Do Motorcycles Have Scrap Value? (13 Questions Answered!)

The scrap metal recycling industry in the US is worth a staggering $27.8 billion and has grown about 5.5 percent annually.

The process basically involves collecting scrap metal from multiple sources, processing it, and then shredding and melting it in high-temperature furnaces to produce blocks or sheets of metal that they can then sell on to manufacturers.

This article answers 13 questions about “Motorcycles and Scrap value”…

Do Motorcycles Have Scrap Value?

The simple answer is that yes, they do.

Motorcycles can receive anywhere from $100 to $1,000 in scrap value depending on the motorcycle itself, its age, size, salvage value, and more.

Interestingly, older, larger bikes may fetch a better price if scrap metal is the key because they have more of it than newer, more slender models.

The other side of scrap value is in salvageable components.

If a motorcycle has individual components that are in working order, they’ll be broken off before the bike’s metal is finally stripped and shredded.

These parts can be resold as pre-owned spare parts.

How Do I Get my Motorcycle Scrapped?

Getting your motorcycle scrapped is a relatively simple process and the scrap metal market is quite rich and diverse with many service providers.

There are even online options where you can get quotes from online scrap dealers who may even throw in a collection from home.

The most profitable route is to take the bike in person or call up the scrap dealers in person to get quotes on your bike based on the make, model, year, and condition.

If you deliver it yourself, you’re more likely to get a good price.

Once you’ve agreed on the details with the scrap dealer, you just have to take the bike there.

They will look over the bike, confirm the price, and likely pay you on the spot either in cash or with a quick bank transfer.

Scrap dealers very often deal in cash, so that’s nice and easy, and safe.

More modern setups, especially online setups, tend to use bank transfers.

There is one more step to the process, which is signing over the title to the scrap dealer.

This is the most official way to get things done and you should be wary of scrap merchants that say you don’t need titles or paperwork to get the process finalized.

Bring your title with you (get it replaced at the DMV first if you have lost or damaged it), and sign it over.

The staff there will undoubtedly be familiar with the process and can help if you’re unsure.

Once signed over, they’ll pay you and give you a bill of sale. You’ll need this to deal with registration at the DMV later on.

How Much Can I Get?

Depending on the bike’s condition, model, make and year, you could get anywhere from just $100 to as much as $1,000.

You should remember that scrap value is the lowest value given to any vehicle.

When thinking of various values/prices – retail price, showroom value, auction value, private sale value, etc., scrap value is always at the very bottom, so you should never expect more than $1,000 as a maximum.

When you do this, of course, if you ever were to receive more than $1,000, then it would be just a great bonus.

Is There Any Cost For Me Involved?

If you use a conventional scrapping system where you take the bike to the yard yourself there won’t be any costs for you.

Part of the reason the price is low is that there is no additional cost to you.

The lowness of the scrap value is a kind of negative cost to you since if you were to sell the bike privately you’d more than likely get more than scrap value for it.

Of course, the transaction won’t be as instant as with a scrap merchant.

The only time where some other costs may be passed onto you is if you use a more convenient system with the online quotation and at-home collection.

This kind of scrapping can reduce the amount that you’d receive compared to taking it to scrap yourself.

What If Some Of The Parts Are Missing?

If there are parts missing, it may decrease the overall scrap value but it depends on which parts and if the missing parts typically would have value.

If, for instance, the bike is missing a carburetor or missing its suspension forks, brake discs, or a chain, any of these components, then in terms of salvage there’s less for the scrap dealer to salvage and thus recoup costs.

If the missing parts are body or sheet metal components, then it can reduce the value more because those are the main “meaty” parts that the scrap dealer wants for block/sheet metal.

Scrap is valued according to its total weight, more often, so missing parts means less weight, which ultimately means a bit less value.

However, since scrap value is inherently low, you needn’t worry about the amount dropping by a huge amount.

Even losing 10 percent of the value is only going from $1,000 to $900 on a valuable scrap piece.

What Are The Rules Of Canceling Registration?

If you are going to scrap your motorcycle, then you need to prove that you own it 100 percent first.

If there are liens against it, you’ll have to get the lienholder’s permission before you can sell to anyone, including a junkyard.

To do this you’ll need your title.

Once you sign your title over to the junkyard, they will be the owners of the vehicle, but they won’t need to register it because it won’t be going out on the road.

Your own registration will still be active, however.

Any license plates will be returned to you.

For canceling your registration, exact rules vary from state to state, but if you can show a valid (possibly notarized, depending on the state) bill of sale and your plates, you can cancel the motorcycle’s registration directly at the DMV.

What’s more, most states will refund part of your registration if there are still 6 months or more remaining on it.

Once you’ve canceled the registration, you should then cancel the insurance, too.

After that, the bike is completely out of your hands in every sense.

Can The Scrapyard Help With The Paperwork?

Yes, they certainly can and do.

The staff at junkyards are very familiar with the paperwork necessary to take ownership of your motorcycle, create a valid bill of sale within that state, and then guide you on steps to take after handing the bike over to the scrap dealer.

They may even have copies of relevant DMV paperwork in their office to share.

They’re also experienced in dealing with first-time scrappers since most people only visit a junkyard a very small number of times, possibly only once in their lifetime.

Not everyone is a part-time scrap merchant.

How Many Motorcycle Scrapyards Are There In The US?

There are about 12 million vehicles junked in the US annually, and about 8,200 junkyard operators to help get the job done.

The largest facility is called Old Car City USA in White, Georgia.

It’s home to 4,000 vehicles spread over 34 acres.

Is The Scrap Value The Same For All Motorcycles?

The scrap value range of $100 to $1,000 applies to all motorcycles and brands, but there will always be certain exceptions to any rule.

Motorcycles that have the combination of more salvageable parts and greater weight of scrap metal to be taken from it and turned into sheets/blocks, the more scrap value it will have.

If the bike is quite rare or has classic value, then the salvageable parts also have great value to be resold to those restoring classic bikes that are no longer in production.

These bikes will likely have greater scrap value overall, but for you, the value won’t change a great deal.

The junkyard will always profit most.

When you’re scrapping your motorcycle, you’re paying a premium for the convenience of someone taking the bike off your hands immediately, no questions asked.

Are There Motorcycles That Do Not Have Scrap Value?

It’s difficult to imagine that there’s any bike that has zero scrap value.

If the bike is mostly rusted and can only be salvaged for a few parts and a bit of scrap metal, perhaps the scrap value would fall under $100, but it wouldn’t be zero.

If they can take something, then they will pay you something.

A motorcycle with no scrap value would have to be one where all the metal was rusted, full of holes, and unusable, there were no salvageable components – not one – but the chances of this are very small.

How Old Should The Motorcycle Be To Get Scrapped?

There’s no age limit on scrapping a motorcycle.

You could scrap a 2021 model if you wanted to.

It just so happens that most scrap models are older and more broken down, but that’s not a requirement of the junkyard.

If you can prove you own the bike and you’re willing to sell it for scrap, then you can get a price for it.

You might even break the $1,000 barrier if it’s very new with very many parts to salvage and good metal to recycle.

What About The Insurance? (In Case Of An Accident – And The Bike Needs To Be Scrapped)

Among the biggest users of scrap metal services are insurance companies.

If you crash your motorcycle or get into an accident, the insurance company will decide whether to pay out on the bike or not.

If they payout, they will take the bike from you and scrap it to try and recoup some of their losses.

Between scrap metal and salvaged parts, they can recoup a percentage of what they have paid out to you.

Some riders may decide to not take the payout and hold onto the bike to repair it.

Some insurance companies are fine with this, but you won’t be able to keep the same policy with them on the bike after you’ve restored it.

It will have a different “salvage” title status.

How Do Insurance Companies Value A Totaled Motorcycle?

The standard methodology of insurance companies is to value a motorcycle according to its depreciated value.

The insurance provider will pay out on the bike according to its current value.

For this reason, and if you have financed the bike, then you should hope that you have paid more back to the finance company than has depreciated from the bike, otherwise you will have a gap of money that you still owe on the bike that the insurance value won’t cover.

If the bike is considered beyond reasonable repair, then the insurance will pay out, take the bike into their charge, and sell it for scrap and salvage to try and recoup as much of their payout as possible.

Are There Other Ways To Get Rid Of An Old Motorcycle?

The three main ways to get rid of an old motorcycle are to sell, scrap or donate.

Selling is the most profitable route, and will always fetch more than scrapping or donating.

No matter the condition, you might well find a buyer to take it off your hands.

You could also try auctioning it locally or on eBay.

Scrapping is the other method, for which you can get $100-1,000 roughly depending on the bike and its condition, age, and value in salvageable parts.

Donating means you give it away to a charity perhaps for an auction or to use in some other way.