I'm not budging on the price. To my surprise, he agreed to my terms. We haven't set a schedule to meet, but that got me thinking.

My total investment on the CM200 was roughly $400 and that included the cafe racer conversion as well as some of the hard goods I needed earlier on. Let's do the math, $760+$400= $1160. But because it's a CAFE RACER, it bumped up the value of my motorcycle up to $2200! So that means I have a potential of making a $1040 in profit! Not only do I make my money back, but I could even buy 2 old motorcycles and do the exact same thing as I did on the CM200, convert it, then flip it!

So there you have it, long story short, take an old motorcycle, put just a bit of money into it to get it running and convert it to a cafe racer. If you haven't figured it out, cafe racers are gaining more popularity, you could capitalize on the going trend.