A tip from an industry source warns us that as many as 10,000 damaged motorcycles and other vehicles may come out of the recent Texas floods and insurance companies may be letting wholesalers buy the flooded, damaged motorcycles so they can end up on your local motorcycle dealer's lot.

Bloomberg News is reporting that about 2,500 flooded motorcycles, cars, trucks, and recreational vehicles have already been towed to a Copart auction yard in Houston, where they likely will be sold for salvage value to the highest bidder. Copart works with insurance companies to sell all types of motor vehicles that have been totaled in accidents and floods.

Riding in a Flood is Ricky Business
While these totaled out flood bikes are often sold for parts use only, some are bought by dealers who intend to resell them after cleaning them up, often moving them (or just the title) to another state, and then off to the local auction yard they go - where their flooded or wrecked history can often be made difficult to trace back.

Not every state brands flooded motorcycle titles as "flood" victims, so it easy to take a flood-branded title and retitle it in a state that doesn't use the "flood" brand to warn consumers of its history. Those states often will issue a new title that has not brand on it at all, a practice called "title laundering" by the consumer advocate attorneys at Burdge Law.

Are flooded Texas bikes headed to your local dealer?
So if during the next six to eight months or so you think about buying a used bike or atv, watch out! Inspect that motorcycle carefully, have a local mechanic check it out before you buy it. Check all the nooks and crannies any sign of water damage, such as sand or dirt or waterline markings. Look for signs of premature rust. Smell the leather for any musty odor and look for mold.

And, most important of all, ask the selling dealer to guarantee that the vehicle you are looking at was NOT in a flood anywhere.

And don't just take their word for it. When they say "no flood - no way" be sure to tell them that you want them to write that on the sales contract too. And if they won't do it, then watch out! Don't buy! Go somewhere else.

Don't waste your money on flooded or wrecked cars! Your safety isn't worth saving a buck or two.

Burdge Law Office
Helping consumers get rid of lemon bikes, every day.
It's what we do.