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Twins Talk Discussion of Hinckley Triumph Twin related matters and topics.

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Old 11-19-2012, 03:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Smile Altering Bonneville Odometer Readings.

California has an arcane law regarding the purchasing of out of state vehicles including all newer Triumphs. Basically the State of California has said a current California resident cannot buy and register a newer vehicle unless it has at least 7,500 miles on it.

This law applies to all makes of cars and motorcycles and is enforced for vehicles that are ten and possibly even more years old. Consequently, a Californian cannot buy and license a 2005 Triumph Bonneville Thruxton which might only have 3,500 miles on it. The Bureau of Automotive Repair has said that if someone would attempt to register the above hypothetical bike with the State, the State DMV would prevent that bike from EVER being sold in California.

The exception would be if the bike has a sticker on it which says it complies with California's emmission standards. This 7,500 low mileage law in effect limits buyer options with fresher collector type bikes. Essentially it is almost impossible to bring in a very low mileage (under 7,500 miles on it) and register it here in California.

So my question would be what options do other riders which may create an opportunity to bring the above exampled bike into California that only has 3,500 miles on it.

One option, hypothetically, would be to buy the bike, roll FORWARD the odometer reading (how's that for a BIG switch). Then take the bike to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (required) for inspection and approval that the bike exceeds the 7,500. After DMV approval, then roll BACK the odometer to the original purchase mileage.

The key question here then becomes whether it is possible to roll a late model odometer both forward AND backward. And if so, how would that be done.
Obviously this is a theoretical question and for mine and other Californians it would be interesting to know whether it could be safely done to the speedometer/odometer without damaging it.

Whew, that's a lot, but I suppose not much more BS than a typical California Legislator.
Any comments and suggestions are appreciated. Thanks, 49erx2

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Old 11-19-2012, 04:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If it has a mechanical odometer (pre-2010 or so), you should be able to run it forward by disconnecting the cable and hooking it up to a drill or something and letting it run. I'd think it would be ideal to hook the drill directly to the meter end so you don't put wear on the cable, but it'd definitely be easier to rig it by just attaching the chuck to the wheel end of the cable. If you use the cable, I'd highly suggest lubing the heck out of it and consider just replacing the thing after. Cables are cheaper than speeding tickets.
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Neat government bureaucracy. I'm legitimately curious... What purpose does it serve?

Regarding your question, you could just buy a different speedometer off ebay, put it on the bike for registration, then take it off and sell it on ebay when you are done.
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I lived in So Cal for eight years. If memory serves, this prevents people from buying new bikes with non-Cal emissions from out-of-state, since, let's face it, a lot of us would rather have them without.

It is a royal pain-in-the-arse...thankfully some bikes these days are 50-state compliant. I saw a number of very dishonest Craigslist ads for low-mileage out-of-state bikes...people that found out the hard way and were trying to unload the problem.

The speedo/odo thing off Ebay sounds like a good idea.
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Regarding your question, you could just buy a different speedometer off ebay, put it on the bike for registration, then take it off and sell it on ebay when you are done.

Bingo. This would be the simple way to go. Recently had to replace the speedo on my wife's Bonneville. Old one quit working. Now her Bonnie with 50,000 miles on it has a speedo that says 500 miles. Legally I'm sure we are required to keep the old speedo and provide it to the new owner.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:28 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Or borrow a higher-mileage speedo for the inspection from a willing accomplice.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Some of these posters need to be careful. I don't know about US law but in the UK this would be a crime. Obtaining an advantage ( registering a motorcycle that otherwise could not be registered) by a fraudulent action could end you up in very hot water.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:51 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Some of these posters need to be careful. I don't know about US law but in the UK this would be a crime. Obtaining an advantage ( registering a motorcycle that otherwise could not be registered) by a fraudulent action could end you up in very hot water.
Oh yeah. Almost forgot. It would work but I would never ever do it because it is illegal.

Another idea would be to ride east until you hit a large body of water and then turn around and ride back home. You should be well over by then.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
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To the best of my knowledge Mr. DMV man, this is the second time around the clock for the speedo
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:41 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for everyone's input already on California's 7,500 mile requirement for registering out of state veicles. As has been suggested, just out of curiosity, with NO actual intention of ever doing so, since this is a definitely a hypothetical question, I looked at Bonneville speedometers for sale on eBay. There were a fair number of them available, however, surprising to me, almost all had NO mileage on them. Somebody has apparently figured out how to reset those things without a lot of hassle (we're talking about the mechanical ones here).

I would think that IF one were wanting to break the law, which obviously NONE of us would ever do, it would take a drill attachment running for about 40 hours of continuing drill run time ( a couple of days) to advance the odometer 4,000 miles IF you could somehow run the speedometer at 100 miles an hour. Double the hours if it's at 50 mph -- that's a LOT of drill time.

And there still remains the question of whether the speedometer can be run backwards safely to return to the actual mileage. No one has made a comment on that possibility yet.

In a conversation with a California Bureau of Automotive Repair Agent who didn't seem like he was a member of the State Gestapo or State Party Line, he said the reason for the 7,500 mile requirement was that the Legislature and the state auto dealers wanted to keep auto and bike sales within the State of California and the 7,500 mile limit would help make this happen.

The State's convoluted logic breaks down though when a vehicle has been privately owned for 5-10 years and it still has less than 7,500 miles on it. And according to the BAR rep, it is not related to SMOG whether or not that the SMOG issue might actually be the case. According to one dealer, 2005 Thruxtons, and presumably other similar Bonnevilles older and up to about 2009, aren't California SMOG approved, therefore they must comply with the 7,500 mile rule.

Just like the rest of you, I'd NEVER do anything which might increase the ire of our hard working Legislatures and State Government. My interest in the subject is purely hypothetical, I'm just curious academically and on a theoretical level whether there is a really good way to beat the system and if so what it might be.

Thanks again for the interesting comments.
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