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Do you suffer from seller’s regret?

Honda CX500 journalist regret emotions

You may have heard of buyer’s regret, but there is also seller’s regret and many riders suffer from this more than buyer’s regret.

If you don’t think riders could ever have buyer’s remorse, read this.

Seller’s regret

Riders can also experience seller’s regret.

Now, we’re not talking about the regret people feel when they get out of motorcycling altogether. This is usually brought on by marriage, the arrival of kids, financial woes or simply getting too old to ride any more.

We are talking about the regret you can feel when you have sold a bike to buy another.

No doubt you will go through a honeymoon period with your new bike, loving all the extra power, tech, comfort, etc that it offers.

However, you can also experience buyer’s remorse if you think you made the wrong decision and should never have sold your old bike.

That’s why cooling off or trial periods after purchase are such a good idea.

sell buy test ride demo motorcycle sales showroom selling motorcycles regrets
No regrets!

Even if you love your new bike there could be some time down the road where you develop a tinge of regret about selling.

It could be a physical feature that is missing from your new bike or it could just be the intrinsic value it held because of the places and adventures it took you on.

It can also be regret about the amount of time you spent customising it and getting it suited to your style. After all, you never recoup that time and expense when you sell.

Some riders sell because they want to move to a different type of riding. A typical example is going from sportsbikes to adventure bikes, then they miss the track days!

Or vice versa: ageing riders who can’t cope with rugged roads anymore go back to road riding, then miss the adventure.

My collection of regrets

Seller's regret motorcycles CX500 Triumph bonneville scrambler
My sons-in-law with my bikes on the rare occasion I had more than one at a time

On several occasions motorcycle and car collectors have told me they became a collector simply because they never sold anything.

If you think about it, you may have quite a collection now if you had never sold a bike.

But economics, garage space and an abrasive spouse usually means selling a bike is inevitable and can lead to regret.

I probably suffer seller’s regret more than a lot of other riders because I am tempted by so many new bikes I get to road-test.

For example, in the past 20 years, I have owned 19 bikes! Most of the time I only have one in the garage at any one time.

Mrs MBW has actually encouraged me to own multiple bikes. However, I resent the rego and stamp duty going to the government and sell … then regret it!

Consequently, I have left behind a trail of gems that could have been the makings of a great motorcycle collection.

Perhaps my two biggest seller regrets are a BMW HP2 Enduro and a Ducati GT1000. The latter was rare and appreciated in value while the latter had been customised to a high standard and you always lose money on accessories.

BMW HP2 Enduro regrets
BMW HP2 Enduro regrets
Ducati GT1000 carbon wheels farkle project tall used
Why oh why did I sell the Ducati GT1000?

How to avoid seller’s regret

Here is a list of things you can do to avoid that feeling of regret when you inevitably sell your motorcycle for an upgrade:

  1. Don’t sell it. Find a reason to put it aside. Maybe de-register and un-insure it until such time as you want to ride it again;
  2. Sell it to a friend or relative who will let you periodically ride it again, even if it’s just to remind yourself how much better your new bike is;
  3. Take lots of photos of your bike before you sell it. They are good for nostalgia, but also to remind you of the bike’s shortcomings. For example, if it leaks, get photos of the oil on the garage floor;
  4. Never join a maker or model club as you will then have the extra regret of leaving behind club mates when you move to another make or model. However, if it’s an upgrade to the latest model, you may still be able to stay in the club.
  5. Stay in touch with the person you sell the bike to in case seller’s regret is so great you need to buy the bike back. (I still have the phone numbers of the riders who bought the HP2 and GT1000!)

Which bike do you regret selling and why? Leave your comments below.

  1. My GS500 F had a indefinable something that I miss to this day, in 12 months I put 10,000 klms on her & in hindsight ( or on reading this article..) i should never have sold her & go with the adage ‘never sell, always replace’, that being said I now have a 2018 kawasaki w800 which gives me great joy, a smile on my face before, during & after every ride, & even now as i type this, a bike that will never be sold, but that Suzuki…man…

  2. My biggest regret was selling a BMW R80 monoshock. I bought it new, owned it for 13 years and put 165,000km on it. Traded it just because I felt like a new toy. Within 2 weeks I realised I had done the wrong thing. The new toy was ‘orrible. I met the new owner of the R80 about 3 weeks later. He was contemplating a ride to Qld (from Sydney) and was trying to get a complete service done on the bike. I told him to just fill it up with fuel and go. But, they do steer like a truck. Definitely not new age.

    A lesser regret was selling a MuZ 660 Tour. A very under-rated bike which just suited my stature (short with even shorter limbs). I had 2. First did 135,000km and second 110,000km without issues. I’ve kept in touch with purchaser of the first one. Recently told him I would buy it back from him. Still waiting for a response. I think he thought I was joking.

  3. I regret all of them except for a 1983 Honda XLX250R which was an absolute bugger to start, but I would even have it back, to be honest I hate parting with motorbikes.

  4. I’ve had all sorts of bikes on and off since the ‘70’s but the one I regret selling was my 650 Vstrom. It did everything asked of it and was so comfortable.

  5. Gosh! I wish I still had the 1950’s BSA 500 Goldstar I bought for $20 in 1966… sold it for $40 about three months later… wish I’d understood just what a gem it would become. But then I was only 17 and thought doubling my money was pretty damn shrewd!

  6. My 2005 Cagiva Xtra Raptor….brought a GSXR1000 from the sale and in the real world the V-Twin torque monster motor of the TL1000 was a pleasure but of course thought it needed more hp but miss it now. Sold the GSXR and brought a old CBR900RR which I will miss when the next one comes along….

  7. Yamaha RD350 Torque Induction 5speed that I purchased from Barry Tapstal Yamaha Moorooka in 1973 🙁
    2006 Yamaha MT-01 :(:(

  8. Any one and all of the five 900 kwakas i had and the three 1100 katanas. Most of those would have been good long term investments. But one of the 900s was custom, it was just really nice and different

  9. All of them. GS1000, Gutsi 850 LeMans, Honda 750, GS750, Honda 350, Yamy TX500 ( yes I know!! ), Z1000, and worst of all : Ducati green frame aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhh

    I reckon I would be a millionaire buy now…………………

  10. We all have many regrets in Life – and for a motorcyclist to state which bike is on the Regret Selling List , well, that depends on just how damn good that particular bike was …. although I have had Many Bikes over the years, lost count around 37 or was it 38 ??? My old grey cells need defragging – but there are so many that I wish I had never sold and it is no good even trying to limit them down to ONE machine- But one thing I will say is that after owning and riding some of the World’s Best Motorcycles including BMW’s, Ducati’s, Honda’s, Suzuki’s, Kawasaki’s, Yamaha’s, BSA’s, Triumph’s, Norton’s, Velocette’s, AJS’s, Douglas’s, Military Indian’s & Harley Davidson’s, and of the Marque’s named there have been sometimes up to 3 bikes of the same kind and model, but the Longest I have Ever Owned and Rode any of these fine motorcycles and DO Very Much Regret Ever Selling was my 1986 FLHTC Harley Davidson Electraglide Classic – I had it for nearly 5 years and clocked just over 50,000k’s and it was an absolute Pleasure to ride after owning and riding an American Built Honda Goldwing GL1100 Interstate for 2 years … The HD Glide ran rings around the Wing for Comfort for Rider & Pillion, and the tractability of the 80 Cu In V-Twin Engine was stunning and surprising and returned around the 50 mpg a good majority of the time … Loaded, 2 up, with the panniers & Top Box full of gear it was effortless cruising out on the Newell Highway at around 100 kph (+ Plus) with your favourite music playing on the HD stereo – There was No Other Motorcycle that I had owned before or since that would even come close to the Sweet Handling, Comfort Cruising, Mile Eating capabilities of that machine – Yes, I DO Regret Selling that HD, but I Did Enjoy it to the MAX when I had it.


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