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Shovelsrus
02-13-2016, 8:06 AM
Re-registered my pan online. Reggie came in mail 2 weeks later. Only other slip of paper in envelope was this nice warning from the state. In case anyone thinks it is paranoia to worry so much about numbers fear not -- they ARE watching! I can't believe so many people still think it's ok to run post-1969 Harleys by the motor numbers only with after market frames. Good way to lose your bike, or worse.

docmel
02-13-2016, 9:41 AM
That looks like a generic warning that the state is probably putting in every registration return.

However, you have point. I spent about 20 yrs building custom bikes before it was "mainstream", and I heard many folks, and still do, (to include this forum) that for post 69 HD,s, think that re-necking, removing frame VINs, or even taking a new aftermarket frame with just a MSO, and putting a post 69 HD motor in it, that its now street legal without going thru DMV...........I dont know of ANY state that would allow any of what I just mentioned without going thru the formal state PIA rules first.

The rules are a PIS for post 69 HDs, but guess why?...Because of thieves

Jail is full of folks that knew the deal, or thought they did, and are getting pounded for it . In the least, bikes get impounded for it

StinkyPete
02-14-2016, 6:04 PM
There was a well known custom bike for sale a little bit ago. 30s frame with a 70s motor registered as a 30s Harley...go figure. They transferred the 30s VIN to the shovel motor...run for the hills!

tomahawk1976
02-14-2016, 7:31 PM
It's stupid pain in the ass shit....I destroyed the cases on my Pan years ago...threw on replacement cases....kept the pieces of the orig. In my garage and ran with the title and mso from other cases....never had an issue

triumphbruce
02-15-2016, 6:58 AM
just out of the service in the 1980 put a triumph motor in an unknown frame no numbers
just the reg for the motor got it all together took the reg to DMV no problems
ran that bitch for 7 years with several tickets cops never looked at frame or engine numbers

farmall
02-15-2016, 8:58 AM
Very few cops bother with number checks and if the bike isn't worth much and ya plead ignorance all ya will probably lose at worst is the bike if it isn't hot.

I care so I get titled frames for my toys. (They are toys, not some desperate survival need.) If you keep an eye on government auctions they'll issue proof of ownership for what they seize if you want to profit from the silliness of others. :-)

I've never had anyone check any of my VINs in thirty-something years of riding.

triumphbruce
02-15-2016, 11:47 AM
ya farmall I hear you as that was a back in the day story and I did not know any better
now I just keep everything as legit as I can it aint worth the few extra bucks it takes anyway

Phail
02-15-2016, 2:14 PM
There is a video on YouTube from a few years back where at a bike event, I think in FL, cops were walking up and down aisles of bikes checking VINs.

slinginrods
02-15-2016, 10:18 PM
That happened in Daytona a few years back. They still do it during the bike weeks. I specifically asked a DMV motorcycle reg and Vin agent about renecking a frame. He said it was legal as long as the neck matched the title and the numbers were not altered.I asked ," so I can cut the neck off of my bike and build my own frame around that ? He said yes there is nothing in the fl laws that prevent that. You CANNOT stamp your Vin on another frame. .every state is different.

farmall
02-16-2016, 8:37 AM
FWIW I don't ride to Daytona. I take my truck to go parts shopping instead and visit the swap meets, antique meets (fuck yeah!) and races. There are still plenty of bargains and tasty oddball parts.

I recommend everyone else BUT me ride a motorcycle with no place for cargo, not wear a backpack, and bring no parts money. :p

BurnoutNova
02-16-2016, 10:38 AM
The Vin question/answer game depends on who you ask, where you live, and how lucky you are. All I know is that I don't mess with weird vins and I don't swap parts around between bikes that may result in a vin problem. I don't want to loose my bikes even though they aren't worth much compared to some guys stuff. I still don't understand how guys are paying 2-3K for a set of cases with no paper. WHAT IF you cant get a title. Blows my mind. I guess they have the vin game figured out and I don't?

Buellbomb
02-17-2016, 3:47 AM
Daytona has a stolen bike task force and they will tow your stuff. I saw it happen to some guys once with no numbers on custom frames.

docmel
02-17-2016, 12:22 PM
Daytona has a stolen bike task force and they will tow your stuff. I saw it happen to some guys once with no numbers on custom frames.

Theres allot of guys out there that have a very casual attitude when it comes to numbers: Thoughts like, "No one ever checks, I havent been checked in years", etc, doesnt work for me, not does it make any sense. Impound lots are full of questionable vins or other numbers on bikes out there. I guess they just teleported themselves there.

In all the years I have been riding, there is no doubt my vin has been run when I was cited for speeding or whatever was the case at the time. Twice was on the NJ turnpike. Try waiting for about 45 min on a hot summer black top while a Jersey Trooper does everything he can to see if the bike is stolen before he lets you go. All I know is that I have no worries cause I researched with my state beforehand, and did the right (and painful) process thing. But it does suck when one is being totally honest in his build or transfer of paperwork, and has to really go thru the shit to get a title processed.

Just remember your target audience as well. Indy shops and garage builders have always been looked down upon by the "establishment". Ride a chopper or bobber? Even more so. Hell, this forum is full of folks that have been pulled over by BS because of the way they and their rides look. If you understand that, don't take shortcuts on numbers, and I for one don't buy shit thats supposed to have numbers on them and they don't


All it takes is probable cause and your shit will get confiscated. Its then on you to prove innocence, and that takes time and money. Remember, a confiscated MV with wrong or bad paperwork is a good bust for the law. Even more so if the MV actually comes up stolen

I had a 55 pan, and a 81 sporty rolled right off my property. Took a total loss on both. So I can somewhat understand the PIA process

It sucks. The honest has to pay for the process because of the dishonest

theIVthcrusade
02-17-2016, 6:13 PM
Here's a hypothetical (not entirely because it's my plan in the next year or two but anyway) - I have a 2000 XL that I want to put in a custom frame. I know I can get an MSO and go through the special construction process, or even do a weld on hard tail (which I'm not crazy about). Instead what's my risk in swapping the engine into a new frame, and throwing the old plates and reg on? I realize it's technically illegal, but if I possess the original frame with appropriate VIN and the bike obviously isn't reported stolen, I wonder how much trouble I could really get in if it ever came up? Thoughts?

docmel
02-18-2016, 9:06 AM
Here's a hypothetical (not entirely because it's my plan in the next year or two but anyway) - I have a 2000 XL that I want to put in a custom frame. I know I can get an MSO and go through the special construction process, or even do a weld on hard tail (which I'm not crazy about). Instead what's my risk in swapping the engine into a new frame, and throwing the old plates and reg on? I realize it's technically illegal, but if I possess the original frame with appropriate VIN and the bike obviously isn't reported stolen, I wonder how much trouble I could really get in if it ever came up? Thoughts?

I get what you are saying: You have a 2000xl, it already registered/titled in your name. All you want to do is out it in a custom frame. Common sense might tell us that its ok just to put it in another legally bought frame and all is ok.

Some guys do it. But is it really legal? You owe it to yourself to check with your own state before you do it. Disregard any thing you see on forums , to include my input. Its your ass, not the folks that respond

You have to look down the road. Say one day you get pulled and a hard nose and really looks over your bike and decides, "nope, it aint legal"........

BurnoutNova
02-18-2016, 12:07 PM
Technically, in my state anyway that is illegal. People do it all the time I'm sure but as far as the cop is concerned on the side of the road it is his duty to impound it when he finds the vin doesn't match the frame. If you posses the MSO and the old frame you will likely get your bike back... but it still costs you money and time.

Just do a weld on hardtail and keep the original vins together

some1else
02-19-2016, 10:59 AM
I got a 78 shovel frame matches title,but has delkron cases .no mso for cases assuming original cases got destroyed,engines blow all the time.got a bill of sale along with bike I know when it gets inspected Im sure they wont be checked.but what is legal way to handle the situation ???

farmall
02-19-2016, 5:35 PM
I have never seen or heard of a US law stating that every numbered item on a vehicle must match title. Were that so, you could not sell used car and truck engines without a paper train.

Title passes with frame on that year Shovel. End of story. Even if original cases still existed, title passes with frame. MSOs are useful for determining who made what, and in case of special construction or reconstructed vehicles, documenting where parts came from.

If you do a frame swap that may be, in some states, technically "reconstructing" a vehicle. Neck swaps or building frames off necks are gray areas, but they aren't a very logical route for thieves to re-title a motorcycle they could more safely part out. Theoretically some shitbag could do so but laws and law enforcement against property crimes are more about what's considered effective.

One of my bros distinctively marked nearly every part of his Panhead in places no one would likely notice, but his thinking was if it got swiped he could help nail the perps if parts were found at a chop shop. If you own something special that's a low effort and cool idea.


If I was gonna do a frame swap to a custom frame, I'd probably do a neck swap and keep the factory numbers since welding is easy and paperwork is boring. Stock frames often look great with a well-designed hardtail conversion so if I wanted a hardtail I'd lean toward modding the stocker.

backwithabang
02-19-2016, 5:36 PM
It's all state to state, who the cop is. What you look like, if you're an asshole.

Common sense says don't ride something you may have a problem with to a major event. That's when there will be a check. It's all about generating money

With that said , there is an over paranoia with a lot of chopper guys and numbers on everything.

most of us take a way bigger risk just riding these things and our own lives compared to a ticket , warning, or at worst impound of your 2000 dollar Ironhead. If you run sketch on an expensive bike. I'd just call that sort of dumb

andri
02-21-2016, 4:05 PM
I was at Indian Larry's the other day and noticed that the red/white pan top shovel bottom has a 50's FL vin neatly stamped into the the alternator cases.

And that bike has probably been at a few shows..

farmall
02-21-2016, 6:59 PM
Just because a well known business has a VIN on cases it could never have come on originally doesn't make that smart, and show bikes ain't getting the hairy eyeball from Da Man looking for someone to fuck with.

Otherwise rational people are often stoopid about paperwork. Most common are the idiots who fail to IMMEDIATELY transfer title when they buy a bike. They think they will save money or something by waiting, then usually lose the open title. (Titles can and do drop from the system. GET A HARD COPY OF EVERY TITLE YOU OWN. That let me get a title re-entered in the SC system. Without that I'd have been fucked.)

People tend to "really want" to do dumb shit. The cure is not wanting to do dumb shit. If it's extra effort, stock up on Midol and do it right anyway. Straight numbers also make selling a machine much easier.

OleDirtyDoc
02-21-2016, 10:02 PM
I was at Indian Larry's the other day and noticed that the red/white pan top shovel bottom has a 50's FL vin neatly stamped into the the alternator cases.

And that bike has probably been at a few shows..

...on the back of a trailer ;)

vegas
02-22-2016, 2:28 PM
That's going to be fine...until it isn't. Or until you go to sell it, especially if its to a out of state buyer, as every vehicle that comes from a different state gets a vin inspection

carguym14
02-25-2016, 8:52 PM
I got a 78 shovel frame matches title,but has delkron cases .no mso for cases assuming original cases got destroyed,engines blow all the time.got a bill of sale along with bike I know when it gets inspected Im sure they wont be checked.but what is legal way to handle the situation ???

I've got a 76 special construction with S&S cases.Title has the numbers on the neck sticker-nothing about the motor at all.Doesn't make a whole lotta sense to me.

Back in the 80's I wasn't up on the VIN issues.Built a few bikes and just used the registrations that came with them (upstate NY).Got lots of tickets for loud exhaust.apes,inadequate lighting,etc..,but never once had anyone check the numbers.

Now I'm older,wiser,and a heluva lot more paranoid. ;)