First Post, First Bike, First Bad Decision?

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by Maliwal, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. Maliwal

    Maliwal Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    78
    Location:
    Southern California, USA.
    Hey guys, I'm a n00b. Thought I'd get that out of the way early. This is my first post here on ADVRider and it it's about what I think may have been a screw-up on my part.

    So, I bought a 1992 Yamaha XT225 a couple weeks ago and have been spending my free time getting it running. It's now fully operational and runs great. No problems mechanically, a couple minor electrical whosawhatsits that I've got to work out, but no big deal. All in all, a steal on my part since I bought the bike for $300 :deal, right?

    Well, maybe not. Turns out it hasn't been registered in CA since 2007, and my lovely state wants over $600 dollars in back fees. I'm already into the bike for about $450 total, and I just don't think that a 20 year old 225 is an $1100 bike. To the point of my post: Anyone have any suggestions as to how a broke college student (who bought the bike partially for the fuel efficiency for commuting to work and school) can avoid taking it in the rear from the state?

    Any help would be awesome guys and gals, thanks in advance!
    -Maliwal
    #1
  2. luv2race

    luv2race Confused

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,324
    Location:
    OC
    Since the previous owner didn't put it non-op, there is no way around the back fees. What is wrong with the electrical? If the bike runs and everything works, and with gas prices about to screw us out of our cars, that bike will be worth more then you think. Get it squared away, because the money you spend you will save in the price of fuel. I think those get about 60 - 80 mpg. And you can sell it for $1500 if you choose to get rid of it.
    #2
  3. airborndad

    airborndad Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,517
    Location:
    Montclair Ca.
    +1 on what John said

    also post over here The official XT225 thread!
    to get help sorting out any technical /electrical issues
    lots of very knowledgeable help there

    btw I get about 74 mpg
    #3
  4. spafxer

    spafxer Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,658
    I don't see how the DMV can ask for back fees from a new owner. I know they do and can try but......

    First, I'd see about a statement of facts.. It is a DMV form. You are a new owner and it was a basket case..

    AAA is a lot easier to talk with. I have had good luck with some DMV supervisors too.. Research non op status.

    I would register it out of state if nothing else.

    Good Luck!
    #4
  5. Maliwal

    Maliwal Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    78
    Location:
    Southern California, USA.
    First off, thanks again. Good advice folks, I appreciate it. I've got more than one reason for wanting this bike operational pronto. Not the least of which is a trip from the greater Los Angeles Area to the San Francisco Bay area coming up in a month. I'd very much like to make that trip, and not leave my new riding partner to the road alone.

    The electrical is nothing major, bad starter solenoid and a burned (literally melted) relay. Got those squared away today actually. Part of why I got the bike was for the fuel economy. My car gets ~26MPG and I'm covering an average of 60 miles a day just for class, not counting work, which is farther, and around town stuff. So I'd really like to keep the bike for that, if nothing else. I'm just a few hundred bucks shy of the DMV's asking price, but I object to paying double the bike's cost in fees anyway.

    Most of the advice I'm getting is to cut my losses and sell it. I could turn a profit doing it, easy. I just don't like screwing someone else (or allowing the state to do so?). I'm probably just too nice.

    I read over the statement of facts and am wondering: Do I have it right to think that this handy little form can negate those fees? It says "It has not been driven... on any California public highway to cause registration fees to come due." The guy I bought it from was clear in saying that it's been parked in his garage for the last 6 years, more or less untouched. Does that mean I could get them to waive the fees?

    Great information spafxer, thanks a ton. I know what I'm doing monday.
    #5
  6. JeffS77

    JeffS77 cheap bastard

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,377
    Location:
    Riverside , CA
    I highly doubt you will get DMV to drop and or lower the fees...bottom line is the registration was not payed or no-op'ed so moneys are owed..it dont matter if it was ridden or not......and selling a bike with $600 will be hard unless you sell it real cheap....but even if you pay the fees you are only in the thing like a grand..if it is a clean bike that is not bad at all.
    #6
  7. spafxer

    spafxer Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,658
    re: the statement of facts.... If the bike has ever been ticketed on the road without registration, that is proof the fees are due as far as the state is concerned. Really the sellers problem. But he has your cash, i know. :D

    I'm not saying to sue the previous owner though since most likely there is no ticket and you just made the bike road worthy again. It really is his problem, but like smog checks Buyers usually take the sale as is and the law is clear. "Smog before sale" on cars of course.




    .
    #7
  8. 'Rett Butler

    'Rett Butler Happily Married

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,070
    Location:
    Phoenix-Sedona-Flagstaff-Crested Butte
    I doubt Arizona cares about it not being registered for awhile in CA. If you have a friend over here you could register it in Arizona for $25 (plus emissions in Maricopa) then register it back in California a month later. Since it hasn't been register in CA (or anywhere) for 6 years they can't accuse you of washing the title.

    California is so fcked up. I sold a 93 DR350 to a guy in CA and he couldn't register it because it didn't have enough miles.
    #8
  9. herrhelmet

    herrhelmet A Serious Man

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,367
    Location:
    USA West

    spafxer is on the right track, but you have to be creative and relentless to succeed in CA these days. I only register my bikes out-of-state, but you need a physical and mailing address to do that. You never have to worry about the back fees in NV, AZ OR UT. Utah requires an inspection that costs $9. and the title showing the transfer from the PO to you. Bill of sale is nice, but I generate those when they don't exist....

    If it was me trying this in CA, I'd go the route that I bought the bike as a basket case so of course it wasn't registered by the PO. And see where that adventure takes you. Or find a friend in Vegas.
    #9
  10. Maliwal

    Maliwal Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    78
    Location:
    Southern California, USA.
    Unfortunately, my only out-of-state options are Montana and Texas, and Texas doesn't seem like a good idea since they require annual inspections. Lol and driving to Montana could cost me more in gas than I'd save by circumventing the CA DMV fees.

    He was a pretty cool guy, I've dealt with him in the past and I think he'll be willing to work with me on this. I'm thinking I may be able to take a salvage title on it since it was non-operational when I bought it. It just wasn't registered Non-Op. But I'm not sure if I'd still have to pay the back fees if I registered it as salvage.
    #10
  11. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    12,224
    Location:
    Villa Maria Sanitarium, Claremont, CA.
    If you have already started the process at DMV you are dead in the water, it's on the computer.

    If not another way around is if the bike was 'in dealer inventory' as dealers are not required to post a cert of non-op whilst vehicle is in inventory. So you need a dealer to state on a statement of facts that is was inventory for the time period. I was a dealer, I've done this. Trouble is 'fees' are still due, just no penalties and it's the pens that add up.
    #11
  12. seabee1

    seabee1 we build, we fight

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,478
    Location:
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Boy, California is messed up. In Arizona, if the vehicle hasn't been on the road in the past however many years, you don't have to pay those back fees. As long as nobody got cited on that bike during the reported non operational period, there's no way to prove that it was on the road.
    #12
  13. Just Paul

    Just Paul Pro Cat Herder

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,104
    Location:
    Pleasanton, Ca
    maybe go in to the DMV early and ask to speak with a manager.. sometimes they can be of help
    #13
  14. Maliwal

    Maliwal Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    78
    Location:
    Southern California, USA.
    I did actually go in to the DMV, which is where I learned about the insane cost of the fees. But before I left, the guy who I was talking to said that he deleted all the information 'it never happened' was his phrasing. So kudos to him, if that's true. I bought it from a private party though, so I'm not sure if a dealer would jump at that. I don't know anyone, at any rate.

    It almost looks like it might work that way here, too. But I won't know until tomorrow morning, at best. AAA here I come. If they can't help then I'm not really sure what I'm going to do.

    If nothing else works, I'll go back to the DMV at try to get a manager. That's been suggested to me a couple of times, so there's got to be some merit to the idea. Thanks folks, I'll let y'all know how it turns out when I do get it resolved.
    #14
  15. spafxer

    spafxer Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,658
    Just remember 2 things not all supervisors are the same, and "basket case" :D

    I agree no personal information until the basket case statement of facts is approved.... :huh



    .
    #15
  16. mikerd400

    mikerd400 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,833
    Location:
    Sacramento
    DMV can sometimes wave the fee, or partial fees. How long did the previous owner own it, and was he the registered owner? If he was, talk to DMV if he can fill out a statement of facts that the motorcycle has not been operational and not on the street. If you get a nice DMV person, they will sometimes wave some of the fees.
    #16
  17. Maliwal

    Maliwal Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    78
    Location:
    Southern California, USA.
    Well, talked to AAA this morning. The woman I spoke with said that it's highly unlikely, but to plead ignorance and fill out a statement of facts if asked to. On that note though, she said that my fees should only be ~400 dollars. When I mentioned the 600, she acted really surprised, and said that they shouldn't be charging me for some of what they are. So we'll see. I smell victory in the air.

    That's essentially the route I'm going to take. Got an appointment made for Monday, and I'm going to try to get a hold of the guy before then to have him fill out the statement of facts.
    #17
  18. Maliwal

    Maliwal Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    78
    Location:
    Southern California, USA.
    Well, four DMV office visits later, issue resolved. Ended up paying $626 to my wonderful state, and nearly joked to the CHP officer next to me that I just paid his week's salary. I avoided that at least :puke1 . At any rate, they ended not coming down on the fees. In fact, they went up! =D Apparently, the last time I went and they said $540, they were being nice. This time they over-rode that and tacked on every fee they could think of. But, all said and done: a little over $1000 for a 1992 XT 225. Not bad, I guess.

    I've almost got it running too! The electrical on the bike is needlessly complicated according to a couple of dealer mechanics I talked to. So I bypassed the lot of it and re-wired it my own way :evil I ended up adding a switch on the handlebars (right next to my handy new blackout switch to save juice on start-up... and maybe for other uses) that completes the circuit across the starter solenoid. Went through the starter motor last night, turns out the contacts were burned pretty bad. Some jeweler's rouge fixed that right quick. Now to the local motorcycle shop to exchange the faulty battery they gave me.

    It's all coming together quite nicely, I must say. Thanks to all who gave me some honestly very useful advice, it's too bad it didn't work! Lol. One week from today I leave on a week-long trip (one hell of a break-in for me, eh?). If y'all never hear from me again, I fell off something very tall. :D
    #18
  19. 240punk

    240punk n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2
    I was pretty pissed when I had to pay $170 backfees.....
    Definitely worth it to pony up though. Just don't ever sell the bike because you're in it for the long run.
    #19
  20. airborndad

    airborndad Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,517
    Location:
    Montclair Ca.
    Maliwal
    I sent you a PM
    hope you get it before you leave on your week long trip
    #20