View Full Version : I need title info on custom build

05-12-2016, 7:51 PM
Hello I am looking to build a custom bike. now what I need to know is I have a shadow vt1100 frame with a clean title. can I just weld the head on to a frame that I am going to build from scratch and not have to go thru any dmv hassle. or am I still going to have to go thru custom reg inspection I am building the frame from scratch because the motor I am using is a Yamaha road star engine and if I buy a frame online I will still have to modify it as they are built for Harley engines or similar.I already have all tools to build it except a jigg if this has been answered before I am sorry I did a search and could not find a definitive answer

05-12-2016, 10:12 PM
It's technically a gray area but what you want to do is pretty common. Since your VIN would match your engine I see no real-world problem and if asked I'd say I modified the original frame.

You wouldn't be altering a serial number, or altering one with intent to deceive. You'd technically be rebuilding a vehicle but with custom bikes (and plenty of cars and trucks too) no one seems to give a shit.

Of course I advise everyone to comply with every law everywhere in a spirit of happy legal compliance and none of the above should be construed to constitute legal advice. :)

05-13-2016, 4:06 AM
I'd call a state license office. I hear the requirements vary from state to state. In Minnesota I could do like you said, save the part with VIN stamped in it and do what I want to the rest. But a different engine from original requires a certificate of origin. Other states requires the frame to come from a DOT approved builder.

There's some state by state info here. http://www.clubchopper.com/forums/title-registration/

05-17-2016, 2:14 PM
There is also an old saying that forgiveness is easier to get than permission.

Better ask other New Yorkers, and when you have a REGIONAL question no one should have to look at your profile to find the region. Namsayin?

05-17-2016, 8:27 PM
Not sure about Queens but upstate as long as you're not a complete douchebag the cops will leave ya alone

05-17-2016, 9:55 PM
From what I've learned, I believe it's against the law to remove a VIN from a vehicle? If so, and you remove the neck with the VIN on it, wouldn't you have immediately violated the law even before you install it on another frame? I know it's commonly done, but I've always wondered about that.


05-20-2016, 1:42 PM
I guess I will just bite the bullet and go thru the dmv. Can anybody recommend a good frame company that I can order online I am building a prostreet with ether a hardtail or softtail frame.

05-20-2016, 7:42 PM
Semantics matter. "Removing" a VIN is customarily considered to be defacing or destroying the numbers while leaving the vehicle intact, not removing parts of the vehicle from other parts. NYS DMV legal reference linked below.

Removing the rest of a frame FROM a neck (and cutting up the frame for scrap or spare metal so no second vehicular object remains) while RETAINING the titled neck with virgin VIN numbers and engine deceives no one as to the ownership of the vehicle.

For example no one would quibble if you hardtailed an existing frame though that often means nearly a fifty percent amputation of original structure. A hardtail is probably technically a rebuilt vehicle but I've not heard of anyone pushing the issue. Lack of knowledge about motorcycle frames means that "hardtail" could, ahem, extend to a neck tube in practice but the VIN should be flawlessly protected from weld spatter or grinding.

OP should directly and personally inquire of the DMV inspector who will be checking out his work if he decides on a special construction title. I've done that in other states with trailers I built and it's not difficult. Their job is to help ensure compliance.

Note the specific verbiage. In OPs case the VIN would not have been "destroyed, altered, defaced, concealed or removed". That's not subjective because the VIN would stay with the vehicle. Some chunks of discarded frame are not the original vehicle, of which the core parts would be used and minor leftovers discarded.


If I were OP I would not be "building a new frame". I would be customizing my motorcycle and leave it at that since no one needs to know more.

If you do it from scratch, then this applies:


05-20-2016, 8:24 PM
A Honda numbered frame with a Yamaha engine is your intent, correct?
The DMV might want proof that you own that engine before they edit the "body file".

05-28-2016, 11:24 PM
First off thanks to every one for the help. As for my engine I got it off Craigslist from a totaled bike I ran the vin it came up clean other then the accident. How would I Evan prove I am the owner I only paid $100 for it so I guess I can just get one off ebay with a receipt. And toss this one if I had to

05-30-2016, 6:22 PM
If I were titling a Yamaha engined machine I'd use a Yamaha neck from something vaguely similar in capacity. Plenty of donors out there.

05-31-2016, 2:50 AM
I wanted to use my Honda frame head seeing as I had it already from my old bike that i blew the engine

05-31-2016, 7:19 AM
I wanted to use my Honda frame head seeing as I had it already from my old bike that i blew the engine

I don't see why it wouldn't work....... But keep the motor about the same size as the old one was........ Like farmall said above....