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Need expert opinion on VIN Knucklehead FL 1946

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Steve Slocombe View Post
    Pete Reeves and I now operate as advisers to the UK Vehicles Administration as to whether bikes, mostly Harleys, should be granted historic plates. I'm sure other AMCA members work for State agencies in a similar capacity. In the UK the identity of the bike goes with the frame, and they are more relaxed about replacement engines. We still find recently restored basket case WLA/WLC bikes left here after WW2, sometimes with altered engine numbers, but these can get UK papers if the frame is original. However, we have already seen a knucklehead and a Harley 45 with repro frames which will have to be registered as new bikes and meet the appropriate regulations. It's amazing what people will buy on eBay, import to the UK, and think it will be easy to put on the road.
    Purely curiosity on my behalf: Given that pre 1970 H-D's have no frame ID how do you achieve "the identity of the bike goes with the frame"? If it's a case of the authorities stamping a number into the frame why not a repro frame as well, assuming the rest of the bike is OEM?


    • #32
      Originally posted by Chris Haynes View Post
      There may be more than one accurate repop. But one will undoubtedly be the best. :-)
      The point I am trying to make is even if a part is the best reproduction available it must be accurate ,
      Points are likely to be deducted if it looks different from an original part.

      Pete Reeves #860


      • #33
        Dear Peter, a new frame is not historic for the UK registration authorities, in the same way that it is not antique for the AMCA. Lack of frame numbers on early Harleys does not stop them becoming UK registered, as a number stamped previously may be found on close inspection, or a frame forging number used. For the WLA/WLC bikes still being found and restored, the engine belly numbers and the frame die forging numbers give a good guide to dating.


        • #34

          I guess I don't understand the UK frame registration thing at all. As Peter has suggested no frame prior to 1970 and certainly no frame prior to 1962 , when anti-theft codes were introduced on HD's, would have anything more that what could be called nomenclature identification or forging numbers and a possible/probable month and year stamp for production. How can you use any of those to register a whole bike? Every bike would have the same casting numbers for that year and every bike built in a certain month would have the same month/year stamp. I think I understand the theory but don't see how it works in practice. While I know some DMV folks across the country think there are matching numbers on engine and frame components on all bikes that is simply not the case and when I have explained that for the majority of HD' history vehicles were registered solely by the engine number they seem to accept that and move on. Just like the odometer reading on 36 and earlier bikes. I explain it was an option and not required and some folks didn't spring for the extra bucks so no odometer and hence no accurate mileage is available. I know I am missing something here but for the life of me can't see what it is. If you can shed some light on this, great! If you want to wait until Oley I will see you there.

          Tom (Rollo) Hardy
          AMCA #12766


          • #35
            Dear Rollo, some 1920s Harleys did have frame numbers, at least for export bikes. Like national taxation, we are not talking about logic here but a rule based system run by a bureaucracy. It's quite possible there are several military WLA/WLC bikes registered in the UK with the frame number ZE-35T, which is the forging number on the steering head. More frequently we find the engine number stamped somewhere on the frame by a previous owner. I'm happy to talk at Oley about experience so far.