It looks like California is holding up a lot of kit bike registrations due to the actions of one motorcycle shop. It seems they were building a lot of kit bikes from Custom Chrome, ignoring the 24 bike per year limit and as a result, anyone with one of the Custom Chrome kits has his Special Construction registration on hold until the California DMV finishes their investigation. No registrations means you can’t register your own bike if you build one and you can’t sell it because the next owner can’t register it, either. (Custom Chrome will sell you all of the parts for a motorcycle but they no longer sell kits.)
I just found out about this reading the editorial in IronWorks magazine. They found out after getting some questions from the DMV about a kit they built for the magazine and again when it was sold and the new owner couldn’t get it registered. Numerous attempts to get the problem rectified by contacting their legislators have so far failed and it’s been going on for months.
Building your own motorcycle can be an enjoyable and satisfying experience for someone who likes to get his (or her) hands dirty. If you have the ability to wrench but a little less time or skill available, the kit bike route gives you a lot of the same satisfaction, you just put the parts together. As we’ve mentioned before, however, rules are tightening up and individuals get only one shot at building a non EPA certified bike, custom shops, only 24 bikes per year.
If the EPA or DMV decides someone didn’t follow the rules and then uses a shotgun “everyone’s guilty” approach, you have a problem, no matter how strictly you followed the rules. If you’re building a custom motorcycle, just remember, you have another partner in the process now. Welcome to the brave new world.