Flood Damaged Salvage Motorcycles – Should You Buy Or Stay Away?

Flood Damaged Salvage Motorcycle
Flood Damaged Harley

Honestly, my first reaction is always to tell people to stay away. But, to be fair, I’ll tell you why you should consider buying a water-damaged bike. I will also tell you why not to buy one.

Five Reasons To Get A Flood Damaged Salvage Motorcycle:

  1. If you absolutely know what you are doing with a wrench on a bike. You’ve rebuilt motorcycles, done complete teardowns, and, above all, have infinite patience;
  2. People Do It Already. People fix flood-damaged bikes all the time. For example, motorcycle enthusiasts in the Philippines – a region known for tropical monsoons and flooding – have documented the process for cleaning Honda motorcycles;
  3. A motorcycle is not a car. Repairing a flood damaged car is a nightmare. A good part of a car wasn’t designed to be out in the open. Motorcycles are designed to deal with the elements. Therefore, motorcycle parts can be pretty resilient;
  4. Moving parts can be inspected, dried and repaired: engines, forks, and bearings can be taken apart fairly easily and set out to dry in a normal garage;
  5. You can do it on a budget. You can buy a flood salvage bike cheap. If you do the work yourself and find good cheap sources for parts, you can save a lot of money.

Five Reasons NOT To Get A Flood Damaged Salvage Motorcycle

Water In Salvage Harley Davidson Motorcycle
Look at the water inside!
  1. Water gets into everything. Water goes into any small or hollow opening. It floods the fuel tank and works its way into the fuel system. Liquid seeps into cables, gauges, pistons, bearings, cylinders, crankcase, plugs, etc.;
  2. Water damage can appear months after the flooding. Water gets in everywhere (see #1), and quietly corrodes from the inside. Motorcycles have metal, composite, plastics, rubber, glass, and leather. Water basically destroys just about every one of those things over time;
  3. Flood water is not just “water”. Flood water can come with salt water, fuels, oils, chemicals, sludge, sewage, etc. These chemicals can be really toxic to a bike;
  4. You don’t know how long it was underwater. Most articles about repairing “flooded bikes” are for people who just pulled their bikes out of the water. They are able to do emergency work, like hosing down the bike with clean water and emptying out gas tanks. Now, about these motorcycles being auctioned today, how long were they underwater? Who knows?
  5. Forget resale value, collision insurance, trade-ins or getting financing. Once that bike gets “flood” on the title, it will mark the motorcycle for life. As a result, insurers won’t want to touch it, dealers won’t accept it for trade-ins. Too much risk to insure or put on your showroom.
Flood Damaged Salvage Title Yamaha Motorcycle
Another Flood Victim

CONCLUSION

There you have it, both sides to the argument. Most importantly, I’d say stay away, if I didn’t have any knowledge. On the other hand, if you are a master mechanic with a lot of time, go for it. Otherwise, do not touch it! read more

Inspect Salvage Motorcycles – Ten Things To Look For Before You Bid

You’ve been looking for a used bike and decided to go the salvage motorcycle route. Great! Now, it’s time to actually get out there and start shopping. But before you bid, if possible, you need to personally inspect salvage motorcycles you plan on bidding on. read more

Salvage Motorcycles – Buying And Selling Can Be Fun!

Salvage motorcycles can bring a lot of joy when you get to repair one
The calm before…

Dealing with salvage vehicles can be time-consuming, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! First of all, you don’t need to spend a fortune on this hobby. The more knowledge you have on fixing them, the more money you will save. Some salvage motorcycles don’t need much work and can be turned around in a week, which are the ones you need to make a business out of. read more

You Can You Bid On Stolen And Recovered Motorcycles

Salvage Title Kawasaki Stolen And Recovered
Stolen And Recovered Kawasaki

When motorcycles are stolen and recovered by the police, insurers will auction them off. If you are looking at buying a used motorcycle this can be an option. Question is: can you bid on stolen and recovered motorcycles?  The short answer is yes. read more

Buy A Salvage Motorcycle For Parts at Auction

Project Bike Needs Parts

Harley Davidson Salvage Title For Parts Only
Parts-only Harley

So you have that project bike that you are repairing or customizing. You might have bought a frame at an auction site or Craigslist, or perhaps you have a motorcycle sitting at home that needs serious fixing. What’s stopping you is the laundry list of parts you need to get it going. read more

Things To Look For When You Fix A Salvage Motorcycle

Salvage Repaired Title Versus Salvage Title Motorcycle

Salvage Title Bikes Available At Auctions

You are likely to encounter articles or forum posts advising you how bad salvage-title motorcycles are. Well, that is half the story.  These articles are telling you the issues of buying a rebuilt salvage title motorcycle. That is a bike that has been titled as salvage, then rebuilt and inspected. Someone else gets to fix the salvage motorcycle, not you.
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Should I Buy A Salvage Dirt Bike From Auction?

Living The Dream

You are looking for a cheap dirt bike for sale and you happen to notice the pricing on salvage title bikes at auction. Should you buy a salvage dirt bike at auction? If you are careful and patient you can find a pretty good off-road bike at a fraction of the cost of a used motorcycle. I’ve summarized some of the main challenges facing the buyer of a used bike and the advantages. read more

Should You Buy A Salvage Title Motorcycle From An Auction?

Want To Buy A Motorcycle? Consider a Salvage Bike

You love motorcycles. Might be a Harley Davidson fan, a Honda enthusiast, live for Kawasaki dirt bikes or admire Yamaha’s MotoGP Racing record. Maybe you enjoy the Italian exotic Ducati or other European classics like the BMW. It’s clear you want a new bike, but the price points for used motorcycles seem rather high. But, there is a good alternative if you are pretty handy with a wrench and you want to save money. You can buy a salvage title motorcycle from an auction and fix it up. read more