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Old 12-14-2016, 04:32 PM   #1
Phrank
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Default Buying a 1971 Harley Engine - No Title

From what I understand, for Harley, 1970 and later (for the most part) the title corresponds to the VIN on the frame. So what would happen if I buy a Harley engine that didn't have a title because the title never directly corresponded to the engine numbers (of course Harley can always connect numbers, but the point is, the title was connected to the frame at the time).

I was hoping of dropping the engine into a new frame that would come with an MSO.

I don't want to by a stolen/hot engine.

1a. Is there a chance the engine could be from a stolen bike?

1b. Is there a chance someone down the road could say my engine belongs to them and was stolen?

2. Is there a way to check if the engine was stolen?

3. Will my (eventual) special construction MSO titled bike have to follow modern regulations like turn signals? Or are special constructions general exempt?

4. How do people generally go about legitimately buying older Harley engines that do not have a title?

Any help is appreciated.
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Old 12-14-2016, 04:56 PM   #2
govmule84
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Default Re: Buying a 1971 Harley Engine - No Title

1a. Yes.
1b. Also yes, but a bill of sale and some info from the seller would help minimize 1a & 1b.
2. Depends what year the Shovel is. In 1971, your frame and engine should match. Later Shovels wore an abbreviated frame VIN on the engine. If you run the number on the engine, and the frame was ever ripped off, it would probably come up. However, unless you know where the frame ran off to, it's perfectly possible someone in your state or another is running around with the same numbers. Apehanger Hank just had this same proble, I suggest you read his vignette about that very occurrence.
3. If you SPCN in PA, you technically need that stuff. However, Enhanced Inspection occurs at independent shops, so getting in touch with the one you're gonna use near you is a wonderful idea. Remember, they do need to take pictures. Rullo near you has a blog article on it, and does this work regularly. I'm not endorsing them, I just know they know this part of the biz: http://blog.rullocustomcycles.com/20...cycle-and.html
4. Buying without a title is a bad idea unless you want to jump through the necessary legal hoops and go see the judge. Not to mention you might get burnt. I find it's usually cheaper in the long run to buy legitimately-papered bikes. You probably will, too.
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Old 12-14-2016, 05:01 PM   #3
Phrank
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Default Re: Buying a 1971 Harley Engine - No Title

Thanks, Mule.

To clarify, it's an Ironhead, not a Shovel.
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Old 12-14-2016, 07:57 PM   #4
WhizzbangK.C.
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Default Re: Buying a 1971 Harley Engine - No Title

In Missouri, and a few other states that I know of, if you want to use a '70 and up engine in a SPCN bike you need to have a bill of sale, signed by the owner of the bike, along with a front and back copy of the title showing the matching VIN and the same owners name on the title, notarized is best. This proves that you purchased the engine and that the seller had a legitimate right to sell it to you.
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Old 12-14-2016, 09:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: Buying a 1971 Harley Engine - No Title

I have a '83 motor in the feeder. Here in Ohio, you have to have it titled special construction. It has to be inspected by the BMV and has to have all the stuff a stocker has (turn sigs, horn, mufflers, etc.). The motor has to have a notorized bill of sale. Even with the notorized bill of sale tho, if the numbers come back hot, it's on you. A friend of mine just had his motor come up questionable and all they wanted was the cases, they could care less where he got them. Sucked that the bike was already built. If you know someone, or can get in touch with someone who is state police, they can run the engine number through their larcony crew to make sure the motor doesn't come up hot during inspection. I had mine run several times and it came up clean.
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Old 12-14-2016, 11:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: Buying a 1971 Harley Engine - No Title

in CA the DMV law says you can only build one SPCN in your lifetime.

so make it a good one...I guess.
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Old 12-15-2016, 03:19 AM   #7
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Default Re: Buying a 1971 Harley Engine - No Title

https://www.nicb.org/theft_and_fraud_awareness/vincheck
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Old 12-15-2016, 04:19 AM   #8
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Default Re: Buying a 1971 Harley Engine - No Title

Building a bike from a pile of parts, even with all the required paperwork in hand is a big pain in the ass imho. If I ever do it again, it will have to be a very sweet deal on a very sweet engine. No more spec-cons for me. My next 2 builds will be an ironhead, and another shovel, both from titled baskets. Both have already been checked and all paperwork done..... now just to find the time.
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Old 12-15-2016, 05:18 AM   #9
govmule84
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Default Re: Buying a 1971 Harley Engine - No Title

Quote:
Originally Posted by nefareous View Post
The only thing that sucks is that if you're scoring an engine, and the VIN is still legitimately running around on a frame somewhere, that site likely ain't gonna tell you about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motocrash View Post
Building a bike from a pile of parts, even with all the required paperwork in hand is a big pain in the ass imho. If I ever do it again, it will have to be a very sweet deal on a very sweet engine. No more spec-cons for me. My next 2 builds will be an ironhead, and another shovel, both from titled baskets. Both have already been checked and all paperwork done..... now just to find the time.
Already-titled SPCN frames are a breeze. If you've bills of sale/MSOs for the other shit, that's an easy way to go.
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Old 12-15-2016, 07:46 AM   #10
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Default Re: Buying a 1971 Harley Engine - No Title

I went through this in NYS. I had the engine from a bike that was still registered in NYS that now had an S&S engine. I had photocopies of the title for the still registered bike along with notarized bill of sale. I was made to come back for a second inspection and had to bring the bike that the engine came out of to prove that it was all legit. Luckily I was friends with the guy that owned the bike that the engine came out of so I could pull this all off. Not sure how it would have gone if the purchase was made through a stranger or if I had no access to the bike.
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Old 12-16-2016, 09:11 PM   #11
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Default Re: Buying a 1971 Harley Engine - No Title

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motocrash View Post
Building a bike from a pile of parts, even with all the required paperwork in hand is a big pain in the ass imho.
I actually really enjoy it that way, it's surely a challenge though.
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Old 12-22-2016, 09:12 AM   #12
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Default Re: Buying a 1971 Harley Engine - No Title

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phrank View Post

I don't want to by a stolen/hot engine.

1a. Is there a chance the engine could be from a stolen bike? yes

1b. Is there a chance someone down the road could say my engine belongs to them and was stolen? yes, regardless of whether it was reported stolen.

2. Is there a way to check if the engine was stolen? People will refer to an online check, but in my experience and opinion, the ONLY way to do this for sure is to have law enforcement run the number. And unless you know someone, you will have to show up with the equipment to have the VIN run, and then risk losing it if it comes up bad.

4. How do people generally go about legitimately buying older Harley engines that do not have a title? I don't, generally
See red text above. And I'm speaking from experience.
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