Salvage motorcycles are often advertised as 'spares or repairs' and and also found commonly in junk yards (or scrap heaps). They indeed are best suited for spare parts to repair your current motorcycle or as a project to bring up to it's original condition. They can offer a way of getting a cheap motorcycle by taking out the 'working condition' tax.
They also make good donor vehicles. If for example you want to make your own trike motorcycle then you will look for a salvage motorcycle for the majority of pieces you need.
Whether you are after replacement motorcycle mirrors, new wiring loom or a whole low mileage engine or frame. Salvage motorbikes are a great choice of places to look. However if you are just after 1 part is would be better for the average man to buy that part, it will save you space and the work/time required removing the part too.
Where to Find Salvage Motorcycles
Salvage motorcycles can be found in many places. They typically end up at a junk yard as they are the business of junk yard owners. Some places have motorcycle junk yards however it is uncommon, so a large car junk yard is much more likely to have what you are after. If you know the name of your local one, it is worth checking online to see if they have a website, as many are now.
Another great place to find them is owners forums. Many motorcycle collectors keep many of the same type of motorcycle they have for the sake of repairs and to make a bit of money out of their passion too. There is nearly always one guy who has the space and enthusiasm to keep a few about and pull them apart. If you are after a whole motorcycle then it can be a bit harder to part these people from their beloved scrap! But other owners who have had something unfortunate happen (accident or engine blown for example) will be willing to let their bikes go at a reasonable price.
eBay is another option too and has the widest market for spare parts online. You can try your luck on Craigslist too but it isn't so reliable an option as the others I suggested here. Some bigger salvage yards have their own websites which they regularly update on their stock which will save you time riding to them to check or phoning up and waiting for them to check stock - a big time saver especially if it is not a common motorcycle you are after, so you may have to look further afield.
How to Get Your Salvage Motorcycle Home
So you've sourced your salvage motorcycle and even purchased it, but of course it doesn't work or isn't road legal... so how do you get it home?
Well there is some options available to you, you don't have to own these options, they are all available for renting, if you are regularly acquiring salvage motorcycles then it may be worth investing in your own transport option (you can always sell it on afterward as well).
As you can see in the picture example to the right, a motorcycle trailer holds your motorcycle in place and is dragged by the tow bar on your 4 wheeled vehicle. You usually need a big car or van to do this, especially with heavier touring motorcycles.
A van or pick up truck is a great way of carrying your motorcycle home directly connected to the vehicle you will be driving home in. Be sure to carry a ramp with you so you can wheel the motorcycle inside it though! And have some way of securing it upright during transport. And no, the wife is not the answer here! Plenty of straps and securing points are what is needed. Don't forget to bring these items with you.
Mass transport may be the cheapest way to get your motorcycle to you if it has to come a long distance, inter state travel for example. It will be put in with other motorcycles and you might have to be flexible with their delivery dates - it will depend on how many motorcycles need transporting. In winter time the wait is longer.