Impossible FLH engine number

Identifaction of VIN, case numbers and cylinder heads
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panache
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Impossible FLH engine number

#1

Post by panache » Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:43 pm

Hello. I recently purchased a beautifully restored '64 FLH Pan from an HD dealer in Richmond Virginia. I got the title papers today -- and while preparing to have the bike shipped out to California I looked at the ID number and seemed impossible to me... The ID reads "FLH12120". Shouldn't it read 64FLHxxyy or 64FLHxxyyy where the x's are even??? This could scrub the deal as California's DMV might not issue a title on it irrespective of the supposed clear title from Virginia... They're getting wise to title-washes (mostly through Arizona). Any suggestions? Is this an alteration or just replacement/aftermarket cases?

Thanks all for any words of wizdom!



flash

Re: Impossible FLH engine number

#2

Post by flash » Sat Mar 11, 2006 6:12 am

you mean, you checked this bike out, either on-line, or somehow like that, & never Asked to see Vin #'s ???
Any #'s I am aware of from HD
start w/year 64
then model= FLH
Sequence of build= XXXX

panache
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Re: Impossible FLH engine number

#3

Post by panache » Sat Mar 11, 2006 11:34 am

Flash,

thanks for the serial number confirmation... Yup, that's what I thought. I talked with the rebuilder and people at the HD dealership -- and I thought that I had asked all of the important questions... Stuff like the kind of float in the Linkert, 12V conversion, etc., etc... I guess I should have asked for the VIN right off the bat...

03Roadking
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Re: Impossible FLH engine number

#4

Post by 03Roadking » Sat Mar 11, 2006 5:05 pm

Hello
Do you have a Palmer book It goes into great detail about vin#'s It says nothing about any vin starting without the year first. Cotten is the resident expert on vin's But what I would do to start is make them take a digital picture of a close up of the vin and tell them to make sure it is clear and email it to you.
I also had a little trouble with registering my bike in Calif but after showing history of the last 15 years they registered it I think the picture will tell the story Plus if it is a full on HD dealership I don't think they would chance trying to pass off a bad vin#

flash

Re: Impossible FLH engine number

#5

Post by flash » Sat Mar 11, 2006 10:34 pm

To me, Most Important things are
(1) Good clean Vin's
(2) Good matching title
Carb floats are pretty low on the list. They can be changed easily.
Plus, if it has aftermarket cases, that significantly reduces the overall value. I think you may want to get hold of that Hd dealer & see what gives..
If they say the cases are 'am' then they should really lower the price. (not likely though)

Newbie

Re: Impossible FLH engine number

#6

Post by Newbie » Sun Mar 12, 2006 12:11 am

Check the belly numbers. They should match and start with 164-XXXX(X). This will tell you if you have matching original cases or not.

Cotten
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Re: Impossible FLH engine number

#7

Post by Cotten » Sun Mar 12, 2006 8:08 am

I'd remove 'matching title' from the critical list as well, as bonding a legitimate machine is not that expensive.
The odd-even legend has become a controversy beyond this forum.
Although I bow to Mr. Palmer, the Factory themselves were prone to bodacious mistakes, and modern owners have been mistakenly raped by some State's fervor to protect us.
Justice is ultimately political.
(These are all USA references, I've no other experience.)

Your bottom lines of protection are:

*A reasonably correct VIN stamp* upon an un-altered casting. (I have witnessed some very messy ones that were most probably legit.)

*Paper Trail* (including all receipts for all hardware installed.)
(The original subject of this thread must certainly be able to take an HD Dealership's integrity for granted?)

*Bill of Sale* Preferrably notarized, but often a bar napkin will do. A signed title is little more than this. An open title on the other hand, can be a liability.

The wickedest judge may be yourself. Consider your application and intent. If you are a pirate out for a profit, then you risk a great deal. If you are an honest individual enjoying a toy, then professional authorities will probably dismiss you as a 'victim' rather than a "perpetrator".

The mid-'60s VINS were a mess, so if it looks good, enjoy it.
By the way, so what float did it have?.
(I can always change my mind.)

ozwick86
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Re: Impossible FLH engine number

#8

Post by ozwick86 » Sun Mar 12, 2006 7:12 pm

Hello. I recently purchased a beautifully restored '64 FLH Pan from an HD dealer in Richmond Virginia. I got the title papers today -- and while preparing to have the bike shipped out to California I looked at the ID number and seemed impossible to me... The ID reads "FLH12120". Shouldn't it read 64FLHxxyy or 64FLHxxyyy where the x's are even??? This could scrub the deal as California's DMV might not issue a title on it irrespective of the supposed clear title from Virginia... They're getting wise to title-washes (mostly through Arizona). Any suggestions? Is this an alteration or just replacement/aftermarket cases?
Thanks all for any words of wizdom!
Where do you live?

I live in the Bay Area and took my 59 to the DMV in Oakland where they have an inspection station. I didn't have any problems as the guy did not even know that the frame did not have a serial number. I told him, to use the one on the motor.

panache
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Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 2:14 pm

Re: Impossible FLH engine number

#9

Post by panache » Sun Mar 12, 2006 10:46 pm

Guys,

thanks a million for your words of wizdom! I checked back with the finance guy out at the HD dealer today and he personally inspected the engine number -- and it read "64FLH12120". The Virginia title paperwork only listed "FLH12120" -- which is what got me worried. I was pretty sure that the year was part of the engine number. The finance guy then had an old time mechanic at that dealership check it (he's been there 35 years) and the mechanic gave the engine his official okie-dokie. They had both seen engine numbers on bikes over the years which departed from the even/odd rule.
Ozwick -- I'm in the Los Angeles/Orange County area. I'm hoping that the vehicle inspector I get won't get fussy. The last thing I want is to run around in circles waiting at the DMV for days on end. I was out there last week registering an old roadster I got for my dad which came out of Iowa. It was supposed to be a father's day gift -- I guess better late than never... Anyway, I was out there all day. No coffee machine, no vending machine... When I register/title the Pan -- I'm gonna bring a sandwich!

03Roadking
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Re: Impossible FLH engine number

#10

Post by 03Roadking » Tue Mar 14, 2006 5:07 pm

Panache
I live in orange county and just went through this last April if you are a member of AAA they can do a vin verification and register it all at the same time.
If you go to the DMV they will start the paper work for you but then you have to have the CHP do a vin check
the down side is CHP had a three week wait. Also you need to know you have 30 days to complete the registration so if it is going to be a while before the bike arrives in calif. I would wait.
I called the CHP for information and got a hold of the officer that does the verifying He was really hard nose about what he wanted to see and kept repeating "if it's not all original its not a Harley" He went on to say "I have been doing this for a long time and I know what an original frame, Front end, tanks and fenders look like and I have all the books for the vin numbers if the numbers are OK but everything else is not original IT'S SPECIAL CONSTRUCTION and that's how I will title it"
When all of this was explained to me I called the 800 number on my AAA card it took about half of an hour on the phone explaining what I needed but they told my the location closest to my house all I did was put it in the truck (no plates at the time) and took it over and about 1 hour later I walked out with plates and reg.

flash

Re: Impossible FLH engine number

#11

Post by flash » Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:45 pm

:D happy daze are here again.. :D Contemplating a move to the W Coast

kell
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Re: Impossible FLH engine number

#12

Post by kell » Wed Mar 15, 2006 10:00 am

Would I have headaches if I brought a bike into California that has New York State-issued aftermarket engine numbers, with Vermont registration papers that say 1952 HD, and tried to register it? Would the non-OE numbers make it special construction? Insurance rates on special construction/custom vehicles in New York are astronomical. I was able to find an insurer in Vermont that would treat the bike like an ordinary vehicle, but what about CA insurers?

03Roadking
Posts: 197
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Bikes: 1962 Panhead Scooter

Re: Impossible FLH engine number

#13

Post by 03Roadking » Wed Mar 15, 2006 7:19 pm

Kell
I don't think you would have any trouble IF you owned the bike for a while and it is in your name I think where the problems start are when your bringing in a bike out of state and your trying to put it in your name.
When you move into Calif. you have thirty days from the time you make a Permanent move IE establish residency I'm not an expert on this but I asked a lot of questions when I brought my bike in state.
Insurance is the same according to my insurance man IF it's registered as HD then it's an HD But it's almost as much as special construction Because it is a collectors item and according to my insurance guy harder to find parts or replace. If you were to move to Calif. I would just keep the insurance that you have as long as you have proof of insurance it doesn't matter who it's with

rigidpanman
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Re: Impossible FLH engine number

#14

Post by rigidpanman » Thu Mar 16, 2006 11:48 am

panache,i dont want to cause you any concern,but i live in virginia and my title has the complete engine number on it ie,49flxxxx.

ozwick86
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Re: Impossible FLH engine number

#15

Post by ozwick86 » Thu Mar 16, 2006 8:31 pm

03Roadking,

I too called the CHP and had to wait for an appointment but ended up going to the Oakland DMV where they too have an inspection station. No problems and received my plates that day. I did not have to go to the CHP!
I too have insurance with AAA and will remember this if I have to title another bike.

ozwick

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