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Are Bike Prices Really Low?


utadventure
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I think I'm nuts.....I listed my 1986 Venture Royale on the local sales site (ksl.com) for $1,100 and I'm getting nothing but offers to trade or extremely low ball.

 

I was offered $600.00. Yes, It's a 30+ year old bike and isn't perfect, but it's in good shape and I would be willing to take off and go.

 

Am I crazy and asking too much? Is the market really down on bikes now? Am I too early in the riding season?

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No you are not nuts.

 

The reality is that 1st and 2nd gens are not in any kind of demand. Very nice & super dependable bikes but no real call for them on the market. There's a guy near me that has an 87 in beautiful condition along with a parts bike for $1200.00 that has been sitting on Craigs List for over a year.

 

I had an 84 that I got a few years back that only cost me $500.00. Went through it top to bottom and front to back. All fresh fluids, new brake pads, tires, spark plugs, filters etc. Looked and ran brand new and only had 19K on it when I bought it. Sold it 1 year later with 26K on it for $1200.00 and was happy to get it. It sat on Craigs List for several months without even an inquiry. The guy that bought it saw it on my front lawn.

 

Sold my 02 2nd gen last spring with 49K on it for a whopping $3000.00 to the only guy who came to see it after several months being advertised. That was OK though because the previous fall I picked up an 08 2nd gen with 4700 miles on it for $5000.00. I watched that bike for a while on CL and watched the price keep dropping before I went for it.

 

Another terrific bike that doesn't sell is the Yamaha Road Star. Can't figure out why. Picked up a 2000 a few years back for $1500.00. Put about $1500.00 in upgrades into it and sold it for $3200.00 6 months later. I just picked up an 09 RS for $2000.00 from a guy that was desperate to get rid of it as he wanted to buy a Harley from a friend. I may get 1 or 2 years of riding on it before I will have to sell it to break even.

 

Used Yamahas, especially used tourers are hard to sell and don't bring in any kind of money. They just don't.

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I think I'm nuts.....I listed my 1986 Venture Royale on the local sales site (ksl.com) for $1,100 and I'm getting nothing but offers to trade or extremely low ball.

 

I was offered $600.00. Yes, It's a 30+ year old bike and isn't perfect, but it's in good shape and I would be willing to take off and go.

 

Am I crazy and asking too much? Is the market really down on bikes now? Am I too early in the riding season?

The magic number is 6-$800. People buy disposable bikes at this price. Disposable meaning normal it only gets required service and ride till it dies or they don't need it. This could be an older uncool or ugly bike which will never get restored or a cool bike that might be restored or something that might be chopped and ratted. I've bought a bunch of $500 bikes and got my '84 xvz12 for $75 (motor locked but I got it unstuck and she runs smoke free) and got an '86 parts bike for free. Venture lovers are niche so try the forums and or advertise and wait.

 

Sent from my VS987 using Tapatalk

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I got $2500 for my 89 a couple of years ago if I remember right. Good pictures and a firm price on Craigslist, and waited for a Venture buyer. Didn't take long. It was in pretty good shape and clean. I had everything except the cruise working. I patched the seat with a liquid vinyl product and it looked good enough so you wouldn't notice unless you were looking for it. I replaced the front fender decoration. The side vents weren't perfect. I had reworked and resoldered the board to solve the E4 error. I rebuilt the bypass plumbing to solve the coolant leak (to prevent warp core breech!!). New diaphragms.

 

1989 Venture Roayale023.JPG

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I think I'm nuts.....I listed my 1986 Venture Royale on the local sales site (ksl.com) for $1,100 and I'm getting nothing but offers to trade or extremely low ball.

 

I was offered $600.00. Yes, It's a 30+ year old bike and isn't perfect, but it's in good shape and I would be willing to take off and go.

 

Am I crazy and asking too much? Is the market really down on bikes now? Am I too early in the riding season?

 

This may sound nuts but I would almost wonder if you have that price too low? Being its an 86 and no issues I would be scratching my head wondering what is wrong with it... Then again it is 32 yrs old... If I was closer and had it I would at least come check it out altho I don't want another Venture ATM. I want smaller bike to just jump on and go kinda like the Rebel but that was way too small I felt like I was sitting on a pocket rocket so to speak...

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I think I'm nuts.....I listed my 1986 Venture Royale on the local sales site (ksl.com) for $1,100 and I'm getting nothing but offers to trade or extremely low ball.

 

I was offered $600.00. Yes, It's a 30+ year old bike and isn't perfect, but it's in good shape and I would be willing to take off and go.

 

Am I crazy and asking too much? Is the market really down on bikes now? Am I too early in the riding season?

 

Yep,, nope,,, yep,,, the whole things gone nuts Ut = not you brother - it REALLY is the market place!! Things have gone so crazy that even the big boys have no clue what to do.. Think about it,,,, Yamaha jumped on the HD wagon thinkin that maybe they could sell bikes rin this soft market by doing so.. With that in mind,, I just read my recently received Rider mag about the "Titans of Touring" where the new Honda Gold Wing was not allowed because it is no longer a "touring bike" and,, get this,, of the three bikes compared to each other = HD was the only one that was water cooled (in an effort to reduce riders getting burned BUT= in another article I read about the modern touring bikes,, the writer stated engine heat was a huge part of the modern touring experience and that it is now,, "unlike your grandfathers Goldwing" - a desired attribute = TALK ABOUT TWISTED!!)..

Things are so bad in the market place that the bench mark setter HD is even talking about this to boost their sales (sent to me by a very close friend of mine who LOVES talking scoots = HI DAVE!!!) : https://www.hdforums.com/articles/can-harley-save-itself-with-a-new-engine-layout/?utm_source=jan16&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=content

 

Fact is,, this downturn and shift in prices has been brewing for a number of years.. As early as the year 2000, the big rally in Sturgis was x20 of what it has been the last number of years.. It used to be that people would actually camp on the side of I-90 at the ramps leading into Sturgis cause traffic was backed up over a mile on the highway with folks waiting to get into town = simply put, the town of Sturgis would fill up and the only way in was if someone left!! That is farrrrrrrrr from current status and,,, used as a barometer of interest in overall street biking (it has always been a known fact in the business - what ever happens to Harley sales flows downstream to the all other brands),, its a pretty accurate portrayal of what is happening..

Your not going nuts brother,, the market is..

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I often end up with odd, old and unique vehicles, in my experience its a waiting game (for the right buyer). I skirt lowball offers often, its just a matter of the right guy coming along. When I was buying my Venture I found plenty that were worth $600 but priced over $2k. The first one I found that wasnt hashed beyond reason I picked up for $2050 and of course dropped hundreds more into updating and servicing for real world use. That being said, prices on old bikes are not exactly rising, motorsports market has been weak for awhile now. Still, there is no reason I can see why you shouldnt expect $1500-2500 from a nice clean fully functioning tourbike this time of year. I suppose the final determination of that assertion is the presence or absence of a cash buyer. What I used to hear way back in the HD days was "its only worth what the next guy is willing to pay". I often find that floating things for partial trades drums up more interest but still have to vet all the junk offers.

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I think I'm nuts.....I listed my 1986 Venture Royale on the local sales site (ksl.com) for $1,100 and I'm getting nothing but offers to trade or extremely low ball.

 

I was offered $600.00. Yes, It's a 30+ year old bike and isn't perfect, but it's in good shape and I would be willing to take off and go.

 

Am I crazy and asking too much? Is the market really down on bikes now? Am I too early in the riding season?

 

Just went to KSL and didn't see the old girl there. Did you get her sold or get discouraged? It could take some time but your price was fine. Makes me discouraged about selling the Golden 87 I don't ride any more. BTW which one do you have now the Silver and maroon 99?

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Just went to KSL and didn't see the old girl there. Did you get her sold or get discouraged? It could take some time but your price was fine. Makes me discouraged about selling the Golden 87 I don't ride any more. BTW which one do you have now the Silver and maroon 99?

 

Getting so many low offers, I let it expire until after the tax season next week and let the weather improve a little bit and then list it again.

 

I'm still riding the '99. The '86 is still a fun bike to ride, so I hate to see it go but don't have enough time to ride them both like I should.

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As many know I like to flip bikes and the market is really soft especially anything in the Star line. If you look long and hard enough there are great deals to be made. But you have to have patience in selling. I have discovered some of the greatest deals from dealers who don’t want these bikes. People get emotionally attached to their bikes so they check retail believing this is what the market is. I don’t know if I have ever sold a bike close to retail. Last summer I bought and sold 10 or so bikes. Bought them cheap but was able to sell them at a reasonable price to others. I don’t make much money on it but it is my hobby. I like working on them as much as I do riding anymore. I just purchased a really nice 07 GL1800 trike with less than 17,000 miles and a Hannigan kit with running boards and the works for 6K less than I could find any advertised in the Midwest. It is a beauty. With that said - I believe that if you take good pictures of your bike and write a good ad that your chances of selling increase by 50%. Actually, stage your pictures if you can. If your shop is a mess - get it out of the shop. When I’m looking I try to see the kind of place where the bike has been stored. It might make or break a phone call to the person. Too many people don’t know what a great bike the Ventures, Tour Deluxes and Roadstars are. Let them know that in your ad and in person. Facebook Marketplace is becoming more popular than Craigslist so don’t overlook that venue.

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This may sound nuts but I would almost wonder if you have that price too low? Being its an 86 and no issues I would be scratching my head wondering what is wrong with it... Then again it is 32 yrs old... If I was closer and had it I would at least come check it out altho I don't want another Venture ATM. I want smaller bike to just jump on and go kinda like the Rebel but that was way too small I felt like I was sitting on a pocket rocket so to speak...

 

I agree, I think you priced it too low. I flip bikes and if I'm in the market for an $800 project I search craigslist with a price ceiling of $1200. If I'm looking for a bike for a friend who's asked me to help them find a reasonably reliable not-perfect rider that they can enjoy without breaking the bank, I'm looking in the $2500 - $3500 range. If I'm asked to find a bike for $1100 my search ceiling would be $1500.

 

In my market, a bike listed at $1100 is effectively being advertised at $800 - $900. That puts you in the cheap seats. I would suggest pulling it off the market for a little bit, then list again in a higher bracket in order to attract a different type of buyer. I think that besides us fans of the bike, commuters are your target market. Lots of room for carrying crap to and from work, great handling in town and awesome highway cruising, these are great commuting bikes. I would list it at $1800 to get it in front of buyers who are expecting to spend $1400 - $1500, let them be thrilled when they "talk you down" to $1200. Or maybe you're thrilled when they happily offer you $1500.

 

I would suggest searching everything on craigslist at $1100. Are most of those listings bikes that you would consider over-priced? If not, then you've listed yours too low in comparison to your competitors at that price point.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Tim

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