Buying a wrecked F650GS or F800GS

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by diegoteck, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. diegoteck

    diegoteck Adventurer

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    I'm thinking about buying a crashed bike, salvage title as a project, since I'm planning a trip from UT to Lima I don't need a showroom bike.
    I think I could get them for a decent price, but for what I see they don't really go for cheap on insurance auctions, plus fees and transportation the cost could be really close to the price of any used bike.
    I did this years ago with cars, bought them crashed, rebuild and sell them for a small profit, I like the idea of trying with bikes and with the upcoming trip it won't hurt to save a couple bucks.
    Any advice, anybody did it out there. Opinions, ideas, anything could help.
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  2. Ceri JC

    Ceri JC UK GSer

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    I bought mine back accident damaged from my insurer, when I heard they were going to sell it for (IIRC) £2300. It cost me about £2K to have it repaired to make it mechanically 100% (I told them not to worry about aesthetics), in an official BMW dealership. If I had done it myself, I could have done it for about £200 less. £700-900 less if I had been patient and bought the requisite parts from breakers yards, ebay, etc. I've ridden mine back to back with uncrashed bikes several times, there's no difference I can detect.

    Depends massively on the nature of the damage sustained in the crash, mind...
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  3. GH41

    GH41 Been here awhile

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    The reason an insurance company totals a bike is.... It would cost more to repair than replace it! I don't know about UT but here in SC nothing is selling for anywhere near replacement cost in this economy. I would not buy a salvaged bike. GH
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  4. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

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    :huh??

    That just shows that you have absolutely no idea about the topic. The theoretical repair cost is completely useless as an indicator if you are going to be riding the bike and are not concerned with small cosmetic defects like the OP is.

    Do you realize that if I "bump" into you and make a tiny dent somewhere in your frame that's around $4k-5k worth of damage right there even though it won't have any impact on structural strength whatsoever? Or that a scratched up stock muffler and header mean $2500 worth of damage, even though you can find new take-offs for cheap?


    To the OP,

    Totally depends on the damage and price you get it for. I've rebuilt two K72 F650GS and after selling the first own the second one for free. Both ended up looking better and performing better than when they were new, as I used several upgraded parts.

    The frames are very strong especially in the headstock area so even if the forks are bent that might not mean anything either. If it was a frontal impact I would have it checked on an Computrack machine, they will have the factory specs to know if it's within tolerance. One of my accident damaged frames measured closer to tolerance than a new one did....

    Here is a before and after for one of my bikes:

    [​IMG]
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  5. diegoteck

    diegoteck Adventurer

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    "Totally depends on the damage and price you get it for. I've rebuilt two K72 F650GS and after selling the first own the second one for free. ."


    This is very encouraging, can you give me an idea on how much less than regular price you sold the bike because it had a rebuild/salvage title.
    Since I'm an insurance agent I know how the adjusters estimate the repair cost on a damaged vehicle and you quotations are all right, I can't even bealive how many times we ( Insurance ) total a vehicle you can repair for a small fraction of the estimate.
    I've done it with a 2001 jeep cherokee, 2002 Toyota MR2, Nissan 350z, 2003 VW Jetta TDI, 2006 Volvo S60, 2008 Grand Caravan. Every time I hay a great car for a fraction of the price but never tried with a bike.
    I'll try to get a bike at the next insurance auction, we'll see.
    I appreciate your feedback.
    #5
  6. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

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    We don't have salvage titles in Austria, so it was clean. Since I supplied a protocol from Computrack for the frame and all the damaged parts were replaced with better than new (eg F800GS plastics that make the bike look 10x better), I got a price that was right between the regular value of a F650GS and an F800GS. Fair to me and the buyer, since he saved quite a bit over buying an F650GS and equipping it similarly.
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  7. diegoteck

    diegoteck Adventurer

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    That sounds fair, Here in the US some people may get very sensitive about rebuild/salvage titles, for me is hard to understand, I'm originally form Argentina, there you fix everything when here you just trow it away and get something new.
    With over 6 years of experience in the Insurance industry I can confidently say that "branding" titles is a great system for insurance companies to avoid paying for a vehicle twice and has little to do with consumer safety.
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  8. diegoteck

    diegoteck Adventurer

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    I think it comes down to personal opinion, I'm willing to try if I could save about 2k, if it is less than that is probably not worth it to me. I'm honestly really curious about finding out how much can i save on my next bike. Thank you for your input
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  9. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

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    Then make sure that you document everything well so the buyer knows that you are not some shade tree mechanic who cobbled it together to make a quick buck. Lots of pics, receipt for parts that were changed, a frame/fork/triple inspection protocol (this is what most people will be concerned about with a crashed bike), etc will go a long way.
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  10. GH41

    GH41 Been here awhile

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    Can you insure a bike with a salvage title? GH
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  11. diegoteck

    diegoteck Adventurer

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    short answer: YES

    long answer: to insure the bike or any vehicle the agent / insurance company needs the VIN #, with that information they have all they need to find out the vehicle's history, but there is no a single company that will do it.
    The insurance agent is required to inspect every vehicle with colision and comprehensive coverage, I personally take 2 pictures to cover my butt in case the vehicle had existing damage and the client plans to claim the damage under the new policy. Then when the company calls me to make sure I inspected the vehicle I can confidently say "yes I did. Do you want some pictures?"
    As an insurance agent if I know there is a rebuild/salvage title I should insure the vehicle with liability only, but again I only need the VIN#, if the client doesn't tell me, I don't have any way to know and I'm not paying for a carfax report out of my pocket for every single vehicle.

    Ok, now your bike is insured, you have an accident or it gets stolen, then and only after the fact some, not all companies will pull the accident history for the vehicle. But it is already too late, you have been paying premium for collision and comprehensive ( or "full cover" I hate this two words), the company needs to pay, remember they had all the information they needed but decided to save $10 on a carfax.
    How much are they going to pay?
    Every company is different, if they don't find out about the salvage title, you get full replacement value. If they know about the salvage, they will determine the price for a non salvage bike and then apply a deduction. Insurance is intended to get you back yo the very same situation you were before the accident, from my experience I have no a single client that was burned after a claim with a salvage vehicle.
    If you are worried about the company calling you a liar because you didn't tell them about the salvage title, in first place they probably didn't even ask, but I had clients that didn't know their vehicle was in an accident before and never heard about salvage/rebuild title in their life.
    There you go!!
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  12. GH41

    GH41 Been here awhile

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    So.. if not ask don't tell and hope it isn't discovered if loss or physical damage takes place? I you make a claim and collect a settlement and it is later discovered the bike has a salvage title can you be accused of committing fraud?? GH
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  13. diegoteck

    diegoteck Adventurer

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    You are not committing any crime if the company doesn't ask. There is nothing wrong if they discover it is a salvage title on the claim process, they take a depreciation and you get what you paid for. If you bought a bike for 7k when it was 10k with a clean title and the company tells you the replacement cost is 10k but we are going to take a 30% depreciation due to the loss history, you will be ok, at the end you are not trying to make money, you just need to get what you paid for it.
    I had clients that just after a total loss claim realized their car was a salvage and now understand why it was "such a good deal" when they bought it, I explain the process if they are not familiar with it and i also tell then not to get unreal expectations about the settlement. If you paid less, you get less, but there is no way you are walking out empty handed.
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  14. diegoteck

    diegoteck Adventurer

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    Today I tried to buy a 2009 F650gs with 7k miles at an insurance auction, it had a salvage title and some cosmetic damage, from the pictures I could'n find any fairing broken, there were some scratches on the engine crash bars, but it was a running machine.
    It sold at $5,500, with fees and shipping it could easily be $6,500.
    I'm a little dissapointed, it is actually about 2k less than a clean title, but for some reason I was hoping a lower ticket price.
    Since I have my heart on a f800gs I will be looking for the next auction.
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  15. CheckerdD

    CheckerdD Long timer

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    Maybe you could find one with a little bit of water damage in New Jersey and Long Island, NY. Dave
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  16. Kiwi Tinkerer

    Kiwi Tinkerer Ross

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    I rebuilt a crashed R1200gs. It was great fun. I got the bike at a good price and worked out a repair budget. The on-road cost came in well below the price for a used equivalent. So I went for it.

    The saving is that you are paying for parts only and prepared to overlook cosmetic damage. If the bike is being repaired for insurance there would be the additional cost of labor plus replacement of expensive parts such as engine covers etc.

    For me, I got the engine rocker covers welded up and repainted. I purchased brand new forks from BMW. Got the front wheel straitened. (Only a small bend in it) new brake disk. Found a good frame, triple clamps, fairing frame and telelever from various wreckers.replaced all steering,suspension and wheel bearings with new. Glued up the plastic bits myself. Purchased a GS-911 so I could repair and reset the various faults. That was in my budget too, though I kept it for use on my x-challenge and now my F800.

    The bike was in good mechanic condition and safe. I did not cut corners on the important bits. Like steering and brakes. I also reviewed my repair plan with the local BMW mechanic in case I had overlooked something important. It used no oil. Ran like a dream.

    When I sold it I sold it to someone mechanically minded and gave him full disclosure of the bike. The damage it had, and exactly what I had done to repair it. He got the bike at a good price and was happy.
    I owned the bike for 18 months and sold it for what it owed me. Which is good. I was personally not keen to sell to someone who was not aware of the background and did not understand what was done to it. maybe naive of me, but I wanted the buyer to be happy with it.

    I got lucky with getting it registered for the road. It is a little more difficult here now and I know some people have been burned by paying too much for the bike and underestimating the cost of repair.

    So, I recommend doing it. it is great fun and you get to know the bikes very well. Just do your homework and work out a budget before starting.

    Good luck, and keep us posted.
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  17. diegoteck

    diegoteck Adventurer

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    I'm sad because I couldn't bring the bike home today, but it was literally nothing to be done to it and I'd like a little challenge. I have another auction to attend next week, the bikes listed are not exactly what im looking for, but if the price is right I'll jump on them! I could have fun and I coud also be a step closer to my ideal bike. I'm planning my trip for 2014, still have some time to find my love.
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  18. GH41

    GH41 Been here awhile

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    When the OP started this thread I did some looking to justify my response. Came across this link. http://www.salvage-cars-for-sale.info/salvage/bmw/f800gs/for-sale/ I was surprised to see one auction house with so many of these bikes listed. I was also shocked by some of the lightly damaged bikes with salvage titles. I give it to Lucas on this point! I don't know how firm the asking price is but assume when they say "Starting Price" they mean it. To me the bikes listed at this site are way over priced. GH
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  19. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

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    Those seem over priced to me as well, at least the few that I had a look at.

    The trick here will be to cut out the middle men and their margin, and buy directly from the insurance, then you can get some great deals. In Austria and Germany there are closed websites where all the insurances post their vehicles with lots of pictures and a damage assessment report, and authorized account holders (usually dealers or salvage yards) can view them and place hidden bids. One day after the end they tell you if you won.

    My friend is a dealer so I check it every now and then. Just today I bought an 07 KTM 250 with some scratches and a broken fender for 50% of market value. If it were your own fault you'd pick the bike up and ride on, but because it was somebody elses fault the damage was assessed at €4000 which is the same as the bike is worth.

    So whether it's worth it entirely depends on the price you can get the vehicle for compared to what you are going to spend on getting it ready for whatever your plans for it are. As a long distance bike where scratches etc don't matter, it shouldn't be hard to find a good deal.
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  20. diegoteck

    diegoteck Adventurer

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    so far I was able to bid on a couple of bikes with no success.
    The Sertao sold for $5000 (fees and shipping included), the grey F800gs from 2009 with no computer and mechanical problems on $7000 and the last theft recovery for $6500, all salvage titles. I didn't think any of those were great deals. I'll be looking for a bike with more damage, probably that is the way to go.

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