1949 registration

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Angelking
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1949 registration

#1

Post by Angelking » Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:28 pm

Hi everyone, my first post here. I will start off with a controversial question.

The set-up.

I have a custom bike currently registered in the state of FLorida as a 2006 ASPT(assembled by parts).

The three main components, frame, motor and transmission are on file with the DMV for this titled and registered bike.

I am looking at a 1949 Panhead motor to replace the shovelhead currently in the bike. The motor is titled and registered in Iowa.

Here are the problems. THe engine cases had been replaced at some time with 1953 cases. The numbers boss was ground down and new numbers stamped to match the title. The 4 and the 9 apparantely are not the proper "font". The owner has a paperwork trail clear back to 1970 showing this number along with a current title.

I have been told by several people much more knowledgeble than me this may or may not be a problem. If it was the motor with only a bill of sale they would walk away. Since it has a title and is currentlly registered it should be okay.

I have also been told that in the 40's and 50's Harleys were registered with just the motor number and not any type of frame VIN.

He says if I install this motor in my aftermarket frame it now becomes a 1949 Harley. Of course this has huge advantages when it comes time to register in a new state, possibly Georgia.

So the question is, would you walk away or snap it up(based on legalities)?


Thanks

AK



Ohio-Rider
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Re: 1949 registration

#2

Post by Ohio-Rider » Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:38 pm

As soon as I see a ground down VIN pad and bad font, I'm walking. Find an engine with out all the questions that one is bound to bring.

Angelking
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Re: 1949 registration

#3

Post by Angelking » Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:03 pm

Ohio-Rider wrote:As soon as I see a ground down VIN pad and bad font, I'm walking. Find an engine with out all the questions that one is bound to bring.
I just spoke with a DMV inspector and he said basically the same thing.


AK

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Re: 1949 registration

#4

Post by steve_wood » Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:13 pm

I would walk too. The aftermarket frame isn't worth that much - it's easier to buy a new one that suits your goals. The transmission - not sure there. It might be worth something if it hasn't been booggered. The engine, given that it no longer has a 1953 VIN, is good for two things: A daily driver type bike, or parts. Most folks are looking for genuine vintage stuff so the engine isn't what they need.

Just my .02.

Angelking
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Re: 1949 registration

#5

Post by Angelking » Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:58 pm

steve_wood wrote:I would walk too. The aftermarket frame isn't worth that much - it's easier to buy a new one that suits your goals. The transmission - not sure there. It might be worth something if it hasn't been booggered. The engine, given that it no longer has a 1953 VIN, is good for two things: A daily driver type bike, or parts. Most folks are looking for genuine vintage stuff so the engine isn't what they need.

Just my .02.
I want to be clear about this. This is a motor only I am looking at. The owner says the in that time period, the motor is the bike. as long as you have the motor and a matching title you have a motorcycle.

My bike is the one with the aftermarket frame. I built this bike and I want to put the panhead in it. The owner of the panhead says if I put this titled 1949 Panhead into my frame, the ASPT registration goes away and it becomes a 1949 Harley. No more "special construction".

My two questions were, was the above statement true, that it becomes a 1949 harley........ and..... if the numbers match the title and the motor has a current title and registration, would this be a cause to walk away from it? He has the paperwork trail from clear back to 1970.


AK

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Re: 1949 registration

#6

Post by steve_wood » Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:19 pm

AK:

Okay, the current owner is correct in saying that "the motor is the bike". In those days, the only serial number was on the engine, so if you had just an engine with a valid serial number, you could theoretically resgister it as a motorcycle.

You could probably get it registered as a 1949 with the current paper trail. Even if you didn't have a scrap of paperwork, you could get it registered at International Title Service as a 1949 as long as you are willing to swear an affidavit in front of a Notary public or equivalent stating that it is not stolen and it is what it is supposed to be.

But here's the bottom line: The bike will not have the same value as an unmolested 1949 (or 1953). This will affect the resale value and it will make it harder to sell.

Can you wait a while? Panhead engines come up for sale on ebay on a regular basis.

Angelking
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Re: 1949 registration

#7

Post by Angelking » Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:39 pm

steve_wood wrote:AK:

Okay, the current owner is correct in saying that "the motor is the bike". In those days, the only serial number was on the engine, so if you had just an engine with a valid serial number, you could theoretically resgister it as a motorcycle.

You could probably get it registered as a 1949 with the current paper trail. Even if you didn't have a scrap of paperwork, you could get it registered at International Title Service as a 1949 as long as you are willing to swear an affidavit in front of a Notary public or equivalent stating that it is not stolen and it is what it is supposed to be.

But here's the bottom line: The bike will not have the same value as an unmolested 1949 (or 1953). This will affect the resale value and it will make it harder to sell.

Can you wait a while? Panhead engines come up for sale on ebay on a regular basis.
I understand what you are saying. Thanks for answering the question about the titleing(sp.) I just wanted to make sure he was up front about my ASPT bike becoming a 1949 Harley. In Georgia, I understand you are not allowed to register a special construction bike. In order to register my bike I will have top go this direction(purchasing a used titled motor).


Thanks

AK

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Re: 1949 registration

#8

Post by Kuda » Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:47 pm

Angelking wrote:I understand what you are saying. Thanks for answering the question about the titleing(sp.) I just wanted to make sure he was up front about my ASPT bike becoming a 1949 Harley.
Theoretically yes, the motor is the bike title. BUT, if you stuff a '49 motor in an obviously aftermarket frame, you *may* have trouble at the DMV when it comes time for an inspection. Here in MD, most folks will buy/borrow/beg a stockish looking frame, toss the motor in there and get it running, get through inspection, then pull it down and do whatever they want (in some cases that means 22" apes, no front brake, straight pipes, etc., stuff that would never pass inspection). I guess I'm just a little worried about using anything that's obviously not stock *before* you get it inspected for titleing...

-Kuda
'49 panchop

Angelking
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Re: 1949 registration

#9

Post by Angelking » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:08 pm

Kuda wrote:
Angelking wrote:I understand what you are saying. Thanks for answering the question about the titleing(sp.) I just wanted to make sure he was up front about my ASPT bike becoming a 1949 Harley.
Theoretically yes, the motor is the bike title. BUT, if you stuff a '49 motor in an obviously aftermarket frame, you *may* have trouble at the DMV when it comes time for an inspection. Here in MD, most folks will buy/borrow/beg a stockish looking frame, toss the motor in there and get it running, get through inspection, then pull it down and do whatever they want (in some cases that means 22" apes, no front brake, straight pipes, etc., stuff that would never pass inspection). I guess I'm just a little worried about using anything that's obviously not stock *before* you get it inspected for titleing...

-Kuda
'49 panchop
My question would be, if you present a title stating it is a 1949 Harley, why would there be any need for an inspection?

Do they inspect all bikes?





AK

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Re: 1949 registration

#10

Post by steve_wood » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:27 pm

From everything I've heard, it varies from state to state. Even from inspector to inspector within a state!

I know that when I was in MA, I had to get it inspected by a licensed mechanic. Some of these guys would be able to tell if it was an old motor in a new frame, and they might not sign off on the inspection. That could be risky for you.... what recourse would you have if that happened? At best you'd have put the other engine back in and get it re-inspected. And even that could fail too!

I guess that even if you got a perfect 1949 (or any other panhead engine) and put it into the aftermarket frame you would be running the same risk.

Sorry man, I know I'm probably bringing you down, no disrespect intended.

What about keeping your current ride and buying an old panhead and restoring it? You'd get lots of help from the folks at this website :)

bbhf
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Re: 1949 registration

#11

Post by bbhf » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:44 pm

Just my 2 cents worth, but i think if you bring in vehicle from out of state it may have to be inspected despite the year: bbhf

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Re: 1949 registration

#12

Post by john HD » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:52 pm

AK

i'd walk on this deal. all you are doing is buying up someone elses problem. any alterations to the number pad will cause you nothing but trouble.

your present bike is aok with florida keep it that way. as steve mentioned just wait a while, in this market something else better will pop up for you.

you may want to get a motor/bike/basket case from a non inspection state such as wisconsin. you will recieve a title signed over to you. then present it for registration in your home state when it is ready to run.

john

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Re: 1949 registration

#13

Post by FlatHeadSix » Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:35 am

AK

That 53/49 engine is a HUGE can of worms, the lid is already off, and you can't put it back on. The alterations to the serial number will haunt those cases (and their owners) for the rest of their days.

We'll assume that the registration, title, 35 year paper trail are all valid. The fact remains that the numbers have been altered. It may be perfectly acceptable as long as it remains in the corn fields up in Iowa but it most certainly will bring trouble when you try to reregister it in most any other state.

Florida, for example, has some of the toughest scrutiny you'll find anywhere. The bike could be perfectly legal in every respect but if you left it sitting on the street in Daytona during bike week they would probably impound it, they watch that closely. If there is any question at all about the validity of the numbers they will assume that they're bad, the benefit of doubt always goes to the boys in blue. If you are lucky they may return most of the bike, everything except the VIN pad which they have literally busted out of the case with a BFH. It won't make any difference if you win the legal battle, the cases are shot. At the very least they might grind the new numbers off and acid etch the pad to determine the original numbers, either way the cases are now junk.

unless you can buy the whole thing for fifty bucks it isn't worth the headache, walk away!

mike

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Re: 1949 registration

#14

Post by Cotten » Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:55 am

Boogered is boogered.
Except when it's only been boogered.

...Cotten

biker_k
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Re: 1949 registration

#15

Post by biker_k » Wed Jan 07, 2009 3:11 am

I'm not 100% sure what it is like in your state, but I would bet it's standard process in all states now. If you need to register a bike and are using a title from another state. The bike WILL have to be inspected. Even if it's a 49, you will most likely have to tag the frame with a blue tag and that will become your new VIN. That's what happened to my 49. Didn't matter that the number and title matched at all, when I brought it to my state, they tagged the frame. It's registered as a 49, the motor number is on the title, but it also has a blue tag with the frame/VIN number assigned by the state.

Now....it may be a different process if you have a complete restored bike that is in running condition. But, I believe that you'd have to get a collectors vehicle registration in order to keep the blue tag off the frame when changing states. Mine is not a restored bike. It's a chopper with a panhead motor. I couldn't get them to drop the blue tag even though I talked about it and asked questions for about 20 minutes. I even asked....what if I find a 49 rolling chasis and plop that engine in it? The answer was that I'd better replace the blue tag or get it retagged or I'd risk having the bike impounded.

My suggestion would be to follow Cotton's take on it. A boogered number is a boogered number ....period. I probably wouldn't risk it.

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