Salvage motorcycles gain their status because they require repairs that amount to a significant proportion of the motorcycle’s resale value, usually in the range of 75%-90%. This means that more expensive motorcycles require substantial damage in order to qualify for salvage status. Older motorcycles, on the other hand, may have only been dropped once to prompt an insurance company to declare them totaled.
Motorbikes that have a busted-up cowl or seat may be able to be repaired with used parts or creative solutions like bonding and painting scrap fiberglass. As long as the damage is merely cosmetic, there is little safety risk in skimping on repairs.