So, you are looking for a vintage/antique/classic motorcycle. Maybe it is nostalgia; you had a particular motorcycle when you were younger, or it was your “dream bike” at the time. It could be that it’s the enjoyment of riding a vintage/antique/classic bike. Maybe you have a fairly new Harley-Davidson, Honda, BMW, Ducati, Triumph, Indian, etc., and you want a motorcycle from the 1960’s or 1970’s that is the same make. Here are some things to keep in mind when you are looking for that vintage/antique/classic motorcycle:

– Get a clean title. You want to make sure that the buyer owns the motorcycle outright and also that you are not being sold a motorcycle with a salvage title.

– Ask for receipts for everything that has been done to the bike. You want to get the receipts for mechanical work, body work, and repairs. You also want to get receipts for any upgrades, additional equipment, custom parts/chrome etc. If the seller does not have all of the receipts make sure that you at least get a list of the work done on the motorcycle and the upgrades, additional equipment, custom parts/chrome etc.

– Be prepared to spend money on repairs.

– Thoroughly go over the motorcycle that you are thinking about buying. It might be worth your while to pay a qualified motorcycle technician/mechanic to go over the motorcycle to avoid, as much as you can, any future surprises with mechanical or body issues.  An article from The Bikers Garage website has a good list of items to consider when going over the condition of the motorcycle.

– You want to make sure that you can actually identify the motorcycle by make, model, etc.   This link will take you to an article with some good tips on how to do that.

– Keep in mind the availability of parts for the motorcycle you are looking at

I also want to talk about the purchasing of insurance to cover the vintage/antique/classic motorcycle. Specifically, I am talking about collision coverage on the motorcycle. When you purchase a vintage/antique/classic motorcycle, you want to talk to your insurance agent about how to make sure that the vintage/antique/classic motorcycle you have now purchased is adequately covered if you are involved in an accident. Make sure that your insurance company offers collision coverage that is known as “agreed value” coverage. “Agreed value” coverage means that you and your insurance company has agreed on the value of your motorcycle if it is a total loss or stolen, and therefore it is this agreed upon amount that you will get paid (assuming that there is no issue with the condition of the motorcycle at the time). On their websites, Nationwide and Progressive explain the agreed value coverage they offer for vintage/antique/classic motorcycle insurance greater than 25 years old. Progressive, on their website, indicates that “there is no appreciation or deprecation, so if your vintage motorcycle’s value changes (or you add customizations), tell us and we’ll update the agreed value number.” When you are considering the “agreed value” of the vintage/antique/classic motorcycle, make sure you take into account all of the upgrades, additional equipment, custom parts/chrome etc. (that is why it is good to get those receipts from the buyer or at least get a list). Once you have purchased the motorcycle, keep any receipts/records for the upgrades, additional equipment, custom parts/chrome etc. that you put on the bike in case you have to talk to your insurance agent about increasing the “agreed value” of the bike.
Be safe when you are out there riding that vintage/antique/classic motorcycle. I hope you are never in an accident, and therefore, never need to call me, but I am always here if you need me.

Gary Poole – Motorcycle Accident Lawyer “On the Side of Those Who Rid