Frame Swap Headache? - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-11-2015, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Frame Swap Headache?

Hey guys. I've got a problem. My father-in-law passed last July and the family let me have his 08 V-Star 1100 Classic with 2400 miles. He had purchased two weeks prior from his pastor. He signed the title but come to find out he hadn't registered it. My father-n-law's evil wife is not in communication with us and honestly I don't even want to mess with her. The pastor doesn't want to deal with it even though in my mind all he has to do is request a new title and be done with it. Not very god like if you ask me but whatever.

So this brings me to this thought. How much of a headache am I looking at to just purchase a new frame with title from somewhere that has one and swap everything over. Really hate to do that but would solve this issue. I found one awhile back for I believe $900 with a clear title and that's what got me thinking about it this way.

I'm going to try to talk to the pastor again and purpose if I gave him the cost of that frame or donated to the church would he PLEASE get me a new title.

This whole passing of my wife's father has just been a long painful process with all the shitty family and all. Such a horrible thing for a great man. 24yrs Army, Desert Storm Vet, Assistant Pastor who knew his bible through and through, worked hard in his mechanic shop for 30 years. People make you sick sometimes.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-11-2015, 09:15 PM
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That sucks about your situation. It doesn't really matter if your father-in-law signed the title or not if the bike was never registered. What's important is that the previous owner signed the title and had it notarized before handing it to your father-in-law.

If you have that, then you can just get the bike registered in your name. Unless you're only in possession of the bike and don't have the title either. You mentioned his widow but not sure why she's important, unless she's got the title. If that's the case, it's her bike. No matter who told you it was cool to take it. I can understand why the pastor doesn't want to request another title, because he'd be breaking the law.

There is more than one VIN on a motorcycle. I bet the engine will have one at the least. If she really is a witch, then you'd be putting yourself in a pretty risky situation.

As far as a frame swap is concerned, it's no more difficult that completely disassembling and reassembling an entire motorcycle down to the very last bolt. I'm sort of kidding, but your best bet may be to try and work things out with her.

Ben C - Cary, NC

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-12-2015, 07:44 AM
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When you say "he" signed the title, are you referring to the seller or your father-in-law. Who has the title in hand? If it's with the wife and your father-in-law has signed it then he took ownership of it and now it belongs to his wife. She is now the owner and the only way it can be legally yours is if she signs the title over to you.
I understand she may be hard to deal with but go talk to her and maybe something good will come of it. Worst case offer to buy it from her. I'm doubting she is going to ride it.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-12-2015, 08:44 AM
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Only the executor of the estate can liquidate assets of the estate no matter what "the family" said. If there is a will, that trumps anything the family said would be ok. Typically the assets of the estate revert to the surviving spouse unless specifically outlined in a will.

Assuming that the estate has been settled, I'm guessing all arrows are pointing back to father-in-law's widow and any legal resolution will involve her signing a title or affidavit for replacement title. If the executor of the estate is somebody besides the surviving spouse, then that person would handle the transfer of title.

Your state's title agency should be able to advise on whether the previous owner need be involved. I don't blame him for steering clear, pastor or not. The widow could claim the motorcycle was stolen from her - no offense intended - just hoping you CYA. Swapping to a titled frame could just complicate the problem if she claims it was stolen.

Your best bet is to offer to buy it from her. Personally, I'd return the motorcycle and buy one if I had to have one.

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