49 panhead number issues....of course

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49 panhead number issues....of course


Post by hdterry2000 » Sun Sep 28, 2008 7:47 pm

Hello all....I am looking at a 1949 Pan. Very original. Looks good, runs good, etc. The only issue is of course the numbers.....The title is clear and the DMV says it is OK. The Case numbers match the title, so far so good. Well, I got a good look at the numbers, and they are the wrong size and wrong font. I asked the old guy, and he said the cases were replaced and stamped to match the title. He has owned it since the late 60's. So should I bite or run away? What are the options?

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Re: 49 panhead number issues....of course


Post by Cotten » Mon Sep 29, 2008 12:02 am

Boogered is boogered.

The machine is worth what the rest of the pile of parts is worth to you. The cases are a liability.



Re: 49 panhead number issues....of course


Post by Guest » Mon Sep 29, 2008 12:30 am

Is there any paperwork that I can get or anything I can do to correct the situation? I really don't think anything is stolen since I know the guy and the way he is. I am ok with owning the bike with the numbers like this, but I want to make sure that it can't be confiscated or something like that? How do people work this when they buy cases off of Ebay and replace engines?

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Re: 49 panhead number issues....of course


Post by FlatHeadSix » Mon Sep 29, 2008 2:17 am

The way the smart guys work it is to ONLY buy cases, or bikes, with good numbers. Even if the numbers match the paperwork, incorrect fonts, boogered numbers, or numbers that don't match the format that the factory used are suspicious in the eyes of law enforcement in many states. Even mere suspicion will get your bike confiscated in places like Daytona.

You can still buy un-numbered aftermarket cases for the pans and there are still lots of OEM NOS un-numbered flathead WLA cases floating around. Then, for $500 to a $1000 you can buy a set of factory font number and letter stamps. Then, if you or some other craftsman can master the art of duplicating the factory technique of punching a serial number onto the case so that it looks legit, you're all set.

Or, you could save yourself a LOT of heartburn, and money, and buy the cases, or bikes, that already have good numbers.



Re: 49 panhead number issues....of course


Post by 1950Bobber » Tue Sep 30, 2008 4:00 pm

As Cotten said, IF the bike IS worth the parts, you WILL need new cases.

So, you can buy aftermarket cases (STD, S&S, Delkron, CAL Products left case, etc) and re-assemble your MOTOR ONLY OBVIOUSLY using these new aftermarket cases because these cases (except CAL Products cases) WILL COME WITH A GOOD MSO (Manufacturer's Statement of Origin) that ALL DMV accept, given your '49 will have a good legal title when you buy it. It is in this situation, according to DMV, just a VIN change...some DMV's will want to inspect it after the re-build, some will not need to inspect before issuing you a NEW TITLE with the MSO as your new VIN. This may mean of course, your HD is no longer a '49 on the Title....but it's yours and it is legal!

If you really want this bike, buy it without reservation knowing there will be $$$ outlay to buy new cases and dismantle and rebuild the motor into these new, aftermarket cases.

Is the '49 a good deal from this old gent? PICS????

Jim in Seattle "1950 Bobber"

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Re: 49 panhead number issues....of course


Post by VPH-D » Tue Sep 30, 2008 5:41 pm

After the machine has had the cases replaced, and been titled as a 2008 " special construction", the value is now about 1/2 to 3/4 of what it once was. Is this machine worth it?

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Re: 49 panhead number issues....of course


Post by hdterry2000 » Tue Sep 30, 2008 9:45 pm

By the sounds of this, it probably is not such a good deal. Based off of the replys even if I did buy it I would always feel like the cops are going to take it away at any minute. I will pass on this one and keep looking.........

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