Are Duplicate K Model Engine Numbers Possible?

Production K Models

Are Duplicate K Model Engine Numbers Possible?

Postby BigDen » Mon Nov 07, 2022 2:57 pm

Hi Guys,

I need some help from the K Model experts. I'm dealing with a CA DMV title issue for the 1953 K Model I inherited from my brother. He last registered it in CA in 1984, then became ill and let the registration lapse. I have his 1982 issued CA "pink slip". When I tried to transfer ownership to me, CA DMV said there is another 1953 Harley in their electronic system with same VIN number. My pink slip has both VIN and engine number entered, with the engine number as VIN. DMV did an investigation, and said they could find no evidence of fraud in their records, so it has become a "civil matter". I do not know who the other registered owner is, only that it is currently in Non-Op status. I had my motorcycle inspected by a CHP Motorcycle Officer, who issued a VIN Verification Report that check the boxes for both VIN and Engine Numbers as "appear okay". My engine number looks correct and unaltered, and the belly number is appropriate for a 1953 K Model (553-1219).

My questions for the experts here, other than fraudulently re-stamped engine numbers, is it possible that there could be two K model engine cases with the same Harley factory or dealer stamped engine number? If so, does Harley have records that could help my case?

Any information or advice you have for me would be greatly appreciated.

Dennis
BigDen
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon May 31, 2021 4:33 pm

Re: Are Duplicate K Model Engine Numbers Possible?

Postby hugoct » Mon Nov 07, 2022 3:34 pm

Harley has ledgers that list all the motorcycles made in chronological order with the associated crankcase numbers.
The information was for police identification purposes.
You may have some luck with an inquiry from your Police Department to Harley Davidson.
hugoct
 
Posts: 183
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 9:51 am

Re: Are Duplicate K Model Engine Numbers Possible?

Postby Ferrous_Head » Mon Nov 07, 2022 6:01 pm

Yes, there is a possibility of having the same number on two sets of cases.

I have two sets of NOS cases. One has a clean boss, never touched. The other has been stamped 57X7777.

In some racing jurisdictions the engine number is part of the required documentation for the bike. Racers would at times stamp the same number on 2 or 3 sets of cases so they had no issues with the race controllers if they needed to change an engine for some reason during a meeting.

Now was this legal ?

Most probably not. In classes where engine mods were strictly limited of course this might be a way to cheat. Have the bike scutineered with your legal engine and swap in the "race" engine just after. Here in Australia we can list several engine numbers in our log books and swap those engines any time we want. It is of course still up to us to race a legal engine.

But what this demonstrates is that there could very well be two sets of cases with the same number on them. I have heard over the years that dealers who ordered new cases had to have the old cases given to them in exchange or at least evidence of destroyed cases. But clearly some cases have escaped over the years.

I am not saying that's what happened here. But just that twp sets of cases can exist with the same number. Further evidence about the cases are needed to establish which cases are the ones hat left the factory so long ago with your engine number.
"I know only too well the evil that I propose, but my inclinations get the better of me."
User avatar
Ferrous_Head
 
Posts: 331
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2017 5:36 pm
Location: Australia

Re: Are Duplicate K Model Engine Numbers Possible?

Postby Coolbreeze » Mon Nov 07, 2022 11:17 pm

I agree that it is very possible for more than one engine case to have the same number either because of race registration need or because a mechanic that was supposed to destroy a damaged case after it was replaced failed to do so.

What is interesting is that your DMV has essentially invited a lawsuit against itself. I urge you to get a competent lawyer familiar with chancery actions against the State and take those nitwits to court.
'56 KHK
'60 XLCH
'48 Chief
'42 Indian 841
'64 BMW R69S
'84 Moto Guzzi V65Sp
User avatar
Coolbreeze
 
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue May 01, 2018 12:44 am

Re: Are Duplicate K Model Engine Numbers Possible?

Postby panic » Mon Nov 07, 2022 11:55 pm

One is real, and one isn't.
[url="http://victorylibrary.com/L-BK.htm"]The Linkert Book[/url]
User avatar
panic
 
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:33 pm

Re: Are Duplicate K Model Engine Numbers Possible?

Postby dlxl66elxl » Tue Nov 08, 2022 12:08 am

I have found and been told by those law enforcement folks in the know to use the Auto Club in California for this type of transfer. I always use them and have never had a problem. Your CHP VIN verification is probably a leg up. BTW they do check belly numbers.
dlxl66elxl
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:36 pm

Re: Are Duplicate K Model Engine Numbers Possible?

Postby themike » Tue Nov 08, 2022 12:55 am

there are two belly #s. one on each half of the case. they should both be identical. I have owned blank K cases. So - such a thing is possible. You could try comparing the font used to a similar year K Model. A blank case stamped by an individual
with generic # stamps would not look like "official" Harley Stamps.
themike
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:11 am

Re: Are Duplicate K Model Engine Numbers Possible?

Postby hennesse » Tue Nov 08, 2022 9:41 am

Vehicle manufacturers have always kept strict control over serial/VIN number issuance. There is almost zero chance that Harley ever duplicated a serial number. Never say never, but I have never heard of this happening, and I doubt that anyone else has either.

Most likely it is a fraudulent re-stamping. An enterprising individual might pick a serial number, check with the DMV, find that it hasn't been registered for 40 years, and assuming that the bike had been destroyed years ago, put that number on his engine case, and register it. There is also a possibility that a fumble-fingered DMV clerk made a clerical error, and typed a 3 instead of an 8. Also, did the executor of your brother's estate have ownership transferred to another family member?

I would request a copy of the vehicle history records from the DMV. See,record request It looks like you need the INF 70, and request "Ownership History". The Ownership History should give you a good idea of what happened. Just filling out this form is a little confusing. You probably want to call the DMV, or visit your local one, to make sure you are requesting the right information on the right form. As DaveC suggests, the Auto Club may be very helpful, as they have seen this problem many times.

Harley did keep records of serial numbers and the dealer to whom the new bike was delivered. I don't think they provide this anymore (says Palmer?), and even if they do, this won't help you very much. The dealer in 1953 probably isn't around anymore.

-----
I sold a 1937 Knucklehead to a guy out west back in 2000. He died, and two years ago, his family wanted to auction it off. The auction house contacted me, as he still had the Maryland title that I signed over to him - he never got it transferred into his name. The auction house did some research, and found another 1937 Knucklehead on eBay with the same serial number! I know mine was right - my numbers were obviously factory, and I had owned the bike since the early 1970s. The family got the CHP involved, and they found that the other bike had magically appeared in Montana a couple years ago, with no history to go with it. (Montana is very lax about titles). I don't know the details about how it got straightened out, but the auction house was happy and auctioned the bike off for big money.
User avatar
hennesse
Site Admin
 
Posts: 602
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:28 pm
Location: Warrenton, Virginia

Re: Are Duplicate K Model Engine Numbers Possible?

Postby hugoct » Tue Nov 08, 2022 11:01 am

The records at Harley are of the motor number and the associated crankcase numbers which can help establish the appropriateness of the motor number.
I worked at a number of Harley, Triumph and BSA dealers in the 60s and 70s.
We were regularly shipped replacement cases without motor numbers.
The dealerships had motor number stamps supplied by the OEM.
Cases were regularly stamped with the motor number and in some cases the defective cases were sold to some low budget patrons.
hugoct
 
Posts: 183
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 9:51 am

Re: Are Duplicate K Model Engine Numbers Possible?

Postby hennesse » Tue Nov 08, 2022 11:42 am

hugoct wrote:The records at Harley are of the motor number and the associated crankcase numbers which can help establish the appropriateness of the motor number.
I worked at a number of Harley, Triumph and BSA dealers in the 60s and 70s.
We were regularly shipped replacement cases without motor numbers.
The dealerships had motor number stamps supplied by the OEM.
Cases were regularly stamped with the motor number and in some cases the defective cases were sold to some low budget patrons.


Yes, that was normal procedure, except for selling the defective cases, which was fraud. I believe that starting in the 1970s when VIN numbers and strict federal laws came into being, engine/frame numbers had to match, and Harley started requiring the dealers to send the defective case(s) back to the factory before shipping a new case with the original VIN already stamped in it. In more modern times (EVOs and such) you had to order either a short block or complete engine on an exchange basis. So most of the shenanigans stopped a long time ago.
User avatar
hennesse
Site Admin
 
Posts: 602
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:28 pm
Location: Warrenton, Virginia

Next

Return to K, KK, KH, KHK

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests