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Hollow victory for dual sports in Iowa?

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First,(to Bill the Moderator), I took your advice: finished the chemo (hopefully) and took out my frustrations on the WR. First ride since last summer. Dislocated my shoulder & ripped rotator cuff ( just in time for bow season...). Felt GREAT!! Well, spiritually, anyway. :D Thanks!

Bought a new hard drive to replace the one destroyed by a wickedly efficient virus, and am now starting over from scratch, bemoaning frequently my failure to have backed EVERYTHING up on disc, of course. :D

For those of you who remember my earlier posts regarding my battle with the Iowa DOT, I have the following update and request your advice:

Months ago, I responded to their formal, registered letter demand for the "surrender" of my Title, registration, and license plate with a registered letter of my own. I pointed out how ONE (still unidentified) administrator in the DOT was misreading the Iowa Administrative Code, and in so doing, was ILLEGALLY and retroactively siezing the lawful and valuable property of many citizens WITHOUT due-process, etc. I WILL NOT surrender ANYTHING without having my day in court!

A month or two passed with NO response whatsoever. I then received an e-mail from the State Legislative Omnbudsman saying my letter had been forwarded to him by an apparently bewildered Iowa DOT who had "no idea who I was or what the letter was about"!! :D and could he be of assistance?

The letter from the DOT had assured me that their computer system would render my registration and title void in 30 days, regardless. This all took place between January and April. The AMA did not wish to help (despite the fact that almost every victim of this injustice was a dues-paying member), a lawyer was prohibitively expensive, and I was already "engaged" in some serious health issues and getting dangerously stressed out over this. So I finally just set it all aside until my treatment was over.

I received the annual vehicle registration notice for all of my vehicles in late June. Low and behold, THERE was my WR included on the list!! :D I had been assured by the DOT that would NOT be possible. :) Well, like any good citizen, I rushed right on down to the county trea$urer'$ office to pay this portion of annual taxes as promptly as possible :D

Their computer LOVED my WR! The State LOVED my money! I LOVE my good-for-another-year registration and sticker. So everything is LOVELY once again in IOughtaWentAround, right?

Not quite. Minutes after paying my taxes, I stopped by the local dealer to buy parts for my son's bike and to put dibs on a WR450. There sat the mechanic's pristine, mid-80's Husaberg that he had spent a great deal of time and $ restoring and dual-sporting with a for sale sign! What gives?

Seems he had finished it the previous week and gone in to Title and register it. Got the "Gee, I don't know if we can " bureaucratic runaround. "Seems the DOT was trying to seize these bikes titles retroactively and prevent any new ones when one single (jerk?) actually fought them. They don't want it to go to court under the current law because he seems to be right, so they are going to change the law. Also, it seems VT is providing an illegal loophole and KTM has no offroad designation. These things are being investigated. In the meantime, we aren't supposed to allow any more to be licensed..."

I introduced myself as that "jerk" and showed him the renewal I had just purchased. I asked him to take my research and letter and forward one of his own to the DOT and MAKE them OBEY the law! I also asked him to join me in a legislative assault in this election year to remind the DOT that Judges review laws, Legislators pass laws, and the DOT must enforce/allow what the LAW says whether one bureau-squid likes it or not. Well, he says, "I just don't have that much fight in me..." You don't DESERVE that bike, I said, and left.

My sons and I attend every D-22 race. Sky is having a stellar year. I can't teach him much about riding anymore, but I DRILL the never-EVER-give-up or surrender spirit into him. It shows. There are many dual-sport owners who come to me for info and advice on how to keep THEIR titles and registrations or for updates on my battle.

To a MAN, each has assured me that they are simply doing it the VT way or that they own KTMs which do not have a tattletail digit in the frame number.

I may be the only person left in Iowa with a valid registration and Title. I KNOW I am the only person willing to fight this very winnable battle. But, to the bureaucrats credit, they have effectively slammed the door on my ability to get this settled in a court of law by NOT seizing my property and thereby leaving me with NO grievance...

Until my '03 450 gets here? Until my sons want to build their own bikes? I STILL want my day in court!! I STILL want my fellow Dual-sport, custom-bike-car-Rv-truck afficiondos in Iowa to join me while we have the DOT on the ropes! I still even fantasize about a real American motorcycle association that puts its mouth where OUR money is! In the meantime, I'll just continue to ride and heal, ride and heal...and look for a new state to live in!

What would someone smarter than me do at this point? (I've read lewischris's "what do we all do?" post several times and I KNOW how smart you guys are!) Sorry for the long post, but nothing is more frustrating than a cheap-shot enemy who won't even show himself! (Al-Quiada?) I WANT to fight them in court and settle this once and for all!! :D

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YUP! If someone had told me one year ago that Iowa (with NO emissions laws) would do a 180 and become worse than CA on custom-built/modified vehicles, I'd of laughed. That, perhaps, is the most perplexing part: Iowa has NO reason to do this at all other than the ego of one anonymous squid who can't admit he misinterpreted (which is a judge's job, not his)the Iowa Code and failed to distinguish between "Vehicle Title" and "Vehicle Registration" which in Iowa are two distinctly separate vehicle documents.

Now that he has screwed so many citizens out of thousands of dollars and wasted so much precious budget to do so, he is staying low and playing CYA.

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Thanks for the update, I hope you get to out the squid :) .

I don't know what else you could do other than trying to get the word out, as I'm sure you are. Trouble is noone wants to hear about motorcycles' legal problems.

I'm glad to see that you've been able to keep your priorities straight.

Let me know if I can do anything else.


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Hey Chaindrive,

Long time no hear. Glad to see you had them dead to rights. Sorry to hear is hasn't gotten you anywhere, that you can't get help from others in the same boat, and especially that you needed some drastic measures to get healthy. Hope this is going to settle your health problem.

BTW, don't move to California. Not that we couldn't use you here, but the lefties have full control here. Trust me, it's worse than Iowa. Gray Davis is about to sign a new law granting Calif Driver Licenses to illegal aliens. Yes folks, illegal aliens will soon be able to vote in California. And no one can stop them. This is just one example of what some of our politicians are willing to give away to get an extra 30 million votes!


[ August 22, 2002, 02:56 PM: Message edited by: Dan from HB ]

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