Buying Salvage Motorcycles: have you ever thought of that? If you are a motorcycle enthusiast or someone who is interested in repairing and selling motorcycles, buying a salvage motorcycle can be a sound purchase. Salvage motorcycles are available at a fraction of their normal market value, sometimes costing just pennies on the dollar.
There are several important things to know about buying salvage motorcycles in general, and many factors to consider when looking at salvage motorcycles in particular.
What a Salvage Motorcycle Title Means
A salvage motorcycle title usually means that a motorcycle needs repairs that exceed a percentage of the motorcycle’s fair market value. This percentage varies from state to state, but most insurance laws require repair costs in a range from 75%-90% of the motorcycle’s normal listing value when in good condition for it to be considered a salvage motorcycle.
In a typical process, damage will occur, the motorcycle owner will file for insurance, and the insurance company will calculate the repair costs according to national averages. If they determine that the cost of repair exceeds their set threshold, they will declare the motorcycle a “total loss” or “totaled” as it is commonly called. A totaled motorcycle will then be sold to a salvage company. When that vehicle is purchased by a buyer, they must register for the motorcycle’s title as “salvaged”. From here the motorcycle has a salvage title. In nearly every state, this motorcycle salvage status is permanent regardless of whether or not the motorcycle has been completely repaired.
Salvage Motorcycles Require Inspections
Every time a motorcycle is declared “salvage”, it must undergo a series of state-mandated inspections by a government agency before it can be allowed back on the road.
- This agency varies from region to region, but the inspection in most cases is carried out by a department of motor vehicles or police department.
- A motorcycle will be evaluated for proper braking, working turn signals, headlights and taillights, and other criteria, depending on the region.
- These other criteria may include things like emissions testing or frame integrity.
Salvage Motorcycles Require Insurance
Like every other vehicle on the road, salvage motorcycles require mandatory liability insurance. This includes coverage for damage to property or bodily harm to another driver in the event that you cause an accident. Getting your own vehicle covered for collision damage can be more difficult. Many insurance companies are unable to accurately assess the true value of a salvaged motorcycle, regardless of the condition. Finding the right insurer can mean cheaper premiums.
Not All Salvage Motorcycles Are Created Equal
Salvage status only means that the repairs exceeded a certain percentage of the value of the undamaged motorcycle. Whether the damage was harmful to the vehicle’s operation or merely cosmetic is irrelevant. This means that if a motorcycle is an older model, any sort of sizable repair may result in the motorcycle being totaled.
Likewise, if a motorcycle has a large amount of expensive fairing or body molding, then a single drop while stationary can be enough to turn it into a salvage motorcycle. If you can find a listing that displays only superficial or easily-repaired damage, or if you know how to repair common problems on familiar models cheaply, than buying a salvage motorcycle may be the best bargain around. Start your search for salvage motorcycles here.