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Old 04-22-2012, 08:20 AM   #100
JR Greenhorn
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Aug 2008
Location: Litchfield, MN
Oddometer: 336
Originally Posted by Harry94025 View Post
Got me thinking of getting one of these IT's for some two-stroke fun. Question - is it possible to get a licence plate on one of these for California?
Harry, while California is known to be the most draconian state on plated dirt bikes, my state is among the worst in our region. For me and friends of mine, we have had good luck buying bikes out of state that were already plated. I bought my KTM 440 EXC in Colorado, with Colorado plates on it. When I got it home, I brought the CO title into my local DMV, and made sure to always call it a "motorcycle" and never a "dirt bike." I made a separate trip back to get our state's required DNR sticker for off-road use of my "dirt bike."

My cousin bought a much newer KTM that was already MN plated. He went into the same DMV office as me, used the "motorcycle" nomenclature strategy, and everything went fine. But then, he asked for the DNR sticker, and they got suspicious. He aborted, and returned another day for the sticker for his "dirt bike."

I used to have a coworker who bought a bike here and "sold" it (on paper only) to a friend in CO, who plated it and "sold" it back, making a similar CO-to-MN title transfer easy for my coworker.

Plating via CO is fairly common here in MN, because it's about the closest state to us that's easy to get the job done. Sounds like ID might be another option. I've read online of Californians keeping marginally street legal vehicles (such as dirt bikes or supermotos) registered and "paper-owned" in NV, but I've also read that CA has gotten wise to that in some cases.

One thing that might make a difference is the format of the bike's VIN. I don't know the details myself, but I've heard that certain VIN formats are not accepted as street-legal VIN types. I suspect these old Yamahas might fall into that group, but I don't know for sure.

This all sounds so sketchy and maybe outright deceptive, but what frustrates me about it all is that I want and need the plate to ride the mile or two down the minimum maintenance dirt forest road from the place where I'm legally obligated to camp in the state forest to the state OHM trail where I'm legally allowed to ride. I don't even want my non-DOT knobs to tread upon our state's asphalt roads, but yet the letter of the law requires the bike to be equipped and documented as if it was going to be ridden clear across our state on I-94.

I've heard that there has been a change to these laws for dirt bikes in our state this year, making it easier to legally ride forest roads for the purpose of connecting trail routes, but I haven't heard the details yet. I'm trying to be cautiously optimistic while not expecting much, but most of all, I'm just glad that "I've got mine" when it comes to my street plate and tabs. [/rant]
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