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Old 04-15-2021, 12:12 PM   #1
rcb78
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Titling an Old 2-Stroke

I inherited an old 2-stroke Kawasaki KV75 (1975 or 1976) when my grandfather passed last year. I've got it nearly ready to go with everything it would need to be made street legal and I know it's been done with these in the past as a dealer option when they were new. What I don't know is where do I go first and what I can do to prep in advance. Has anyone that's done something like this got any advice?
Thanks to the age, the frame only has a manufacturers ID number and engine number, but nothing that counts as a modern VIN.

Thanks to Covid and the DMV not doing appointments for something like this, I don't want to go stand in line to find that I should have gone somewhere else first. Any tips?
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Old 04-15-2021, 01:32 PM   #2
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The year may prove to be pretty important. All US vehicles were supposed to have a fed emissions sticker by 1972 (pretty sure); if yours doesn't have one DMV won't be able to do the VIN verify and will send you to CHP. If '75 and older I believe all vehicles (not just cars) are exempt from CARB laws and you can get a plate no problem, if 76 or later the existing emissions stuff is still required.

Went through this with a '75 Ford Bronco from out of state, have a 71 H1 500 I need to get titled here....will be watching your progress.
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Old 04-15-2021, 06:50 PM   #3
rcb78
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From the research one done, it's later with motos, '77 and earlier. At least that what I get from here - https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/handbo...r-year-models/
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Old 04-15-2021, 09:04 PM   #4
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Because the bike is pre 1978 you shouldn't have much trouble registering it for street. I'd suggest getting a brake and light inspection first. Once you have that it should be pretty straight forward for vin verification. Sometimes the dmv will say they need you to go to dmv because of the age of the bike, but they should have a book there with vins by year and make/model.

I went through a similar thing trying to reg a 1968 aermacchi that was reg'd as a green sticker off road bike. Good luck!
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Old 04-16-2021, 08:14 AM   #5
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Cool,,,, sooo where do I go for a light inspection?
I'll have the brake light wiring finished up this next week. Found some cool inline pressure switches for cable brakes that look pretty clean, just need to splice them into the assembly.

As for a VIN check, there is no VIN in the modern sense, just a frame and engine number. My understanding is that the current 17 digit VINs weren't a thing until 1980. I have called the DMV and had then run checks on the numbers I do have and nothing came up.
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Old 04-16-2021, 08:21 AM   #6
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And since pics or it didn't happen... Link to pic

It's more put together now than in this pic, mostly electrical work to finish up at this point, and I still need to throw a new chain on it.
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Old 04-19-2021, 07:07 AM   #7
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Call around to local shops for brake and light inspection. I got mine done at an independent harley shop in Penngrove. Most independent places will do it for a fee.
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Old 04-19-2021, 10:20 AM   #8
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Cool, thanks for the info
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Old 04-20-2021, 08:00 AM   #9
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Your frame and engine number will be sufficient for the DMV. Get a vin verification form from the DMV (or download one) and have the highway patrol fill that out/verify for you. Brake and light is a plus too. Take the above paperwork and the bike to the DMV and get it legal. Have Fun!
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Old 04-20-2021, 02:32 PM   #10
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Nice, that's the kind of 'easy' I'm hoping for.

One step forward and two steps back. Everything works now, but the signals are flashing SLOOOOOOOOWWWW. Worked great on the test bench, then goofed and blew the relay. Ordered another that I 'thought' was the same rating, it's not. Back to waiting for parts.

Is a horn required from that time period? I have one, but wiring it will require a new switch or some ingenuity. If I can put it off for another time I'd like to.
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Old 04-20-2021, 03:15 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by rcb78 View Post
Nice, that's the kind of 'easy' I'm hoping for.

One step forward and two steps back. Everything works now, but the signals are flashing SLOOOOOOOOWWWW. Worked great on the test bench, then goofed and blew the relay. Ordered another that I 'thought' was the same rating, it's not. Back to waiting for parts.

Is a horn required from that time period? I have one, but wiring it will require a new switch or some ingenuity. If I can put it off for another time I'd like to.
I have found switching to a couple of led bulbs the flashing gets faster..
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Old 04-21-2021, 07:10 AM   #12
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find a solid state flasher relay, they don't care what kind of bulb is in there.

LED can also make them flash not at all, as they might no draw enough current to make the mechanical flasher function properly
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Old 04-21-2021, 07:46 AM   #13
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What auntiebling said. They sell them at any auto parts store.
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Old 04-23-2021, 09:52 PM   #14
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Throwing in my here.

Just registered a 74 Suzuki two-stroke 400 last September (yes, mid-pandemic) and it wasn't as scary as I thought. I may have just gotten lucky, but I got an independent VIN verification service to fill out the paperwork for the DMV, "ASAP vehicle verifiers". They may even be able to give you more current information about the process than you'll get from any of us here.

Once my bike was verified, I took all of the paperwork I had down to the DMV and I think because I came prepared, it went really smoothly. It took a while for the clerk to look everything up, but I made sure to thank them repeatedly and be extra grateful for them making the effort to deal with the extra steps necessary to help me out. In the end, it took about two to three hours at the DMV (including wait after making the appointment online). Until they handed me the plate and stickers, I kept expecting to see some DMV manager run up out of nowhere and yell "STOP! YOU CAN'T GIVE THAT BIKE A PLATE!" but it never happened.

The forms I remember needing were:
  • VIN verification paperwork (filled out by VIN verifier service)
  • Registration application
  • Statement of Facts form (needed if odomoter is incorrect/replaced, other inconcistinces--see DMV site for details)

If you're adding DOT road legal parts to a bike that has never been registered as road-legal, you may be required to apply for a "special construction vehicle" registration. There may be more steps to this than what I went through to get your bike registered. One thing worth noting: the last I heard, the DMV will only issue ONE special construction vehicle registration per person. That means that once you've done this registration, that's the only one you can get, ever. This rule may have changed since I last heard about it, but here's fair warning just the same.

That's about all I remember from my ordeal. In the end, it was worth it. Now I've got a road-legal 1974 Suzuki TS400.
Good luck!
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Old 04-24-2021, 03:18 PM   #15
rcb78
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Thanks again for the tips on getting it reg'd.

Electrical is done. I tried LEDs but they didn't flash either, just went back to the flasher relay I had the first time and it worked perfectly. Ran into another issue that I had not tested for- headlight and tail light 'on' works fine, even with indicators. Apply the brake light and the extra filament drags the whole system down and the brake light ends up being dimmer than the tail light alone. Tracked down a 6v LED bulb for the rear and all works well now.
I still need to sort the carb tune since it's not original, but it's the closest thing considering the parts available, and most importantly, it runs. I made a few super high speed (LOL!!!) passes down my street today and ran it through the gears. It's only 4hp when new so it's not like I could even ride it to work, but rumor has it that it's good to almost 40mph when flat out Pretty much moped territory.
That's neither here nor there though, I'm ready to start making phone calls to start the process of titling and plating.
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