VIN verification

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I recently bought a Mk3. Took it to the DMV for VIN verification. The engine number, aluminum "Federal Tag" number and title all match. The frame number is an f# and does not match. Couldn't reason with the inspector.

Going to have to have the CHP verify the VIN. Does anyone have a definitive resource that will help me convince them that the frame batch number didn't match the other numbers when manufactured. The more official looking the better.
Thanks
 
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There is a number stamped on some frames which may be a batch number [italian frame?] this number is not used for Id.
Al
 
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You won't find anything official - the company that made these is long gone. !
DynoDave has researched this better than anyone.
Don't match, then do match.
http://atlanticgreen.com/commandoframes.htm

The NOC in UK have some details for Commandos. ( but the later info is not complete ?)
If the CHP have other info, they can't have....
 
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possm said:
There is a number stamped on some frames which may be a batch number [italian frame?] this number is not used for Id.
Al

Sorry not in NZ maybe but in my case in germany this is the number that they do use ! when in Rome :roll:
 
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-big long winded bash at the DMV deleted-
Sorry, no definitive resource help.
Even so, what possible argument can there be if you have the previous title regardless of where the number appears on the vehicle? A DMV visual handicap perhaps. They can run every number on the bike and without a hit would that be good enough for them to accept the existing title as valid? I mean what good are the titles if they won't be accepted?
A copy of the prior registration and a notarized bill of sale may be of help.
Sometimes it can help to speak in person with your local police to seek advice on how to proceed.
I called, identified myself as a resident considering purchase of a used Norton and asked how to verify if a motorbike was stolen. He ran both numbers I gave him right there on the 'phone. Some of them are alright.
All the best.
 

L.A.B.

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Ready to Ride said:
Does anyone have a definitive resource that will help me convince them that the frame batch number didn't match the other numbers when manufactured. The more official looking the better.

I think Andover Norton have the surviving records for the Mk3 period, so they may be able to verify if the particular frame 'F' number belongs with the plate/engine number.
 

illf8ed

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Sounds like you're in California (CHP). If you have the title and bill of sale, why are you bringing the whole motorcycle to DMV for inspection? Just bring the paperwork. Don't go back to the same DMV office.
 
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Bring a copy of my article...
Bring a Commercial publication such as a Roy Bacon book.
This should be enough for a person with 2 brain cells.
If no joy, then consider the source as another brainless Government enforcer and take what ever paper they will issue if it gets you on the road.
The government document is a tax collection receipt and has the same value as toilet paper. Then you and knowledgeable norton people will know what you mean when you use the Norton VIN 325XXX+ number for a MKIII.
 
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illf8ed said:
Sounds like you're in California (CHP). If you have the title and bill of sale, why are you bringing the whole motorcycle to DMV for inspection? Just bring the paperwork. Don't go back to the same DMV office.


I have one better. If you have AAA just go to their branch and register it there. They never get out of behind their desks.
I haven't been inside a DMV in about 20 years. They'll do anything to get to go outside.

Assuming you are in Cali.
Canadian Highway Patrol?
Carolina Highway Patrol?
Colorado Highway Patrol?
Connecticut Highway Patrol?
Thats all I can think of.
Calixico?
 
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If you are in California (?) then the DMV will require VIN verification if the bike has an out-of-state title and you are trying to register/title it in California.

That being said, if the current out-of-state title lists the same serial number that is on the plate and engine, and the DMV is giving you a hard time, I would agree with the post that says to take it to a different DMV office. It sounds like that particular inspector is a problem.

I had what could have been a much more difficult problem with my bike. The Florida title it had when I bought it had some bizarre VIN (most likely a previous title #) that didn't match anything on the bike. The DMV of course, wouldn't process it when they tried to verify it. I went to the CHP, they looked at the plate, went back in their office for awhile (probably checking their theft databases), signed off a form, and told me to take it back to the DMV. That was it, the DMV titled/registered the bike with the correct number.

So, having gone through a process that would seem to be worse than yours, here are my suggestions:

1. If you have an out-of-state title and the number on the title matches the number on the plate/engine, take it to a different DMV office and try again. Don't even mention the frame number to the inspector, just direct them to the plate/engine number if the inspector seems confused. I would guess that will be end of it.

2. If you have to go to the CHP it will probably work out just fine. It's not that big of a deal, just don't do a lot of talking... Smile and nod...
 

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Don't tell the DMV anything they don't need to know. Go to a different DMV. They haven't a clue where the numbers are on the bike. If they insist on verifying the number just show them the one that matches the title and hide the strange one somehow (rub some oily dirt in it). Don't give them anymore information, keep your mouth shut as much as possible. I had a 30 year old MD title (but in my name) for my bike and when I registered it in VA they didn't even want to see the bike and I didn't even offer. They didn't ask any questions and I didn't give them any reason to. Just gave them the one time fee of $60 for antique plates and walked out.

Dave
69S
 
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illf8ed said:
Sounds like you're in California (CHP). If you have the title and bill of sale, why are you bringing the whole motorcycle to DMV for inspection? Just bring the paperwork. Don't go back to the same DMV office.


The motorcycle is "out of the system" in that it has not been registered since 1986. They require VIN verification when this is the case. I'm hoping that the CHP will have a little more latitude and reason may prevail.
 
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DogT said:
Don't give them anymore information, keep your mouth shut as much as possible.../quote]

Second Dave's comments totally... Especially with the CHP. I made the mistake of talking too much at first and at one point I swear he reached for his sidearm... Also make sure you have an M1 endorsement or they will impound the bike. They said that actually happens fairly often.
 

ZFD

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Give me the details and I will check. Got the original (paper) Mk3 despatch records.
There is a lot of bulls**t about on the numbers. No 850 had the same frame and engine number if it was stamped with a frame number ex-factory. 850s have 3.. ... engine and 850F1.. ... frame numbers.
Often at first registration this was not noted, as the visible red frame tag gave the ENGINE #- the frame number was stamped into the frame on the r.h. side of the steering head and often hardly visible (frames were stamped first, then coated/painted).
The Italian frame saga is but a saga. Most Commandos had (Italian) Verlicchi frames, including 750s.
Joe Seifert/Andover Norton
 
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ZFD said:
Give me the details and I will check. Got the original (paper) Mk3 despatch records.
There is a lot of bulls**t about on the numbers. No 850 had the same frame and engine number if it was stamped with a frame number ex-factory. 850s have 3.. ... engine and 850F1.. ... frame numbers.

Have you read DynoDaves website on this, noted above?
From examples, seems to give the true story of what actually appeared on frames, over time.

Maybe you could add some detail, if there is anything lacking ?
 
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ZFD said:
Give me the details and I will check. Got the original (paper) Mk3 despatch records.
There is a lot of bulls**t about on the numbers. No 850 had the same frame and engine number if it was stamped with a frame number ex-factory. 850s have 3.. ... engine and 850F1.. ... frame numbers.
Often at first registration this was not noted, as the visible red frame tag gave the ENGINE #- the frame number was stamped into the frame on the r.h. side of the steering head and often hardly visible (frames were stamped first, then coated/painted).
The Italian frame saga is but a saga. Most Commandos had (Italian) Verlicchi frames, including 750s.
Joe Seifert/Andover Norton

Joe
I have had somewhat of an obsession about nortons since I got my 2nd one in 1987.... Is it not true that about 50% of all commandos came to north america???

I have been studying this majority of the commando VIN numbers starting before frame # were even introduced. I have been to over a dozen national norton rallies, You tend to get a very large sample of bikes to study. A small snipet of this research is in my web article. I can assure you my eyes don't deceive me and in early 75 the 850F frame # had acquired/incorporated the VIN (you refer as engine) in some units....I own 2 myself where the VIN...IS... incorporated into the frame ID# and I own other early (73-75) ones where the more common earlier numbering series is maintained.
This country USA uses VIN as a legal term and not "frame" number. Hence the thread title "VIN verification".
My 51, 52, 63, 66, 68, 71, 72, 73, 74,75 all use the 5(early) or 6 digit VIN in every state I have done business with..only with offering the addition of the model # on the early bikes. The frame ID# has NEVER been a legal factor for "my" 73-75 commandos, they have always accepted the aluminum plate VIN . It only becomes a factor in situations where particular jurisdictions have problems with wording of their laws.

What do you show for
I own VIN 330046 Mar-75 frame #850#F130370#
VIN 332473 May-75 #850#F332473#
I also own VIN 333906 7/75 frame #850#333906# (no "F") new, never registered, test riden 7 miles on speedo, never had a wrench on it until 2004. The engine has still never been out.
 

L.A.B.

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ZFD said:
There is a lot of bulls**t about on the numbers. No 850 had the same frame and engine number if it was stamped with a frame number ex-factory. 850s have 3.. ... engine and 850F1.. ... frame numbers.

My 7/75 built 850 Mk3 has matching frame and plate numbers. Both are 33419* .
The frame number also has the '850' prefix and the standard and "3 lines in a circle" limit markings (shown as = #): #850#33419*#

[Edit: last digit not shown]
 

ZFD

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Well, my know-it-alls, the records I have are not as detailed as they should probably be. For example:

What do you show for
I own VIN 330046 Mar-75 frame #850#F130370# Production batch #401, tested 02-04.75, packed 04.04.75, despatched from No.2 works 09.04.75
VIN 332473 May-75 #850#F332473# production batch #461, 23.05.78, 2.6.75, 25.6.75;
I also own VIN 333906 7/75 frame #850#333906# (no "F") new, never registered, test riden 7 miles on speedo, never had a wrench on it until 2004. The engine has still never been out. batch#501, 2.7.75, 7.7.75, 11.7.75

For none of these I have frame numbers because these are not in the "Norton Commando Despatch Record" book I have. This obviously does not prove that they have the same engine- and frame number- Dynodave's bikes show that- it just means they were not recorded in my existing books.

Only from 333682 onwards first for a few, then from 334725 onwards for nearly all the dealer/distributor resp. the "Liquidator" is listed to whom the bike was delivered.

In the Book "Norton Commando Record of Destination 320.000 - 329.999" all frame numbers are listed. And, no, they are NOT identical with the engine numbers.

For numbers 334191-99, again no frame numbers or destinations are listed in the Mk3 Despatch records I have. I can not remember if my Mk3 335113 I bought new had a frame number or not (that is 34 years ago- bike is now in England with it's second owner, last I heard). Many Commandos, from what I have seen most, never had a frame number when they left the factory, many were stamped later when registration authorities demanded to see a frame number in the frame. Most 850s were registered under the engine number because that was often the only number on the bike, and in anglo-saxon countries the identity of the bike- nobody was concerned about the frame, the engine was the bike (same for 750s, but then with 750s that was correct!). So if somebody had to stamp a frame number he/she would most probably stamp a 3.. ... engine number for it.

This is the best I can come up with!
 
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It is unfortunate you class us as "know it alls" If you review past posts we are just clarifying YOUR statement

"No 850 had the same frame and engine number if it was stamped with a frame number "

Because in fact there are many examples of later bikes that the frame # DID include the plate(VIN)/engine/gearbox # instead of the conventional earlier 73-75 frame numbering system.

" This obviously does not prove that they have the same engine- and frame number- Dynodave's bikes show that- it just means they were not recorded in my existing books."
IMO, A statement like this undermines your credibility.

I also don't like bull**it, and am happy to try and find the truth but I won't be a party to revisionist history that trades old BS for new BS.
The failure of your books does not disprove my claims
Any person with 2 brain cell that will examine my example bikes or many other here in north america will be convinced they are not forgeries, and do in fact show what I claim:
1. there are frames that follow the early # series and
2. later bikes have a frame # that DOES include the VIN
 

L.A.B.

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ZFD said:
Well, my know-it-alls

Really it's just a case of knowing what our eyes tell us.
5640113f.jpg


ZFD said:
Most 850s were registered under the engine number because that was often the only number on the bike, and in anglo-saxon countries the identity of the bike- nobody was concerned about the frame, the engine was the bike (same for 750s, but then with 750s that was correct!).

That's certainly not correct for the UK (if you count the UK as an Anglo-Saxon country?) where the 'chassis' or 'frame' number of a vehicle is always taken to be the vehicle's primary identifier-not the engine number.


ZFD said:
the records I have are not as detailed as they should probably be.
For numbers 334191-99, again no frame numbers or destinations are listed in the Mk3 Despatch records I have.
This is the best I can come up with!

Thanks for checking, however by your own admission, I think you must agree that you don't have all the answers, so perhaps you are in no better position than anyone else to judge exactly what is, and what is not "bullshit".
 
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