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Big bummer. I bought a used KLR in August in WA. It had a WA title and WA plates. When I registered it the DOL gave me new plates, took my money and said I'd get a title in 6-8 weeks. Late October I received a branded title. Not happy. End of November I get a letter saying my title is cancelled. The bike was declared junk in W. VA in December 2015. Even though I have a great running bike, the State Patrol will not inspect it for a new title. So stupid. Still trying to work out if I can cleanse it with a titled frame or if the engine is tainted as well.
So, when buying used, which is what I always do, get a vin check. Not sure why it wasn't caught right away by the DOL.
 

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It's a good idea, but it will not catch all title issues especially when they are on-going. If you don't want to take the seller to small claims court, I'd just part it out.
Another option is to research other states. Some will inspect and issue a re-built title, so at least you could sell it to someone from one of those states.
 

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I would add to call your insurance company prior to buying. Ask them to see if there's ever been any claims.

Had a used VTX that I wrecked. Insurance adjusters came out and the most expensive part, the $800 crank case and cover, had been previously reported as damaged. (I couldn't tell when looking at it.) Didn't matter, they denied the extra $800 added to the payout.

***FWIW, they wound up totaling the bike because, at the very last second, the adjuster noticed a scratch on the tiny, chrome passenger foot peg button (on the outside of the peg, about the size of a quarter!) and said it had to be totaled. She said since the peg was attached to the frame, any damage to the peg = damage to the frame!
I was so upset as I LOVED that bike!
 

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California has a salvage title.
Vehicle needs to be repaired, inspected, then a new title with the word salvage on it is issued.

Vehicle is street legal, the only real issue is some insurance companies will not give full coverage on a salvage title.
I've resurrected three trucks and one bike, one issue is when you go to sell, a lot of people will not buy a vehicle with a salvage title.
For me it has never been an issue. I drove the trucks till they had 200k plus miles and sold them cheap, the motorcycle I rode for three years and sold for about 2/3 of what a none salvage title bike would have sold for.
 

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State laws vary and if I recall there are some states where you can get the "salvage" dropped from the title. I think I even recall there were companies that would do all the paperwork for you for a fee. This comes from my automotive background where the late model cars were more valuable. I don't know if it would be worth it for a motorcycle in the price range you are dealing with.

Read more about it by doing a little research.

Here is one short article on it, how to change the title to a "rebuilt" title rather than a salvage one.
"https://www.thebalance.com/how-to-get-a-salvage-title-removed-on-a-vehicle-527543"

BTW: My sister let her husband talk her into buying a rebuilt totaled Honda in Florida where they live. He wanted to save a little compared to a new car. Well, they had nothing but trouble with it and in a few years it looked like crap (very bad paint job) and lots of thing, like the airbags, rear wiper, and more quit working. She tried to sell it and even at a rock bottom price, a third of what a normal model that year would have cost, no one would buy it. She finally gave it to her daughter just to get rid of it.

I would go back on the seller and take action against them if you have money tied up in something like this. But, this may be more expensive than just writing off the bike and selling it for parts.
 

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Two things to consider:

1-Was the bike bought knowing it had a salvage title? If so, this is all on the buyer. There may be ways to get this titled in another state, but since the title is labeled "junk" that may be harder to do. Sort of like the titles for cars that are crushed, they cannot be brought back to life.

2-If the bike was bought with no words from the seller that this is a salvage/junk/flood title, then this is a serious crime. The law is on the buyers side.

On the other hand very few dollars may have been spent and it is not worth the trouble?
 

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Big bummer. I bought a used KLR in August in WA. It had a WA title and WA plates...End of November I get a letter saying my title is cancelled. The bike was declared junk in W. VA in December 2015...Not sure why it wasn't caught right away by the DOL.
I'm trying to figure out how the guy you bought it from didn't know about the WV junk declaration and how HIS title wasn't cancelled.

Or, he did know all of the above, and pawned it off.

Such a bummer either way.
 

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I'm unclear here -- what's the effect of this? Can you still legally ride the bike? Does this affect your ability to sell it later on? Some states don't even issue titles for motorcycles over a certain age.

Every state's title laws are wildly different, and I don't know anything about WA.


Here's an example of how these things work in Indiana. YMMV, of course. My Vee was "totalled" a few months ago when a clueless Illinoisian knocked me off the bike in a roundabout. I wasn't hurt and the bike was rideable. Aside from a few new scuffs and scratches, a broken brake pedal and turn signal, and a bent handlebar, the bike was perfectly safe.

However, her insurance company declared the bike totalled -- many of the body pieces are not even available. They offered a choice -- take a check for the value minus the salvage value and keep the bike, or they haul it away and give me the full value. I took the first option. The twist is that in Indiana, you don't have to get a salvage title if the vehicle is over 7 years old.

So it's perfectly legal for me to pop on a new brake lever and handlebar, patch up the turn signal, cash the check and keep riding, which is exactly what I did. I can even sell the bike if I want to -- the damage is obvious, but even if I fixed it up so you couldn't tell, the accident would show up in CarFax and I would need to disclose it.


Also, legally speaking, the bike is the VIN on the frame. The engine and other parts have nothing to do with it, and any engine numbers don't match or have anything to do with the VIN on the frame.
 

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When I was shopping for a van, I found one that had 119k km's on it and looked clean, but I got the VIN for it, and when checking it showed it had been serviced a few times with mileage noted around 160k km's, so someone had rolled back the odometer. I was so glad I checked, it cost a few bucks, but was worth it. Buyer beware.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm unclear here -- what's the effect of this? Can you still legally ride the bike? Does this affect your ability to sell it later on? .
I can't ride it or sell it because it was branded as JUNK in West Virginia and WA State has cancelled my title. I can sell the parts but the frame is no good for highway use as it cannot be titled (to the best of my knowledge. States vary so much).

I bought the bike in WA. It had a WA title without a brand. The seller had bought it in OR. I assume with out a brand. The seller did tell me that he was told by the PO that it had a different frame and a 2007 KLR650 was titled a 2008. I thought this might affect the title but I was not concerned about having a salvage title or what that might do to the value of the bike.

Yesterday, 12/7, I went to a Dept. of Licensing office to get refund paperwork to recoup my fees and taxes. They ran the VIN and in their system, it still doesn't show as JUNK. Apparently their system doesn't get info directly from the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System. My guess is that as they work through their backlog at DOL headquarters, they eventually get around to a NMVTIS search and that is when the W. VA JUNK brand came to light.

The good news is that a Washington State Patrol officer in VIN criminal investigations has been most helpful and I was able to determine that the engine is not part of the JUNK brand. I'm not certain whether they can tell is it was or wasn't but some internet research found that it was not the engine originally installed in that frame.

I have purchased a frame with a title on Ebay which I have checked the VIN through a Carfax type site. I'll be transferring everything to that frame and (hopefully) getting the bike re-titled. Probably as a salvage.

Going forward, a VIN check for $15-$25 would have saved me a ton of trouble.

For those wanting to do western state BDRs or offroad camping, I really like older the KLR650's. A well set up KLR is way better off road than a Vstrom. At least my '06 Vee. Easier to pick up and less to break in a fall. Stock 6 gallon tank, a comfy seat, and pretty good luggage capacity, especially compared to more dirt oriented bikes. And old ones are cheap! YMMV
 

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Sorry to revive an old thread, but this speaks to my exact issue

I have purchased a frame with a title on Ebay which I have checked the VIN through a Carfax type site. I'll be transferring everything to that frame and (hopefully) getting the bike re-titled. Probably as a salvage.
I am about to spring for a DL1000 frame with "clean" title from ebay and then moving parts from a running bike with a broken frame into the "new" one. I was hoping someone could chime in with experiences in doing so--both good and bad. I'm especially interested in the process of getting a title and license in California on such a vehicle.
 

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...For those wanting to do western state BDRs or offroad camping, I really like older the KLR650's. A well set up KLR is way better off road than a Vstrom. At least my '06 Vee. Easier to pick up and less to break in a fall. Stock 6 gallon tank, a comfy seat, and pretty good luggage capacity, especially compared to more dirt oriented bikes. And old ones are cheap! YMMV
Yeah, the '07-earlier bikes really hit a sweet spot for a certain type of rider. Just good enough on the highway, just enough dirt capability, in a lot of ways it's the perfect dual sport bike. Flip side of that is that it does nothing well, and so a lot of people end up with a love/hate relationship with it.
I know a guy whose had a KLR 4 different times. Got tired of it sold it, re-bought...etc. The oddest thing is that it was THE SAME BIKE! :)

I've never understood what Kawasaki did with the 08+ bikes. Significantly less ability off-road, barely perceptible increase on-road.
 
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