Motorcycle Salvage Parts

A Few Words About Motorcycle Salvage

If you are looking to save some money on spare or replacement parts for your bike you may want to look into motorcycle salvage parts sellers.

It may take a little more time than ordering new OEM from your local dealer, but the cost savings usually makes up for that. Also, if your bike or quad is more than 10 years old, it may be your only option. Manufacturers start to discontinue items as the bikes get older, especially if the model was only sold for 1 or 2 years.


A longtime Weeks customer (and friend) has a 1986 Honda VT1100C Shadow. His clutch master cylinder began leaking. Because his hard parts were in beautiful condition, he opted for rebuilding it instead of searching out another one.

He soon discovered that he was unable to find a clutch master cylinder rebuild kit because it was discontinued by Honda. Normally we would order one from K&L Supply. They also discontinued it because it only fit the VT1100C for 1985 and 1986. There was not a lot of demand for this item. Ok, so why don’t we just get the entire master cylinder assembly. Nope. That is discontinued also.

We started calling our usual OEM suppliers to see if anyone had this kit. I spoke to people in at least 12 states and 3 foreign countries. Six weeks, and 30 or so dealers later, we finally found 1. Yes, 1. It has been sitting on some dealer’s shelf for the last 24 years.

I don’t know if you are willing to put in that kind of time, but for him it was well worth it.


Please understand that something new, that is in excellent condition is different than something used that is in excellent condition.

A motorcycle side cover from a 1965 bike that is listed as "excellent used condition" means excellent condition for a 35 year old piece of plastic.

These parts will not be brand new.

Most sellers try to describe each item fully. If a rivet breaks and your emblem falls off of a 30 year old side cover 2 days after you bought it, they will not give you a refund. Nor should you expect them to.

Bike salvage yards fill a need for original (or OEM) components for repair and restoration.

If you desire a brand new, never installed item, you are looking for NOS parts. Make sure that the store or the listing says that is what you are bidding on. NOS means New, Old Stock. These are new parts that were never sold. They may have been sitting in storage for 25 years, but they are still new.

Points to Remember

Parts, or spares, bought from a salvage or breaker yard my need a little extra attention before installation. ATV and motorcycle salvage parts may have been in storage for decades.

O-rings & rubber seals have a tendency to dry out during storage. Items like petcocks and brakes will leak when first installed if the orings and seals are not re-hydrated before installation. Soak the items in the appropriate liquid. For example: motor oil for clutch plates, gas for fuel valves and brake fluid for brakes.

Also, aluminum housings can build up a "crust" around rubber parts. Be sure to clean this off before inserting the re-hydrated parts. Occasionally, items meant to be replaced during regular maintenance {o-rings, gaskets, float needles, etc} do not survive storage. They will need to be replaced. This is to be expected.

For more detailed information see the page leaking fuel valve.

If you are new to motorcycles, are not familiar with what you are looking at online or working on a showroom quality restoration, you may be better off at a local dealer or traditional salvage yard rather than making a purchase from an online seller. There you can check the part, look for defects and ask questions about it before you purchase.

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