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Titling an old bike

Pretty much anything not covered by the topics above. Short lived production bikes or vehicles, Electrical, Tires, Paint, Brakes, etc. Use this for tech questions, and "Shoot the Bull" for general conversation, no tech.

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Post Thu Apr 27, 2000 6:00 am

Posts: 5
Location: Boulder Creek, California, USA
In California, the Department of Motor Vehicles requires that motorcycles have an engine number and a frame number. Usually the frame number is the VIN number on the title of ownership. I recently bought a 1941 45 in Florida and brought it back to California where I live. Since the DMV inspector couldn't find a frame number, they referred me to the California Highway Patrol to "verify" the bike. I brought along a copy of Mike Arman's book "What Fits What on Harley Davidson". That book states that on Harley's prior to 1969 there are no frame numbers. The CHP officer said it's good to have some written documentation like that to help him verify the information. He ran the engine number through the computer to make sure it wasn't stolen and he said he called "a source" to confirm blah blah blah, and finally he officially "verified" that this was a legitimate bike. So we got a plate and a title. Whew!


Post Thu Apr 27, 2000 7:01 am
don User avatar

Posts: 571
Location: Spokane WA USA
It sounds like you got through that without having to fight off their frame tag.

Post Fri Apr 28, 2000 8:33 pm

Posts: 5
Location: Boulder Creek, California, USA
Yeah, I got away without a frame tag. For those of you unfamiliar with California bureaucracy, the DMV will issue its own VIN and attach it on a metal tag to the frame. I've seen this on custom bikes and limited production Harley clones. I guess they do it to old iron sometimes too. It's ugly and undesireable if you want to restore the bike to original.

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