update to post on 3/4/02 regarding IOughta WentAround DOT seizure attempt

I have finally heard from my attorney regarding the Iowa DOT's effort to seize the title, registration, and license plate which THEY issued over 2 years ago for my bike which is officially a Y2K Reconstructed Vehicle under Iowa law and was built using parts from a '99 WR 400 donor bike and the aftermarket. Kinda like YOUR bike, huh? Please note that this was the determination of the Iowa DOT inspection officer who actually inspected the bike. You might regard it as a WR with a Baja Designs kit and other goodies, not the least of which is a bonafide IA plate. The letter from my attorney says the DOT claims to be doing this because 1)They HAVE THE POWER to do so. 2)Because THEY MADE A MISTAKE (2 owners ago). If you haven't read the original post, let me just say that I never would have purchased this bike had it not ALREADY been inspected, certified, titled and licensed. And by my very own state to boot!! I trusted their documentation enough to spend many thousands of dollars on a vehicle I could use anywhere. Legally. So all my money ($125/hr) for an attorney got me:' WE screwed up & you suffer' and 'because we CAN'. Maybe I'm unreasonable, but this just doesn't make me the least bit more understanding or cooperative. My subsequent phone call to my lawyer yielded the following very interesting bit of info: When asked what statute was being violated, the civil servant said "I don't, uh, exactly, uh, have it right here in front of me but, uh, uh it's federal. That's it. The feds are forcing us to do this. No state may license these vehicles."

Well I can't afford the additional 6 to 20 hrs my attorney says would be required to prepare to represent me at the initial hearing, so I'm on my own. A 12.50/hr working man with kids can't afford $125/hr justice.('maybe' justice at that). Well, I'm neither stupid nor afraid of these a-holes and since chemotherapy IS a big part of my life these days, surrender is NOT! Yeah, I really need this stress right now, but we all got our demons to slay and to quote everybody's favorite American; Forrest Gump: " Sometimes there just aren't E-nuff rocks." YOU can send me a couple dumptruck loads of rocks by doing the following:

I would like to ask every TT member who has a street legal converted bike to please e-mail me photos and/or info regarding their state's licensing policies and requirements. We all know these powers are reserved to the states. If IDOT (add one more 'I' and this acronym would be truly accurate) is basing their action on "The feds are forcing us to do this", either we are ALL in this boat together or IDOT has no basis and therefore no case. I don't need a lawyer to dump 50lbs of e-mailed evidence that other states DO allow these conversions on a judge's desk, do I? Please help me expose these IDiOTs for what they are.

In the meantime, This vehicle will hopefully soon be sporting an out-of-state vanity plate that reads: IA SUX


Wow dude... that is complete FUBAR... and I thought we had all the eco-nazi's out here!!!

I don't have pics to post for ya, well I don't even have a digicam either, but I'll try to help ya out somehow. The process out here was really not that bad. There is a form/checklist type deal that must be completed by either a CHP officer or a motorcycle dealer. I went with the latter which cost me like 12 bucks or something. The form is a DMV issued statement of complience (form # ????) that basically states if your bike has a headlight, hi/lo beam, hi beam indicator, a fixed odometer or speedo, a brakelight, a horn, a mirror I think... actually I'm not positive on the exact contents, but if you want, I'll go to DMV and mail it out to you if you feel that would help. Anyway, you get the drift. The shop certifies that my bike has all these simple requirements (which it did thanks to the BD kit) and I took that down to DMV, handed them the forms, the pink slip, some cash, and left with the plate. The bike wasn't even with me.

Let me know if you want that form and I can maybe lookup some Calif. laws or something online for ya. If not, I'd go plate that sucker out of state and bring it back in under the original VIN.

Good luck man and let us know whats going on.

[ March 08, 2002: Message edited by: big_G ]

Gary: THANKS!!

A copy of the CA requirements would be good as gold! With the help of TT members like you, I really think I can win this. Meantime, you bet, the bike is headed outa their reach!


Gary, Sorry I forgot to give you my address:

Scott Rath

2353 Mehaffey Bridge Rd.

North Liberty, IA 52317

e-mail: rathfamily@mindspring.com

the bike is headed outa their reach!

had to sell it to pay att'y fees huh?? :)

I'll do some looking here in PA. I know the process has changed since 98, but it's still do-able AFAIK. Maybe I can track down the forms.

I want to see you stick it to them --in the worst way.

Have you talked to anyone from AMA? They seem to be taking a little more interest in dirt lately.

nevermind that, I just emailed smaher@ama-cycle.org Sean Maher, listed on AMA's website as director of state affairs to ask their involvement. Maybe they could donate some resources/help.

I would encourage anyone else to do the same.

[ March 08, 2002: Message edited by: tbronco ]


YOU DA MAN!!! THANK YOU!! And great idea with the AMA. I've got 3 membership cards in my wallet right now (that way the boys don't lose theirs).

If it's any help, when I was getting ready to do mine I talked to a guy at the IL Sec of State's office at 800 252 8980 who was very helpful *darn it I forgot his name* but anyway.. just call there ask em about making off road vehicles street legal and I think they'll know who I'm talking about.... in IL very easy - he says just show him my invoice from Baja Designs - he was familiar with them- where I bought my kit (I would have just invetoried my stuff I suppose if I hadn't bought the kit) and have a local peace officer sign off that it had been installed, you're done)Frankly, I primarily used the little book at the drivers testing place that is used to study for your motorcycle license... has in it what a mororcycle needs to have to be street legal, you might ask him to mail you one.) Also, the person who took my call at Baja was also very helpful... if I remember correctly they talked as if they have a fair amount of the info of what is required for each state - they might help you too (even if you have to buy something to get 'em to talk)(I think they have cup holders real cheap... that's where I got mine).


Thanks for the input. I'm only 65 miles from IL. I never would have guessed that IL was that reasonable. I drive truck there regularly and choke on the 55mph truck limit I guess. As a truck driver, cup holders are really important to me. I actually called BD right away. You are absolutely right, even though it was the previous owner who bought their kit, they were very helpful. IA was never on their s***list before, but they assured me it will be now. Send that info!! You will love your versatile machine with the BD kit.

Scott do you have a fax no# I can fax you the DMV from for reg, the bikes in CA,


in Minnesota it is easy, my brother in law had his XR650R done, all you need is..., dot tires, dot headlight, turnsignals, single mirror (on the left)speedo and your done. simply get an appointment with the DMV to do the inspection and they issue your plate before the inspection, after the inspection you get your title transferred from a statement of origin, to title.

Hope this helps,



I really appreciate the support and advice I have received from my fellow TT members!! I have answered all of your responses, but I see some of you haven't checked your pm's in a while so I'll post a HUGE THANK YOU here: JOSHUAZ2, ChopperCopper, 01ZREX, b_G, tbronco, midlifecrisis426, Ronin, Monty: YOU GUYS ROCK! If I can ever be of any help to you, I'm IN!

Monty: try 319.626.6145 as my fax. This computer system does faxes but tells me '99 was the last time I did it and my resident 'puter expert is with Gramma today. I'll let you know with a post or e-mail as soon as I get it.

Ronin: That MN procedure sounds identical to the one IA had my bike's original owner do. What would Jesse Ventura do in this case I wonder? Walleyes biting during the short warm spells yet?

I need all the evidence I can get that this is NOT illegal in other states: KEEP the ROCKS COMING TT'ers!! In order to avoid any fallout you may be concerned about, black out the plate number in your pictures (I will if you don't) as well as any other identifying info that concerns you. The LAST thing I want is MORE of this crap to happen to ANYONE else, which is why I am fighting it here even though my bike is going to a safe place and I don't HAVE to fight to continue riding it as long as I'm clever or sneaky. That in itself sucks. That is what bad government depends on to fester and spread like gangrene: apathy, intimidation, and lack of will to fight back! What is to prevent any other state from pulling this crap except slam-dunking it here? To win the war on our rights to ride ANYWHERE, we have to fight and win individual battles. This is a very winnable battle.

Contact Baja Designs - they are up on this stuff. Hell, it's there business.

The biggest problem in CA is the darn emissions issue - Red vs Green stickers. Otherwise, the lighting requirements are a piece of cake.



Sorry to hear about this. And I thought Kalifornia was bad. The fed excuse is totally lame and will not hold up in court. It should not be hard to convince a judge that IDOT is on glue.

Right click on the link below and save it to disk:


Print that baby and highlight the section "Your Motorcycle: The Right Equipment". Also mention that Kalifornia has the toughest regulations in this great nation. If you can figure out the vehicle code ( http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/vc/vctoc.htm ), then you are a better man than I.

Good luck.


THANKS GUYS!! Brian: I spoke to BD last week, but didn't know exactly WHAT I needed to prove/disprove and I'd still like to see it in writing from IDOT. I also found a DIRT BIKE magazine article written by a guy from BD addressing the issue of the handful of states being unreasonable in this regard. Interesting. I plan to ask BD for more help (it IS their kit) and winning could only help their business.

Gary: trust me when I say I would have LOVED to trade places. It was evil, wicked, mean, & nasty here this weekend (I admit to spending all day on the net Sun. Just ask Ron what govt. regulation websites are like...). Spent Sat. with @ 10 other diehards from the local riding club: Cedar Valley Trail Riders. We endured 45mph winds, 70mph gusts,whiteouts, and minus kajillion windchills to haul 150 loads of new dirt (is that an oxymoron?) for expanding the local SuperX track. Can't believe the 1st Dist22 race is next Sun. It'll look like snowmobilers w/ wheels...

Ron buddy! How DID you do that?!! Wow! Seriously, I'd like to able to post links like that. The WHOLE book!! Amazing. "...Still hayseed enough to say 'Look who's in the Big Town...". SALUTE! :)

Errr.... what's a pm??? Just kidding, don't use that too much. Ok, not at all.

I see someone has prolly faxed you the CA form from DMV, so I'll assume you got that already. Not sure what else I got that would help you but whatever helps is still okay by me.

And for sure I'm not online 24/7 as maybe some others are, but we do check our email at least once a month whether we need to or not. Personally, I put 80 miles on the WR this weekend exploring the hills above Corona, and the internet couldn't have been further from my mind. But keep us posted on what you might need and we'll see what we can do to help.

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