Hagerty Insurance Creates Motorcycle Valuation Tool

What's your used bike worth? Hagerty believes you shouldn't have to guess.

1964 Harley-Davidson
1964 Harley-Davidson. Photo © Hagerty

While there's no shortage of online car valuation tools, deciding on a motorcycle's value can be a black art that involves Craigslist cross-shopping, polling a sampling of friends, and more guesswork than you care to admit.

Hagerty Insurance brings some science to the equation with their new Motorcycle Valuation Tool, which builds upon the platform they've used to value cars. By selecting "Motorcycle" under Type of Vehicle and choosing the year, make, and model of a bike, the system pulls from a database of 9,200 motorcycles built between 1894 and 1996 and offers pricing for four different levels of condition.

Company CEO McKeel Hagerty says it's a hot time to buy a bike. "Motorcycles are one of the fastest  growing segments in the collectible vehicle market. The recent interest is inspiring enthusiasts to pull their bikes out of long-term storage to enjoy again... From a collecting standpoint, motorcycles are very approachable because they can be purchased for less than $10,000, and they take up very little space in your garage." Frankly, you don't have to sell us on the appeal of buying a classic motorcycle-- we're already sold.

Hagerty says that the number of motorcycles sold at collector vehicle auctions has nearly doubled compared to last year, and that demand for vintage motorcycles is up more than 50 percent from 2010. Though motorcycle values from the 1970s and 1980s have stayed relatively flat, bikes from the 1920s have climbed significantly in value over the last five years. According to Hagerty, the most popular collector models are 1960s and 1970s-era Harley-Davidson FLHs. Incidentally, the most valuable bike in the guide is the 1903 Harley-Davidson Single (valued at $15 million in top condition). 

Will that trend continue, and will it always be worthwhile to consider classic bikes an investment? In a passion-driven area like motorcycles, purchase decisions have almost always been made from the heart, not the brain-- but as with anything that gathers the attention of investment types and opportunity seekers, a rising market for vintage motorcycles might signal a sea change in terms of how people decide to sock away their money for the future.

Check out Hagerty's valuation tool here.