Is buying a salvage title motorcycle a good idea? This is one of the questions buyers often ask when speaking about salvage motorcycles. It can be! As long as the buyer is well informed, a purchase from a motorcycle salvage auction can be a great way to help you save lots of money and find your dream bike.
Salvage bikes can be a great way to save money! Usually, those cost just a fraction of the price and you will be able to get your dream bike. But what does salvage bike mean?
A salvage motorcycle probably got that title due to total loss by insurance companies or been badly damaged. Theft and force of nature will also award that title to used motorcycles for sale. There is a huge amount of salvage bikes for sale in the market. However, you will need luck and do a little homework in order to find a great motorcycle for a great price!
Salvage motorcycles. Being a rebel, a biker with a passion or just a person that doesn’t like four-wheeled vehicles can cost you a lot of money.
The dream of getting your motor runnin’, heading out on the highway, lookin’ for adventure and whatever comes your way becomes even more tangible if you find good, repairable motorcycles for sale.
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:
- 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;
- 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;
- 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;
- 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;
- 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 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.;
- 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;
- 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;
- 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?
- 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.
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!
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.
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.
Project Bike Needs Parts
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.
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.
Few names in American motoring are as iconic as Harley Davidson. The Wisconsin-based manufacturer has been building motorcycles for over 100 years and has attracted a dedicated and passionate fan base worldwide.