Flipping motorcycles: The pros and cons with tips

It is important for any investor to be well aware the pros and cons of flipping motorcycles before deciding whether or not it’s a business they want to pursue. Dealing in motorcycles is relatively low a risk endeavour as investments go, and the rewards can be great if everything goes according to plan.

Before deciding to flip a bike you need to be sure that if things don’t work out that you will be able to take a loss, on the investment and be able to move forward. TV programs making flipping look incredibly easy but the fact is that it can be very challenging and costly when you get it wrong. Below are some of the pros and cons to flipping motorcycles and are details you should consider.

​Pros of flipping motorcycles

Flipping a modern or classic bike can be extremely financially rewarding and it may be one of the best investments you could ever make but it’s not all upside. Below are some of the rewards you can look forward to when you flip motorcycles.

Quick profits

The main intention of most bike flippers is to make a quick profit. If done correctly flipping bikes can provide very large profits, often ranging from £500 to £2000 if successful. Profit will depend on demand, price, rarity, etc. These returns can usually be achieved in a very short period of time, and sometimes in only a few hours. You can learn how to make money flipping motorcycles here – Motorcycle flipping business plan.

Gaining mechanical knowledge

Through repairing and fixing up a motorcycle, you will gain knowledge and insights into all aspects of bikes. You will start to understand the costs of mechanical, body and electrical repairs. You will also learn how to spot big issues such as gearbox and electrical issues. This knowledge and experience will help you make more money on future flips because you’ll know how or where to get a bike fixed.

Being your own Boss

One of the biggest pros is working for yourself and being in that management position. You may even have a team and others you working with you in the future, but at the end of the day you will be in charge. This is a business that requires a lot of work in order to see a good constant return, there’s some satisfaction at the end of the day all the profits are yours and you are in control or your wealth and future.

General motorcycles knowledge

Flipping a bike will help increase your knowledge of the motor trade in general. Plus there’s no better way to gain experience and educate yourself than by getting stuck and putting your neck on the line. While flipping a bike, you stand to learn about general trade, your local market, and motorcycles buyer. With the valuable insights you’ll learn, you may not need to rely so much on third parties in the future, saving you money.

Expanding your network

While undertaking a flip – you will create many new contacts in the motor industry, including other business owners, mechanics, electricians, auctioneers, panel beaters, paint sprayers, insurance brokers, detailers and other motorcycle flippers. These contacts can come in handy for a future investment, so you must always remain professional during your dealings with these individuals.

A potentially safer investment

Unlike the stock market which can be very volatile over short period of time. Bike prices are much steadier and more predictable. Motorcycles are also much more liquid than investing in property. It also lacks risks inherent in holding real estate, not to mention the hassles of finding tenants, collecting rents, and maintaining a property. In a sense, flipping bikes could be considered a safe investment. Your capital is at risk, but the chances or losing lots of money is minimal. Check out our article on investing in motorcycles here – Investing in classic motorcycles.

Job satisfaction

Knowing that you have the vision to create value with a bike is a source of great personal pride, along with the ability to achieve financial returns that are much greater to most other investments available. Once you have a few successful flips under your belt the process becomes much less scary and you begin to understand what it takes to make a profit instead of taking a loss.​

​Cons of flipping motorcycles

Along with the advantages of flipping a bike, there are also some potential drawbacks. Below are some of the downsides that can come with flipping a motorcycle. Remember, any investment has an up and a downside.

Losing money

The main problem with flipping a bike is when a flip becomes a flop and you lose money. There are many factors which can contribute to this loss, some of which are listed below.

Unanticipated expenses

This includes everything from an undiagnosed electrical fault, missed dents, service advisories… the list goes on. These expenses can quickly add up and eat into any potential profit. 

Over Committing

Over estimating your abilities will likely cause issues with your flip, for instance many people believe they can handle any mechanical issue. But given how complicated bikes are these day, some franchised dealers even struggle with their own product. These complications not only delay the flip but will throw off your budget as well. You need to be realistic when it comes to doing things yourself and outsource the work when you need to.

Holding Costs

These costs take a large chunk out of the profit, the longer you own the car, the more money you are losing. You may also have additional maintenance costs and the car will still need to be cleaned. Depreciation is also a big factor when selling newer car. 

Difficulty Selling

You are losing money every day you are unable to find a buyer for your motorcycle. The longer the bike sits on the market, the greater the likelihood that you will have to reduce the price or take a low offer. Which will eat into any anticipated profit.


Stress is big drawback when flipping cars or anything else for that matter. From chasing down the right car in the right colour and spec, missing a fault or pricing a repair incorrectly, dealing with potential buyers and sellers. Trying to meet your get the cars prepared and sold means stress is your constant when flipping cars.

It might not work

In such a complicated market, any bike purchase is a risk. Many things can go wrong, which can cause you to lose money rather than make a profit. So it’s important that you do your homework when you are first starting out.

It’s Time Consuming

Even if you hire people to carry out the majority of the work, you’ll still need to be fairly hands-on. Many small things are will, so take all these factors into careful consideration before making a decision. ​


Knowing the pros and cons of a flip will help you make an informed investment decision. The positives and negatives listed above should give you a good idea of what comes along with flipping a motorcycle. If you do your due diligence, you will be fine as you will know which bikes to pursue and which ones to pass on.

Do not get discouraged if you are having a difficult time finding a bike, most successful investors will turn down a large proportion of the deals that they come across. The keys to this business are to know what you are looking for, be certain that your numbers work, to never chase a deal and to be patient.