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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I need some advice. I've never actively looked for this in the past, they've just fallen into my lap, so I need a little help in thinking about it.

I'm starting to actively look for some bikes that have been dropped (some pretty hard) and need to start thinking about what to look at when I inspect them. Most of the bikes I'll be looking at in the near future will be bikes that are being sold at insurance and police auctions, so there's not much info about their past.

What I need to know is basically, what do I need to be sure to look at and how to I check for what would be important?A couple of examples:
- I know I want to make sure the frame is not dented or gouged or anything, but are there specific things I can do to make sure of that? Specific things to look for or areas to check?
- I know I want to make sure the forks are undamaged, but aside from just looking at them and trying to see if they look straight in multiple directions (and gouges and stuff obviously), what am I looking for?

I hope I'm being clear what I'm asking and I hope it's not TOO much of a stupid request...I just really don't want to end up getting myself into something I can't really afford to fix - I'd rather pass on a "good deal," spend a little more up front, and get something I can actually do ALL the work on to get back into good condition.

Thanks for the help in advance!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Damnit...the icon was supposed to be a question mark, not a thumbs up :headbang: and now I don't know how to change it :hmmm:
 

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Look for scrapes on the exhaust/engine covers/fairings, look for dented headlight/fairing stays, and that all the fairing bolts connect to SOMETHING, look for miss aligned headlights in general, look at seat (are the stock?) plastics are oem (shady if not), is the frame "polished" or "painted" (can hide scratches) in the swing-arm dented/scratched/damaged or painted/polished, BAR ENDS PRESENT, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Look for scrapes on the exhaust/engine covers/fairings, look for dented headlight/fairing stays, and that all the fairing bolts connect to SOMETHING, look for miss aligned headlights in general, look at seat (are the stock?) plastics are oem (shady if not), is the frame "polished" or "painted" (can hide scratches) in the swing-arm dented/scratched/damaged or painted/polished, BAR ENDS PRESENT, etc.
All of the bikes I'm looking at have most of these things wrong with them because they have ALL been down. I do need to keep the swingarm bit in mind because I'd rather not have to replace that on a project bike (unless it's an 03/04).

Not concerned about the plastics, exhaust, covers, fairings, headlights, or any of that other crap. I know what that all looks like after it's been down and I'll be able to tell if it's been completely destroyed or just scratched up bad.

Do I really need to worry about the frame being polished? If that could hide the defect, do I really need to worry about that defect? :O
 

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Well, Idk if you'd need to worry about it unless they don't tell you if it has a clean title or not. I'm thinking a dented frame could be reshaped and powdercoated/painted/polished, but the integrity could be diminished. Trying to buy a bike and not seeing the internals or test riding it is super shady to me.
 

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Hey guys, I need some advice. I've never actively looked for this in the past, they've just fallen into my lap, so I need a little help in thinking about it.

I'm starting to actively look for some bikes that have been dropped (some pretty hard) and need to start thinking about what to look at when I inspect them. Most of the bikes I'll be looking at in the near future will be bikes that are being sold at insurance and police auctions, so there's not much info about their past.

What I need to know is basically, what do I need to be sure to look at and how to I check for what would be important?A couple of examples:
- I know I want to make sure the frame is not dented or gouged or anything, but are there specific things I can do to make sure of that? Specific things to look for or areas to check?
- I know I want to make sure the forks are undamaged, but aside from just looking at them and trying to see if they look straight in multiple directions (and gouges and stuff obviously), what am I looking for?

I hope I'm being clear what I'm asking and I hope it's not TOO much of a stupid request...I just really don't want to end up getting myself into something I can't really afford to fix - I'd rather pass on a "good deal," spend a little more up front, and get something I can actually do ALL the work on to get back into good condition.

Thanks for the help in advance!
Great thread I want to get a wreck to fix up myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, Idk if you'd need to worry about it unless they don't tell you if it has a clean title or not. I'm thinking a dented frame could be reshaped and powdercoated/painted/polished, but the integrity could be diminished. Trying to buy a bike and not seeing the internals or test riding it is super shady to me.
I'm not sure you're understanding what I'm talking about here. I've done this many times with cars, just not with bikes so I'm trying to get ideas of what specific things to look at.

The bikes I'm looking at, for the most part, do not have clean titles. They are almost all listed as salvage titles currently because they've been totaled by insurance. However, all that means is that it would cost the insurance company more than the bike is worth to fix it properly. That's by a shop though, not by me. So I can fix the bike up and sell it for a profit or keep it as a track bike. The price just has to be right to begin with because I obviously won't be able to re-sell it at full price.

Additionally, I will be able to look at the internals and maybe not test RIDE, but at least fire them up and inspect them fully. So what I'm looking for is advice on EXACTLY what to inspect.
 

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Well, I'd say look for the big things, i.e. oil leaks, head gasket leaks, does it have good plug wires, any vacuum hoses missing, wiring doesn't look junked up, under trays aren't all mashed and cut to bits, non factory welds, gets power with a decent battery, there is an ignition attached, brackets for fairings are there, spliced or gooked up headlight/button wires, etc. Really don't know of much else, but you better get dem bikes on the cheap. I got mine for 1500 in half decent shape (yes I know it's older).
 

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Also a really simple one (at least if it's an F bike) is that there is a steering stop welded to the front of the frame so you don't smack your tank with the handle bars... my is snapped clean off (the asshole was in a head on-collision and didn't say anything to me about that). It's a pretty significant indication of a bad wreck.
 

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Hey guys, I need some advice. I've never actively looked for this in the past, they've just fallen into my lap, so I need a little help in thinking about it.

I'm starting to actively look for some bikes that have been dropped (some pretty hard) and need to start thinking about what to look at when I inspect them. Most of the bikes I'll be looking at in the near future will be bikes that are being sold at insurance and police auctions, so there's not much info about their past.

What I need to know is basically, what do I need to be sure to look at and how to I check for what would be important?A couple of examples:
- I know I want to make sure the frame is not dented or gouged or anything, but are there specific things I can do to make sure of that? Specific things to look for or areas to check?
- I know I want to make sure the forks are undamaged, but aside from just looking at them and trying to see if they look straight in multiple directions (and gouges and stuff obviously), what am I looking for?

I hope I'm being clear what I'm asking and I hope it's not TOO much of a stupid request...I just really don't want to end up getting myself into something I can't really afford to fix - I'd rather pass on a "good deal," spend a little more up front, and get something I can actually do ALL the work on to get back into good condition.

Thanks for the help in advance!
My best advice to the OP is to take along a knowledgeable friend to look at bikes. I just bought a dropped bike, both sides no less. And I knew it, too.

But the bike only had 400 miles on the odometer and beside some minor scratches and scuffs/fairing damage, I got one hell of a deal. It's the frame and suspension you should really check. Also check for any oil or fluids leaks.

I bought my 2009 ZX6r for $3,800 because the original owner just wanted to get rid of it and told me as much. My motorcycle mechanic friend got the bike tuned and running and said I got the steal of the century. So don't be afraid to buy a "project" bike like I did.

The only thing I have left to do after buying a new chain, battery and gas is to troubleshoot a faulty connection to the rear license plate light.

Here's the bike I ended up getting:

 

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Discussion Starter #12
My best advice to the OP is to take along a knowledgeable friend to look at bikes. I just bought a dropped bike, both sides no less. And I knew it, too.

But the bike only had 400 miles on the odometer and beside some minor scratches and scuffs/fairing damage, I got one hell of a deal. It's the frame and suspension you should really check. Also check for any oil or fluids leaks.
I'd say that I am knowledgable about bikes - take a look at the links in my sig for my two ZX6Rs and the work I've done to them. I'm more of a bodywork/cosmetics guy, but I'm definitely competent with mechanical stuff as well.

I'm just looking for specifics that people can think of to check for more than the stuff I mentioned in my original post. Major damage to frame and suspension is kinda an obvious thing to check as are fluid leaks, but with our bikes, are there specific places that are prone to damage in an accident that I should look out for? How will I know for sure if there has been damage to the rear shock? That's the kind of stuff I'm looking for...and just other general tips so I can make a checklist...

As stated, I'll be able to start the bikes up so it will be easy to listen for bad sounds (valves, rods, bearings, misfire, etc.) and check for leaks. Brandon's tip about the steering stop is something I put on my list because it's something I might not notice...that's the kind of thing I'm looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'd take a look at the forks, make sure the angle appears to be correct and that they aren't bent.
I've not seen bent forks...is it pretty easy to tell? or should I be looking for something in particular?
 

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I've not seen bent forks...is it pretty easy to tell? or should I be looking for something in particular?
If they are bad enough it will be easy to tell. If they are just slightly bent, which is still a bad thing, it won't be easy to tell. Sorry. :O
 

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Discussion Starter #15
If they are bad enough it will be easy to tell. If they are just slightly bent, which is still a bad thing, it won't be easy to tell. Sorry. :O
lol fair enough...that's what I need to know even if it's not what I'd like to hear :roll:
 

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The bike I bought was just about all of the above. Look on the bottom of the forks for road rash, check the radiator. If it gets too damaged or dinged, it'll leak. I had a bad stator cover, clutch cover and hell there's even a big ass ding in the frame that's about to get repaired before the fairings get here. Just be sure to go over it with a comb and repair everything the right way. You'll find a bunch of other shit too once you start breaking it all down, depending on the PO. Also, make sure the mounting points for the frame sliders/engine aren't bent or tweaked from impact.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The bike I bought was just about all of the above. Look on the bottom of the forks for road rash, check the radiator. If it gets too damaged or dinged, it'll leak. I had a bad stator cover, clutch cover and hell there's even a big ass ding in the frame that's about to get repaired before the fairings get here. Just be sure to go over it with a comb and repair everything the right way. You'll find a bunch of other shit too once you start breaking it all down, depending on the PO. Also, make sure the mounting points for the frame sliders/engine aren't bent or tweaked from impact.
All good info! Thanks :bigthumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Any other thoughts folks? Still looking for as much advice as I can get - even if I already know it or have already heard it. The more input I can get, the better!
 
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