In 2017-2018 I began a project to buy a salvage title motorcycle from an insurance auction, fix it, register it and sell it for a profit. This is a reproduced archive of those posts.

Motorcycling is such an expensive hobby. The dream, for me, is to be able to ride for free: to incur no net cost, and maybe even support myself while riding motorcycles.

That was the beginning of this exploration. I had already figured out I could fix motorcycles. I had bought and sold motorcycles for profit, but it seemed kind of accidental. This was my first deliberate attempt to do it.

Definition of this project: Buy and sell a salvage-title motorcycle for a profit (after all expenses including registration, title, cost of repairs, but not including expenses I’d incur for my own time riding it, if I choose to ride it for leisure)

There are so many unknowns in this project, things I’ll figure out along the way. Here’s a list of what I don’t know right now:

  1. What is the process for registering a salvage title motorcycle in California? What paperwork do I need, what fees am I going to have to pay?
  2. What kind of title status should I be looking for to ensure I can register it?
  3. What kind of damage is easily repairable? Body work, or a mildly scratched naked motorcycle?
  4. What kind of motorcycle should I buy to be able to turn it around quickly and sell it? (Hint: I think this is going to be a Triumph Scrambler…)
  5. Where are the reputable auction houses? Where are the best ones? Maybe this is where I should start.
  6. What is the discount people normally apply to a salvage title motorcycle?

More posts will follow on all of this.