Buying a salvage, salvaged bike

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by 97707, Jul 17, 2019.

  1. 97707

    97707 Vulture capitalist

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    This has probly been covered somewhere. Post the link if you know a thread where this information is already discussed.

    I'm looking at a couple of bikes at salvage yards, online only so far. I have zero experience buying salvage, so I'm looking for advice from people who have been there, done that.

    One of the outfits is Copart. Looks like they sell to jobbers who flip wrecks in volume. I'm wondering what I'm up against as an individual bidder.

    Are you able to inspect the bike thoroughly . . . not just look at it, but start it and check it over?

    Seems they want a deposit, that makes me suspicious already. What were the other fees besides the purchase price?

    If the bike comes with a branded or salvage title, what problem is there getting it registered and put on the road?
    #1
  2. VX Rider

    VX Rider Long timer

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    https://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/DMV/docs/trsalvage.pdf


    My understanding the level of 'inspection' one may do at the salvage yard is not very high.
    One is still taking a risk, that they are only buying a parts vehicle at one end, or just cosmetic at the other.
    #2
  3. flinders_72

    flinders_72 Long timer

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    It's always a risk. Sometimes it pays off and sometimes it doesn't. The thing is that no-one thoroughly inspects a bike unless they pull it completely apart doing so.
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  4. 97707

    97707 Vulture capitalist

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    Yep. The auctioner's policy covers their ass with this notice:

    At the time the vehicle arrived at Copart’s location, Copart verified that the vehicle started, could be put into gear and was capable of moving forward under its own power. There is no guarantee, representation or warranty that the vehicle is in roadworthy condition or can be driven lawfully upon the highways of any state. There is no guarantee, representation or warranty that the vehicle will start, drive or move forward under its own power at the time the vehicle is picked up at Copart’s location. It is the Member’s sole responsibility to ascertain, confirm, research, inspect and/or investigate the vehicle prior to bidding on it. Once the vehicle is removed from Copart’s premises, the Member accepts the vehicle “as is.”


    They told me days I can go inspect the vehicle, and start it. But you can't ride it "because they don't have mechanics on site."

    In the photos, the bike has superficial damage but it doesn't look wrecked. No way of knowing if the engine and gear box are trashed or not, or if the frame is bent.

    They tell me they auction 200 cars on Tuesdays, and you'd have to wait for your vehicle to come up. Its done online.

    I'm still trying to suss out if its worth a try.

    .
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  5. 97707

    97707 Vulture capitalist

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    Yup, I found that much in a Google search. As I get it, once it went to auction it is gonna get a salvage title. I'm okay with the depreciation, as long as I can register it on the road and re-sell it when the time comes.

    I'm not sure about other issues, like with insurance or the DMV saying you can have title but we won't let you have a reg without jumping thru some hoops.

    .
    #5
  6. VX Rider

    VX Rider Long timer

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    The hoop is usually some form if 'inspection' by the state agency.
    Where they will want to verify the roadworthy condition.
    #6
  7. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    I looked at a handful of bike and scooters online at Copart when we lived in Portland. At one point there was one or two I was serious enough about to setup an account with them. I didn’t make it much beyond that as the fees they add on to the “price” made the cheap bikes I was looking at not worth the hassle.

    You already noticed the deposit requirement (pre-bid), but make sure you also add up all the other fees - yard fees, buyer’s fee and I think a few more I can’t recall the names of.

    As you mentioned in you OP, they seem very much setup for commercial buyers. You could as I recall go and bid at the auction yard on a terminal there - can’t remember what the incentive was - maybe it reduced or eliminated some fee...
    #7
  8. LordMorgan

    LordMorgan Been here awhile

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    Theres a lot you can learn about a bike without taking it for a ride. You can still shuffle up and down the gears, hold the brakes and bounce the suspension, open the throttle and listen to the engine, etc. Most importantly for a bike that may have been down is to inspect the frame/subframe for any signs of cracks, scrapes or other weakness. Look at it from in front and behind, make sure the frame isn't tweaked to one side or the other, sit on it and see if you can feel if one footpeg is higher up or farther forward than the other. Same with the bars and steering head. Not that those things cant be fixed, but you'd probably be able to find a bike for the same price without such extensive damage. Good luck.
    #8
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  9. 97707

    97707 Vulture capitalist

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    Yeah the website isn't clear about the fees. I've heard stories how they rack them up after you're committed. I'd like to know up front for sure how they work that.

    .
    #9
  10. NEPAChuy

    NEPAChuy Been here awhile

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    Related to your thread here, you may find interesting the Wrecked Bike Rebuild series by chaseontwowheels on YouTube. At least early on his goal was to show people they could build awesome bikes much cheaper than new bikes by starting with wrecked/salvaged bikes. He also went on to show the process of bidding and inspections in some episodes.

    With that being said, his series became so popular he had almost no choice but to start building impractically expensive bikes from wrecked bikes in the latter seasons.
    #10
  11. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile

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    97707,

    I bought my project bike from Copart back in 2013. You can read about my purchase and subsequent "rebirth" of MechanicO here:

    https://advrider.com/f/threads/an-800s-rebirth-the-build-of-mechanico.1030354/

    When I first looked at Copart I also investigated at using a third party to do the bidding for me. But the more I looked at it the more it was not for me. Deposit, limit on what I could bid, they did the actual bidding, etc. Very limiting. What I eventually did was use my business licence (my company at the time) to register directly with Copart. It was easy and worked great. If you don't have a business licence, find a friend who has one. I think you just needed a Fed Id number. But it has been a while.

    MechanicO was in Maryland and I am in Colorado so tough to inspect. However, I had a friend in Maryland go to the site and give an inspection for me. Still a bit of a gamble, but it worked out. Had it shipped out via truck and had in shop probably 2 weeks after I won on Copart.

    Rebuilding a wrecked bike can be fun. You can either go back to stock, or take the opportunity to mod how you please. The latter, of course, is the route I took. Good luck!
    #11