Deter theft when selling your motorcycle

Using fake identities (IDs) has become common in motorcycle thefts. Here are some ways to deter theft when selling your motorcycle:

1. Get the buyers identification.

Ask the buyer for their contact information: name, address, date of birth and driver’s license number. Then ask to see the driver’s license and check that the information given matches the license. Or better yet obtain a photocopy of the driver’s license. Check that the buyer’s driver’s license carries a valid motorcycle endorsement. Be especially cautious of anyone with out-of-state identification.

2. Avoid way one-way test rides.

Make sure the potential buyer wasn’t dropped off by another party and is planning to take a one-way test ride with your motorcycle. Verify that the buyer owns the vehicle they arrived with and that the vehicle is of equal or greater value than your motorcycle. Make sure they are insured. Do all this before you let anyone take a test ride on your motorcycle.

3. Deposit the money in your bank.

It is a good idea to meet at your bank to complete the transaction. There are lots of schemes where people are offering to wire money while you ship the motorcycle. Often these thieves are claiming to be out of country. Don’t turn over the your motorcycle or title until you can verify that the check, money order or wire is valid and has cleared the bank.

4. Sell your motorcycle on consignment.

If you decide to sell your motorcycle through a dealer on consignment, first make sure the dealership is a reputable business before you trust them as your agent. Negotiate the agreed upon fee upfront, which could be either a flat dollar amount or a percentage of the sale. Also, provide the dealer a price ranges so they have leeway to negotiate the sale (but stay within an acceptable dollar range). Hold the original title until you receive all your expected money from the dealership.


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