A Certificate of Title is prima facie evidence of the ownership of a vehicle. Keep in mind that in several state laws (Illinois, Arizona, etc), the definition of a stolen motorcycle is a bike being held by a person who is not in current possession of the Title, or any motor vehicle without a VIN.
Also, federal law requires insurance companies to supply a Salvage Title, Recovered Theft Title, Junk Title or Dismantled Title at time of transfer. The following ten States also use Salvage Titles to identify stolen vehicles - AZ, FL, GA, IL, MN, NJ, NM, NY, OK and OR.
This is how I understand it. Road legal bikes have VINs. OK obvious. Clean or salvage depends on the state laws and so forth. Certain SPS type bikes (or R or SP) will have a VIN "out of range" sold as an off road bike only. Again depending on state could be registered for road use. All of the above will have titles. Now to race frames. Verlichi (spelling?) makes Ducati Corse frames (on RS type bikes). These will have frame numbers from Verlichi and the receipt for the purchase from the original manufacturer is proof of ownership. Pierobon race frames, made in smaller numbers, have no numbers at all. They are identifiable by certain clear construction differences if you know what to look for and cannot be confused with a stock or Verlichi race frame to the educated eye. Shazaam is right. Frames without VINs can be more trouble than they're worth.
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD>Quote, originally posted by brad black »</TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">isn't the frame number the vin?</TD></TR></TABLE>
Maybe it is case of different terminology? Here in the UK the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) is the frame number. Every vehicle has a registration document which I guess would be the equivalent of the Title in the US. Every vehicle has a registration number which is displayed on the "licence plate" so as long as you know the registration number and you can prove ownership new papers can be issued. But in the US I assume the Licence plate number is not related to the Title, the administration of which varies from state to state. So the frame number is not the problem it's the lack of documentation which is.
I thought the same thing Brad. I have never seen any number on a frame but a VIN
I talked to a friend of mine who used to do criminal investigation for the state police and he said they can pull a VIN up even after it has been ground off. They use some chemicals for detection, he said it has to do with the metals grain change where it was stamped.
The way I understand it is this. If you design and build (say) custom Harleys and your production is less than 500 per year you don't need to have a World Manufacturer Code and stamp a VIN on the frame. So you can use a frame number of your choosing, show receipts for all the parts to state authorities, and register the bike as a special build.
Apparently Ducati or their vendor supplied Ferracci with a frame (or entire bike) that was never intended to be registered for use on public roads so no 17-character number (that encodes specific info) was required to be stamped on the frame in order for the bike to be imported and raced.
So it seems that if (truely) there was never a VIN stamped on the frame then you could follow the special build route with this frame. Check your home State's requirements first, however.
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