Overall, salvage motorcycles for sale can present an amazing deal. If you have repair knowledge or know someone who can do repairs for relatively cheap, you can easily rebuild a bike and have it cruising again in no time.
That being said, salvage auto auctions have an important contingency: all sales are final and “as-is.” That fact means that it is up to the buyer to spot potential issues before they make their bid. Forgetting to scrutinize the photos or do your research is no excuse for making a hasty offer and being stuck with a purchase you instantly regret.
The means the buyer bears a great deal of personal responsibility. They must be certain that the bike they are interested in is in the condition they assume it to be. To mitigate any problems that may come up as a result of buying a salvage motorbike, it is important to read the listings carefully and look at all the available pictures.
RideSafely Means Just That
Rest assured that Ridesafely.com makes a point of being as up-front about the condition of every listing as possible. They will also only accept listings that have adequate photographs taken from every necessary angle. They want everyone to know the inherent risks involved in purchasing a salvage vehicle and getting it road ready. In this spirit, here are some guidelines to help you watch out for bikes that may be more trouble than they are worth.
If the main structural frame of a bike is bent or warped, it can be bad news. Once the bike gets up to highway speeds, it may begin to wobble. A wobble is an extremely dangerous situation that is hard to get out of safely, so knowing about the dangers of a bent frame is crucial before you get a bike in motion. Some frame tweaks are hard to spot, though. The deformation may be very subtle. Sometimes, the only way to know for sure is to completely strip the bike and take measurements.
There are some common ways that a frame gets bent that are easy to spot.
- Front-end collisions are the most likely culprit.
- Look for a smashed-in front end or a severely bent front fork.
- The force of impact may have been transferred to the frame itself.
- Also be wary of bikes that have been laid out at high speeds.
- They may have hit the ground at a bad angle and twisted the frame slightly.
- Look for deep gouges in the air filter or side components to help spot this problem.
More so than salvage cars, motorbikes are used for fun. Some people can end up having too much fun, though. Bikes that have been run hard may have unpredicted wear on vital engine components. Look for tires that have been burned out to become slick or with balled up rubber on the sides. Caked-on dirt can also help identify a bike that has been run ragged.
You can sometimes see safety wire threaded through bolts in the more zoomed in pictures. This means the motorbike was raced and that a lot more stress was put on the bike than usual wear and tear.
Finally, look for rust or oxidation to pick out a bike that was frequently left out in the elements. This is not always a bad sign, but the corrosion could have reached deeper than is immediately visible or even caused damage to the cylinder head.