If you’ve got a Harley Davidson, then you know how expensive parts can be. Salvage yards offer the best opportunity to save money on motorcycle parts. If you are lucky enough to have a Harley Davidson junkyard nearby, you should take advantage. Below I will discuss where to find Harley parts, how the yards work, and my experience with Harley Davidson salvage yards near me.
Find Harley Davidson Salvage Yards Near Me
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According to data at Statista Harley Davidson sales represent more then 30% of all motorcycles sold in the U.S. That’s a lot of bikes easily over 100K bikes sold per year. What does that mean for us part pickers? More Harley’s to pick from at the salvage yard when we need parts.
How Does the Harley Davidson Junkyard Near Me Work?…
These motorcycle junkyards operate on the local level. The operate as small businesses who purchase wrecked bikes and then sell of the functioning parts for reuse.
The motorcycles end up at the salvage for a variety of reasons. Sometimes a private owner has wrecked the bike and the cost of repair is worth more then the bikes value. Other times bikes come from auctions, insurance companies, and other sources. Regardless of how the bikes got there, they are usually in poor condition and need work or are ready to have their parts stripped.
If you have a Harley that you are looking to junk, you can find a place who buys junk bikes, but your best return on a wrecked Harley may be at a salvage. Depending on where your bike is, they may even be willing to come get it. We will talk more on selling a bike later in the article…
How Do the Bikes Get Processed By a Salvage?
When a new junk bike comes into the yard, it doesn’t go immediately out for picking. First they need to remove hazardous fluids that can harm the local eco system. This includes draining the oil and the gas.
At the Harley Salvage yards near me, they strip all the major resalable components and accessories. This prevents the parts from corroding outside, but also allows them to sell the parts online. Some really wrecked bikes end up out in the yard, but all the good stuff is in the warehouse.
How They Arrange The Inventory
Every yard does something a little different. There are places that have bikes indoors and some with bikes outdoors. The places with indoor salvage bikes have less inventory, more organization, and higher quality of parts. Outdoor salvages tend to be thrown together, lots of bikes, and the quality is not as good.
Higher end Harley Davidson junkyards will keep an updated database of all their inventory. They know exactly what they have and may even make it searchable online. Having it done this way means you can find what you need a lot faster. I often like to call and ask specific questions to get more specific about what condition the salvage parts are in before I either order them online or go and pick them up.
The Harley Davidson motorcycle salvage yard near me pre-strips the parts and wear houses them on shelves. So you don’t actually walk the yard, you walk the warehouse and shop for parts that are labeled in bins. This is a great experience if you know what you are looking for.
As far as the types of bikes you will see it all from stylized Choppers to air cooled cruisers with 700+ cc engine displacements . You also find the mid-weight street bikes and the contemporary VRSC’s. Maybe if you’re really lucky you find an 66 Bobcat with a two stroke engine, but probably not!
The Advantage of a Specialized Harley Salvage Yard
When you go specifically to a Harley salvage, you can get specialized help that you may not get at a regular motorcycle junkyard. All the people who work at these places are long time Harley gearheads and know the product and history of the product inside and out. It’s not just the Harley Davidson salvage yards near me either…it is literally every specialized used part or salvage Harley place!
This is particularly helpful if you are doing a restoration on a bike and need to find an expert on the brand. You can literally call these places and say that you are trying rebuild an old 57 Hummer and they will be right in line with what you need and where you should look for parts.
The Pros and Cons of Harley Salvage Parts
Pros of Salvage Harley Parts
Aside from the heavy discounts you can get on parts, it’s the variety of parts you can find. You can find mirrors, frames, throttles, seats, tires, frames, pipes, motors, gas tanks and more. Not just that but from various years normally going back the 70’s. There are older parts, but you really got to do some digging and the condition will need close inspection. You can find so many parts though in general you could certainly build a salvage Harley Davidson on your own from scratch.
The other thing I love about Harley Davidson junkyards is finding Harley manufactured parts that were factory assembled. 95% of the parts you find will have been made and assembled at their factories in York, Pennsylvania; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Kansas City, Missouri. If you are doing a Harley Davidson restoration project that makes these junkyards a goldmine for you.
Then there is the side hustle aspect. If you are a Harley Davidson enthusiast then you likely now rare parts or highly sought after parts. At a pick and pull style junkyard you may very well find some gems sitting in the yard. If you know what to look for you can grab these parts for cheap and then sell them online yourself.
Cons of Used Harley Parts
Quality is always the ex factor when purchasing salvage motorcycle parts. You never know how long the parts have been sitting, how many miles are on them, or how much damage is their you can’t see. To mitigate this risk, you should as the junkyard if they offer a warranty. Some will offer a 30 day warranty with a credit back if something is wrong.
Selling a Junked Harley Davidson
When you sell a junked Harley there are a few things to consider:
First and foremost, most people assume that because it is a Harley there is some extra unspoken value applied that will get you extra cash. That is simply not true, unless it is a vintage bike. You will get a little more for it at a Harley Davidson junkyard, but maybe not significantly more then you would at an all inclusive bike junkyard.
With Harley’s though there are some things that could impact the sale price such as multi-speed transmissions, clutch assembly, electronics, engine options, dual brakes, and side cars, If any of those pieces are still well intact, you may have some wiggle room to negotiate.
If you are considering junking your Harley, you should assess first if it is repairable. Do a thorough assessment and actually calculate the repair costs and compare it to the value of the motorcycle. It may be worth it to fix it first or at least get it running which will net you a larger take with a buyer it. At worse maybe you could sell it independently instead which is your best option for getting the max value.
If you decide to junk it, try a salvage yard first or a motorcycle buyer. Don’t go to a scrap yard, you aren’t going to get much for the bike. When you go to a buyer you should have an idea on the value of the bike, even if it is totally wrecked. I like to reference the Kelly Blue Book for Motorcycles. This is even more important if you have a vintage Harley.
To sell it you need to be the owner listed on the title and you must have the title.
Harley Davidson Salvage Yards Near Me Conclusion
Not matter what style of Harley you have, a junkyard is going to be the cheapest place to source parts. If you have a classic Harley Davidson bike, then a junkyard might be your only option for finding parts. While you can find plenty of these bikes at a regular salvage, finding a Harley’s only salvage is the best experience. You will get experts on the brand that are both technical and historians. I hope you have learned something from my experience with the Harley Davidson salvage yards near me.