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Old 01-25-2015, 08:59 AM   #1
2y4life OP
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Question About Purchasing a Prior Salvage/Rebuilt Bike

Hello fellow riders,

I currently have a GS500F and am considering an upgrade to a 2008 ZX-6R with 18K miles. The only thing is, it has a prior salvage/rebuilt title. The bike looks very good, almost no blemishes. I do have pictures of the bike from when it was crashed. It was a lowslide, no idea how fast, but the damage was to the right side fairings, the right bar end, cracked rear cowl, stator, and right mirror. There were scuffs, and a few cracks. It doesn't look that bad and the frame appears untouched. The right side had literally no damage.

It was a salvaged motorcycle but it was fixed in Minnesota where bikes can be retitled as clean if the bike, frame, etc all checks out. The bike was titled CLEAN in Minnesota but wen the guy purchased it here in Wisconsin, the title came back as a prior salvage. I called the DMV and this was confirmed it is now branded as a prior salvage here in WI BUT if I move to MN, I could get it branded as CLEAN.

In short, my questions are:
- How much should I pay for the bike?
- Is it worth buying a bike like this?
- What else should I look at?
- Anyone have any experience with a rebuilt salvage or prior salvage title bike?

Thank you all in advance.

Edit: Pics of the bike





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Old 01-26-2015, 04:42 PM   #2
vicmitch
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I don't know the value of that particular bike, but I always buy salvage bikes that have lowsided and no problems. I would say, if the damage was cosmetic and was repaired, I would deduct 25% from the price of the same bike without a salvage title. If the frame was damaged and repaired, less.
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Old 01-26-2015, 05:11 PM   #3
2y4life OP
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Originally Posted by vicmitch View Post
I don't know the value of that particular bike, but I always buy salvage bikes that have lowsided and no problems. I would say, if the damage was cosmetic and was repaired, I would deduct 25% from the price of the same bike without a salvage title. If the frame was damaged and repaired, less.
I appreciate the response...I was hoping to hear more. Yes, I have pictures of when the bike was "totaled" by the insurance company. It was given a salvage title in Nebraska then someone in MN bought it, fixed it up, took it to the MN DMV, got it inspected and it passed all inspections (had to include pictures of all damages prior to the fix up, all parts + receipts) and was given a clean title. The bike was purchased from a fellow in Wisconsin and when he received the WI title, it came back as a prior salvage and that's all he knows. I have run the VIN and everything.

I do appreciate your council.
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Old 01-26-2015, 05:21 PM   #4
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I know guys that buy salvage bikes from insurers and rebuild them. Some are ethical, some not so much. Knowing this makes it difficult for me to trust anyone else rebuilding a motorcycle I will be riding, especially with passengers. The price would have to be closer to half retail for me to bite unless I knew the rebuilder.
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Old 01-26-2015, 10:32 PM   #5
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Check with your insurance company many will not offer full comp on salvage title'd bikes

While it's not easy to total an older sportsbike, just a thousand dollars of damage on a $4,000 bike might tip the scales for some insurance companies,

I personally wouldn't go the salvage route unless I know the bike, know the owner and know the extent of the damage and how it was repaired.

But down well, and with a good base they are a great way to have a decent bike for less then they normally sell for.

Or they can be a dogforsaken money pit that will consume dollars like prestologs.
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Old 01-27-2015, 06:33 AM   #6
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For Michigan...Salvage title can be registered, but only liability insurance. None that I know of will insure beyond that for a salvage title. Good idea to pay cash as some lenders will not give you $$ to buy a salvage title bike. Not sure I would be borrowing money and fully insuring a salvage bike anyway...

Scrap title is MUCH more difficult, but that doesn't sound like your problem. Michigan outlines a lot of detail for doing this, but it requires a LOT of work with major parts involved.

It doesn't sound like it ever REALLY becomes a clean title based on what you indicated in your post. I would evaluate the fact that the salvage title will follow the bike everywhere (and it should), difficult to insure, difficult to finance, always will have questions about integrity.

Heavy discounts apply. 25-40% from normal private party sales (not retail) would be a start.
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Old 01-27-2015, 06:58 AM   #7
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You also need to think about whether or not you plan on keeping it for long. I personally go through bikes fairly quickly and do not want the hassle of trying to sell a salvage titled bike.

Only way I would consider a salvaged bike would be if I knew the guy who bought it wrecked and then fixed it up.

And I agree on not paying more than 60% of the bike's clean value.
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Old 01-27-2015, 07:17 AM   #8
2y4life OP
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Originally Posted by kirb View Post
For Michigan...Salvage title can be registered, but only liability insurance. None that I know of will insure beyond that for a salvage title. Good idea to pay cash as some lenders will not give you $$ to buy a salvage title bike. Not sure I would be borrowing money and fully insuring a salvage bike anyway...

Scrap title is MUCH more difficult, but that doesn't sound like your problem. Michigan outlines a lot of detail for doing this, but it requires a LOT of work with major parts involved.

It doesn't sound like it ever REALLY becomes a clean title based on what you indicated in your post. I would evaluate the fact that the salvage title will follow the bike everywhere (and it should), difficult to insure, difficult to finance, always will have questions about integrity.

Heavy discounts apply. 25-40% from normal private party sales (not retail) would be a start.
No, it was given a clean title in Minnesota. Minnesota is one of 3 or 4 states that will give a salvaged motorcycle a clean title as long as the frame has not been structurally compromised, all damages of the bike has been documented (pictures), and all parts purchased have receipts. Then everything is given to the MN DOT, they run it through their inspection and if everything comes out okay, it gets a clean title.

When the bike was purchased by the current owner who lives in WI, it got branded as a prior salvage.

I plan on keeping the bike until it falters. Being a new dad, there's not much room to wiggle and I have looked at many bikes...it's either I get an older model (2003-2004) or something like this.

Thanks to all those that have responded and looking forward to more. It is appreciated
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Old 01-27-2015, 07:39 AM   #9
kirb
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Originally Posted by 2y4life View Post
No, it was given a clean title in Minnesota.

When the bike was purchased by the current owner who lives in WI, it got branded as a prior salvage.
TO get this straight...it was given a clean title in MN after salvage, purchased in WI and was re-labeled as prior salvage? How is that a clean title?
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Old 01-27-2015, 07:44 AM   #10
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TO get this straight...it was given a clean title in MN after salvage, purchased in WI and was re-labeled as prior salvage? How is that a clean title?
In 46 or 47 states, once a motorcycle is salvaged aka totaled and claimed by an insurance company, it can never receive a clean title. All titles from that point will either be salvaged, prior salvage, or rebuilt salvage title. Minnesota is one of the 3 or 4 states that will allow a salvaged motorcycle to get rebuilt and if it has all the photos, documents, and passes state inspection, it can get a CLEAN title and the word "salvage" is nowhere to be seen on the new MN title. So even though the title stated it was clean, once the motorcycle is registered in Wisconsin, or any of the other 46 or 47 states, its history shows up and it gets branded. Yea, I just found all this out within the past week, too.

PS, this is what the MN DOT/DMV says about why they will give a motorcycle a clean title even though it was previously "totaled" and given a salvage title in an email to me:
“...because these motorcycles are not damaged structurally, it is argued that they should not be branded even though the dollar amount of damage may be high enough for them to be ‘total losses.’ If a motorcycle frame is replaced it will be branded as ‘reconstructed.’ As a result, there should be very few cases where structural damage occurs on a motorcycle and it receives a clear title.This could be a strong indicator of no damage to the frame.

How to Apply for Clear Salvage Status

To apply for clear salvage status, submit the following items to a Minnesota DVS location:
  • Current Minnesota salvage title if one was issued
  • Original receipts for all major replacement parts
  • Passed salvage inspection report
  • Payment for $35 Inspection fee and an $10 filing fee
When the requirements to clear a salvage title in Minnesota have been met, the vehicle may be subject to branding, and may be branded "prior salvage." If it is branded, each subsequent title issued for that vehicle will also be branded "prior salvage." If a vehicle is not subject to branding, a clear Minnesota title will be issued.

https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/dvs/for..._the_facts.pdf
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Old 01-27-2015, 12:21 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by OConnor View Post
I know guys that buy salvage bikes from insurers and rebuild them. Some are ethical, some not so much. Knowing this makes it difficult for me to trust anyone else rebuilding a motorcycle I will be riding, especially with passengers. The price would have to be closer to half retail for me to bite unless I knew the rebuilder.

As someone who buys salvage bikes from insurance companies, I can tell you that you can barely buy them for 1/2 price from them. There is no way to buy one, repair it properly and sell it even at $500 without getting 3/4 of normal price. I buy 1st gen Victory bikes with Freedom engines. Non salvage private owner bikes sell for about $3500, when I tally my expenses, I'm usually at $2500. It's just a hobby for me so I'm ok with that.

Mitch
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Old 01-28-2015, 06:59 AM   #12
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Well, got him down to $2500, and he's willing to let me get it checked out by a mechanic or shop if I want to (which is a good sign) before purchasing. I will keep you all updated
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Old 01-28-2015, 10:58 AM   #13
vicmitch
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Originally Posted by 2y4life View Post
Well, got him down to $2500, and he's willing to let me get it checked out by a mechanic or shop if I want to (which is a good sign) before purchasing. I will keep you all updated
I'd go for it.
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Old 01-29-2015, 12:54 PM   #14
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$2500 for an I4 600cc sportbike isn't bad. Be sure to closely inspect for frame damage and if the steering stops are still intact. If the bike is mechanically sound then I'd go for it!

I recently acquired a 2001 Aprilia Mille with a rebuilt salvage title in NC for a very reasonable amount. It's a little rough around the edges, but is mechanically solid. I commute on it and I'm going to track it this year. It's kinda nice knowing the bike is already a little beat up so laying it down won't break my heart.
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Old 01-29-2015, 05:43 PM   #15
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Go for it. I miss my zx6 but the 30 mile commute (each way) to work was uncomfortable and all my friends that rode sport bikes moved on to other hobbies. My only advice is to ride it for at least 10 miles and see if you are comfortable on the bike. Be aware of any vibration in the bars, pegs, and seat. Slight frame damage will typically result in some minor vibration. It will be a big step up from a gs500 in power but likely a few steps back in comfort.
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