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April 02, 2017

Looking for a used or salvage motorcycle online is a great way to save money. All kinds of motorbikes are available. If you hunt long enough, you are certain to find the bike you have been looking for at a great price. There are some key factors to look out for, especially if you are buying a salvage motorcycle.

Here are five tips for having a pleasant buying experience online:

Remember That All Salvage Motorcycle Sales Are Final

This isn’t necessarily true for every single vehicle auction, but for the vast majority of sites there is no return policy to speak of. All salvage motorcycles are sold as-is and since there is no way to see the motorcycles in person, let alone test drive them, understand in advance that you are assuming some risk.

Do Your Research

Track down the make and year of the salvage motorcycle you are interested in and see if that particular model has any common issues.

Depending on how easy of a fix it is, the right kind of auction can grant you a bike that can be repaired and street-worthy in no time.

Likewise, learn to identify problems just from looking at photos of the salvage motorcycle.

Cosmetic issues can be easy to spot, but unless you are looking to make major repairs avoid bent frames or engines that aren’t intact.

Crunch the Numbers

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.

Bikes 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.

Fixing Salvage Motorcycles: Have Access to a Reliable Mechanic

Knowing how to repair the salvage motorcycle yourself would be ideal, but if you aren’t much of a gear head it pays to have a friend that knows his way around a wrench. Problem solving will require familiarity with common motorcycle issues. Having access to cheap parts can also make the repair process significantly less costly.

Keep Your Eyes Peeled

Part of the fun and excitement of online motorcycle auctions is that you’ll never be able to predict what listing will come up next. Some vehicles will have sustained next to no damage, and recovered stolen vehicles that were still totaled by the insurance company will often be in perfect condition save maybe a few missing parts.The trick is to constantly check for that perfect auction and to be able to recognize an ideal listing quickly. Always take the time to perform the needed research and scrutinize the provided photos extremely carefully.


With enough luck and patience, you should be able to find the salvage motorcycle you are looking for and be riding the road on a motorcycle that cost far less than the typical asking price.

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