Do your research before you buy any salvage motorcycle
Look at as many salvage motorcycles as you can and take a note of the number of bids and how much people are willing to bid. Pretty soon you’ll see a pattern and it will become obvious that some salvage bikes have a lot of bidding activity and others don’t have any. There’s a good reason why some motorbikes don’t have a lot of activity. In most cases the cost of repair is too high due to the price of replacement parts and/or expensive labour costs. In other cases it’s because parts are hard to find and it is going to take too long to get the bike back on the road.
It might take some time to find the motorcycle that fits your criteria so be patient and don’t let your heart rule your head. Find the right bike at the right price and don’t get carried away with the first one you see.
Before buying a salvage bike check the sellers history
Buy from reputable sellers with a history of positive feedback. When you are looking at a salvage bike read the feedback left by previous customers. In general the feedback system is great, but especially so for buying something like motorcycle salvage. It is good for businesses and punters alike. Businesses have the opportunity to build a good reputation in the bike salvage trade and buyers are better informed about who they are buying from and can buy with confidence.
Not all sellers are businesses so not everyone has lots of feedback. We’re not saying don’t buy from these sellers but treat with caution. Ask a lot of questions about the motorcycle they are advertising. Is it their motorbike? How was it damaged? Why are they selling it? Ask for more photos if you feel the bike needs closer scrutiny. If a seller is cagey with their replies then ask yourself what they are trying to hide?
Don’t commit to buy a salvage motorbike until you’ve inspected first
Unless you’re in the trade and really know what you’re doing you must inspect before you commit to buy. Don’t be afraid to walk away just because you’ve traveled an hour or more to see a motorcycle. Visit the seller during daylight hours and if at all possible bring along a professional that can give you impartial advice. They will know what to look for and give you the true cost of repair of a damaged motorcycle.
Be aware of any salvage motorcycle where it looks clean. If it’s clean you should ask yourself why, what is the seller trying to hide? No bike that’s been in an accident is clean and tidy. If it is its likely that some work has already been carried out, probably to hide something far worse. Finally make sure you have a HPI check carried out before you buy to confirm the motorbike is what it’s advertised as. If it’s advertised as Cat D bike salvage does the check confirm this or was the damage worse.
So to summarise, be patient and do your homework, check sellers for positive feedback, look before you commit to buy and always seek a professional opinion. Whilst the value of a previously written-off vehicle is much lower than normal market value may appear tempting it may not be worth the hassle and worry.
If you can afford to then buy a non-damaged motorcycle, the risks are too high for someone who does not know what they are getting into!