Vintage Dirt Bike Q & A

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 10:49 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 4:11 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Westmont, NJ, USA
I live in NJ and have a couple dirt bikes. Never worried too much about titles and stuff as they were not street legal. Wonderiung though what happens if I'm out riding in the woods down some trails and get stopped and the rangers want to check paperwork? Well currently I won't be stopping because I have no paperwork. I know my XR200 wasn't stolen and I'm almost positive my Elsinore wasn't (guy had it for over 15 years, pics and all to show back when it was pretty new). I mean it's not hard to outrun the law in the woods but I'd rather not have to deal with that aggrivation. What do you guys do to get your undocumented bikes documented and proven to be your property, as far as Big Brother is concerned?

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 8:30 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2007 9:03 pm
Posts: 39
Location: Sparta, Wisconsin
I took a quick look at the State of New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission web site. In addressing dirt bikes, NJ says,

Dirt bikes can only be used on private property and cannot be titled or registered. Insurance is optional.

I looked to see if you could register a dirt bike as an ATV, but no dice. As long as you are riding on private property, with the owner's permission, you should be good. If you are caught on State or County land, don't try to run from the Bunny Cops. That is a bad idea, and they will likely find a way to hunt you down. If you get caught on State or County land, stop, take the citation, and push the bike out. I doubt that any judge would confiscate the bike, unless you are a habitual offender. If you are riding on private property without permission, that isn't a good idea.

Steve Amling

1976 CR 250M
1980 Yamaha DT100G
1980 XR 200
1981 CSR650

PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 8:55 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 4:11 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Westmont, NJ, USA
I stopped once and took the citation. Never again. Thankfulyl they believed why I didn't have registration documentation to prove my bike wasn't stolen. That and they ran the VIN and it wasn't flagged as stolen. They said normally they take bikes if there is any doubt in their mind as to whether it's stolen or not. They actually asked me and my buddy why we stopped, saying most people run.

In any event, my ATV that my buddy was riding is registered and insured in my name so he just got a ticket for riding on state property (go figure, my taxes pay for the "state" yet I can't use "their" [my] land). NJ liberals would be happy to be rid of all ATV, dirt bikes, and 4x4 trucks.

Anyhow, that being said... I usually ride in a pit and the outlying woods. Many people ride there and I've asked one of the property owners what the deal is with them and people riding. They aren't thrilled with it but they don't mind so long as people don't make a mess or start fires.

Personally I've put out one large brush fire in the pit that would ahve caught the whole woods on fire if I had not put it out (I think other riders started it). I also have made several trips back there and have loaded my truck with trash and scrap (a lot of people dump illegally in these woods). Property owners don't know it's me that's cleaning up but I like to take care of the places I ride. It's the least I can do.

Regardless, I won't be stopping for any staties in the future. This state's government doesn't respect those that make it nice and plump with taxes and fines so I'm sure as heck not gonna contribute to their fat and let them fine me and take my bike. Can't stand that liberal attitude.

Perhaps the answer is to get a CR250MT or something like that which has been titled and is street legal so I can beat that up in the places I ride that I pass through "state property", and have my CR250R for more limited use fun.

In any event, I'll just be putting on my asbestos suit now... I imagine there's gonna be a lot of heat directed my way any moment now. :o

PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:11 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 10:35 am
Posts: 254
The thing to check is if there is any record of it at the DMV. I am in California and they are pretty tight on doing you any favors.

Kind of hard to organize this in a coherent way but here goes.

Our records go back 10 years, I imagine N.J. is about the same. If it hasn't been registered in the last 10 years they will have no record.

If it has been registered in the last 10 years, they will have the legal owners name and expect a paper trail from them to you.

There are lots of people that do registration for a fee. Some of these are kind of pricy, I've seen up to $300. You 'paper work' give them your bike and they register it in Canada, Barbados, you get the picture, then send you title. I've had this done in North Carolina for a boat that was never legally transferred through half a dozen owners.

If you want to deal with your local DMV 1st do the "I'm checking title for a friend" to see if it is still on the books. If the answer is yes and stolen or liens against it, leave.

VERY IMPORTANT! If there is no record then there is a time limit for transferring ownership. Even if you had the bike for several years, get a friend to fill out a recent bill of sale. Something along the lines of "I am the legal owner of this motorcycle but I can't find the pink slip and have sold it to cadunkle for $100." Have them sign it "Harry Canyon" and remember: You bought it at a yard sale and can't find the address again.

Once you have title and want to get it registered, you will have to bring it in to a DMV or Highway Patrol station for inspection.


 Post subject: CT Info
PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:52 pm 

Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 12:10 pm
Posts: 1010
Location: Connecticut, USA
I just wanted to share two recent experiences registering dirt bikes in CT. I was able to register a '74 Honda CR125 and '75 MR175 with full street (not ATV) plates.

The magic number in CT is 1981; bikes made before then don't require a title, only a bill of sale. I filled out some preliminary paperwork and got a temp tag, then drove home, put it on, and rode back to the DMV. The CR had lights and a speedo (both temporarily borrowed from the MR, and non-functional) and since the MR had a CR ignition, only the speedo worked on it.

All they wanted was to compare the chassis VIN to the one in my application (maybe they had run it through the computer in the meantime, I don't know) and check for the presence - not function - of an odometer. That's it! Both inspectors were really cool, as were several of the counter guys inside too - who expects to find four bikers (three dirt, one street) working at a single DMV office? This was in Danbury, CT.

This is not the way I remember the DMV operating. :)


'74 CR125M (175cc), '75 MR175, '82 RM250Z, '08 YZ250F, '14 Zero FX electric, '14 Zero MX electric, '18 Alta MXR electric

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