Searching for a classic motorcycle online can be a very rewarding tactic. Using sites such as Craigslist and eBay can expose deals within a reasonable distance from nearly every location. Caveat emptor of course plays a role in every online purchase, so it is very important to arrange an in-person meeting with the seller before making any down payments or purchases. Pictures can be very misleading. Most times the seller is not trying to rip-off the buyer, but it is best to practice caution just in case.
Craigslist is a great site to use for local motorcycles for sale because it is free and very easy to list items. To find the best deals, search for bikes for sale “by owner,” as many motorcycles are comparable to dealer inventory without the dealer markup. Sellers are always willing to meet with potential buyers.
eBay is also a useful tool in searching for a classic motorcycle because it offers a large pool of search options. Bikes for sale locally, nationally and internationally can be found with the click of the mouse. However, do use caution buying a motorcycle sight unseen. Most items listed on eBay are for sale using an auction format, sometime without a reserve price, which gives opportunity for big savings.
Here are a few examples of what can be found online.
eBay: 1954 BSA C11G in original condition, current bid of $3,600 and reserve not yet met.
Craigslist Minneapolis: 1970 BMW 60/5 with 23,365 miles and an asking price of $4,000.
Both of these motorcycles are great entry-level classics for somebody just starting the hobby, but also could be great restoration projects for the seasoned veteran. The only way to know what is out there is to start looking.