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A motorcycle’s blue book value is an indication of how much a pre-owned motorcycle is worth between private parties. While there are many resources that you could use to find its private party value, Kelley Blue Book and the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) have become the industry leaders.
Knowing a motorcycle's blue book value is advantageous for buyers, sellers and for motorcycle riders negotiating with their insurance companies after a total loss.
What is a motorcycle’s blue book value?
Motorcycle blue book value is an indication of how much a motorcycle is worth in the private market.
In other words, if you're looking to sell or buy a motorcycle, a motorcycle's blue book value is how much you should expect to either pay or receive in a transaction.
The term "blue book value" was popularized by Kelley Blue Book, an automotive research company. However, today, motorcycle blue book is a generic phrase, meaning most people who use it are simply referring to a vehicle's value. Each company that provides blue book values for motorcycles has their own methodology for doing so.
Why you should know your motorcycle's blue book value
Knowing a motorcycle's blue book value can be helpful to a lot of motorcycle riders, particularly those negotiating with their insurance provider for a higher claim payout. If you feel the settlement your motorcycle insurance company is offering you is low, we recommend negotiating with your provider.
One approach that you can take is to compare what your insurance company claims the market value for your motorcycle is to the motorcycle blue book value for your bike. If your motorcycle's blue book value is more than what your insurance company is offering you, you'll want to point this out to your insurer.
For example, you bought your Harley Davidson motorcycle for $25,000, but your insurer maintains it has depreciated to $15,000. If it's totaled, you'd be reimbursed for $15,000 (the current market price) minus your deductible. If the blue book value was greater, you might be able to get a better settlement.
There are other ways to negotiate with your insurance company after an accident that don't require you to research your motorcycle's blue book value. For instance, you could hire an independent appraiser to calculate a value for your used motorcycle and then present this figure to your insurance company.
Additionally, anyone who is looking to either buy or sell a motorcycle would also benefit from knowing a motorcycle's blue book value. If you're attempting to sell your vintage motorcycle, for example, you might get a sense of your asking price by consulting its motorcycle blue book value to ensure you'd receive a fair amount in a sale.
What's my motorcycle worth?
You can consult different sources for a motorcycle's blue book value, but each company will use a different methodology, resulting in different blue book values from each.
To find out what a motorcycle is worth, we recommend checking out Kelley Blue Book and NADA. Both companies offer free values, which you can check on their respective websites, and both use sales transactions when calculating a used motorcycle's value.
Kelley Blue Book and NADA's sites are easy to navigate. To obtain a NADA bike value, all you need is a used motorcycle's make, model, year and your ZIP code. NADA's site even allows you to select customized equipment.
Kelley Blue Book's site only requires a used motorcycle's make, model and year in order to get a blue book value. Kelley Blue Book allows its users to check a used motorcycle's accident history by entering its vehicle identification number (VIN) into an optional box. This "VIN check" can provide used motorcycle buyers with reassurance during the transaction that a seller is being honest about a motorcycle's previous accidents.
We recommend taking both figures into account when selling, buying or negotiating with your insurance company and using the blue book value that most benefits you.
For instance, let's say Kelley Blue Book claims your used motorcycle's blue book value is $10,000, but NADA estimates that it's $9,000. In this scenario, anyone selling their motorcycle or negotiating with their insurance company should point to the $10,000 blue book value from Kelley Blue Book. On the other hand, buyers will want to highlight the $9,000 blue book value from NADA.
To negotiate a price, then, you have to understand exactly how Kelley Blue Book and NADA each determine a motorcycle’s value.
Kelley Blue Book motorcycle values
The motorcycle blue book values that Kelley Blue Book gives its users are based on several data points, including sales transactions and auction prices. Kelley Blue Book accounts for seasonality and market trends in its blue book values.
Furthermore, its values reflect local conditions and are updated constantly. This means someone looking for a motorcycle blue book value in Florida is likely to get a different value than someone searching for one in Washington.
NADA blue book values
NADA is the largest publisher of vehicle pricing information. To arrive at NADA blue book values, NADA's editors review more than 1 million sales transactions each month. The sales that are reviewed include retail and wholesale figures. NADA's blue book values take into account a motorcycle's overall condition, mileage, history and the local supply and demand.