International classic motorcycle sales on the rise

If you have a classic or exotic motorcycle for sale in the United Kingdom or North America, you should seriously consider offering it to buyers overseas — and especially to buyers in Australia.

The Australian market is strong, many enthusiasts are accustomed to importing bikes from overseas, and the process is becoming increasingly simple thanks to specialist shippers who can provide service and advice at both source and destination countries.

The Bike Shed Times editor Peter Terlick says he is seeing an increasing interest in international sales, caused by global demand for classic bikes meeting uneven supply in different markets.

“Historically, the United Kingdom, Europe and Japan all had big domestic markets and their bread-and-butter was in their own backyards,” he says.

“But from the late 1960s onwards, the motorcycle industry became international and large numbers of bikes started getting shipped to bigger markets all over the world. That led to some countries accumulating many bikes over the years, while countries with smaller populations had fewer.

“Now we are seeing buyers in countries like Australia willing to pay relatively higher prices for good classic bikes than buyers in bigger countries, because the local supply is so much smaller.”

Peter says shipping costs and administrative requirements vary between countries and can even vary from month to month. Companies like the UK-based Shippio can step in to manage the details.

“There’s no point trying to sell very cheap bikes internationally, of course,” Peter said.

“But if you have a bike that’s worth more than 10,000 pounds ($US15,000), an extra 2000GBP ($US2,500) or so isn’t a huge leap — especially if the bike is rare in Australia and buyers are willing to pay the extra.”

Reaching motorcycle collectors and enthusiasts in Australia is relatively straightforward, and the country is quite relaxed about registering older classic bikes — provided they are mostly unmodified and more than 25 years old — for use on Australian roads.

The Bike Shed Times has a web page dedicated to selling vintage, classic and exotic motorcycles to Australian buyers (see it here), and advertisements are inexpensive — from $AU25 (about 14GBP or $US18) for a simple one-photo advert up to $AU125 (71GBP / $US93) for a multi-component advert with up to ten photographs, an Editor’s Comment, and promotions on Facebook.

CAPTION: This Norton Commando was restored in Canada, advertised on The Bike Shed Times website, and sold to a buyer in Perth, Western Australia. Buyer and seller were both happy with the price.


How to advertise: Simply fill out the form below, hit the blue ‘Submit your advert’ button when you’re done, and email your photo/s and proof of ownership to  We’ll send you an invoice so you can pay by bank transfer or PayPal.

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The fine print.

Send us your photos. Photos taken on your phone are perfectly fine for publication. Email your photos to Photos should be horizontal (turn your phone on its side when you take the pics!). For the tech-savvy, we prefer an image between 300KB and 2MB in size. If you are sending multiple photos, you may need to send several emails with two or three photos in each email (or use a file transfer platform like Dropbox).

Assure us that it’s your bike. We need to see some proof of ownership, and some identification. Your driving licence and the bike’s registration (or bill of sale) in your name is fine. Email those with the photo/s of your bike.

Take good photos of your bike.  It really does matter. Good pics sell bikes. Get some tips here.

A regular advert costs $AU25, includes one photo, and runs until you ask us to take it down.

The Facebook option promotes your bike on The Bike Shed Times’  Facebook page and includes up to five photos (make sure they’re horizontal). You can have the Facebook post run once or twice; the second post will be published one week after the first.

Under The Showroom (extra photos) option, readers click on your main photo and it takes them to all your photos (up to 10) in The Showroom.

All the Editor’s comments are written by our editor, Peter Terlick. He knows a thing or two about bikes, but he uses Google shamelessly to help him craft his commentary.

Your advert includes your phone number or email address, so prospective buyers contact you direct. For international sellers, we recommend an email address for first contact.

Your bike may be featured in our weekly email newsletter to subscribers, at our discretion.

Worried about shipping? Contact Shippio here.

Peter Terlick