Motorcycle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was looking for a motorcycle online and I found a 1970 Honda Scrambler CL450 for $700. The only problem is, the seller does not have the title. I spoke to him, he claims that the original owner is deceased, and he acquired the motorcycle in a storage container purchase. He gave me the VIN number and a friend of mine ran it, it came back with NO information. No owner, no title, not stolen. I'm very interested in purchasing this bike, what should I do to get it titled and legal? I'm in Pennsylvania if anyone has advice please let me know, thanks.
 

·
Save them all!
Joined
·
4,278 Posts
You will have to do a bit of research about your particular state laws. Call your local town hall or state DMV office and ask them.

In NH it's very easy - you just need a bill of sale and a blue form filled out to verify it isn't stolen to register it. I've owned early 70s bikes which had to be manually entered into the system.

Other states it's very difficult - no title, no registration.

You'll have to make some calls - where are you from?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I'm in Pennsylvania, I read somewhere that you need to be able to prove the owner isn't alive/they sold it. Which means taking ads out in the paper, and get a court order. I dint know how credible that information is.
 

·
Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
Joined
·
14,301 Posts
Personally, I would steer away from it
 

·
Aging & Worn
Joined
·
4,516 Posts
I'm having a hard time believing that a VIN search didn't come up with ANYTHING! I mean, I believe you and all that, but how could a VIN number just vanish from the records?

-soupy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I found it especially strange considering my father has a 1950 Harley that has records, is it possible that it was NEVER titled to begin with?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
For the record, I had it checked at a messenger service near my house, that said nothing. I then had it checked by a friend of mine who is the chief of police in my town, still nothing. He said as long as it isn't stolen, which it isn't, it should be easy to get a title for it. Can anyone verify that? I don't feel like getting a bike and not having it be street legal.
 

·
Subversive
Joined
·
416 Posts
Ask your local DMV or search for the issue for your state, it almost certainly is explained online in great detail. There will be a procedure for getting a new title..

Oh and you could also probably get some cash knocked off his asking price since you'll have to go through the "risk and trouble" of getting a new title..
 

·
Aging & Worn
Joined
·
4,516 Posts
Not to belabor the issue, but............

If the bike was built by a Licensed Manufacturer, it had a history.
If the bike was built in a typical Production Line scenario, (not a Prototype) by a "Licensed Manufacturer," it would have been given a VIN number (Production number).
If the bike had a VIN Number (which is more likely than not), and you (apparently) can still see it and read it, it must be traceable unless all records of the Manufacturer and any subsequent owners were destroyed (why, how, who knows) or lost.

I dunno......maybe it was former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's bike, and he had all the records disappear or something.

I wouldn't waste my time on that bike..........to much hassle!

-Soupy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
167 Posts
I once got a title through a place in Alabama. Filled out the info, sent with $150, they sent me an Alabama title. I then had it transferred to a Louisiana title.
 

·
Gone
Joined
·
23,907 Posts
I looked up the title process for Pennsylvania and it seems the original owner of the title registered with the state is the only one that can get a duplicate.

There may be a different procedure to go through for a buyer in this situation, but my guess is that it will not be cheap or easy.

Time and money will likely be better spent searching for another motorcycle with a clear title.
 

·
MODERATOR
Joined
·
8,579 Posts
I'm having a hard time believing that a VIN search didn't come up with ANYTHING! I mean, I believe you and all that, but how could a VIN number just vanish from the records?

Our Government is so efficient that it somehow, someway loses very important things all of the time. Think Lois Lerner of IRS fame and Hillary Clinton's entire career of obfuscating and losing even top secret emails from an illegal personal Server. Both LOL at the rest of we citizens.

The Mokies, Okies, Kokies and Arkies in this semi-literate geographical area try to "SALE" bikes and vehicles of all kinds, all the time on Craigslist with no title. I would think that the Department of motor vehicles would investigate these offerings.

Just steal a bike and sell it---usually for parts that have no VIN.

Sam:biggrin:
 

·
Troublemaker
Joined
·
2,517 Posts
I had a title signed from a previous owner of a 1974 Honda in the same state I live in. When I went to transfer it to my name, the DMV said the serial number on the bike and title matched, but were invalid. There was no record of the serial number anywhere but the bike and the title. I had a hard time getting insurance on it too because of that. Finally had to have an assigned serial number, similar to a custom manufactured bike would have.

I couldn't imagine what would have happened if there were no title to begin with. I know I will never buy a bike without a title, it's not worth the hassle.
 

·
American Legion Rider
Joined
·
23,543 Posts
Ah, but look at the learning experience you had. People pay big bucks for book learnin' like that.:D
 

·
V65 Junky
Joined
·
446 Posts
This is a sort of common scenario.

Vehicles aren't in the system because they are so old and the records were not automated back then.

I do this sort of thing for a living and it does come up occasionally in my line of work.

The current owner should be able to get the bike registered in his name. Then you can buy it with a clear conscience. Otherwise pay parts bike value for the bike and do it yourself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,488 Posts
Sat on the side of the road with a Texas highway patrolman about 3 months ago about my motorcycle endorsement..Texas recomputered in 2006 they try to say anything before that is bogus...carry the documentation with me.....took the road and written test Jube of 1970.....just tell em sometime. they will understand..
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top