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Thread: So what makes a motorcycle?

  1. #1
    Registered User talmadge_w's Avatar
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    So what makes a motorcycle?

    OK, we've all replaced parts for repair or upgrade purposes but what part(s) if replaced create a different bike legally? I'm guessing the frame or engine case?? Only a slightly hypothetical question as I'm considering taking over a long term project bike and few if any pieces would be original by the time it's running again.

    Anyone been through the process of registering a salvaged Frankenbike?
    Talmadge Wright
    '12 R1200 GSA
    '14 R nine T

  2. #2
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talmadge_W View Post
    OK, we've all replaced parts for repair or upgrade purposes but what part(s) if replaced create a different bike legally? I'm guessing the frame or engine case?? Only a slightly hypothetical question as I'm considering taking over a long term project bike and few if any pieces would be original by the time it's running again.

    Anyone been through the process of registering a salvaged Frankenbike?
    The VIN is on the frame. Engine swaps happen a lot and it is titled as the same bike. Wreck it and need a new frame and then you get a new frame # and a lot of paperwork.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  3. #3
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    The frame ID is what determines what the bike is.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  4. #4
    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
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    I'm considering taking over a long term project bike and few if any pieces would be original by the time it's running again
    I'm in this boat too. I've been collecting bits and piece for a sidecar tug project for a couple of years now and am just about set to start assembly.

    If I build my own frame, which I plan to, how does the state go about identifying the machine? There will be no "title" per se, and no "bill of sale" from a previous owner; just a receipt for tube and plate material from the steel yard.

    Growing up in Indiana we had "Constructed Vehicle" VINs that were issued once a custom built vehicle passed a safety inspection that was performed by a local Law Enforcement Office in your driveway. You then created you own VIN tag with a set of alpha/numeric stamps on a metal strip and affixed it to the frame in two prescribed (by the State) places and you were good to go.

    I'm guessing (and I am) that that ain't gonna be the way it is in California today.
    "It is what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden

    Lew Morris
    1973 R75/5 - original owner

  5. #5
    Registered User talmadge_w's Avatar
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    Given all the custom chopper guys on the West Coast there has to be a method in place for California. Given some of the designs I've seen out there the engineering and safety hurdles can't be too high!
    Talmadge Wright
    '12 R1200 GSA
    '14 R nine T

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