Advice in Cat C damage bikes

Hi all,

would you buy a Cat C damage motorcycle?

looking at getting the bike cheap, but am i buying trouble? the owner states he didn’t know it was a Cat C, he has had it for a year and done 9000 miles and no problems.

if i was to buy it, can i find out what damage was done to the bike? if not, are there garages out there that would strip the bike down to find if there is any thing to worry about?


If the damage happened before he owned it - and he hasn’t got the receipts for the work - then you are going to struggle to verify exactly what was done and when.

That is has been ridden for 9k with no issues sounds encouraging - but can you verify that? Does it have MOTs that back that up? Can you date the accident?

As for getting it stripped down - sounds like a load of expense - but would definitely have someone look at it - who knows the basics.

Then - assuming you are 100% confident the bike is ok - make sure the price reflects the Cat C status. If/when you come to sell it - the new buyer will have exactly the same concerns as you do.

If you get it at a tasty discount - and it is in goo knick - you have a bargain. If it isn’t - you may have a dog.

What I (or anyone else) would do doesn’t matter - it’s your call at the end of the day. But if the paperwork doesn’t 100% back up the story - I would run a mile.


I had a guy try this with me looked at he’s bike liked then HPI was cat C rang him asked since when he owned it… Also on v5 and he was owner when was written off asked what happened he explained I still want bike got a nice discount
If he wasent owner your taking a chance as you don’t know what was damage…

Does it really matter what the damage was? The fact it was a CAT C limits the level of damage to an extent.
The only difference between a CAT C and a non-CAT C bike is that you know the latter has been damaged in the past.
Hell, I do more checks on bikes that appear clean than the ones that have had a bit of history!

Agree with GC on this. Loads of people repair their own bike when they have an off so that it doesn’t go through their insurance and those bikes could have had extensive damage covered up.

As mentioned, Cat C will have been a limited amount of damage, so just get it looked over properly, check all the numbers match up and make sure you’re paying a fair chunk less than the market value. As when you come to sell it, you’ll need to discount it too.


I would have no problem buying a Cat C or D if it was cheap enough and it was stated up front what it’s history was.

Did the price the owner originally ask reflect a Cat C bike?

If yes then he must have known about the Cat C and he’s fibbing you that he didn’t know - if no they he could be honest or just trying it on.

Basically an owner who doesn’t reveal a Cat C up front has got avoid written all over him in my book - he may be honest but I wouldn’t be prepared to trust him - there are too many bikes for sale out there.

Also I would need a big discount for Cat C - not so much for the bike itself but for the hassle I would have when I came to sell it.

See if you can get insurance before buying, as I know one company would not insure A Cat C bike.

No, you have no idea of what the original damage was and what level of competancy the person repairing was.

Walk away.

When it comes to bikes, you never know this unless you take the whole bike to bits and check and measure everything, regardless of if it’s on the hit list or not.

There is nothing wrong with Cat C and D vehicles provided 2 things are met, 1) it’s been repaired well, 2) it’s at least 25% cheaper than a similar bike in similar condition of a similar age and number of miles.

I know loads of people who’ve crashed bikes on the road or track, repaired them themselves and then sold them on. Never uttering a word about the damage that they’ve been through.

And I also know other riders, some of whom use this very forum, who are riding bikes that are absolute death traps because they don’t know any better about the basics of maintenance.

So if it came down to a choice of buying a well looked after Cat C bike or a bike neglected by its owner, I’d take the Cat C bike any day of the week.

So don’t walk away if the bike is the bike you want, it’s been well looked after and the price is right. As there are plenty of people on here who will have no problem at all of telling you stories of woe of bikes they’ve spent a fortune on that they’ve bought from a dealer.

Bikes and cars should always be bought based on their condition, not on the mileage or age.

Nothing wrong with a cat C bike but it could also be a nightmare!!! Take a mechanic with you, you should be getting a good discount on it and make sure you speak to your insurance company as they will value it significantly less if its been a cat C.

If you want to take a mechanic take someone like Rob. I took him all the way to Ireland with me when i bought my Ducati, its a small price to pay to ensure the bike is mechanically sound!!

when I bought my ninja it wasn’t recorded. however under the seat there was lots of evidence of fibreglass repair. it died a few months after I got it.

when I bought my VFR it WAS recorded as cat-c about a decade ago and it’s running beautifully.