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Old 04-28-2009, 10:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Registering a car based reverse trike in CA

I'm considering making a Civic or Del Sol into a reverse trike. I believe this will make it classified as a motorcycle, because the 1500 lb. weight limit for three wheel "motorcycles" was recently lifted. My understanding is that this was done to make it possible to register three wheeled vehicles as HOV's, allowing them to use the carpool lane. The Honda I use will probably be a 1992 to 1998. The CA legislature is about to vote (or may have already voted), on a law that would require smog checks on 2000 or newer motorcycles. I'm assuming it will eventually pass. If I take a 92-98 Honda and make it into an RT, will the year of the vehicle be changed to 2009 or whenever I register it? One of the reasons for undertaking this project was to end up with a smog exempt vehicle. Anyone know about this?
Brian

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Old 04-28-2009, 10:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It keeps the year it was born with.
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
It keeps the year it was born with.
Have you found this by personal experience? I fear that since I am changing it from a car to a motorcycle it will receive a new vin and be designated as a Specially Constructed Vehicle, in which case I think the year will change to the current year.
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Go ask DMV then.
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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A vehicle converted into a 3-wheeler will probably be specially constructed and unless you're one of the first 500 in 2010, it'll have to comply w/ the model year emissions requirements.
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Go ask DMV then.
Frank Lee cracks me up...funny dude
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Read up on the state statutes for your self, the DMV only knows the answers to the 20 most common asked questions and will tell you you can't do anything, if you can give them solid info they will give you more room.
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
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It keeps the year it was born with.
That's what I would think. The *drivetrain* should be judged based on the year it was made. Forcing it to comply with today's standards would be Ex post facto.

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Old 04-29-2009, 10:11 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
Go ask DMV then.
Why'd you say you know if you don't really know? If you do know, say why you know. It doesn't really help someone to give an answer on something like this if you don't really know. And, BTW, asking DMV doesn't always work. I've read stories of someone at DMV saying X and a person builds X and gets to the DMV/BAR/CHP to register it and finds out that X isn't true. That's why it is helpful to ask someone who has been down that road before.
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Brian
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Old 04-29-2009, 10:52 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Maybe the DMV doesn't know either? If I was doing it, I'd just keep the car registered as a car. So what if it has a bit of custom bodywork, at what point does it become fundamentally different from the kid who jacks up the suspension on his pickup? You'd be keeping the same engine & drivetrain, no? Keep the part of the body that has the VIN on it too, and logically you should be set.

I don't live in California, but here you just take the car to a smog check place every year, they plug in the OBDII connector & check the VIN, and the rest of a registration renewal can be done on-line. One year I even had my neighbor take the car for the check, and did the rest while I was at work - in Switzerland.

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