From the moment you drive your shiny new motorbike away from the forecourt, it is starting its descent into the downward spiral of depreciation. Regardless of the how new your bike may feel to you in the forthcoming months or even years, it is technically a “used” vehicle from the moment you drive it away from the dealership, meaning its value will plummet almost straight away.
Depreciation is defined as the difference between what you paid for a bike and what it’s worth when you sell it on. With most vehicles losing between 50% and 60% of their value in the first three years of ownership, it’s easy to wonder why on earth anyone would ever bother to buy a brand new bike in the first place.
The answer is simple. These days we tend to think of everything as being disposable, with luxury items becoming outdated or even obsolete far quicker than ever before. We tend to buy our cars and motorbikes with the intention of only keeping them for a year or two before trading them in or upgrading. Because of this proclivity to always be on the look out for the next big thing, vehicle depreciation is just an acceptable part of owning a new, high-end motorbike.
You can’t do away with the risk completely, but there are steps you can take to help to mitigate the worst of it. Here are our top tips on how to keep deprecating values to a minimum;
The largest single factor in determining how fast a bike depreciates is what model it is. Different makes and models can suffer from differing amounts of depreciation in the first 3 years of ownership. If you aim for quality manufacturers or prestigious badges, you should see that their reputation and build quality will help to keep the dreaded depreciation at bay.
This may sound obvious but regular servicing at the correct intervals, as well as treating it with respect, can help your bike to hold its value. It won’t stop depreciation setting in, but if you are able to sell one of the best models available for its age and mileage, it can help to keep the resale value healthy.
Your bike has been purchased to be ridden. But, in some cases going over your estimated annual mileage can knock hundreds of pounds of its value. This is especially true if you are returning the bike at the end of a finance payment term, as you will also be penalised with additional payments for excess milage.
Whilst blinging up your bike might make it worth a million dollars in your own eyes, the truth is that unsightly mods can actually decrease the re-sale value. Keep your modifications easily removable so you can put the bike back to its original condition when you want to sell on.
Some bikes are more popular in the winter months, and others in the summer. In the same way, you wouldn’t sell a convertible car in the depths of winter, think about the best time to sell your bike. If it is well looked after, has a full-service history and is in its original condition, you may well find that the natural depreciation is a little less painless if you get a great sales price for it.
All bikes, and cars lose value, the trick is to offer the best bike you can for sale to help ease the depreciation blues when you come to sell. Buying and selling motorbikes for profit should be a pastime for professionals. For the rest of us, let’s enjoy the time we spend on the open road and take depreciation in our stride for now.