Legality of no ownership | GTAMotorcycle.com

Legality of no ownership

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bigpoppa

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Was looking at track bikes for fun, saw some that looked nice, priced good, but had no ownership...I know its not that relevant since your never going to be riding it on the street...but wont someone(the police?) come looking? How often are stolen bikes turned into track bikes?

If im not mistaken....cant you just go to MTO with a vin and get ownership if it was simply lost overtime? I know it requires some legwork...


Also Im assuming they have a system in place...since bikes that cant be registered for street use(due to title issues/branded)
are probably sometimes tracked as well? They do inspections at the track before track days/advanced riding courses/racing?
 

smergy

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I don't know that anyone keeps a tally, although I image some are, my guess would be through a 2nd or 3rd sale where the owner is unaware they are in possession of stolen property. I suspect not everyone does, or even cares to go through due diligence if the price is attractive. I can't say I've ever myself seen police checking bike VINs and have only seen them at the track in the last 10 years twice. Once for a car event and once because I think they were just bored rolling through. I've never seen them actively check VINs. There are stories, perhaps if they have solid enough info they might, but I would imagine the wiser move for stolen stuff is just to part it out and do something about the VIN/frame that doesn't trace back to the theif. Pure speculation.

Usually what happens is there is just a chain of bills of sale back to some original owner. Some race bikes are sold without VINs from the factory or through special channels. I know a number of owners that have brought them over form the US as a 'collection of parts' (import Form 3), at which time the VIN is simply blacklisted, but there is no ownership with it. Fully legit, but you can never register it. Vehicles can have a competition designation.

All bikes go through tech at the track (no coolant, make sure everything is attached, not leaking, etc.), but no one is looking at the VINs if that's what you are asking.
 

bigpoppa

Well-known member
What I meant by inspection is...say a bike had a hard crash and was deemed salvage/irreparable for some reason or was one of those shady quebec bikes that cant be put on the road in ontario...an unsuspecting buyer might buy it as a track bike without realizing the history..never get it safetied and take it to the track...whats stopping you from taking a possibly unsafe bike to the track that has say for instance possible damage to the frame?

Guessing the inspection/tech would catch or look for that sort of thing yeah?
 

Brian P

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The short answer is that you are on your own. Your responsibility for ensuring that your bike that you yourself is sitting on at 200 km/h is safe, starts and ends with YOU. A piece of paper that says an insurance company has, or has not, written it off doesn't mean ONE THING.

Not many race bikes more than a couple of seasons old have not been crashed. See above paragraph.
 

Trials

Well-known member
The whole thing is, the VIN is stamped on the frame and that is the only number the government cares about but meanwhile the rest of the bike is actually made up of more expensive parts.

Thievery sucks in all forms and I absolutely hate it but I expect it is outside the realm of racing organizations to even care, the government doesn't even care they sell recovered stuff at police auctions, they are not trying to reunite people with their property from what I see.

Go for it, build the track bike (y) you'll probably crash it once or twice in honour of the previous owner anyway.
 

Trials

Well-known member
...whats stopping you from taking a possibly unsafe bike to the track that has say for instance possible damage to the frame?
Tech inspection if you are riding something like the isle of man.
... if you are severely lucky it would get spotted, otherwise it might be a glorious crash.
 

Brian P

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Tech inspection applies starting at the most basic of track days. But they are NOT going to find hidden faults such as a frame that has seen a major fatigue cycle from having been bent in a crash and then bent back. They only check a select list of readily-visible items. (Do you have safety wire on the oil drain plug, do you have tires that are in appropriate condition, does your axle nut have the lock pin through it, do the front and rear brakes work, is there an engine shut-off switch, etc.) The responsibility for your bike being in suitable operating condition out on the track starts and ends with YOU.

The title of the thread inquired about the "legality" of not having ownership paperwork. Again, the responsibility for having a bike that the police or customs aren't going to come looking for, starts and ends with YOU given that you are not getting a license plate through the government for a track bike. And there are all sorts of various reasons for not having ownership paperwork, some legal, some not.

a) Bike has legit VIN, but has been a race bike since day one, so nobody ever bothered to register it, so there's no paperwork. Lots of factory race bikes are like this. If you were to go digging for paperwork, somewhere out there is NVIS paperwork (from the original manufacturer) that applies to that bike but was never put through to convert it to government ownership paperwork.
b) Bike has legit VIN, and was registered by a previous owner, but at some point a subsequent owner never bothered in the interest of not paying taxes in the course of doing the ownership change, so there's no current paperwork. The trouble here is that, as far as the government is concerned, that piece of property (the bike) belongs to someone else. This can be fixed easily if the previous owner (who owns it as far as the government is concerned) can be tracked down: Re-print the ownership, write up a bill of sale, put it through the normal ownership-transfer process including paying your taxes. If the previous owner can't be tracked down, or is unwilling or unable to participate for whatever reason, it might be a little more complicated.
c) Bike had a legit VIN at some point, but in the course of being a race bike, someone thoroughly crashed it, bought a new frame (which comes unstamped!), and never bothered to have the VIN stamped upon it. Aside from not having the VIN stamped upon the frame, situations a) and b) above can still both apply. The trouble here is, how do you know the ownership paperwork that someone is handing to you, actually corresponds to that bike, without being able to compare the written VIN on the paperwork to the stamped VIN on the frame? I know of a situation in which this happened, and the previous owner actually SOLD the ownership paper (independently of the bike!), and despite the bike in question being a desirable one, my suggestion was to run far, far away, because bikes don't magically duplicate themselves. That ownership paper that was sold is probably now attached to a stolen bike, and now the bike itself which has a blank frame and for which the ownership was sold, magically exists without a VIN. You do not want to have anything to do with this situation.
d) Stolen. 'Nuff said.

"Who's going to find out"? Well, if you ever want to do a track day across the border, customs at the border are fully entitled to ask for your paperwork and compare it to your actual goods in your van or trailer to demonstrate that you are legit.

Or, if situation d) applies, and a (rightly) ticked off previous owner is on the lookout, and sees something familiar ...

I have seen police cars cruise through the paddock during track days or race weekends. You (as a private citizen) have no idea what they are up to when they do that. Maybe they're looking for something.

Both of my race bikes, both the now-retired one and the current one, have legit paperwork and I'm the registered owner, I've paid my taxes, and the OEM VIN stampings and labels are all there and intact. This way, there can be no hassles. I will not have it any other way.
 
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Trials

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I had a cop check my VIN in 1974, I was riding my TS90 lol he did not have one clue what he was looking for, went straight to the motor serial number and mumbled something about people altering the numbers with acid or some such nonsense. :/ on a 90cc dirt bike, sure dude. If it was stolen he still would have never figured it out.
 

bakaboy

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Guess I would have trouble selling my race bikes. Ex factory, US Salvage, unstamped frames, engine swaps....

The list goes on

I think I have only had a few ownerships in my hands of the 14 odd track bikes in the last few years.
 

mbroyda

Well-known member
have 1 ownership for the 5 track / race bikes i've owned, and US boarders can be crossed with a bill of sale.
 

Trials

Well-known member
You can register almost anything before you cross the border, they issue you a piece of paper stating what it is, how to identify it and that is what you show customs on your return so that they know you took it across the border.
 

Brian P

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Sure, it's fine to do it that way, and there could very well be no issue with legality ... but look at this from the point of view of a prospective purchaser of the vehicle who doesn't know the history of the vehicle, doesn't know who to talk to (many people in the roadracing community may know the history of the bike), doesn't know what questions to ask. Legit ownership that matches the VIN stamped on the vehicle and printed on the compliance sticker makes the situation really easy. Anything else means questions need to be asked and it COULD mean "stolen property", and it could mean the bike in question is destined to only ever be a track bike (which may or may not be an issue to you). The onus, as the prospective purchaser, is on YOU.

I have everything needed to theoretically put both of my race bikes back to street legal and get a license plate and insurance for them, should I decide to do that ...
 

Winales_2017

Well-known member
have 1 ownership for the 5 track / race bikes i've owned, and US boarders can be crossed with a bill of sale.
I didn't realize why the previous owner went to such great lengths to ensure that he gave me all the paperwork he had with him upon sale (title/bill of sale) for what was an ex-carb class spec bike from the E. Coast until I realized that it helps if/when you get pulled over with one an a pig is sniffing around for something to get you on or are crossing borders to different tracks.

Turns out the guy was in the Intelligence agency, too. We spoke about some of his missions in Iraq and Afghanistan while we were strapping the thing to the Uhual trailer I rented.

Personally, I used to drive my track car to the track so I didn't understand that at all, it wasn't until recently that I've been trailing my car/bike to the track but I've never been asked by scrutineering to produce any paperwork, either. Hell, I've done it at Pike's Peak International Race Way and all I did was looking for spec tires, leaks and intact body panels and off they were.

Anecdote: I bought an F2 side project for $250 without anything and didn't even think about it as the guy was a local track guy that worked in the auto Industry and we knew each other from mutual friends. It was unfinished, and unassembled but the OEM fairings alone were worth that much on ebay. My advice is buy from other riders/mechanics, even if it comes with a higher price tag, that way you have an idea of what you're getting into and can ask about what the thing was like before you bought it.
 

Rossi86

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To each his own, but I'd never buy a race bike without proper paperwork to trace the origin of the bike. Ideally, I'd want something with a clean title that I can convert back to street if needed to ride on the street, or to sell it later. Currently, have 3 GSXR1000s all have clean titles, 1 started as a factory race bike for CSBK. 2 were street bikes converted to race, 1 of the 2 I converted back to street 2 years ago to ride when I'm bored.

Irreparable title is fine, you can register it on your name at the MTO. Had a track GSXR600 with an irreparable title years ago, and I knew I was buying it only to track it. Just harder to sell, ended up selling it to someone who was taking it to South America. It had an ownership, it was good enough for him there.

If the frame has a VIN number but no ownership, I will just walk away regardless of the price and the aftermarket parts on it. Years ago, I was looking at an ex Pro CSBK 1000 cc bike, that was relatively new for the time, it had a VIN on the frame but no ownership. Really wanted to buy it, ran the VIN online, it didn't come up as stolen. But I still walked away as the seller couldn't produce the ownership. IMO not worth taking the risk of potentially being charged criminally with possession of stolen property down the road.

If the frame is blank with no VIN, and bike was built after buying the frame, I'd ask for the original frame bill from the manufacturer and consider that as the ownership. If the seller doesn't have the original frame bill from the manufacturer, how would you know this blank frame race bike was not stolen from a legitimate owner at some point? Again, not worth the risk IMO. Years ago, I wrecked a GSXR750 and the frame got bent. Got a blank frame and I still cut the original frame and kept the 2 VIN sections of the frame, gave those to the new owner when I sold the bike eventually.

No paperwork to trace the bike at the manufacturer = walk away!
 

mbroyda

Well-known member
To each his own, but I'd never buy a race bike without proper paperwork to trace the origin of the bike. Ideally, I'd want something with a clean title that I can convert back to street if needed to ride on the street, or to sell it later. Currently, have 3 GSXR1000s all have clean titles, 1 started as a factory race bike for CSBK. 2 were street bikes converted to race, 1 of the 2 I converted back to street 2 years ago to ride when I'm bored.

Irreparable title is fine, you can register it on your name at the MTO. Had a track GSXR600 with an irreparable title years ago, and I knew I was buying it only to track it. Just harder to sell, ended up selling it to someone who was taking it to South America. It had an ownership, it was good enough for him there.

If the frame has a VIN number but no ownership, I will just walk away regardless of the price and the aftermarket parts on it. Years ago, I was looking at an ex Pro CSBK 1000 cc bike, that was relatively new for the time, it had a VIN on the frame but no ownership. Really wanted to buy it, ran the VIN online, it didn't come up as stolen. But I still walked away as the seller couldn't produce the ownership. IMO not worth taking the risk of potentially being charged criminally with possession of stolen property down the road.

If the frame is blank with no VIN, and bike was built after buying the frame, I'd ask for the original frame bill from the manufacturer and consider that as the ownership. If the seller doesn't have the original frame bill from the manufacturer, how would you know this blank frame race bike was not stolen from a legitimate owner at some point? Again, not worth the risk IMO. Years ago, I wrecked a GSXR750 and the frame got bent. Got a blank frame and I still cut the original frame and kept the 2 VIN sections of the frame, gave those to the new owner when I sold the bike eventually.

No paperwork to trace the bike at the manufacturer = walk away!
so just to clarify, you wouldn't buy a race bike without an ownership?
 

Rossi86

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so just to clarify, you wouldn't buy a race bike without an ownership?
Nope, not worth the hassle. If there is a VIN on the bike, there is an ownership and someone has it registered somewhere. Would you ever sell a bike without an ownership? Someone could get caught doing something stupid with it on the street, and it will come back to you. How are you going to explain to the cops you sold the bike but kept the ownership? If I'm parting a bike, the ownership is going with whoever buys the frame...

I've seen plenty of kijiji ads "it's a track bike, it has no ownership," I'm surprised those guys don't attract police attention. Even blank frame bikes with the original dealer a bill of sale for the frame, you could be running a risk. Someone could steal a relatively new bike worth $15+ K, they go and buy a blank frame from the dealer for about $2K, then transfer everything to the new frame and sell it for $12K. I'd buy a blank frame bike with papers only if it's coming from someone reputable I know from racing, I'll get them to sign the original bill with the engine number written in the bill.
 

Slick_Steveo

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lots of tinfoil hats here.... tbh, we have had few race bikes with ownerships and some with none.

We've bought wrecked bikes from autowreckers with clean titles. We have sold bikes that have ownerships and the buyers, for whatever reason didn't even want the paperwork signed over. We sold a bike once, advertised as bill of sale only, 2 weeks later, the guy had buyers remorse and wanted to give it back.

We have also built a bike with all major components, including frames, purchased from ebay.

@bigpoppa.... Bottom line, ask questions about the bike's history, ask around about the seller, the racing community in Ontario is fairly small and so is the trackday community....
 
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Trials

Well-known member
Never heard a competition specific bike that had an ownership. Bill of sale maybe but ownership is the term applied when you plate a bike for road or public trails in Ontario, if you buy a motocross bike how are you going to get an ownership for that, it's intended for close course competition only. It ain't happening any more then a professional race car driver would have ownership for his formula 1 race car.
 

Wingboy

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I have ownership for my ty175.i think i could blue plate it.
 

Trials

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That's because when you and I were young it took almost nothing to plate a bike and yes you could if it was previously, anything that was designed back in the leaded fuel era needs zero pollution control anything right up until somebody reports your plate# as being a smoking vehicle
 
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