New to this forum. Need some advice on Clones and MSO/MCO

Discussion in 'CT70 Reproductions' started by tinkerer, Feb 16, 2020.

  1. tinkerer

    tinkerer New Member

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    Hi All,

    I just found this site/forum a couple of weeks ago and joined. Looks like a great resource.

    I've been riding for years starting with a CT-70H I had in the early 70s, (yes, I wish I still had it). I am considering buying a CT70 125 clone to ride around the neighborhood. From what I see the only CT70 clone available in the US today is the IceBear 125 as sold by Cajun Maddogs or Belmonte cycle. From a couple of recent youtube videos the owners seem to be satisfied with these bikes. I would definitely prefer the hand clutch version, but it doesn't seem available.

    My big question is getting one of these clones titled and insured. I live in Illinois, and the DMV/SOS is not too user friendly. It's my understanding that the clones come with an MSO or MCO, and I am wondering if any of you have experience with getting these titled in Illinois. The last thing I want to do is to buy the bike and not be able to ride it on the street.

    Please advise. Thanks in advance for your feedback.

    Tinkerer
    Naperville IL
     
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  3. racerx

    racerx Administrator
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    2006 saw an onslaught of new laws, regulations and compliance hurdles that have made life progressively tougher for fans of newer bikes, engines and frames. And it's only gotten worse since then...between the insurance industry and manufacturers, a mountain of lobbying money has been invested with great effectiveness. Titling, plating & insuring has been a 50-state patchwork for decades, anyway. For the most part, unless the selling dealer applies for and obtains a title, it's damned near impossible to title a new clone CT70. With no easily discernible rhyme or reason, some of the least populous states have some of the most ridiculously impossible "rules". I recommend dealing with your state DMV/secretary of state as a one-off. Find out what it will take before buying the bike...i.e. what documentation is required and if the selling dealer will furnish it.

    There's another caveat: insurance. Post-2006, the newer the bike (with clones) the less likely you'll be able to obtain road coverage. If an insurance carrier doesn't list your VIN, they won't issue a policy.

    It might be easier, all the way around, to source an OEM frame, then use all of the other parts from the clone. Vintage Honda VINs are well-documented. And, vintage (25+ years old) machinery is far easier to insure.
     
  4. tinkerer

    tinkerer New Member

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    Thanks RacerX for the honest, very valuable feedback. I had assumed it would be a long uphill battle getting a clone on the street!

    I've also been looking for a vintage CT70 with title for a few months now, mostly on eBay. Not seeing much out there with titles except some really rough frames. Will take your advice and continue to look for a complete CT70, or a CT70/ST90 frame with title.

    Thanks again for the great advice.

    Tinkerer

     
  5. racerx

    racerx Administrator
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    Titling a vintage Honda frame is far easier than trying to do so with a brand new clone bike. No, you won't find many titled bikes, let alone bare frames. Depending upon the state, local jurisdiction and...almost as importantly...the clerk you happen to face, titling a Honda manufactured prior to 1995 can be a simple process costing less than $100, a nightmare requiring a "security bond" (typically close to $300) and jumping through an indeterminate number of hoops...or somewhere in-between those extremes. Best bet is to check with your state's DMV; you may be pleasantly surprised with what you find out. It's also well worth your time & effort to check out the "vermont option" , i.e. registering n& plating the bike in vt...then transferring the registration to your state, who then issues you a title; it's typically under $100 to get a vt plate + reg.

    There are two (main) approaches to getting that 125cc, roadable, bike should titling a 2020 model clone prove impossible. One would be to buy the clone, then transfer all of the parts to a Honda frame. The other is to start with a vintage original bike...or some portion thereof. That could mean anything from a bare frame, to a rolling chassis to a complete machine...then rebuild/restore/customize to suit your goal(s). It boils down to trade-offs. Compliance standards go by the model year of the frame. Thus, pre-1974 bikes only need a headlight, tail/brake light and one mirror. Post-74 require turn signals & dual mirrors. A new clone bike means all new parts; I've no idea what these machines cost at present. I've also no clue as to your skill set or your enthusiasm level toward a DIY-type project. That matters...a lot.

    A titled frame, that is at least straight and without structural damage, including deep rust, is a $350 item, minimum. One that's been custom-painted (done the right way) and titled, at least $850. A decent bare frame, untitled, in raw condition is worth round $200+/-, depending upon a number of variables, including location. A rough, non-running or barely running, mostly complete 1970s bike might bring anywhere from $650-900...sometimes a lot less, if one catches a lucky break. A rolling chassis from that era is more like $250-400...and that'd give you most of the parts you need: frame, fork, wheels, brakes, bar clamp, tank, swingarm, etc in one sweep. It'd also save you the time & effort of scrapping junk parts like a rotted-out exhaust, bent handlebars, a seat that's beyond repair...which costs money to ship.

    I suggest making a parts list, then comparing the totals starting with a new clone vs starting with a used Honda. 110-140cc Chinese engines are pretty cheap these days, IOW, that's about the least of it. The biggest issue is likely practicality (based on what you're willing & able to do yourself) vs convenience, not the parts total.
     
  6. Gary

    Gary Well-Known Member

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    Part of the problem is that your 22 years too late- some of us jerks in the NW suburbs already bought up the 100 dollar titled bikes ;) Kinda wish I'd have transferred the title way back when since the state now is really sticking it to us on fees.
     
  7. Deoodles

    Deoodles Well-Known Member

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    I’ve been down this road. Almost didn’t get it titled in my state. (sc). The first 2 major insurance companies said no to adding it to my policy. It was a major pita but I did get it done. Once it was street legal I ran the miles up and it started needing parts specific to the clone. That too was a problem. I ended up building a Honda frame that I titled in Vermont and using clone parts to initially build it. Those parts are long gone now and it is a Honda titled bike with a Honda motor and nuts and bolts. My opinion would be start with a Honda and learn to title it. It will cost way less in the long run and be a better quality bike. Good Luck!
     
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