Motorcycle without a title

An upcoming auction nearby advertises an attractive motorcycle that is
"without a title".
I am highly reluctant to even consider, because I do not think that I
could register or sell it. I wanted to double check here to see if
there is any way to register a non-titled motorcycle, which I doubt is
the case.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus19458
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Would be one thing to sell parts from it, getting it on the road could be quite difficult.
If you have a buddy in the police or DMV you could have the VIN run and get a hold of the last titled owner.
What kind of bike?
Dave
Reply to
Dave__67
Slap a lien on it!
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--Winston
Reply to
Winston
The illinois dmv or sec. of state should be able to answer your question. I called them many years ago on the same type of deal and the answer was no. Took a pass, not worth the risk or hastle.
Best Regards Tom.
Reply to
azotic
Most states have legal procedures for dealing with untitled vehicles. Check your DMV.
Reply to
Ed Huntress
I was able to title and register a 64 Honda S90 in California. It took my best Gandhi technique at the DMV to find the right person and get her in a cooperative mood. In the end, I got a title and registration by completing a statement of facts, a bill of sale, a physical check of engine and frame serial numbers and a small handful of cash for documents and "late fees".
I have heard that there's another technique. Allegedly there are states that will title and register a vehicle with nothing more than a bill of sale. You send an agent the bill of sale, he registers it in his state, sends the paperwork back to you and you transfer the registration to your state. Never tried it, don't know if it works.
Reply to
Jim Stewart
I am guessing 1970s or 1980s... thanks
i
Reply to
Ignoramus19458
What state? In Mexifornia, you can take the VIN to the DMV and they can either find the title, or generate a duplicate. Or, if it's a total orphan, like smuggled into the country or something, they can probably make one from scratch after a thorough inspection, but I can't swear to that.
Good Luck! Rich
Reply to
Rich Grise
In the 70's, I collected a fair number of Ducati singles, some without title. Different state, and things have changed a lot here. But basically, with a bill of sale and a signed non-op from the seller, DMV would run the plates. If there were no tickets against it past the expired license, it was a pretty simple matter to re-register it. Oh, probably helped that my mom worked for DMV at the time and knew exactly how to navigate the system.
I'd call your local DMV and ask first, can this be done these days, in your state, and if so, what do you need from the seller/auctioneer to cover yourself.
Jon
btw, you never got back to me regarding how old you think those erector sets are.
Reply to
Jon Anderson
This is a Russian Ural motorcycle, hard to pass up.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus19458
Oooh, they're cool, especially the ones with the two-wheel drive. Does it have that? I'm told it's an option.
I've seen three or four of those things now, the first one ridden by a young lady in Lexington, VA. The last one was in my town in NJ. They seem to be getting popular.
Reply to
Ed Huntress
My Gilbert's Erector Set came to me in 1960. They'd been around for quite a long while, though.
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How did you date yours? The pictures on the boxes are a good guide.
-- A sound mind in a sound body is a short but full description of a happy state in this world. -- John Locke
Reply to
Larry Jaques
Igor!
There are ways to get a new title, but they can be frustrating and time consuming - So don't pay too much for the bike unless you're willing to navigate that minefield - If the VIN comes up stolen you just rolled Snake Eyes, and good luck unwinding the sale. If it's a military bike coming in from Europe, that might be worth the hassles.
And you're being in Chicagoland, I guarantee that if you hit the wrong clerk the process will be hella complicated unless you... {ahem}... "grease the wheels" a little. (Research the vehicle codes and know the process before you begin - it's in there. Then you'll know when they deviate from the script.)
And if you can't tell, I'm Really not fond of doing things "The Chicago Way". If it was me, the response would be "Will you take a check? How do I spell your name, Mister..." and be prepared to run. Then go find another DMV office - and this time have your pocket recorder running.
Basically, you have to provide some sort of solid bill of sale or proof of ownership - that goes back to the registered owner if you can. They'll title search the existing VIN, and then there are various ways they can get it issued a new title and tags. You might have to post a small bond certificate in case the "real owner" shows up and claims it.
And sometimes the state will insist on issuing you a new VIN that you have to stamp into the chassis. This also happens on custom cars and bikes and homemade trailers.
Or in my case, a Tow Dolly that had a factory issued VIN - that DEMCO typed on a sticker 25 years ago, there's no way in hell you can read it now. I called the factory, it's not stamped on the axle, they didn't start that till recently. Only saving grace is, it doesn't really need title and tags to use it - but it might be nice to ID it if it does ever "walk away."
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Reply to
Bruce Bergman
Parts only, but even then, if the numbers are from a HOT bike, you could be in more trouble than any money you could make off the bike.
Steve
Reply to
Steve B
In the mid 80's my brother worked for a hobby shop that was into high end RC stuff. He somewhere, somehow, made contact with someone in Russia, and was trying to work a deal to import RC engines and other hobby related stuff. I really don't know much about his dealings, other than it fell apart, but he did get a shipment of stuff. He gave me two erector type sets made in Russia.
I'm doing another FS Picasa album like I did for the books, but with tools and stuff. I emailed the link to Iggy to see if he could translate and tell me anything about them, and he responded that he wanted to buy them, and the deal was done. I had thought they dated from maybe the late 50's or early 60's, from the look of the components.
Iggy, if you ever build them up, post pics!
Jon
Reply to
Jon Anderson
I would just investigate for this case, and for future ones. I went to DMV over a trailer that had no title. They had me fill out some papers that had the VIN and explained how I got the trailer, etc. They issued me a new title when the numbers came back clear. I don't know how sticky they are on m/c vins, but I would think an old one would probably not be traced or even recorded with as much diligence as a car or truck. The files and numbers are probably buried by time and inattention. You may be pleasantly surprised to find you can initiate a new paper trail. And if it is hot, you just release it to the police, and after a time, you may have a chance to buy it back. Again.
Steve
Reply to
Steve B
Steve, I took a pass on it. It was a messy situation, a dealer selling through another auctioneer's auction, looks like too much marketing, too much hassle, and too little paper trail.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus10693
That's a shame, Iggy. Did you check with the DMV to see whether it would be simple or not?
I've read through some of the posts here and wondered at how much trouble some people seem to have had. I've recovered two motor vehicles that had no title -- both in Michigan, and both in the early '70s. One was a car; they identified the last registered owner and I gave him $10 to sign a note saying he'd abandoned it. The other was a motorcycle. It had been written off for insurance. All the DMV had to do was find the record that it had been claimed as a loss, and they issued me a new title the same day.
It might be a lot simpler than you think. The VIN or whatever serial number might be on it should give you enough to check with DMV to see what it's status is. Then it might, or might not, take only ten minutes of paperwork. At least you'd know.
Reply to
Ed Huntress
"Ignoramus10693" wrote
Yabbut ........ for future incidents, it may be profitable to at least understand what the process is for your state. If it is not that big a deal, maybe other bidders would be put off by a lack of title. That's when you swoop in and get it cheap. If it is a long involved hassle, then pass. But some motorcycles are worth more for parts than for the whole bike. A friend of mine makes good dough on old obscure parts he finds at yard sales and such. He was a racer in the sixties, and knows old stuff. He picks up things for a buck that he then sells for waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more than that. Just know the law, know your parts, and then go from there.
Steve
Reply to
Steve B
Recently, Junior bought a write off bike from his wife's uncle (out of province) and spent the winter getting it ready for the road only to discover that this is not possible in Ontario. I guess there have been too many cars coming in from the east with circumferential welds, indicating that the front and rear suspension left the factory on different vehicles, so no vehicle that has been written off can be re-licence in Ontario. Fortunately, Junior made a profit by selling the refurbished bike back to the uncle from whom he bought it. Gerry :-)} London, Canada
Reply to
Gerald Miller

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