Finding Parts For Your Bike


When searching for parts on eBay Motors you may need to modify your search terms to achieve the best results. Take for example the 1983 Honda CB1100F SuperSport. This bike was a one year wonder. When you search for the entire term "1983 Honda CB1100F SuperSport" it returns only a handful of listings. While a search for CB1100F returns one or two hundred listings. {See the eBay widget below for current CB1100F listings.}

It is best to start with as narrow a term as possible and expand it as you go.

Remember that not everyone will use the proper spelling, spacing or hyphenation. Not every seller will know that in 1985 the Suzuki GS550 was available in 6 different variations or even which one they have. The GS550EF, GS550ES3, GS550ESE, GS550ESF, GS550ESG and GS550L were the specific models that year.

Watch how you enter the year. Titles are limited in length and some sellers may list the year as 1990, while others use 90. Also, sellers who are unsure of the exact year may use 90's or 1990's instead.

Use the Include Title and Description checkbox sparingly. Some sellers include additional information in their listings that has nothing to do with what you are searching for. You may have to weed through hundreds of listings from sellers who includes a list of their other items for sale or who gives examples of the types of items they routinely list.


If you need something for a European or British bike like an Aprilla or Triumph, or are looking for something for a machine you know is really popular in another country, like Polaris is in Canada, you may be better off leaving your usual eBay site. Try your search on the United Kingdom or Canada eBay sites.

Directory of World-wide eBay sites


Want to try your search on Craigslist? Craig's List is like a huge searchable classified. Anyone can list stuff for sale, apartments for rent, personal ads, etc. While every town does not have it's own list, you may be able to narrow your location so that you are searching in a reasonably sized area. For example if you live in North Carolina you have a choice of a dozen regions.

Most of these listings are by your average person, not businesses. They probably can not accept a credit card for a purchase and are not willing to ship the item.

As with eBay, start with a narrow description of the item you are searching for. You may have to look in more than one category or just search in all for sale/wanted. The site does not have a motorcycle parts category. Most items for ATVs and bikes will be under Auto Parts, General, Recreational Vehicles or Motorcycles/Scooters.

There is no rating or feedback system, all you need to sell on Craigslist is an email account, so be a little more careful about what information you give out.

For more information about buying used or salvage parts for your vintage bike or kid's ATV, check out these pages:

Just a few words about Motorcycle Salvage

Please understand that something new, that is in excellent condition is different than something used that is in excellent condition.

A motorcycle side cover from a 1965 bike that is listed as "excellent used condition" means excellent condition for a 35 year old piece of plastic. These parts will not be brand new. Most sellers try to describe each item fully. If a rivet breaks and your emblem falls off of a 30 year old side cover 2 days after you bought it, they will not give you a refund.

Salvage yards fill a need for original (or OEM) components for repair and restoration.

If you desire a brand new, never installed item, you are looking for NOS parts. Make sure that the store or the listing says that is what you are bidding on. NOS means New, Old Stock. These are new parts that were never sold. They may have been sitting in storage for 25 years, but they are still new.

O-rings & rubber seals have a tendency to dry out during storage. Items like petcocks and brakes will leak when first installed if the orings and seals are not re-hydrated before installation. Soak the items in the appropriate liquid. For example: motor oil for clutch plates, gas for fuel valves and brake fluid for brakes.

Also, aluminum housings can build up a "crust" around rubber parts. Be sure to clean this off before inserting the re-hydrated parts. Occasionally, items meant to be replaced during regular maintenance {o-rings, gaskets, float needles, etc} do not survive storage. They will need to be replaced. This is to be expected.

If you are new to motorcycles, are not familiar with what you are looking at online or working on a showroom quality restoration, you may be better off at a local dealer or traditional salvage yard. There you can check the part, look for defects and ask questions about it before you purchase.

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