A motorcycle with a "salvage title" has been damaged in some way and purchased by an insurance company as a "total loss." In some states, salvage-titled vehicles may be repaired and after passing an inspection, may apply for a "Rebuilt" or "Clean" title.
A salvage title (or certificate) is a document issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles that denotes that a motorcycle has suffered an extensive amount of damage, either by an accident or act of nature. In many cases, a salvage motorcycle may be repaired and be the starting point for a project bike.
After an accident, the owner's insurance company will send an adjuster to evaluate the cost of repairs against the value of the vehicle. Generally, if the repair costs exceed 80 percent of the value, the vehicle will be claimed a total loss. Once the claim is paid, the vehicle is purchased by the insurance company and the title is transferred to a salvage title by the DMV.
A salvaged bike can be a excellent buy, but give the motorcycle a careful inspection. While some damage may be superficial, such as body work or brackets, other problems may be concealed. A few things to watch for are cracks in the frame and abused transmissions.
First, check the requirements needed with your state's DMV. Some states, such as California, will not clear a salvage title. Once the bike is repaired you will need to pass an inspection and, after meeting all state necessities, you can apply for a rebuilt title.
Do your research before buying a salvage bike. If possible, order a vehicle history report for an accurate report of the damage incurred on the vehicle. If purchasing from a private party, you may want to consult the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) website to ensure that the vehicle wasn't stolen.
What Is a Rebuilt Title?
A rebuilt title is issued to a vehicle that previously was a salvage vehicle and has since been reconstructed. Most states require...
What Does "Salvage Title" Mean?
Insurance companies brand vehicles with a "Salvage Title" when they are badly damaged. In these cases, returning the vehicle to a safe...
How to Buy a Salvaged Motorcycle
You can purchase a salvage-title motorcycle as a source of parts for other bikes, or restore it to its former glory. Damaged...
What is a California Salvage Title?
Just because an insurance company has deemed a car too expensive to fix after a wreck or other unfortunate incident doesn't mean...
How to Apply for a Salvage Title on a Motorcycle
If your motorcycle has been severely damaged in an accident, you will need to obtain a salvage title before it can be...
How to Salvage Motorcycle Parts
After replacing a motorcycle part, it should be examined to see if it still functions, or if the only problems are cosmetic....