Board index Flathead Power-Technical Questions, Answers, and Suggestions K-Models Questionable numbers?

Questionable numbers?

Post Sun Oct 19, 2008 7:21 am

"1955" VIN stamp, 1956 cases.
I e-mailed him, but of course no answer.

Post Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:16 pm

Posts: 591
Location: Crewe, Great Britain

Hi Panic,

These would be right for a 1956 replacement set of cases, engine number looks genuine enough.


Post Sun Oct 19, 2008 5:43 pm

Yes, the stamp looks good - that's the only explanation that makes sense.

Post Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:46 am

Posts: 591
Location: Crewe, Great Britain

Hi Panic,

And these cases haven't got the "D" stamped in front of the serial that indicate post 1957 replacement cases...


Post Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:48 pm

Posts: 2688
Location: Los Angeles, CA
On Oct-20-08 at 11:52:52 PDT, seller added the following information:

We have had some questions regarding the case numbers. We made a mistake when we checked them before and they are matching and are 556 1701 and not 56 1701. Thanks!

Post Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:09 am

Of course, that still means that the cases aren't original - which the seller rebuts by repeating "the shop that furnished them has a lot of experience", "I have also been dealing with old bike parts for years call up the Harley factory have them run the numbers on the motor if you are so inclined. The number on these bikes were not exact sciences", in short failing to answer the question and proving they have no idea what they're talking about.
I love the description "the former owner told us that it had been completely rebuilt". This means "we're not responsible when it's junk".
In my experience, "I was told" is something that men stop using as an excuse around age 15.

BTW: the motor comes with a notarized bill of sale but no title - and they are a "Licensed Arizona Dealer". I don't know AZ law, but in New York State dealers are not permitted to use a bill of sale at all - the title must pass through their books. No title? Can't buy or sell it.

Note the very rare and desirable M74B carb...

556- means "K, 1956".

Post Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:52 am

Posts: 575
Location: devon,england
looks like stds and nuts holding holding heads on ,not bolts ,jib
Dude, check out that jibhead, he's crazy. Hasn't been sober for 40 years

Post Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:14 am

Posts: 2688
Location: Los Angeles, CA
The dealer isn't selling a motorcycle just part of one. You don't need a title to sell and engine any more than you would to sell a wheel, brake drum or any other part.

Post Tue Oct 21, 2008 3:25 pm

I'll let that pass as opinion.
According to New York State: if it has the VIN (and is the only place where it appears) it IS THE MOTORCYCLE.
Seem silly? Perhaps, but it's still the law, which does not require a vehicle to be complete or capable of movement. It's a vehicle until it's dismantled (also regulated).
Federal law (chop shop, interstate trafficking in stolen auto parts) says that the frame for a Corvette IS THE CORVETTE 35 years ago, and still does.
Reference: there' s another huge class of property where proof of ownership, the "wholeness" of the device, etc. follow very different but very specific rules - firearms.

Post Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:44 pm

Posts: 2688
Location: Los Angeles, CA
So if I am in New York and I part out my 1971 Electra Glide who gets the title? The man who buys the frame or the man who buys the engine? I sure am glad I don't live in New York.
I have been told that NY passed a law, something to the effect of, junkyards must scrap any vehicle that is over ten years old. I am told there is a yard upstate full of vintage cars and this dealer turned in all of his salvage and business licenses in so he wouldn't have to scrap the cars. But now he will only sell complete cars to people who live outside of NY.

Post Tue Oct 21, 2008 6:05 pm
Pa Site Admin

Posts: 5840
Location: Ohio USA

I heard, that what you say you heard, Chris, a trend all states will soon follow. The gist I got from it was, the epa was behind it all. Pa

Post Wed Oct 22, 2008 10:10 am

Again: "if it has the VIN (and is the only place where it appears) it IS THE MOTORCYCLE."
1971 has the VIN on the frame.
The frame gets the title, because the frame is the motorcycle. This is true for every vehicle of every kind (fire engine, ambulance, limousine, aircraft carrier)... except older H-D and a few others with no frame numbers. This has nothing to do with New York - all state DMV regs must conform to Federal DOT standards, which mandate that the chassis is the vehicle. Some states simply have no interest in making extra work for their staff by following that... err... law thingy.
I don't understand why this question comes up, but most frequently the person asking bought a bike with no title, or bought a post-1969 engine with a title but no frame, and "wants to know how to fix this", and will reject all factual statements, and continue to ask until he gets an answer he likes.
Part of the confusion is that most British (and some Japanese) bikes have the same number on the frame as the engine, and some DMV simply don't ask "Is this the whole bike, or just the engine?".

NY passed a law, something to the effect of, junkyards must scrap any vehicle that is over ten years old.

No. Some individual Counties (and perhaps townships) may try to pass local laws which they think can do this - it just hasn't come to court yet, at which time the County will lose.
If it happens at all, Kalifornia (the home of all things PC) will be first.

Post Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:46 pm

Posts: 2688
Location: Los Angeles, CA
panic wrote:
If it happens at all, Kalifornia (the home of all things PC) will be first.

This information provided by a man who can't even spell California. :mrgreen:

Post Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:54 pm

Posts: 74
Location: Seattle Wa
Here in Washington it's been quite confusing as it was custom (especially with HD owners) that the title goes with the motor and was the legal way to do so... but now they require that the frame is the vin and that the title should remain with it. Makes it that unless the motor and frame and title are in the deal... to much hassle if not impossible to get titled or transferred. 6 years ago I bought a basket with a bill of sale.. had plans paperwork was somewhat easy to get. Changed mind last year and went to sell. Laws on titles had just gone thru a re-vamp here.... and had very strict requirements. Had to have the owners release!!! I spent months tracking down the original owner... in Florida... and several letters and phone calls asking for a sign off.. with no luck.. When I finally told the owner that I was going to have the local impound lot pick it up as abandoned... where after 30 days it would be auctioned off.. and I would most likely be the only bidder.. so would get the frame.. and a slavage title... for about $20.. And the $20. would be then applied to the impound bill.. where she would be liable for the remainder which covering the tow truck and storage could be just about $1000... I then got the necessary paperwork in the mail 3 days later.
When they're running you out of town.. get out in front and make it look like a parade.

Post Wed Oct 22, 2008 5:38 pm

Where NY still has the opto-rectal outlook is that we still don't have titles to any older vehicles.
Anything 1972 and older has a "transferable registration", which doesn't need notarization, contains no prior owner history, and no record of lien assignments.
Your local DMV will accept it, because their title specimen book contains a picture, document # etc.

One problem is that there is no way to determine when you buy the bike that what you have is real, because the bike may have been sold previously using a duplicate transferable registration.

Another is if there is a loan, mechanic's lien, bankruptcy, foreclosure, divorce settlement etc. against the bike you don't have "clear title" until that judgment is satisfied. This means first you pay for the bike, then you pay off the owner's loan afterward (which may have been more than the bike was worth). He may have borrowed $10,000 for the bike, paid back $1,000, you buy it for $5,000 - you still owe the bank $9,000.
A legal sale under these conditions requires that either the lien holder (bank) signs off on the sale (generally in return for at least some of the money), or gets all of the money (and the owner gets nothing - he still owes whatever remains of the loan).
How to tell?
1. don't trust the seller.
2. you have to locate the lien yourself (very expensive to pay a service to do this).
3. there are 62 Counties in NY, and (theoretically) it could be filed in the County Clerk's Office in any of them. There is no central record of liens.
4. places to look: County where he lived, where the bike was registered (different address), where he worked, where he lived/worked when he bought the bike, where his bank is located.
5. if a lien is not filed, it's not your problem !!!
6. there is no charge to search for the lien, and only a minor charge for a copy to take to the lien holder. County Clerks are usually located in or next to local Supreme Court building in the County seat (Monroe Co. is in Rochester, Westchester Co. is White Plains, Nassau Co. is Mineola, etc.). The larger Counties have an on-line search: you're looking for a civil action with your owner as the defendant.

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