Troyochatter submits this request for your perusal.
Hey there, I have a dilemma that you might be able to help with.
Got a sec?
My brother had a motorcycle accident. All is well, but here’s the issue.
The bike is a 1996 Honda Nighthawk that books for $1895…except I have never seen one sell for that cheap.
AND.. his is a one year only model, in yellow, and it is mint.
The insurance company wants to total it. But I have looked at it and, honestly, high end, maybe $600 total in parts and labor puts it back to 98% before it was wrecked.
Steve flippantly Says: Offer to keep it with a salvage title and find out the price difference. Then you can paint it purple with green zigzags like those old Kawasaki Ninjas.
Troyo: See, that’s the thing, it’s not even close to totaled. So can he keep it and request a salvage title and xxx amount of dollars?
Steve: Yes and no. Older vehicles are historically undervalued and typically, you have to offer examples of why their valuation is wrong. All older vehicles, cars and motorcycles, have been historically undervalued in certain price books. The best thing you can do is visit them all. NADA often provides higher valuations due to their primary clientele (banks and finance companies), while Kelly Blue Book does a good job as well with the consumer side. Although older vehicles in general tend to be a bit of a hit or miss, depending on their rarity and the fact that average older vehicles tend to have fewer accurate data points.
He should use Ebay’s completed items, Craigslist, and Cycle Trader to find examples that reflect what he had, which won’t be easy. Even an expert’s opinion in the industry can go a long way. I have helped insurance companies with automotive appraisals. But motorcycles are a very different animal.