Like any auction system, with online motorcycle auctions some listings will be better than others. Knowing how to differentiate between a hidden gold mine and a money pit is crucial. Since many online listings only have photos, you will have to develop a skill for spotting problem bikes and identifying gems or easy fixes.
Here are some strategies for finding salvage motorcycles that you will not regret buying.
Fairings are one of the most expensive components on a bike. When a motorbike gets dropped or laid out, the cracked or scratched up fairings can be more than enough to warrant the insurance company to total the bike rather than pay for repairs. Fortunately for you, a bike does not need brand new fairings in order to operate. In fact, it may not need any fairings at all to still be functional.
If you see a motorbike that has damage to the plastic or fiberglass and little other noticeable problems, chances are that motorbike simply had cosmetic damage. Fairings can be bought wholesale, used, or even cobbled together out of bonding materials on the cheap. Your motorbike might not look as pretty as it did before it got totaled, but it will run the same.
Since insurance companies use the ratio of retail repair costs to a motorcycle’s actual cash value, then an old motorbike does not require that much damage to be considered totaled. If you see a bike that is ten to fifteen years old or more, try and identify what it was that caused the motorbike to be salvaged. Any sort of damage to the wheels, fairing, handlebars, or exhaust can be enough to send the bike to the scrap yard rather than having the insurance company pay for repairs. These components are not that hard to come by. Many times, an older model salvage motorbike will only require swapping out a few parts to get it road ready again.
Motorcycle Best Sellers
Sometimes, the worth of a motorbike has less to do with its current condition than it does with what the motorbike looked like before it was wrecked. In other words, some motorcycle models are more in-demand than others. If you spot a popular model of a bike such as a CBR or Road King, buying the bike my be worth the price just to be able to get some high-demand parts off of it. These bikes will also tend to have a higher resale value even with a salvage title because so many people are looking for them.
You should still be wary of motorbikes that are completely wrecked or that may have latent structural problems, but if you can find a popular model motorbike with large components still intact it may be worth buying. Someone will be more likely to take the parts or even the whole thing off your hands.
Speaking of parts, finding a cheap motorbike on a motorcycle auction can be a great way to get an inexpensive source of parts. Look for intact gas tanks, wheels, front forks or other components that cost a lot for people to replace retail. You can sell the parts individually or even use them to help reassemble another motorbike.
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