Can You Negotiate with Motorcycle Dealers? [Video]

Working with a motorcycle dealership could be the best way to buy a new motorcycle or sell your old one (or both) and it’s definitely going to help you get the most options. But there’s more to the process than just walking into a dealership and deciding to sell your bike. It’s about knowing just what you’re going to get at that dealership. 

Can You Negotiate with Motorcycle Dealers?

Yes, you can, much like with car dealerships motorcycle dealerships will let you haggle. Although with motorcycles you can likely go a little further by percentage than with cars as motorcycles depreciate fast and used bikes have very attractive prices right now.

If you’re looking to negotiate make sure that you do your research. You want to have a good idea of what you’re looking to pay and also what the bike you’re looking at is actually worth. It’s one thing to try and get them to lower the price but you don’t want to come in with a number so low that they’re just going to turn you away. Negotiation works best when you’re both working to come to a middle ground. 

What is the Markup on a New Motorcycle?

Motorcycles generally have a markup of 4-7% depending on the manufacturer, time of year, and features on the bike. While this makes it more seasonal than cars there is nothing that is impossible if you keep yourself honest and smart.

Make sure you have an idea of the actual value of a motorcycle before you walk into a dealership and do your research on just what you want to spend on it as well. That extra percentage is how you’re going to deal with the dealership, so use that to your advantage and try to figure out a price that works for you and for them. They’re not going to let you get away with too low of a price, after all.

Do Car Dealerships Sell Motorcycles?

Generally no, as a rule. As manufacturers try to lock down an area with certain names as a franchise it is rare that a company that deals with cars will also deal with motorcycles. Now in the used departments, you might get some crossover between car dealerships with motorcycles on the lot.

If you’re looking for brand new motorcycles you’ll need to go to a motorcycle dealer. That’s where you’re going to get some good prices and a whole lot of options. If you do happen to find a few motorcycles at a car dealership you may be able to get a good deal because that’s not their business and they want to get rid of them. On the other hand, you’ll find that there aren’t a whole lot of options which is definitely going to cut into what you might have wanted in the first place.

Do Motorcycle Dealers Buy Used Bikes?

Most motorcycle dealers will buy your used bike, but if you aren’t purchasing a new bike at that time you’ll be losing a significant chunk of its value if you sold it by yourself. Be sure to check with your dealer to confirm they’re buying without a sale at that time.

You also want to make sure that you check with more than just one dealership before you sell. Do your research to find out what your bike is actually worth and then see what the dealership will offer you without you having to buy a new bike. If you’re looking to trade in your bike you might have a better chance of getting a good deal. Otherwise, they may try to get your bike for a low price that you don’t want to sell for.

If you’re looking to buy a new bike then trading in your old one might be a good option because the dealership is more willing to deal. They may or may not want your old bike, but they definitely want to sell you a new one so they’ll work with you to get that new sale.

Are Motorcycle Dealerships Profitable?

Even with motorcycle sales down over the past couple of decades you’d be surprised to hear that the dealerships are still fairly profitable. About two-thirds of the profit of the dealerships come from service and parts. That is easier than with cars as parts for motorcycles since the manufacturers can lock down product specifications.

A dealership will require a lot of work in order to make it profitable, however. You’ll need to be willing to put in time and effort and you’ll need to work hard in order to get customers and sell products. It’s not easy owning a dealership but if you’re willing to do the work, especially at the beginning, then you can get to that more profitable time.

How Much Profit Do Motorcycle Dealers Make?

The expected amount of profit for a motorcycle dealership is about 10% of new sales totals, about 17% of the total of used sales, one-third of the cost of parts, and two-thirds of the cost charged for service. The average dealership in America would come out with about $300,000 in gross profit in a year if everything was the same between dealerships across the country.

If you’re not making approximately those profits then you wouldn’t be alone, but it’s definitely something to work toward. You’ll need to put in some effort, get the name of your dealership out there, and draw in some customers in order to make sure that you can turn the kind of profit that you’re looking for. 


When it comes down to it, owning a dealership isn’t going to be easy, but you can absolutely do it. For those who want to go to a dealership to get a great bike, that’s definitely possible too. All you have to do is take a look at the options and make sure you’re doing your research. You’ll get a great deal in the long run. 

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