Michigan was as simple as a police inspection. Did it on three different bikes. As far as salvage titles go, I've owned several - '93 900RR, '99 R1, and a '00 F4.
Typically you'll find the salvage bikes coming from guys who buy them at insurance auctions and have a small bike shop. The condition varies greatly. Because a bike has been totalled and given a salvage title does not mean its had extensive damage...just expensive damage. One scratch in the frame and it has to be replaced. Most of the time if the frame is being replaced, its totalled.
The good point to a salvage bike is that the price can be much cheaper than non-salvage. But you have to do your homework and buy from a reputable source from word-of-mouth. There are a handful of owners who decide to buy the bike back from the insurance company and either fix themselves or part out in hopes of a profit.
The obvious down side to a salvage bike is answering the question what 'really' happened. Some people are honest others are not. If you go look at a salvage bike and you see that something is painted over w/o the seller informing you, WALK AWAY! What else is being hidden!
The not-so-obvious down side to a salvage bike is the re-sell.
Usually you have to wait allot longer to sell a salvage for the same above statements. A quick sale rarely happens unless it goes for dirt or its a friend who knows the bike.
GET RECEIPTS! Some states require a receipt for the work to replace all of the damaged parts in order to re-title the bike.
I've had good luck with all of my salvage bikes. All were for the
street and had no mechanical problems (that I didn't cause!). I do though consider myself lucky as I am sure there are horror stories.
As far as insurance goes, I had the misfortune of totalling my R1
. The insurance company (Allstate) gave me full blue book.
I am not aware of any state that will allow you to convert a salvaged bike into a clean title.
If you can get a salvage bike cheap enough, you can make some $$$ by parting it out versus selling it when its time for it to go, but its a pain and take a bunch of time!
I hope this helps...this pic was a salvage bike!!!