Vin# on motor altered

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Jul 23, 2005
I'm contemplating the purchase of a 74 850 from a reputable shop. The bike has lien papers and has been there for a number of years. The lower end was swapped out years ago. At that point they attempted to restamp two # on cranckase to match frame # and it's obivious. My question is would i ever be able to succesfully get this bike registered. And whats going to happen at a chp vin verification. Would i be better of if i did buy it and buy new cases? Which would be a shame to go thru all that work because bike is good runner and the motor sounds great. Need some sound advice. Thanks
Most reputable shops don't sell stolen merchandise so if they have the proper documentation to sell this bike don't sweat it. There are many reasons for engine numbers not to match and if you are really concerned about it take two donuts and a large coffee over to your local police station and ask them their opinion before you buy :p
In most states all the dmv cares about is the frame number. I think there are a few states that do register both engine and frame numbers though so you might want to check with your dmv about that. When I lived in Cali they didn't care about engine numbers but that was a long time ago.

Sounds like someone tried to make himself a "matching numbers" bike but botched the job huh? A guy in our club just bought a basket case that appeared to have matching numbers. Only thing was, it was an early 750 frame with an 850 motor! Both were stamped 14xxxx :lol:

The shop in question has been around 20 years that i know about. They mostly do italian cars and scooters and just dabble with bikes. The bike was part of an inventory purchase from a bike shop that went out of business years ago. They have all the lien papers and will give me a receipt. I guess as long as the # match the paperwork i should be fine. I'm looking to keep this bike as a rider,so i don't care about matching and correct vin#. The bike is complete and stock.It does light right up and idles well and it's cheap($1400) so i don't think i can go wrong. Just as long as it's not taken away from me by the man. Do they still do that?

Don't discount the fact that the factory sometime mis-stamped cases and restamped them to match the frame. Although restamping two numbers is probably rare. My Mk III had one number restamped; evidently a bit too much ale at lunch or the lighting at the factory turned down to save electricity. I would say the chances of someone finding cases that have all but two numbers matching the frame might be very difficult; also does the font match the original or is it obviously different? In any case as long as the paperwork matches the frame number your probably ok. :)

After looking at the stampings on my 71 commando, i guess the ones on the 850 aren't that bad. The numbers don't make sense from anything in the books. The #s are too early (750 range) I'll post them when i get home. I think they took the numbers of the gearbox. But as long as i get tags i don't care on this bike. I'm going to enjoy the later engineering and do what your suppose to with a norton, RIDE! Thank you all for your positive feedback.
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