0
AggieDave

Motorcycle VIN question

Recommended Posts

How much of an original frame has to be present to still use the VIN stamped on the frame? For instance, if I bought a fucked knucklehead and chopped out most of the frame but kept the stamped VIN and lets say the headtube to use on a different frame (santee frame for instance) would that not be legal?

How would that be different then cutting most of the other frame away and fabricating a new one around it?

I ask simply because there's a difference between a chopped up harley and a ground up aftermarket part built bike when dealing with insurance companies. That original manufacture's VIN means the difference between only affording liability and being able to afford full coverage.

Anyone have any experience with that?
--"When I die, may I be surrounded by scattered chrome and burning gasoline."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ah yes, that makes sense...

Not that it matters now, I was just thinking about it. It'll be atleast another year before I can start on building my "dream bike."

Its still fun to plan and dream though...atleast once the time comes that I start fabricating and buying parts, I'll have all my ducks in a row.:)
--"When I die, may I be surrounded by scattered chrome and burning gasoline."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
actually what you'll have to do is take a bill of sale, the original title, and maybe the other original title of the other bike you wish to use. they will give you a license plate for a 30 day period, wait for the registration to clear, you have to get a "greensheet" inspection, take this along with your new title to the tax collector's office pay TTL and it's yours! i just bought a vehichle from new jersey so i had to jump through a ton of hoops before they would get the papers in line, it' painful! but good luck.
-Richard-
"You're Holding The Rope And I'm Taking The Fall"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As long as the neck of that frame is intact enough to not obscure the VIN stamp, it's still "that" bike, at least in Alabama and North Carolina (the only two places I have registered custom motorcycles). If you intend on titling a custom bike as a Harley (for whatever reason; insurance and future resale highest among them) then you must start with a titled Harley frame. A salvage title is fine so long as it says HD and the model. There are caveats to pretty much every situation you may find yourself in, but that's the general rule.

My bike is still registered as a 1987 HD FXLR, but the only original parts on the bike are the cases and the flywheels/rods. There is no VIN stamp on my frame. I have raked it at the neck, widened the frame at the back, cut off everything that served no purpose and then filled and contoured every seam and hard angle. One might possibly be able to beat the bondo off with a hammer at the neck to find those numbers, but not while I am watching. Still, the fact that it's titled "Harley" means that it always will be.

If you intend to build a parts bin bike from an aftermarket frame of any type you had better be prepared to produce every single receipt from every single major part on that motorcycle when the DMV asks for them. I have many, many friends who went through that nut-roll with varying degrees of heartache. The bike you end up with (assuming no title) will be registered and titled as a "special construction."

Ultimately, if you want to build a custom Harley-titled motorcycle from a basket case, you need to make sure you have the correct title. I have seen more than one instance where two people tried to title what was was "legally" the same motorcycle; it was a bad scene. One guy rebuilt a bike from the original cases (with the original title) and an aftermarket frame. Another guy built a bike with the original, repaired (from a bad wreck) frame and an aftermarket S&S motor and tranny with a salvage title. The DMV looks at the cases and the frame as the only two "real" parts on a bike (since they are stamped the same).

This modern age of being able to finance "choppers" is fascinating to me. You wouldn't have gotten a loan to finance a "special construction" bike ten years ago, but now banks don't have any problem whatsoever letting you float $30,000 loans for a Texas Chopper; unbelievable. I have about $30k total invested in my sled, but that's only because it has hit the ground two times and I have changed everything on it at least three times. It's insured for 20k, but I could never hope to sell it for more than about 13k because that's about all you could finance it for with it's "real" title.

Chuck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You might want to do some more homework, it's been awhile since I mucked around with scooters, but I don't think a true knuck frame had a vin#. Only# I remember was on the cases, such as "47FL4774" (mine back before wife, kids & houses) would have been a 1947 74ci sn 4774. If you have matching #s (case & frame) I don't think you have a real one, but for a chopper, who cares, have fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

0